Sculptor Arun Yogiraj, whose chiseled "Ram Lalla" will be installed in the sanctum sanctorum of the grand Ram temple in Ayodhya, braved pain in the eye due to an injury and spent sleepless nights over ensuring the perfect idol to be placed in the shrine, his family said on Tuesday.
The family of the Mysuru-based sculptor is jubilant after the Ayodhya Ram temple trust announced that the idol of 'Ram Lalla' made by him has been selected for installation at the temple coming up at Lord Ram's birthplace in the Uttar Pradesh town.
Yogiraj's wife Vijetha said she was extremely happy with the achievement. She also shared an anecdote about how he got an eye injury while chiseling the idol.
"I am very happy. We are assigned to do this virtuous job," she told reporters.
"When the task was given (to Yogiraj), we got the information that the ideal stone is available near Mysuru. However, that stone was very hard, so hard that its pointed flake pricked into his eye and it was removed through an operation. Even during the pain, he did not stop and continued with the work. His work was so good that it impressed everyone. We thank one and all," Vijetha said.
She explained there was no scope for making any error while carving the idol.
"He (Yogiraj) had many sleepless nights thinking and concentrated on making the Ram Lalla idol. There were days when we hardly spoke, and he hardly gave time to the family also. All this is now compensated by this great news," she said.
Yogiraj's brother Suryaprakash said it was a memorable day for the family.
"Yogiraj made history and he deserved it. It is his hard work and dedication that took him to such heights," he added.
Suryaprakash said Yogiraj learnt the nuances of sculpting from his father as he was a keen observer since childhood.
Yogiraj's mother Saraswati said it is a matter of great joy that the idol sculpted by her son has been selected.
"We are extremely happy ever since we got the news that the idol made by Arun Yogiraj has been selected (for installation). The entire family is jubilant," she told PTI.
"He (Yogiraj) spoke to me in the morning and said his idol had been selected. It was really a Happy Sankranti for us," she added.
Speaking about the idol, Saraswati said no one had seen Lord Rama but God himself gave her son an insight to chisel out a figure out of a stone.
"Probably God only blessed him to carve his idol," she said.
The Ram temple trust's general secretary Champat Rai said on Monday in Ayodhya that the new idol depicts the deity as a five-year-old boy in a standing posture and added that it would be placed at its 'Aasan' in 'Garbh Griha' (sanctum sanctorum) on January 18.
As the news broke, the neighbors and some leaders visited Yogiraj's family and offered garlands to Saraswati as a tribute to her son.
Yogiraj had earlier sculpted the idol of Adi Shankaracharya, which has been placed in Kedarnath, and the statue of Subhas Chandra Bose which has been installed near India Gate in Delhi.
Speaking about the challenges in sculpting the new idol of Ram Lalla, Yogiraj had told PTI earlier this month: "The idol should be of a child, who is divine too, because it is the statue of the incarnation of God. People who look at the statue should feel the divinity".
"Keeping the divinity aspect along with the child-like face in mind,
(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)