How Mysuru-Based Sculptor Arun Yogiraj Successfully Crafted Ram Lalla Idol After Failed First Attempt

How Mysuru-Based Sculptor Arun Yogiraj Successfully Crafted Ram Lalla Idol After Failed First Attempt

Yogiraj, along with two other artisans, worked diligently for months, maintaining a disciplined approach and a shared vision of delivering excellence for the country.

BISWAJEET BANERJEEUpdated: Friday, March 01, 2024, 06:32 PM IST
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Arun Yogiraj |

Arun Yogiraj, the skilled artisan behind the idol of Ram Lalla installed in the Ram Temple, recently unveiled a remarkable tale of resilience and faith. Yogiraj disclosed that the iconic statue was his second attempt after the initial stone used for carving the first idol failed in a critical test.

"The journey of sculpting Ram Lalla's idol was not devoid of challenges," shared Yogiraj. "God always tests before granting blessings," he told the Free Press Journal in a philosophical tone.

Yogiraj recounted the pivotal moment when Nripendra Mishra, chairman of the selection committee of the idol, informed him of the stone's failure in one of the technical tests conducted by the National Institute of Rock Mechanics.

“The call came in August, when 70 per cent of the work was completed. Nripendra Mishra ji called me and said that out of the eight tests done on the stone on which you are working, the report of one of them has come negative,” he said, adding, “Three months of hard work had gone waste.”

Despite the negative report, Mishra reaffirmed his faith on Yogiraj and asked him to carve out a new statue.

Undeterred, Yogiraj embarked on a renewed endeavour, selecting a new stone from Mysuru. With unwavering dedication, he intensified his efforts, extending his work hours and immersing himself in the creative process.

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"You have to give a lot of time to the stone; then the stone starts talking to you," he expressed.

Yogiraj, along with two other artisans, worked diligently for months, maintaining a disciplined approach and a shared vision of delivering excellence for the country. Their commitment to craftsmanship and humility transcended personal ambitions, focusing instead on the collective goal of creating a divine representation of Ram Lalla.

The final phase of sculpting posed a unique challenge as Yogiraj and his colleagues were tasked with engraving the idol's eyes within a constrained timeframe of 20 minutes. Guided by tradition and spiritual devotion, Yogiraj meticulously executed this pivotal moment, adhering to the principles outlined in ancient texts. He used chisel and hammer made of gold to carve out the eyes.

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Reflecting on the profound significance of his creation, Yogiraj remarked, "I did not make this idol; God made me make it."

When picture of Ram Lalla was leaked

The saga of the idol's journey did not end with its completion. As Yogiraj reminisced, the challenges persisted even after the statue was crafted to perfection. L&T engineers played a crucial role in safely transporting and placing the idol inside the sanctum sanctorum, alleviating Yogiraj's initial stress.

However, the moment of relief was evaporated when the photo of the idol went viral within hours of its placement.

“I was in stress again. I had not sent any photo to my wife in seven months. Maybe some mistake happened at that time (… the time of transportation). Champatji (Champat Rai, convener of Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust) and I got very upset. I kept crying in the room for two days wondering why this happened to me,” Yogiraj said.

But, after purification and consecration function the idol looked different. When I had the darshan, I forgot what had happened earlier, he said.

Drawing inspiration from tradition: The design of the divine

Yogiraj revealed the intricate details behind the design of the idol, drawing inspiration from South Indian architecture and Vishnu sect symbolism. The arch formed at the back of the idol, known as Prabhamani, served as a decorative element, while the inclusion of Dashavatar and representations of Brahma, Shiva, Hanuman, and Garuda showcased meticulous planning and reverence for tradition.

The sketch presented by Yogiraj to the Trust encapsulated his vision, which was embraced wholeheartedly, leading to the creation of a masterpiece that resonated with spiritual and cultural significance.

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