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Ram Navami: “Maine nahi banaya Ram ne banwaya”, says Arun Yogiraj as he shares Ram Lalla idol-making journey

First Published: 15th April, 2024 18:47 IST

On not being able to touch his craft now, Yogiraj said, "I knew that when Lord Ram Lalla would go inside the temple, we will not be able to touch Him."

As lakhs of devotees will be thronging to Ayodhya‘s Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir on April 17 on the occassion of Ram Navami on April 17, Arun Yogiraj, the man who sculpted the statue of Lord Ram Lalla shared the journey of his craft.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, Arun Yogiraj said that the Ram Lalla idol created by him is beautiful owing to the love for Lord Ram from devotees at Ayodhya.

“I met a lot of devotees in Ayodhya and they shared their pain, the sacrifices and sometimes the love for Lord Ram Lalla…I listened to everything…The idol is beautiful because of the love for Lord Ram Lalla…,” Yogiraj said.

Speaking about his instant fame after his work of art was installed at the iconic Ayodhya temple, Yogiraj said, “The first change after I sculpted Lord Ram Lalla‘s statue is that I am getting a lot of love everywhere in the country. Along with this, I am also getting a part of the love that people have for Lord Shri Ram. Everyone wants to meet me. They want to talk about the statue of Lord Shri Ram that I made and in fact, I have also decided that I will spend time with people, I also want to be with people. I have kept their love in my heart and whenever I get a chance, I will do something for my country again.”

On the divine eyes of Lord Ram crafted by him, Yogiraj said that it was not made by him but Lord Ram Lalla himself.
“Most of the questions people have are about the eyes of Lord Shri Ram. After looking at the eyes of Lord Shri Ram, everyone feels that they will speak to them at that moment. It seems like a living statue. So they ask me how I created the eyes of Lord Shri Ram. My answer is always that I did not make them, Lord Ram made them. Many people want to know what was the entire process behind making the idol of Lord Ram Lalla,” Yogiraj said.
Yogiraj shared that earlier, while he was making the idol, some boys used to say that it seemed as if Lord Ram may talk to them and now every devotee says the same thing after their darshan of Lord Ram Lalla at the Ayodhya temple.
“When I was making the idol of Shri Ram, four-five boys who were around 18-19 years old used to say that it seems that Lord Ram is just going to talk to them. Now this is the reaction of the people. The words of those boys have came true. Now the whole country also says that looking at the eyes of Lord Shri Ram, it seems that God will speak to them at that moment. His eyes are so alive, his statue is so alive. This is a huge achievement for an artist,” Yogiraj said.
Yogiraj said that contrary to any work of art which is criticised by a sizeable number of people, no one has criticised him for crafting the statue of Lord Ram Lalla and he has got only love and appreciation from all devotees.

“It happens that in every artwork, 70 per cent people like it and 30 per cent criticize it. But here I have got 100 per cent of people’s love and appreciation and not even one per cent criticized me for this work,” Yogiraj said.
Yogiraj said that despite working hard for seven months, be feels blessed that he has got the opportunity to make Lord Ram Lalla‘s idol.
“I was working from the point of view of devotees. I wanted to make the idol of Lord Shri Ram alive. I worked hard for this with great pleasure for 7 months. It was not difficult for me…It is a huge opportunity for me. It is God’s blessing that he chose me to make His statue,” Yogiraj said.
Speaking about the food restrictions while making the idol of Lord Ram Lalla, Yogiraj said, “There were some food restrictions. We had to work very hard because the stone from which the idol of Lord Shri Ram was sculpted was very hard. My father had said that hard work needs more patience. For this, there were some restrictions on food. Food was prepared with less oil and was not spicy. We had pulses for protein early in the morning. We had a sattvic diet.”
“I have forgotten what our food menu was. But all this did not bother me at all. We only thought about how we could make the idol beautiful. Food was only meant to fill one’s stomach. It didn’t matter,” Yogiraj said.
Speaking about the support he received from his family, Yogiraj shared that he missed seeing his little son, take his first step.
“My family was very supportive, especially my wife Vijeta. This is because I have two very small kids I was not there when my son learned to take his first step. I watched on video call. However, it was a very small sacrifice. These are all very small things,” he said.
Continuing on the support received by his wife, Yogiraj shared, “We did not discuss many things. There was a lot of pressure. I did not talk to her to ensure that she does not get upset. She also did not discuss many issues so that I do not get upset. Like, when the kids were sick, she would never tell me because if I find out, I won’t be able to concentrate at work. She supported me throughout this journey.”

Sharing about his mother getting worried as he lost a lot of weight in the process, Yogiraj said, “My mother was very worried about my weight. This is because I lost a lot of weight. She used to tell me that she is coming to Ayodhya to cook for me. I used to say- Don’t worry, I am getting very good food here. It was not just me. It was the support of my entire family and the love of the devotees of Lord Ram that helped me in my work.”
On not being able to touch his craft now, Yogiraj said, “I knew that when Lord Ram Lalla would go inside the temple, we will not be able to touch Him. So I ask for his photo every day and see it.” (ANI)

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