In less than a week a five-hundred-year wait will come to an end. The Ram Mandir will be inaugurated at the site believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram in Ayodhya on January 22, 2024. Shri Ram is a prominent Hindu God who is worshipped as the ultimate form of man, warrior, king and sets the greatest example for Raja Dharma (The righteous conduct of kings) and Kshatriya Dharma (The righteous conduct of warriors) within Hindu traditions. He is also the hero-warrior-God-king-avatar from the ancient epic called the Ramayana. It is from this epic we learn that after Rama’s 14-year exile from Ayodhya he returns victorious against the adharmic King of Lanka, Ravana, by rescuing his wife Sita in a glorious battle. When Rama, Lakshman and Sita return to Ayodhya it was the darkest night of the year and so tiny earthenware lamps were lit called deeyas from which we now celebrate Divali/ Deepavali. A text written by Shri Valmiki (in Sanskrit) and Tulsi Das ji (in Hindi) of an ancient war in which Rama /Ramachandra, the son of King Dasaratha of Ayodhya, capital of the kingdom of Kosala and the incarnation of the Great God Vishnu comes to earth to protect the world from the forces of adharma (unrighteous conduct).
However, in about 1528 A.D., Islamic Mughal forces under Babar, (the grandfather of Akbar the Great) attacked and razed (burnt and destroyed) the mandir forcing Hindus out of their holy and sacred place of worship, and for the next five hundred years Hindus have mostly been unable to worship at the murti of Shri Ram at his birthplace. Even under British occupation of India they were made to worship Lord Ram’s Murti (image) outside while Muslims could pray in the mosque inside the compound. On December 6, 1992 Kar Sevaks destroyed the Babri Mosque/ Masji-i-Janmasthan as it was called and after decades of litigation, permission was finally given to Hindus in India’s Supreme Court to allow Hindus to break ground in August 2022 to begin rebuilding the Ram Mandir. This Hindu renaissance and resurgence is happening under the Narendra Modi-led government of India and the BJP. Prime Minister Modi will be leading the rituals on January 22.
However, my article focuses on a niche of this story and a larger part of my research which has taken me across many states of India. The concept and historical reigns and battles of India’s Hindu Warrior Queens. I had delivered a research paper at a conference set in Trinidad and Tobago during the height of Covid-19 in May 2020 titled, “Hindu Warrior Queens,” which spoke of India’s (Bharat’s) timeless tradition of women rulers and warriors and their all-female fighting forces who battled and many times defeated invading Islamic and British forces from their soil countless times throughout India’s history. These warrior queens themselves stand on a strong Hindu foundation of warrior women throughout our history some of whom wrote the Vedas and fought alongside avatars like Krishna and the warriors of the Mahabharata. In the case of the defense of the Mandir of Ramlalla (another name for Ram Mandir, the infant Ram) the battles were numerous and bloody and one warrior queen stands above them all, Rani Jay Raj Kumari.
Hundreds of thousands of Hindus died in ferocious battles that ensued to recover the Ram Temple since 1528 and thereafter. Rani Jayraj Kumari was the Queen of Hansavar Raja Ranvijay Singh who reigned over a kingdom near Ayodhya. After 90 000 Hindus were killed under the leadership of Pt. Devideen Panday to regain the temple another King stepped in with 25 000. This new Hindu army was led by King Ranvijay Singh. King Ranvijay also lost his life in combat with Mughal forces to recover the mandir site. In typical Hindu-Warrior-Queen style the Rani came out with her own all-female fighting force of 3000 warrior women to continue the fight to regain the mandir. This was hundreds of years before Rani Lakhsmi Bhai of Jhansi led her own all-female regiment against the British. She tried to liberate the mandir using guerilla warfare with her even smaller fighting force. History recalls that she was joined by 24 000 ascetics who came with their own armies to fight alongside the Rani. The Sanyasis/ ascetics were led by Swami Maheshvarananda, the Rani’s own guru. By this time the site may have already been turned into a mosque.
The Queen attacked the Mandir site around ten times before a final battle with Mughal forces now under the kingship of Mughal Emperor Humayun. The Queen was able to push back Mughal forces and regain the mandir of Shri Ram. After another month, Mughals attacked the Rani again and she fought bravely with her armies. The Hindus were outnumbered but the Hindu army looked perched to win the battle. The Rani was suddenly hit with cannon fire and received fatal wounds on the battlefield and began to bleed out. Her companion cavalry soldiers took her down from her horse which inadvertently led to a military mistake. Her army realized she was dead and they lost all morale. At that moment, those events turned the battle in favor of the Mughals who had renewed vigor and strengthened their attacks. They lost the battle for Ram Mandir right at the gates of the temple.
Yet, this glorious tale of female valor and empowerment is the true victor of this story. It took us five hundred to regain the mandir and through a legal court system no less. No religion in the world would even give the law a chance if it was their holy site that was attacked. No other religion would wait five hundred years and we probably should not have either. However, in the midst of this epic battle for Rama who came here to fight for us great tales of the strength of Hindu women warriors and their queens are emerging and shows the might and greatness of the Hindu religion/ Sanatan Dharma.
These are the stories, history, battles and events that shaped Hindu civilization that we are not taught in our schools and is not on our syllabus in the Caribbean. Hindus must teach these as they are important to the sustenance and survival of our Hindu civilization. These are the battles our ancestors fought to keep our religion alive and we so nonchalantly throw it away and take it for granted. I have about 40 thousand more articles like this to write. Why? Because that’s how many Hindu temples still lie under mosques in India. How many millions of Hindus were killed to defend our Gods and our dharma and this includes the birthplace of Lord Krishna now called the Shahi-Idgah Mosque / Krishna Janmasthan in Mathura (this one I saw for myself) as well as the Gyan-Vapi Mosque that sits atop an ancient Shiva Temple in Kashi. All of these are in Uttar Pradesh, Indo-Caribbean Hindus are descendants of this state.
PM Modi has requested that all us Hindus around the world and in India should celebrate January 22, 2024 as an early Divali this year because Hindus will be celebrating the literal Return of the King.
Jai Shri Ram.