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A Possible Alternative for Ayodhya?

–by Rukmini Walker

This week The Times of India’s headline story was that the Indian Supreme Court has decided to send the 70 year old Babri Masjid Ayodhya litigation case to mediation. This is a very wise decision on their part.

I’m reminded of the biblical story of King Solomon. Two different women were both claiming to be the mother of one baby. How could such a difficult case be decided? The wise king suggested that they cut the baby in half, and give each mother one half of the baby. The actual mother, out of her genuine love for her child, cried out, “No! Let her keep the baby! But just let the baby live!”

I am an American woman, who has a great regard for India both her culture and her many religions. I’ve been a practitioner of Bhakti Yoga for more than half my life. This past week, I’ve been a delegate at an international conference honoring Mata Sitadevi in the holy city of Varanasi.

India has always been revered by the rest of the world as the Land of Dharma. Traditionally, as a place of great religious tolerance where so many religions of the world have found a hospitable home. Often when even their own places of origin are no longer hospitable to them. India’s great long standing tradition now stands in jeopardy. 

In order to satisfy all parties, this sacred 2.77 acres of land will somehow have to be divided into tiny parcels. The mediators will have to be as wise as King Solomon! How will it be possible to satisfy everyone?

May I offer one tiny, humble suggestion? As the little spider in the Ramayana tried her best to kick up a few grains of sand to help the great Bhakta Hanuman build the bridge to Lanka.  Would it be possible for the sacred land to be left intact by creating a beautiful peace garden there to celebrate the glory of God? 

There are so many sacred trees and fragrant flowers mentioned in holy scriptures that could be planted. Around the perimeter could be typical Indian pierced stonework inscribed with uplifting verses from the Gita, from the Koran, the Bible, the Guru Granth Sahib and other scriptures of the world.

Such a garden could be a kaleidoscope of beauty, colors and harmony meant to show the world an example of unity in diversity. 

Over the centuries so many invaders came and stole the wealth and jewels of India. This most precious jewel India’s gift of dharma could shine so brightly and light the world in a setting such as this!

Rukmini Walker is a disciple of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. She lives in the US, in Washington, DC.