LUCKNOW: While the temple town of Ayodhya is preparing for the consecration ceremony of the idol of Lord Ram in the sanctum sanctorum of the upcoming temple on January 22, the Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has initiated other processes including the appointment of priests for the temple which will be thrown open for public darshan after the consecration ceremony.
In response to the vacancies of priests advertised by the Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, around 3,000 candidates have applied for the post. The trust has shortlisted 200 of the 3000 applicants on the basis of merit for the interview, said highly-placed sources.
The sources added that the interviews were being held at Karsevakpuram in the temple town by a three-member panel comprising Jaykant Mishra, a prominent preacher from Vrindavan, and Mithilesh Nandini Sharan and Satyanarayan Das-- two mahants from Ayodhya.
The trust would finally select 20 candidates for the job. The selected candidates would be appointed to different posts in the Ram Janmabhoomi complex after six months of residential training.
However, the short-listed candidates who fail to make the final list would also attend the training sessions and would be given certificates. They would have a chance to be called for the post of priests to be created in the future, said a member of the temple trust.
In the interview, the panel of experts is grilling the shortlisted candidates over the rituals and procedures involved in performance of various pujas like 'Sandhya Vandan' and other karma kand related to the worship of Lord Ram, said the trust member.
He added that the selected 20 candidates would undergo six-month training at Karsevakpuram which has offices of several Hindu organisations, including the VHP. The training would be based on the religious curriculum prepared by top seers and saints. During the training, the candidates would be provided food and lodging facilities along with a monthly stipend of Rs 2,000.