Ayodhya: In a culturally significant gesture, Thailand is sending soil to the Ramjanmabhoomi ahead of the inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. This follows the earlier gesture of sending water from two rivers in Thailand to Lord Ram's temple, aiming to strengthen cultural ties between Thailand and India, said Swami Vigyanananand, founder and global chairman of the World Hindu Foundation (WHF), in an conversation with Media.
In preparation for the consecration ceremony of Ram Lalla on January 22, 2024, soil from Thailand is being sent to the sacred site of Ram Janmabhoomi. The initiative was taken by the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), with Susheelkumar Saraff, President of the Thailand chapter of VHP, leading the collaboration.
Swami Vigyanananand emphasized that the collaboration between the two nations extends beyond soil. He stated, "India and Thailand have a strong cultural and historical bond. Kings belong to Lord Ram's descendants, and every king here has the title of Ram in their name, following an old tradition. Bangkok in Thailand is part of the Asian southeast country where rich Hindu cultural heritage exists, which is why they planned to organize the World Hindu Congress here."
"We have identified 51 countries that will witness Lord Ram's consecration at Ayodhya. Susheelkumar Saraff and I will also be present in Ayodhya," Swami Vigyanananand added.
Expressing delight over the scheduled consecration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on January 22, 2024, Swami Vigyanananand mentioned that the ceremony will be telecast live in Bangkok. Hindus from across the globe will converge at the event, engaging in kirtans, bhajans, puja, and recitation.
"We have ordered prasad (food offered to the deity) from Ayodhya. A replica of the Ayodhya temple has been built here. We have also brought an image of the birthplace of Ram Lalla from Ayodhya. Copies of the image will be shared with all the delegates attending the conference. The festive ambience in Ayodhya ahead of the consecration of the Ram temple should be spread across the world," he added.
Thailand, with its rich Hindu cultural heritage, holds a historical connection with Ayutthaya, a city whose kings bore the title of 'Ramatibodhi' ("Lord Rama"). The Thai religious text, Ramkeen, has similarities with the Thai Ramayana and has been compared to Valmiki Ramayana. Despite the passage of time, Lord Ram continues to be worshipped in Thailand, reflecting the enduring cultural and religious ties between the two nations.
Dr. Suresh Pal Giri, teaching in Thailand for 22 years, emphasized the deep-rooted connection, stating, "Even after so many years, Lord Ram is worshipped in Thailand as well as in India. The similarity between India's Ayodhya and Thailand's Ayodhya is that we have not forgotten our ancestors, our existence, and our traditions."
The collaborative efforts and cultural exchanges between Thailand and India, as seen in gestures like sending soil and water, showcase the enduring and vibrant cultural ties that bind the two nations.