RAIPUR: ‘Ramnami Samaj’ in central Chhattisgarh have reasons to rejoice on the day of consecration of Lord Ram. Known to be his ardent followers, they sport a string of tattoos of the god’s name as a display of their reverance towards the deity.
Ramnamis, who are organising their religious fair at Jaijaipur in Janjgir-Champa district, about 180 km from Raipur, expressed their delight over the the consecration ceremony in Ayodhya as they claimed that its a remarkable coincidence over their ancestors’ prophecy that matches the actual day of consecration on January 22.
Ramnamis are referred to as sects belonging to Dalits who adopted the practice of tattooing the name of ‘Ram’ on their body and face, the custom evocative of peaceful defiance of casteism or untouchability.
“As per our well-founded information, our ancestors some 150 years ago had predicted that the consecration of the idol of Shri Ram Lalla in Ayodhya would happen between the eleventh and thirteenth days of Shukla Paksha, which is January 22. And it coincides with our festival that also falls on the same day,” said Manharan Ramnami, a devotee attending the Jaijaipur festival.
With Ram tattoo inscribed on every part of their body, they also resolved not to pollute or deprave it by consuming non-vegetarian food or consuming alcohol. “Ram transcends all castes and we treat the body as Ram temple. So, Ramnamis strictly abstain from consuming meat and alcohol.
The fair that reverberates with devotional songs and hymns is organised on the bank of river Mahanadi at Jaijaipur. “For us worshipping Ram takes any form as the lord remains accessible to all. We intend to elevate spiritually with the message that the God remains everywhere”, said Sejwana, who has been chanting bhajans since her childhood.