Please allow me permission to share my emotions. We stayed up all night to behold the first glimpse of Sri Ram Lala; after celebrating with several thousands of Hindu devotees of the diaspora (from Guyana, Trinidad, Indian, elsewhere) in New York braving freezing weather in the streets chanting ‘Jai Sri Ram’. What made our family even more happy is that one of our very own – a scion for all Guyanese was part of the congregation in Ayodhya as a special guest witnessing this historic event in person. Pujjya Swami Aksharananda Ji was invited to attend the Pran Prathista of the Sri Ram Lala murti in Ayodhya. This great son did not boast and advertise this tremendous honour. We read it in the Indian newspapers.
What a momentous occasion for all of the Hindus who came across those treacherous seas to a hostile jungle and allowed no inhumane circumstances to break their faith. A silent majority whose sweat and blood melded with the mitti of the new land that would be home for them and their descendants. It was no mere feat that after 180 years, Hindu Dharma goes wherever a Guyanese Hindu go. We wear our Dharma with pride. It is our identity.
When the cornerstone for this very mandir was laid in August 2021, our family joined the large gathering of Hindus who braved Covid to show their support at Times Square. My brother Mindra Sahadeo, played his harmonium and led the devotees in chanting Raghupati Raghav and other Ram kirtans. Reporters were shocked that we were from Guyana. Why were we so passionate for Ram so far away, they asked? We proudly told them that Ram and Sita are in our blood and their names along with Hanuman ji, Lord Krsna and Mahadev have carried devotees through all these years.
It is most gratifying that the Motherland remembers and honours her own kids no matter how far away we live. And a grandson like Pujiya Swamiji has certainly made the sacrifices of all the Pitris and the rest of us so proud.