Ayodhya

ancient city of India

Ayodhya is an ancient city located near Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh, India.

Ayodhya is esteemed one of the holiest places of antiquity. ~ Abu Fazl
Mardana! this Ayodhya city belongs to Sri Ramachandra Ji. So let us go for his darshan. - Guru Nanak
Painting of Ayodhya by William Hodges
Ayodhya is as holy to Hindus as Mecca to Muslims. ~ K. K. Muhammed


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QuotesEdit

AEdit

  • Ajodhya is one of the largest cities of India... In ancient times its populous site covered an extent of 148 kos in length and 36 in breadth, and it is esteemed one of the holiest places of antiquity. Around the environs of the city, they sift the earth and gold is obtained. It was the residence of Ramachandra who in the Treta age combined in his own person both the spiritual supremacy and the kingly office. ... Near the city stand two considerable tombs of six and seven yards in length respectively. The vulgar believe them to be the resting-places of Seth and the prophet Job, and extraordinary tales are related of them. Some say that at Ratanpur is the tomb of Kabir, the assertor of the unity of God... Ayodhya... is regarded as sacred ground. On the ninth of the light half of the month of Chaitra a great religious festival is held. ... Rama was accordingly born during the Treta Yuga on the ninth of the light half of the month of Chaitra in the city of Ayodhya.
    • Ain - I - Akbari Of Abul Fazl-i-allami Vol.ii. (ca. 1590) [1] Quoted from Narain, Harsh (1993). The Ayodhya temple-mosque dispute: Focus on Muslim sources. Delhi: Penman Publishers. [2]
  • Ayodhyā is known as Sāketa because of its magnificent buildings which had significant banners as their arms.
    • Jain text Ādi-purāna composed by Āchārya Jinasena, 12.77. in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • Ayodhyā is famous as सुकोशल (Kosala) because of its prosperity and good skill. It is known as विनीता (Vinita) because it is inhabitated by humble people.
    • Ādi-Purāna, 12.78, quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • O gods! Ayodhyā does not exist by name alone but by the merit also, hence it cannot be conquered by enemies.
    • Jain text ‘Ādi-purāna’ 12.76 by Āchārya Jinasena of Digambara sect, quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • Ayodhyā is the city of gods with eight circles and nine portals. It contains a golden chest which is celestial and with light, and which has got three spokes encircled and three supports. Persons, well versed with the Brahmā, know fully well that Yaksha dwells in that golden chest. That city which is bright with excessive brilliance, attractive, studded with glory all around and never subdued, has the abode of Brahmā.
    • Atharva Veda, also occurs in Taittirīya Āranyaka too. (1.27.2 3), quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • One should recollect the auspicious Ratna-simhāsana which is situated in the Ayodhyā city in the middle of the Ratna-mandap and at the root of (i.e. beneath) the Kalpa-tree.
    Rāma with unprecedented splendour was born at Ayodhyā like the fire generated by the sacrificial sticks, for consuming the demons (flesh-eaters) as palāśa trigs are burnt in the sacrificial ritual. At the time of his birth five planets were in elevated zodiac, Brihaspati was with moon, the tithi (date) was Navamī, the star (nakshatra) was Punarvasu and the Sun was shining in the Mesha zodiac.
    One gets back the lost kingdom, if one with singular loyality chants the Rāma-mantra fifty thousand times and meditates Rāma, anointed as the King at Ayodhyā.
    • Agastya-samhitā, composed ca. 9th - 12th century.quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • The holy city of Ajudhia, of saving virtues and ancient renown, was built they say by Brahma, and given to his eldest son for an earthly dwelling-place. The earth being but transitory, Brahma laid the foundation in his own discus, the Sudarsan Chakra, which still gives its shape to the city. On this was reared a stately capital for the son of God, and it was presented to him complete, fitted, declare the chronicles, with shrines, palaces, roads, markets, gardens, and fruit trees, glittering with jewels, and resounding with melody of birds. Its men and women were holy, as befitted the subjects of a Divine King, and their righteousness was rewarded by incalculable wealth in elephants and oxen, horses and chariots. Its boundaries were fixed by the Sarjui, and the Tons, and from Lachman Kund a jojan to the east and to the west.
  • In this city was supposed to reside a sanctifying virtue of extraordinary efficacy. When a man merely projected a pilgrimage to it, he purchased the salvation of his ancestors. Every step he took on his way had the efficacy of an aswa-medha jig. To him, who gave a pilgrim the road expenses of the journey, was assigned a passport to heaven with all his sons and grandsons. To him, who provided a weary pilgrim with conveyance, was promised a passage to the divine abodes in the chariots of the Gods. He, who fed a hungry pilgrim, reaped the benefit of many oblations at Gya and ablutions at Prag, and earned for his forefathers an eternity of happiness. He who anointed a pilgrim’s feet with oil, would obtain his desires in both worlds. The mere sight of Ajudhia absolved from all trivial sin. To journey to it measuring the way with the outstretched body was a penance, which atoned for the most heinous crime. The water of the Sarji washed away sin; obeisance to it removed all worldly trouble. He who lived in Ajudhia, redeemed his soul from the pains of transmigration; a residence of a night rehabilitated a man, who had been degraded in his caste. Seven holy places in India made up the body of Vishnu, and the boastful priests aver that Ajudhia was the head.”
  • In the heart of the city lies the great Ram Kot, the fort of Rama, with its gates guarded by the immortal monkeys who accompanied him on his return from Ceylon. On its western side is the Janam Bhum or Janam Asthan, the birth place of the hero. To visit this on the Rama-Nomi, that sacred ninth which falls in Chait, delivers the pilgrim from all the pains of the transmigration of souls. The virtue of this act is as if the pilgrim had given 1,000 cows, or performed a thousand times the sacrifices of the Raj Suiji or Agin-hotra, “but the fool, who eats on that day shall go to hell, where all the vicious are thrown into boiling oil.” They say there was once a band of five thieves, who had been banished from their native country for highway robbery, adultery, murder of cows and other heinous crime. These five men spent their days alternately in robbing pilgrims and in riotous living. A party of pilgrims from Delhi passed through the forest in which was the den of these robbers, and the robbers joined them in the guise of travellers from a far country. But as they neared Ajudhia the guardian-angels of the holy city, who are stationed to prevent the entrance of the deliberately wicked, took visible shape and began to beat the robbers with their clubs. A sage who lived near by, Asit Muni, hearing their cries, interfered in their behalf. They were released at his intercession, and in gratitude they obeyed their preserver’s command to complete the pilgrimage to Ajudha, and secure salvation by performing the prescribed ritual. As they entered the city Ajudha appeared as a beautiful goddess, clad in white robes, and attended by her maidens. The men trembled with fear. On a sudden their sins arose before them, shrouded in the blue garbs of mourning, of horrible countenances, red-haired, blear-eyed, mis-shapen, their iron ornaments clanking like chains. Then the goddess beat the sins, and they fled out of the city and took refuge under a pipal tree, and the thieves went on rejoicing and bathed at Swargdwar, and kept the fast of Nomi, and worshipped at the birthplace of Rama, and they were purified from sin, and Yama called Chitra Gupta the recorder, and their sins were blotted out from the Book of the Judge of the dead. Meanwhile the messengers of Yama traversing the earth fell in with the sins of the robbers, standing crying under the pipal tree. On these the messengers took compassion, and prayed of Yama that the sins might be re-united to the robbers. But Yama said that the advantages of bathing at Ajudhia were irrevocable, and retired to meditate on the banks of the Sarji. Ajudhia was pleased with the wisdom of Yama, and the place of his meditation she named Jama Asthal, and appointed a holy day in his honour on the 2nd of Katik, and the sins were destroyed under the pipal tree.
  • Just beside the birthplace of Rama is the “Kitchen” of Janki-ji. It is in shape like the ordinary Indian “Chilha,” and is supposed to be always filled with food. The sight of it satisfies every want; a daily visit keeps the house supplied with food. The sight of it satisfies every want; a daily visit keeps the house supplied with food. Close to this is the house of Kaikayi, where Bharat-ji was born. On the other side is that of Somitra, where Lachhman and Satrohan were born. South-east of this is the Sita Kup, the waters of which are said to give intelligence to the drinker.”
    • Ajudhia Mahatum, (believed by some scholars to be a transcript from the Skanda/Padma Purana ) in P. Carnegy ‘Historical Sketch of Tahsil Fyzabad, Zillah Fyzabad’ App. B. quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • “Afterwards, he should go to Janma-bhùmi [birthplace of Ramachandra]. East of Vighnesvar, or north of the residence of Vasishta or west of that of Lomasa Rishi, is the Janma-sthãna, the giver of salvation, the mere sight of which releases a man from returning to a woman’s womb. The fasting on the day of Rama Navamí, visiting the place with devotion, giving alms and performing pilgrimages and sacrifices, frees a man from the transmigration of his soul. A visit to it yields the reward of giving one thousand cows, obeying father, mother, and the spiritual guide, and performing the Rajasùya, and Agni-hotra [sacrifices] one thousand times.”
  • Asitamuni answered, “Those who restrain their passions and do not commit sins, gain the full advantages of the pilgrimage. He who controls the passions and gives alms in proportion to his means, obtains these benefits. He who keeps the Naumi fast, shaves at Svargadvar, bathes there, and visits the birthplace, is released from the sins of killing a cow and a brahman, of cohabiting with the wife of a spiritual guide, and from many others of the same kind, and thus obtains salvation. On that day, men, Kinnaras, Gandharvas, and the gods bathe in the Sarayù and visit the birthplace. You should also do the same; proceed and you will see great wonders.”
  • (a) “It was the Navami day, they bathed in the Sarayù, repaired to the Birthplace, kept the fast, and visited the place. Thus they were freed from all sins. At this time, Yama called Chitra-Gupta and said, ‘The thieves have become pure, blot out their sins from thy book and forgive them; their sins have been destroyed by Ayodhya, the first city of Vishnu. Here live those who require salvation. The thieves have become Vaishnavas. Then Chitra Gupta became sorry, and said, “We have suffered much trouble in entering their sins, but it may be, as thou sayest, that we shall no more register the crimes of the wicked; for it is all in vain : the wicked go to Ayodhyã and obtain salvation and the vicious, in the Kali Yuga, become pure on visiting the Birthplace.’ Having said this, they scratched out the sins of the thieves.”
  • (b) “Yama replied, ‘You are not aware of the advantages of bathing at Svargadvar, keeping fast on the Navami and visiting the Birthplace. I am quite unable to fight with Ayodhya, let us go there.”
  • (c) “Visvakarma replied, ‘I come from Ayodhya after bathing at Sargadvar and visiting the Birthplace, and have been ordered by Brahmã to repair to Sakait with the gods, and build houses there for the pilgrims of Navami.”
  • “Then Mahadeva said to the goddess, “I have told you the advantages of Ayodhya, the Sarayù, the Birthplace, and the day of the Navami. He who hears them, or relates them to others, obtains salvation in the end after having enjoyed all pleasures.”
    • Ayodhyā-māhātmya, Ram Narayan’s translation of Ayodhyā-māhātmya, published in the “Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal,” Vol. XLIV in the year 1875. in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.

BEdit

  • There are few monuments of any antiquity. Rama’s birthplace is marked by a mosque, erected by the Moghul emperor Babur in 1528 on the site of an earlier temple.
    • Encyclopedia Britannica. Entry Ayodhya. Volume 1, 1985. 15th edition [3] Also quoted in Elst, K. in The Ayodhya reference: The Supreme Court judgement and commentaries. (1995)
  • Ayodhyā, Mathurā, Haridvāra, Kāśi, Kānchī and Ujjain [are] the most sacred and foremost cities.
    • śloka of Brahmānda Purāna, and in many other Puranas with slight variations. quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • Without Rāma, this is not Ayodhyā.
    • Bhasa:Pratimā Nātaka , quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 1
  • That which cannot be taken over by any means is known as Ayodhyā.
    • Buddhaghosha, while commenting on the Phenapindūpama Sutta, This Phenapindūpama Sutta is a part of the Khandhsamyutta of Samyutta Nikāya., quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • He (i.e. Bilhana) composed a Kāvya on Ayodhyā which was the capital of the husband of Sītā, i.e. Rāma, the tormentor of Ravana.
    • Vikramānkadeva-charitam of Bilhana, 18.94. (poet of Kashmir, 1076-1127 AD) quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 1
  • Those Kshatriyas made their abode in the same famous traditional capital (Ayodhyā) where Rāma, the husband of Jānakī, after having defeated Ravana, used to reside.
    One amongst those kings, intent on victory and elegant in pastime and religious rites after having vanquished all, set his feet in the south which was full of betel nut trees competing with the height of palaces.
    • Vikramānkadeva-charitam of Bilhana, (poet of Kashmir, 1076-1127 AD) quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 1
  • If Ajodhya was then little other than a wilderness, it must at least have possessed a fine temple in the Janamasthan; for many of its columns are still in existence and in good preservation, having been used by the Musalmans in the construction of the Babari Mosque. These are of strong, close- grained, darkcolored or black stone called by the natives kasauti and carved with different devices
    • (Benett 1877-78 :6-7). Gazetter of Oudh, in Jain, M. (2017). The battle of Rama: Case of the temple at Ayodhya. ch 3

CEdit

  • The Swargadwar mosque and the Treta ka Thakur mosque [both in Ayodhya] were built by Aurangzeb after demolishing Hindu shrines of the same name dedicated to Rama.... Two tombs attributed to Paigambars Sis and Ayub (i.e. patriarchs Seth and Job) occupy the site where the extraordinary „toothbrush‟ tree of Buddha had once stood, according to Fa Hien and Huen Tsang... The ancient Jain temple of Adinath was destroyed by Maqdoom Shah Jooran Ghori, a commander of Mohammed Ghori, who later had his own tomb built on top of the ruins of Adinath, which survives till this day as Shah Jooran ka Tila.
    • About religious sites at Ayodhya. [A.K. Chatterjee 1990/2:184-5 “The temple and the mosque”, Indian Express, 2 May 1990, repr. in Shourie Arun, S.R.Goel: Hindu Temples, what happened to them (1998), 2nd ed:184-189.] Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2012). The argumentative Hindu. New Delhi : Aditya Prakashan. Chapter: Ayodhya’s three history debates.

DEdit

  • Ayodhyā is a wonderful town in the Kosala kingdom and is worthy of its name. It has vanquished the entire heaven by its beauty. Indra, scared of being deprived of his office, prayed to Prajāpati Brahmā, who established this city to do away with the wish of the kings of the Ikshvāku dynasty to perform the hundredth sacrifice (for obtaining the kingdom of heaven).
  • It contains many clusters of temples which are encircled by glittering gold pots on the front part of the top pinnacles with white boundary walls plastered by lime. There are many platforms which adorn temples of gods with jewels which appear to mock at the Śeshanāga having a thousand jewels.
    • Dhanapāla’s ‘Tilaka-mañjarī’, beginning of 11th century. quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • On the bank of the Sarayū river (at Ayodhyā), the corner of the vast northern altar is situated near the Yūpa (the column for sacrifice) and there are hundreds of ‘chashala, i.e. big umbrellas to provide shade for pilgrims, and the spot of the Asvamedha sacrifice of the kings of the solar race creates impressions of wonder amongst pilgrims.
  • There he, after having prostrated before (the idol of) Ramachandra, rendered prayers.
    • Yātrā-prabandha of Samarapungava Dīkshita, (born 1574 CE) quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 1
  • “Oude, a town of Hindostan, in the above prov. and kingdom of which it was the former cap; on the Gogra across which an iron bridge, the materials having been brought from England is said to have been recently thrown 74 mile E. Lucknow; Lat. 26048’ N. Long. 8204’ E. It extends a considerable distance along the banks of the river, stretching as far as Fyzabad. It is said by Hamilton to be tolerably populous; but except along the river’s brink, it consists wholly of ruins and jungle, among which are the remains of various celebrated Hindoo temples. Hindoo pilgrims still visit Oude; and did so in great numbers, until Aurangzebe demolished most of their places of resort. A mosque erected by that monarch, and 2 tombs, greatly venerated by mohammedans are now the principal and almost sole remaining public edifices. ( Mod.Trav. ix, 312-315)”
    • A Dictionary, Geographical, Statistical and Historical Vol. 2, 1842 This Gazetteer was written J.R. M’Culloch, ESQ, and published from London in 1842. quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 8

EEdit

  • In Ayodhya itself, several Rama temples were destroyed by Aurangzeb (Treta-ka-Thakur and Swargdwar), a fact which even the official polemicists against the Rama-Janmabhoomi have not dared to deny.
    • Koenraad Elst, Ayodhya: The Case Against the Temple (2002)

FEdit

  • Going on from this to the south-east for three yojanas, they came to the great kingdom of Sha-che (Saketa). As you go out of the city of Sha-che by the southern gate, on the east of the road (is the place) where Buddha, after he had chewed his willow branch, stuck it in the ground, when it forthwith grew up seven cubits, (at which height it remained) neither increasing nor diminishing. The Brahmans with their contrary doctrines became angry and jealous. Sometimes they cut the tree down, sometimes they plucked it up, and cast it to a distance, but it grew again on the same spot as at first. Here also is the place where the four Buddhas walked and sat, and at which a tope was built that is still existing.”
    • Fahien [A record of Buddhistic Kingdoms, Being an Account by the Chinese Monk Fa-Hien of his Travels in India and Ceylon (A.D. 399-414) in Search of the Buddhist Books of Discipline, translated by James Legge, Chapter- 19].quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • Protector of the pilgrim places located in Kasi, Kushika, Uttar-kosala (Ayodhyā) and Indra-sthān (Indra-prastha).
    • Inscription about Govindachandra. (Epigraphia Indica, Vol 33, 1959-60 p. 179)quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • “It is locally affirmed that at the Musalman conquest there were three important Hindu temples at Ayodhya: these were the Janma-sthanam, the Svargadvaram, and the Treta-ka-Thakur. On the first of these Mir Khan built a Masjid, in A.H. 930 during the reign of Babar, which still bears his name.”
    • A. Fuhrer, 1891 Archaeological Survey of India :“The Monumental Antiquities and Inscriptions in the North-western Provinces and Oudh.” quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.

HEdit

  • At this Oudee or Oujea (a citty in Bengala & felicitated by Ganges) are many Antick Monuments, especially memorable is the pretty old castle Ranichand built by a Bannyan Pagod of that name about 994500 yeares ago after their accompt, from which to this the Bannyans have repayred to offer here and to wash away their sinnes in Ganges, each of which is recorded by name by the laborious Bramyns who acquaintes this Pagod with their good progressions and charitable offerings.”
    • Thomas Herbert, ‘Some Yeares Travels into Divers Parts of Asia and Afrique’ , 1634.quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 11, and in Jain, M. (2017). The battle of Rama: Case of the temple at Ayodhya. ch 3
  • [Pilgrims] resort to this vicinity, where the remains of the ancient city of Oude, and capital of the Great Rama are still to be seen. [religious mendicants] walk round the temples and idols, bathe in the holy pools, and perform the customary ceremonies"
    • (Walter Hamilton I 1828: 350). Gazetter of 1828, Geographical, Statistical and Historical description of Hindustan, quoted in Jain, M. (2017). The battle of Rama: Case of the temple at Ayodhya. ch 3

JEdit

  • Emperor Aurangzeb constructed two mosques in the Svargadvara area, where had stood two Vishnu shrines built by the Gahadavala kings - the Chandra Hari by Chandradeva's and the Dharma Hari (or Treta ka Thakur) by Jayachandra. The ruins of the mosque at Chandra Hari survive and "may still hide an inscription" that commemorated Chandradeva visit, just as the ruins of the mosque built by Aurangzeb at Dharma Hari revealed an inscription of Jayachandra. Small insignificant temples were subsequently constructed to commemorate the earlier shrines; they retained the names Chandra Hari and Dharma Hari.
    • Jain, M. (2013). Rama and Ayodhya., p 100-101
  • Ayodhyā was like a divine city descended from heaven under the load of abundant pleasure. It was the best amongst all towns because of prosperity and looking like a śamī tree full of royal fire.
    • Jānakī-haranam of Kumāradāsa of Śrīlankā quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • The mosque of Ram Darbar was built by Fedai Khan. It has been damaged by the infidels who have torn the two minarets and the wall. During the days of Amjad Ali Shah, orders had been issued for its reconstruction. But with his sudden death, he took this wish along with him, while the Qila Masjid was given to the Mahant of the Qila as muafi. The mosque has been converted into a house. The possession of mosques under the Hindus is well-known.
    • Hadiqa-i-shuda of Mirza Jan, In 1855-56 CE. quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. (Svargadvāra temple of Ayodhya is called the Rāma-darbar)

KEdit

  • Ayodhyā, which was having guests and four gates in all the four directions, was shining like the body of four-faced Brahmā, expert in instant creation...
    Women of Sāketa saluted him with folded hands...
    He stayed in the sprawling garden of Sāketa...
    He entered into Ayodhyā full of women who had come to see Sītā...
    By the order of the king Kuśa guilds of artisans, with their advanced instruments, renovated Ayodhyā, as if clouds, by the order of Indra, made the hot earth green by rain-fall.
    Ayodhyā looked as beautiful as it was earlier. There the son of Maithilī, i.e. Kuśa attained such happiness that he had no desire left for becoming the master of the paradise and the Alakapuri.
    • Kalidasa:Raghuvamśa. quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • P. Carnegy has written that Ayodhyā is to the Hindus what Mecca is to the Mahomedon and Jerusalem to the Jews. R.T. Griffith, the celebrated translator of Vālmīki Rāmayana, was of the opinion that ‘Ajudhyā is the Jerusalem or Mecca of the Hindus’.
    • Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. chapter 1.

LEdit

  • The excavations revealed that the settlement at Ayodhya began with a phase when a very distinctive and deluxe pottery called the Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW) had come into being... Without any break, the settlement continued through what are known as the Sunga, Kushan and Gupta periods.
    • Lal, B. B. (2008). Rāma, his historicity, mandir, and setu: Evidence of literature, archaeology, and other sciences. New Delhi: Aryan Books International. p.20-23

MEdit

  • All of them (temples at Hardwar and Ayodhya) are thronged with worshippers, even those that are destroyed are still venerated by the Hindus and visited by the offering of alms.
    • Manucci, vol,. III. Quoted from Lal, K. S. (1999). Theory and practice of Muslim state in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 3
  • Ayodhya is the town of Lord Rama himself. Lord Rama himself has described the glory of Ayodhya “जन्मभूमि मम पूरी सुहावनि।।“ (janma bhoomi mama poori suhaavani) i.e“My birthplace Ayodhya is the city of supernatural beauty.”
  • Thereafter one should go to Gopratāra which is the best pilgrim place (tīrtha) on the Sarayū river where Rāma went to heaven with all his followers along with the splendour of that tirth. By the grace and efforts of Rāma, a man attains heaven by taking bath in Gopratāra and becomes pure from all sins.
    • Mahabharata, quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • [On the eve of the Mahāparinirvāna of Lord Buddha, Ānanda requested him in these words:] “Let it not be, Lord, that the Blessed One should pass away in this mean place, this uncivilized township in the midst of the jungle, a mere outpost of the province. There are great cities, Lord, such as Campa, Rajagaha, Savatthi, Saketa, Kosambi, and Benares. Let the Blessed One have his final passing away in one of those. For in those cities dwell many wealthy nobles and brahmans and householders who are devotees of the Tathagata, and they will render due honor to the remains of the Tathagata.”
    • (Dìgha Nikaya. 16, Maha-parinibbana Sutta, translated from the Pãli by Sister Vajira & Francis Story, passage 41) quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • In those days at Ayodhya there was an edifice called the Celestial Temple, from where it is said that Ram or Ramji had taken to the heaven all the inhabitants of the city. This temple and several others were destroyed by the order of Aurangzeb as he considered that these used to serve the purposes of a superstitious religion (cult).
    • C. Mentelle in 1801 CE. Courses of Cosmography (Cosmology), on Geography, on Chronology and on Ancient and Modern History” , quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.

NEdit

  • Mardana! this Ayodhya city belongs to Sri Ramachandra Ji. So let us go for his darshan [visit with God].
    • Guru Nanak (1469 – 1539) (attributed) as quoted by Bhai Man Singh's Pothi Janam Sakhi (late 18th century), In: Harsh Narain The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources, pp 14-15, 1993, New Delhi, Penman Publications. ISBN 8185504164
    • Another version of this account according to B.B.W.J. Sakhi (1883): Bhai Bala! this city belongs to Sri Ramachandra Ji. Here Sri Ramachandra Ji took incarnation and performed (human) deeds. Therefore, walk with caution. Quoted in: Harsh Narain The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources
  • He (Shiva), having crossed Prayāga and the great city Ayodhyā.
    • Nīla-mata-Purānam was composed in the 7th or 8th century A.D in Kashmir, quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • And Fedai Khan Subedar built a mosque at Ram Darbar and strongly laid the foundation of Islam there. There was a mound opposite to it. King Ram Chandra, being pleased with the conquest of Lanka, bestowed it upon his loyal friend Hanuman. Then in the Baburi mosque, where there was Sītā Rasoi, started the worship openly. Officers, after taking bribe (silver shoes) , became their loyal servants. No one took notice. First the saying of Shaikh Ali Haji was true to the situation—“The butkhana on the way that was considered a bad place became the abode of God!” Thereafter, a drastic change occurred—mosques were pulled down and temples were constructed there. But there was a veil of neglect on our eyes and we remained in slumber.
    • Muraqqa-i-khusarawi of Shaikh Muhammad Azamat Ali Kakorabi Nami, in 1869 CE. quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 8

QEdit

  • All the temples of Ayodhya were turned into mosques by the Sultans of the past.
    • Qaysar-u't Tawarikh, quoted in Narain 1993: 27-35, and in Jain, M. (2017). The battle of Rama: Case of the temple at Ayodhya. ch 5

REdit

  • Virtuous Avantikā, i.e. Ujjaina is the foot of Vishnu and Kāñchīpurī is His waist. Yogis consider Dvarakā His navel and Haridvāra His heart. Mathurā is considered His neck and Varanasī the tip of His nose. Ayodhyā is the head of Vishnu. Sages call all these the limbs of Vishnu.
    • Ayodhyā-māhātmya of the Rudrayāmala. in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • Rare are the opportunities to reside at Ayodhyā, to bathe in the Sarayū river, to visit the birthplace of Rāma and to have the darśana of Lord Rāma. Even if one remembers the auspicious pilgrim city Ayodhyā, he is bound not to be born till the deluge.
  • He, who dwells on the bank of the Sarayū river and lives on vegetables, roots and fruits and feeds one Vipra, will get the benefit of feeding one crore Vipras.
  • All sins of those persons, who after being purified by bathing on the Sarayū’s bank visit the janma-bhūmi, are effaced, by its mere glimpse, for hundreds, thousands and crores of kalpas.
  • Having reached the temple of Rāma men, who have his darśana (glimpse) or even his rememberance, are liberated from the charana-trayam, i.e. birth, life and death.
  • By a darśana of the Janma-bhūmi or remembrance of the Rāma-nāma or bathing in the Sarayū river all sins are destroyed.
  • He, who remembers the sacred Ayodhyā, is blessed with wealth, reputation, long life, virtues and destruction of sins.
  • The water of the Sarayū river at Ayodhyā provides bliss, good luck and health. He, who listens to the story of the birth of Rāma or has a glimpse (of him or his temple or idol) or remembers him, is liberated from all sins.
  • Then one should go to the Janma-sthana, which is saluted by sages and gods. By seeing which, one is liberated from all miseries and the cycle of birth. Without donation or penance or pilgrimage or sacrifices.
  • If people fast on the Rāmanavamī day, bathe in the Sarayū and make donation, they are liberated from the bound of birth.
  • By a mere glimpse of the Janma-bhūmi one gets that much virtue which is accumulated by donating a thousand Kapilā cows everyday. By a mere glimpse of the Janma-bhūmi one gets that much virtue which is obtained by donating a thousand crore gems to Brāhmanas.
  • By a mere glimpse of the Janma-bhūmi one obtains that much virtue which is gathered by the devotion to mother, father and the Guru.
    • in the 12th chapter called दरिद्र-भञ्जनदुर्ल्लभो Adhyaya of the Ayodhyā-māhātmya of the Rudra-yāmala. in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • Thus, having granted boon to gods Vishnu contemplated about his place of birth in the humanform...
    On Sarjú’s bank, of ample size,
    The happy realm of Kosal lies,
    With fertile length of fair champaign
    And flocks and herds and wealth of grain.
    There, famous in her old renown,
    Ayodhyā stands, the royal town,
    In bygone ages built and planned
    By sainted Manu’s princely hand.
    Imperial seat! her walls extend
    Twelve measured leagues from end to end,
    And three in width from side to side,
    With square and palace beautified.
    Her gates at even distance stand;
    Her ample roads are wisely planned.
    • Ramayana, Balakanda, quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • Waves of the Sarayū river illuminated the heaven-like Ayodhyā which was the capital of the kings of the solar dynasty with its water looking like the shine of the moon of the autumn season.
    • Rājashekhara, X.96. Bāla-rāmāyana , early 10th cent. in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 1.
  • With gorgeous arches, castle-door-bars and with amazingly built houses, that city is magnificent and auspicious one, and full with thousands of provincial kings too, and king Dasharatha, a coequal of Indra, indeed ruled that city which is true (Satya) to its name.
    • Ramayana, Balakanda, [1.6.28] VI.28 quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • During the rule of Darshan Singh no Azaan was ever held and the cow-slaughter was stopped. Perhaps during the reign of Muhammad Ali Shah the Azaan and cow-slaughter were allowed. At last, the tussle went to such an extent that except the mosque adjacent to Hanuman-garhi, the Hindus made Butkhana even in the corridor of the Baburi mosque where Sītā Rasoi existed. The Hindus damaged Ram Ghat mosque also and in its corridor constructed a temple. They started placing garbage in the mosque and constructed magnificent temple from the bricks and stones after digging hundreds of graves of the Muslims.
    • Tarikh-i-Awadh (Hissa Doyan) of Allama Muhammad Nazmul Gani Khan Rampuri (1859-1932 A.D.) quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.

SEdit

  • That which cannot be conquered by sins is Ayodhyā.
    • Satyopākhyāna,quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • This Satyā is the primeval city of Vishnu and its merit is described here.
  • After taking bath in the water of Sarayū they visit Janmasthāna. You, too, should make a pilgrimage for the termination of all sins.
  • After having taken bath in the Sarayū river and by the darsana of Janmasthāna; devotees of Rāmachandra are liberated from sins. Even Brahmā is not competent to describe the importance of the Janma-bhūmi. On the bright ninth day of the Chaitra month by the darsana of Janma-bhūmi one gets liberated from millions (crores) of sins and goes to the supreme ‘loka’ (world) where he is never in distress.
  • By the merit of visit to Janmabhūmi, the darśana of the idol of Lord Rāma, bathing in the Sarayū river and the impact of the festival of the Rāmanavamī (the birthday of Rāma)all went to the Santanaka Loka in a plane.
  • I made a visit to the Janma-bhūmi along with gods.
  • O best of sages! I made a darśana on the Rāmanavamī day.
    • Satyopākhyāna,quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 2.
  • Ayodhyā brilliantly shines with its three letters — ‘a’ denoting Brahmā, ‘ya’ Vishnu and ‘dh’ Rudra.
    • Skanda Purāna , in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • O King! Ayodhyā, Mathurā, and Dvārakā are three cities which provide Dharma, Artha, Kāma and Moksha and are dear to Hari.
  • One gets salvation by remembering Kr+ishna at Dvārakā, Rāma at Ayodhyā and Hari at Mathurā.
  • Ayodhyā fulfils all desires and is revered among glorified cities. It is protected by Rāma himself, the embodiment of wisdom.
  • Whatever merit one gets by dwelling at Prabhasa and Kurukshetra for hundreds of years is obtained by living at Ayodhyā for half nimish (1/3 second).
  • It is difficult to recite the names of Rāma, the Lord of Ayodhyā, Keśava of Mathurā and Krishna, the resident of Dvārakā.
  • One gets the most sacred post by reciting the name at Mathurā, hearing the names of Dvārakā and by a glimpse of Ayodhyā.
    • Skanda Purāna: Prabhāsa Khand+a: Dvārakā-māhātmya Adhyāya25) quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 2
  • To the north-east of that spot is the place of the birth of Rāma. This holy spot of the birth is said to be the means of achieving salvation etc. It is said that the place of birth is situated to the east of Vighneśvara, to the north of VasisTha and to the west of Laumaśa.
  • Only by visiting it a man can get rid of staying (frequently) in a womb (i.e. rebirth). There is no need for making charitable gifts, performing penance or sacrifices or undertaking pilgrimages to holy spots. On the Navamī day the man should observe the holy vow. By the power of the holy bath and charitable gifts, he is liberated from the bondage of births.
  • By visiting the place of birth, one attains that benefit which is obtained by the person who gives thousands of tawny-coloured cows everyday. By seeing the place of birth, one attains the merit of ascetics performing penance in hermitage, of thousands of Rājasūya sacrifices and Agnihotra sacrifices performed every year.
  • By observing sacred rites, particularly at the place of birth, he obtains the merit of the holy men endowed with devotion to their mother and father as well as preceptors.
    • description of the Janma-sthāna in the Ayodhyā-māhātmya of the Skanda-Purāna published by M/S Khemraj Shrikrishnadas, prop. Shri Venkateshwar Steam Press, reprinted by Nag Publishers, New Delhi, 1986, Vol. 2, Vaishnava-khanda. Adhyaya 10, p. 293R.) quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • After having worshipped formally, one should go to the Janma-bhūmi which is in the east from the Vighneśvara, in the north from VasishTha, in the West from Lomaśa. It is called Janmasthāna.
  • It is at a distance of 500 dhanush from Lomaśa, 1008 dhanush from Vighnesvara and 100 dhanush from Unmatta. At the centre a royal house was built by Brahmā.
  • It is called Janmasthāna and gives all fruits like liberation, by glancing at which, a man overcomes the stay in the womb, i.e. birth without any donation, penance, pilgrimage and sacrifice.
  • He, who fasts on the (Rāma) Navamī, takes bath and makes a donation, is liberated from all perils of birth by having a glance at the Janmasthāna.
  • By glancing at the Janma-bhūmi one gets the fruit of donating a thousand Kapilā (tawny colored) cows. By a glance at the Janma-bhūmi, all the sins gathered in thousands of births are liquidated.
  • By a glance at the Janma-bhūmi, one gets all the merits obtained by devotion to mother, father and elderly people. By a glance at the Janma-bhūmi, one gets all merits of those who serve teachers, render service in pilgrim places, tread the path of truthfulness and follow their dharma.
  • Those who perform penances in hermitages and perform a thousand Rajasūya sacrifices and Agnihotra, obtain equal merit by glancing at the Janmasthāna.
    • Skanda Purana, manuscript preserved at Bodleian Library, Oxford, which has been marked as ‘O’ by Hans Bakker, is the largest version and contains 30 chapters. The same text was translated by Ram Narayan into English and published in the Journal of Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1875 A.D. The same text was edited by Pt. Ramnarayanadas and printed at the Lakshminarayan Press, Moradabad in 1898. quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 2
  • Then he (the pilgrim) should go to the birthplace (of Rāma) which is worshipped by sages and gods. It is situated in the east from Vighneśvara (temple), in the north from VasishTha and in the west from Lomaśa. It is 500 dhanush above Lomaśa site and 1008 dhanush from Vighneśvara and 100 dhanush from Unmatta (Mattagajendra).
  • At the centre is the royal palace built by Brahmā. It is called Janmasthāna and gives salvation, etc. and the mere sight of which releases a man from returning to the mother’s womb without donation, penance, pilgrimage and sacrifice.
  • He, who fasts on the (Rāma) Navamī, takes bath and makes a donation, is liberated from all perils of birth by having a glance at the Janmasthāna.
  • By glancing at the Janma-bhūmi, one gets the fruit of donating a thousand Kapilā cows. By a glance at the Janma-bhūmi, all the sins gathered in thousands of births are liquidated. By a glance at the Janma-bhūmi, one gets all the merits obtained by his devotion to mother, father and elderly people.
  • By a glance at the Janma-bhūmi, one gets all merits of those who serve their teachers, render service in pilgrim places, tread the path of truthfulness and follow their dharma.
  • Those, who perform penances in hermitages, a thousand Rājasūya sacrifices and Agnihotra, obtain equal merit by glancing at the Janmasthāna.
  • If a man specially glances at the Janmasthāna, following traditions and becomes wan and cleans dust, he is liberated from the peril of rebirth after glancing at the birthplace.
    • Skanda Purana, manuscript preserved at Vrindavana Research Institute in Bengali script which has been marked as ‘B’ by Hans Bakker.(Adhyaya 5, folio 13V.-14V.) quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 2
  • Guru Nanak... reached Ayodhya... He gazed at Rama for darsana and then left overjoyed and earning his merit.
    • Baba Sukhbasi Ram Bedi, 1829, Quoted from Narain, Harsh (1993). The Ayodhya temple-mosque dispute: Focus on Muslim sources. Delhi: Penman Publishers. [4]
  • Maratha documents show that one of their main objectives was the liberation of the sacred cities of Ayodhya, Varanasi and Prayag. In the year 1751, Maratha armies led by Malhar Rao Holkar defeated the Pathan forces in Doab and immediately after victory, requested Safdarjang to handover Ayodhya, Kashi and Prayag to the Peshwa.
    • A.L Srivastava's (1899 -1973) book "First Two Nawabs of Awadh"(1954)

TEdit

  • In the year sixteen hundred and thirtyone bright,
    With my head lowly placed at my lord’s feet I write;
    On Tuesday, the ninth day of Chaitra, month pleasing,
    In the city of Avadh my story releasing.
    ‘Tis the birthday of Rāma, as scriptures declare,
    And the day when the pilgrims are gathering there.
    All demons, birds, serpents, men, saints and gods too
    There are meeting to bring their lord homage true;
    On this festival day of lord Rama’s birth
    They all sing with acclaim his high praises and worth.
  • This fair city opens to all Rama’s heaven,
    The whole world knows well here is holiness given.
    Beyond number souls from the four wombs are born.
    But the souls who in Avadh die never return.
    Well knowing this city the home of delight,
    The giver of wealth, source of all that is bright,
    Its history pure I’ll begin to relate;
    Once heard it destroys passion, envy and hate.
  • “Listen, Vibhishan, Angad, Sugriv! Pure and clean
    “Is my city; my land is the fairest e’er seen!
    “Tho’ for beauty men always of Paradise dream,
    “And tho’ scripture, as all know, declares it supreme,
    “Tho’ but few know the secret, yet this I declare-
    “That dear to me is Avadh beyond all compare!
    “Here’s my birthplace, this city delightful, secure;
    “On the north River Sarju flows, sacred and pure,
    “In which bathing, without any labours or pains,
    “His abiding-place with me forever man gains;
    “Very dear to my heart are all those who here dwell;
    “They attain thus my realm, there and here all is well.”
    • Rāmacharita Mānasa of Gosvāmī Tulasi Das,quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.
  • Earlier under the rule of Mlechhas, the people [of Ayodhya] had to bathe secretly. Now, since Jaisinghpura has been established, all the people of Ayodhya will be coming for (the holy) bath on the auspicious day.
    • Tilochand, letter to Sawai Jai Singh in 1723. (Nath 1993a). in Jain, M. (2017). The battle of Rama: Case of the temple at Ayodhya. ch 4
  • This beautiful city is my birthplace; to the north of it flows the holy Saryu, by bathing in which men secure a home near Me without any difficulty. The dwellers here are very dear lo me; the city is not only full of bliss itself but bestows a residence in My divine Abode... Blessed indeed is Ayodhya that has evoked praise from Sri Rama Himself!
    • Attributed to Rama by Tulasi. (pages 4758-9 pa ra 430-t; Sri Ra111ach11riln111a11nsn, Balnkmrdn - Cha11pai 1·4, do/ra 34, page 33 and Uttarnknndn cl1a11pni 1-4 page 679; G ita Press, 1s t edition 1968, 11th edition 1999}. in Meenakshi Jain, The Battle for Rama: Case of the Temple at Ayodhya (2017)(p.83), also Jain, Meenakshi. Rama and Ayodhya (2013, pp. 165
  • This story shed its lustre at Ayodhya. On this day of Sri Rama's birth the presiding spirits of all holy places flock there...
    • quoted in Jain, Meenakshi. Rama and Ayodhya (2013, pp.165.

VEdit

  • By him, who was of good conduct, and abhorred strife, while residng at Ayodhya, which had towering abodes, intellectuals and temples, Saketa-Mandala was endowed with thousands of wells, reservoirs, alms-houses, tanks.
    • Vishnu Hari inscription. Translation by K.V. Ramesh. Appendix II in Lal, B. B. (2008). Rāma, his historicity, mandir, and setu: Evidence of literature, archaeology, and other sciences. New Delhi: Aryan Books International. p. 81 ff.
  • According to well researched conclusion of scholars, there existed at least five Vishnu temples in Ayodhya in the 12th century viz. (1) Harismriti (or Guptahari) at the Gopratar (goptar) ghat, (2) Chandrahari on the west side of the Swargadwar ghat, (3) Vishnuhari at the Chakratirtha ghat, (4) Dharmahari on the east side of Swargadwar ghat, and (5) Vishnu (Rama) temple on the Janmabhoomi. The last three of these have been replaced on all accounts by mosques built by Mughal emperors.
    • History versus Casuistry: Evidence of the Ramajanmabhoomi Mandir presented by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to the Government of India in December-January 1990-91. Also available at [5]
  • “By evening, we had arrived at Shri Kshetra Ayodhya and stopped at the Kale Rama temple. The festival of Ramnavami (the day Lord Rama was born) was only a few days away and so the city of Ayodhya was milling with some seven to eight lakh pilgrims and holy men. I had never seen so many sadhus and bairagis together. There were also many pilgrims from the south.” (p. 177)
    • Visit of Vishnu Bhatta Godshe Versaikar to Ayodhyā (1859 A.D.) Majha Pravas (My Travels), i.e. ‘1858 The Real Story of the Great Uprising’. quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 11
  • There is situated Saketa, the best of the cities. In that city there is an extremely beautiful village known as Ramaniya.
    • Vasudevahindi (3rd/4th century, a Jain text), Sanghadasa. Jain, Meenakshi. Rama and Ayodhya (2013, pp. 161

YEdit

  • O-YU-To (Ayodhya): This kingdom is 5000 li in circuit and the capital about 20 li. It abounds in cereals, and produces a large quantity of flowers and fruits. The climate is temperate and agreeable, the manners of the people virtuous and amiable; they love themselves to learning. There are about 100 sangharamas in the country and 3000 priests, who study both the books of the great and little Vehicle There are ten Deva temples; heretics of different schools are found in them, but few in number”
    • Yuan-Chwang, (’Si-Yu-Ki Buddhist Records of The Western World’ by Samuel Beal, book V, p. 225) quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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