Asianet News Dialogues with Arun Yogiraj: 'I used to speak to the stone I was to carve as Ram Lalla' (WATCH)
Arun Yogiraj, the sculptor of Ram Lalla's idol at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, speaks exclusively to Asianet News Network Executive Chairman Rajesh Kalra in a special edition of Asianet News Dialogues
It took master sculptor Arun Yogiraj two to three months to figure out how to start work on the now-famous idol of Lord Ram in Ayodhya. Speaking exclusively to Asianet News Network Executive Chairman Rajesh Kalra during a special edition of Asianet News Dialogues, Yogiraj emphasized the significant responsibility that he and his fellow artisans had. With the entire nation eagerly anticipating the divine appearance of Ram Lalla, the absence of any ancestral depictions posed a notable challenge.
Moreover, specific guidelines mandated the portrayal of Lord Ram as a 5-year-old child, further complicating the task. Another constraint was the requirement to fit the entire sculpture within a limited space of 51 inches, from toes to forehead.
Undertaking extensive research and meticulous planning, Yogiraj and his team delved into ancient references related to Lord Ram to ensure accuracy and authenticity in their creation. With the weight of national expectations on their shoulders, they dedicated themselves to meticulous preparation and thorough study. Yogiraj, in particular, embarked on a journey of understanding the distinct features characteristic of a 5-year-old child, drawing insights from his observations of children between the ages of 3 and 9.
During the interview, Yogiraj revealed the initial challenges he faced in embarking on the monumental task. Initially uncertain about the approach, he decided to rely on his expertise and familiarity with sculpting techniques. He began by constructing a supportive arch at the back of the idol, both to provide structural reinforcement and to enhance its longevity.
Despite his proficiency in architectural elements, Yogiraj admitted to grappling with the specifics of portraying Ramlala. Striving for authenticity, he turned to a meticulous study of children aged 3 to 9, delving into anatomy and craftsmanship. Arun aimed to breathe life into the sculpture, capturing the essence of a 5-year-old boy in what he referred to as "Uttam Panchtada."
Driven by a profound sense of responsibility, Yogiraj approached each day with unwavering determination to create a masterpiece that would resonate with the entire nation. Throughout seven months of painstaking work, he remained acutely aware of the weight of expectations, constantly striving to craft a representation of Ramlala that would serve as a testament to love, skill, and unity.
Yogiraj shared a deeply spiritual aspect of his creative process. He described how he wholeheartedly devoted himself to Ram Lalla, transferring his worries and stress to the divine figure. Yogiraj expressed his earnest desire to have a divine vision of Ram Lalla, imploring the deity to guide him through the sculpting process. He saw himself as the first devotee privileged to witness Ramlala's presence.
Drawing from his father's wisdom, Yogiraj emphasized the significance of spending time with stones, believing they impart messages to those who listen. He recounted his lifelong connection with sculpting, which began at the tender age of 11 under his father's guidance. Over the past two decades, Yogiraj continually engaged with stones, nurturing his craft and deepening his spiritual connection.
With unwavering faith in the divine, Yogiraj attributed the success of his work to his father's teachings, his own dedication, and his profound love for sculpting. This spiritual connection, he believed, guided him throughout the intricate process of creating the revered idol of Ramlala.