Surya Tilak : How sun kissed Ram Lalla’s forehead with help of science

Surya Tilak

Surya Tilak : The ‘Surya Tilak’ mechanism developed by the IIT team made sure the sunlight falls directly on Ram Lalla’s forehead at the specified time.

The recent celebration of Ram Navami in Ayodhya included a unique ceremony called the Surya Tilak. This ceremony involved using science to achieve a symbolic religious act. Here’s how it went down:

  • The Goal: The aim was to have the first rays of the sun fall directly on the forehead of the Ram Lalla idol for a specific period. This was seen as a way to symbolically bless the idol.
  • The Science Behind It: Scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IIT-R) were entrusted with designing the mechanism. They built a special apparatus using high-quality mirrors and lenses.
  • The Mechanism: This apparatus, reportedly including a gearbox arrangement, was positioned strategically on a higher floor of the Ram Mandir. The mirrors and lenses then reflected and focused the incoming sunlight to fall precisely on Ram Lalla’s forehead at the designated time.
  • Materials and Durability: The apparatus was crafted using brass and bronze, known for their durability and resistance to corrosion. Some reports also mention the use of elements from the traditional Pancha Dhatu alloy, signifying a blend of modern engineering and ancient practices.
  • Trials and Success: The entire setup underwent trials before the main event to ensure everything functioned smoothly. Thankfully, on Ram Navami, the Surya Tilak ceremony was reportedly a success, with the sunlight gracing the idol’s forehead as planned. Surya Tilak

This Surya Tilak ceremony exemplifies the interesting intersection of science and faith. It showcases how scientific principles can be applied to achieve religious goals in innovative ways.

This is Ram Lalla’s first Ram Navami in his newly built abode in Ayodhya. To mark the special occasion, a special ritual called  Surya Abhishek or Surya Tilak was held at noon on April 17. Surya Tilak

A ray of the Sun or a ‘Surya tilak’ illuminated the forehead of the Ram Lalla idol. This phenomenon lasted for a duration of approximately two to two-and-a-half minutes. Scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, (IIT-R) were roped in to design the Surya Tilak mechanism. Surya Tilak

How was Surya Tilak held?

The IIT team developed a special apparatus comprising mirrors and lenses so that the rays of the Sun fell directly onto Ram Lalla’s forehead. Surya Tilak

According to reports, the mechanism equipped with a gear box helped reflect the sun rays from the third floor of the Ram Mandir into the “garha griha” at the specified time. The sun rays entering Ram Mandir initially fell on a mirror installed on the top floor of the temple. The rays were then directed to another mirror on the second floor of the temple using three strategically placed lenses. Surya Tilak

According to NDTV, the size of the tilak is set at 58 mm and the duration is set for approximately 3 to three-and-a-half minutes, with two minutes dedicated to full illumination. The components used in the tilak apparatus are made of brass and bronze to ensure durability. Two trials were held to ensure a smooth Surya Abhishek ceremony. Surya Tilak

Significance of Surya Tilak

Ram Navami celebrates the birth of Lord Ram. The ceremony is also said to be significant as Lord Ram belonged to the Ishvaku clan, believed to be the descendants of the Sun, or Suryavanshis.”The basic objective of the Surya Tilak project is to focus a ’tilak’ on the forehead of Shri Ram idol on every Shri Ram Navami day. Under the project, sunlight will be brought on the forehead of Lord Ram at noon on Shri Ram Navami in the Chaitra month every year,” Dr S K Panigrahi, scientist at CSIR-CBRI Roorkee, who was associated with the project told PTI. Surya Tilak

According to Panigrahi, the position of the sun changes every year, and the date of Ram Navami repeats every 19 years. Based on the lunar calendar, the gearbox has been engineered to accurately position the sun on Ram Navami Day each year. Surya Tilak

Guidelines issued by Trust

The Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust had released guidelines for the ocassion. All VIP darshan passes were cancelled to manage the expected crowds, and changes have been made to darshan timings. Surya Tilak

“The duration of Darshan has been extended to 19 hours, starting from the Mangala Aarti and continuing until 11 PM at night. The curtain will be closed only for five minutes during the four Bhog offerings. Distinguished guests are requested to visit for Darshan only after April 19,” Surya Tilak

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