His Holiness Jagadguru Pujya Sri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya Swamigal, Honourable Devotees
It is my honour to be invited to address on this holy occasion of the birthday of Sri Jayendra Sarasvati, and the opportunity to express my deep gratitude to Sri Parampujya Sri Chandrashekhara Sarasvati.
Kanchipuram is a holy place for all Indians Dasharatha had a dream and got the divine message that to get progeny, for which he had been performing homams and pujas, as a penance for many many years, would materialise if he went to Kanchipuram. He did. Goddess Kamakshi who was pleased and blessed him to get four sons.
Today is the day when the Foundation Stone of the Sri Rama Temple was laid at the very site where it was demolished nearly 500 years ago by violent invading force from abroad.
Nothing can be more dear to our Pudu Periyava, than this occasion since His Holiness had worked very hard to make it possible.
If Periyava had received proper cooperation from the Government, then the temple construction could have begun 2002 with amity.
With blessing of Mahaswami and Periva I entered the Ram Temple case in the Supreme Court in 2016 by filing a Writ Petition for my fundamental right to pray where faith tells me Ram was born.
I recall today what Mahaswami, the living God on earth, told me in 1987, that I should not participate in any agitation but work through negotiation and legal means for the restoration of this temple.
I followed His Holiness’ direction, and by that direction and because of the route that I had followed, it has today finally borne fruit today.
Because of Mahaswami’s instructions from time to time, I was able later in official positions as Cabinet rank Minister in Chandrashekar and Narasimha Rao Governments to engage in negotiation with Syed Shahabuddin.
In fact, the first negotiation I carried was in early in 1990 when on the instruction of Mahaswami, I brought Syed Shahabuddin to Kanchi Ashram, and before Sri Parmacharya we squatted on the ground to converse with him.
I recall vividly on that occasion Shahabuddin pressed both his palms of his hands and tears flowed copiously down his cheeks. He said to Mahaswami : “ Please save us all. Find us a way”.
Later I asked Shahbuddin why he cried. He said “when I say Mahaswami’s face I saw divinity so I cried.”
After some consoling words, Sri Parmacharya made a number of alternative proposals, and asked Shahabuddin to come again with a number documents that Mahaswami specified.
This took time but demolition of the Masjid structure, and other events made the subsequent meeting impossible.
In 1991 before the demolition, Shahabuddin had made a proposal to me which we were later to take to Mahaswami.
He said: “Prove to me that there was a temple which was demolished and a mosque built on top it. Then I will myself go and demolish the Babri Masjid”.
But before we two could go to Kanchipuram again, Karsevaks who arrived in lakhs could not control their emotions and on December 6, 1992 they demolished the masjid structure.
After the demolition of the Babri Masjid, Shahabuddin said negotiations are useless and I had to leave it at that.
In the White Paper brought out by the Government, this suggestion of Shahbuddin is recorded.
A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court was constituted subsequently. The Hon’ble Bench directed the then Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao to file an affidavit.
Rao consulted me and I repeated what Shahbuddin and I had agreed on: That if there was a pre-existing temple on the demolished masjid site, then the Government would hand the land to the Hindus to re build the temple.
Thereafter Prime Minister Rao in an Affidavit to the Supreme Court submitted through the Solicitor General stated just that.
After that the Supreme Court directed the resumption of the hearing the suit for ownership to the Allahabad High Court.
Pudu Periyava then took up the task to obtain a out of court settlement and achieve concluding case amicably.
His Holiness came very close to success in 2002. In fact Pudu Periyava he made an announcement to that effect. But he was sabotaged from concluding it by the Vajpayee government.
On September 30, 2010, the Allahabad High Court pronounced its judgment, partitioning the janmabhoomi property between the Hindu and Muslim parties.
After the Allahabad [Prayag] High Court judgment all the parties to the dispute appealed to the Supreme Court, where the judgment was stayed, but no day for hearings was given.
Both Hindu and Muslim parties did not insist for a date after that. They seem to be content with the status quo. Thus no hearing took place.
In 2015, a sad VHP President Ashok Singhal asked to meet me. As with Rama Setu case, Ashok Singhal requested that I take up Ram Mandir matter in Supreme Court. I agreed since I saw Singhal was very frail and not in good health.
Singhal then called a media conference in 2015 and in the presence of all the office bearers of VHP, he declared that I had been given the task see the Ram Temple case in Supreme Court is brought to a successful conclusion.
Thereafter at Pudu Periyava’s invitation both Ashok Singhal and I came to Tamil Nadu to join Pudu Periyava and together we discussed the way forward.
Later all three of us participated at the invitation of Swami Dayananda Sarsvati and discussed to convene the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha aand discuss the issue of Rama Temple.
Periyava was very pleased when he heard this and instructed me on all that he knew on the matter and gave me his blessings.
I entered the Supreme Court in 2016 as a Writ Petitioner, when all had lost hope that the Sri Rama Mandir would be ever re-built through the adjudication of contesting Suits in the Courts.
The Court then tagged my Writ Petition with the Suits and I immediately asked for an early hearing and day to day hearing. Both pleas were accepted.
Thus we were able to get the unanimous judgment on November 8, 2019. Ram janmabhoomi was restored to a Trust, and today the Prime Minister has laid the foundation stone.
It is a happy coincidence that the Bhumi Puja of the Ram temple at Ayodhya falls on August 5thwhich is Pudu Periyava’s Jayanthi. Pudu Periyava worked hard for the temple and neither did Pudu Periyava nor did Sri Rama leave each other.
This is an excellent opportunity for us devotees to meditate on our culture, which has added glory to human civilization and above all on Sri Rama whose Avatar is our culture’s crowning glory.