Blending Science and Faith: The Surya Tilak at Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir

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This year’s Ram Navami celebration in Ayodhya is especially meaningful as it marks the first one after the consecration of Lord Ram’s idol in the Historical Ram Temple. During this occasion, a special Hindu ritual called the Surya Tilak, or Surya Abhishek, will take place. This ritual, which means “Sun mark” in Hindi, involves the precise alignment of sunlight to land on the forehead of the Ram Lalla idol at noon. Preparations for this event have been completed, and it will occur on April 17 at 12:16 pm.

During the Surya Tilak, the sun will be adorned in the form of a 75 mm mark on the forehead of Ram Lalla for about five minutes. The arrangements for this ritual have been made by scientists from the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee, based on the movements of the sun. Interestingly, no electricity will be used to direct the sun’s rays onto the idol’s forehead. Instead, an optomechanical system involving brass piping, mirrors, lenses, and gears has been set up.

Here’s how it works: sunlight will first fall on a reflector installed on the third floor of the temple and then enter a horizontal brass pipe after being reflected. It will then pass through a series of reflections and lenses before finally hitting a high-quality mirror installed in front of Ram Lalla, creating a 75 mm circular mark on his forehead.

This ritual highlights Lord Rama’s ancestry, as he is believed to be a descendant of the Surya Vansha originating from the Sun God, Surya Devta. The Surya Tilak directly connects Rama to his celestial roots, emphasizing his divine nature and his association with Surya, the Sun God. It symbolizes the harmonious relationship between the divine and the natural world.

The Sun’s rays, like a celestial brushstroke, paint Rama with the light of creation, signifying his place within the cosmic order and his alignment with universal forces. The placement of the “tilak” on the forehead is particularly symbolic, as it is believed to be the location of the Ajna Chakra, associated with intuition, wisdom, and inner light. The sunlight’s touch can be seen as symbolically activating these qualities within Rama and serving as a reminder for devotees to cultivate them as well.











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