Ram Lalla idol sculptor Arun Yogiraj calls on Suttur Seer; recalls his idol-carving efforts
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Ram Lalla idol sculptor Arun Yogiraj calls on Suttur Seer; recalls his idol-carving efforts

January 27, 2024

Mysore/Mysuru: Mysuru-based sculptor Arun Yogiraj, who gained widespread attention following the installation and ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony of Ram Lalla’s (Balak Ram) idol in Ayodhya on Jan. 22 led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, revealed that he was merely following the divine guidance of Lord Ram while creating the idol. 

After a meeting with Suttur Seer Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji at Suttur Mutt here yesterday, Arun Yogiraj told reporters that the blessings of his ancestors, family members and Ram Lalla have consistently guided him throughout his artistic journey. 

He expressed a sense of surrealism, stating, “Sometimes, I feel like I am in a dream world. I am a humble sculptor following the traditional art and the recognition I am getting is beyond comprehension. I did not expect this kind of love and honour to be bestowed upon me.”

Arun Yogiraj, accompanied by his wife Vijetha and mother Saraswathi, spent over 40 minutes discussing the intricacies of the Balak Ram idol with Swamiji. During the meeting, the renowned sculptor, holding a tab, provided a detailed explanation of the idol’s structure, Dashavatara carvings, Prabhavali, eyes and other finer details. Swamiji attentively listened, absorbing the significance of each design and the idol’s overall craftsmanship.

The sculptor said that he has a long-standing association with the JSS institutions as he studied at JSS Balajagath School from 1988 to 1991 and from 2000 to 2005, he did his PUC and BBM at JSS institution to pursue his MBA degree later.  

Adhered to Shilpa Shastra

Regarding the specifics of the idol, Arun Yogiraj underscored the honour for Mysuru as the Krishna Shile (stone) for the Balak Ram idol originated from Harohalli-Gujjegowdanapura in Mysuru taluk. He humbly acknowledged that Lord Ram himself directed the carving of his idol through him, stating, “I am honoured and I was following the divine directives. Lord Ram gave me the order and I just followed it.”

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Reflecting on the last seven months, Arun Yogiraj described the period as particularly challenging as he grappled with how to complete the idol while ensuring it adhered to the Shilpa Shastra, representing a five-year-old form of Lord Ram and capturing the innocence of a child.

 Yogiraj shared the challenges of infusing emotion into the stone, especially focusing on the eyes of Ram Lalla. He sought feedback from friends to ensure the expression was accurate. “It is not easy to bring bhaava (emotion) in stone and you have to spend a lot of time with it.” 

He detailed his approach of spending extensive time with the stone, doing thorough research, studying children’s features and attributed the success to the guidance of Ram Lalla. In crafting the idol, Arun Yogiraj adhered meticulously to the proportions of facial features such as eyes, nose, chin, lips, cheeks, etc., in accordance with the Shilpa Shastra, the sacred scripture of the sculpting world.

Like a penance: Suttur Seer

Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji commended Arun Yogiraj and credited Mysuru with global recognition, attributing it to Arun Yogiraj’s unwavering dedication, focus and concentration. Likening Arun Yogiraj’s artistic process to a form of penance, the Seer noted, “It is like a penance that requires tremendous sacrifice, dedication, and honest efforts. His dedication is there for the world to see, especially the mesmerising eyes of the idol and the child-like face.”

Arun Yogiraj also paid tribute to his late father, B.S. Yogiraj Shilpi, who, unfortunately, passed away in an accident a few years ago. Acknowledging his father’s legacy, he mentioned that his father was a recipient of the Amarashilpi Jakanachari award and the Karnataka Rajyotsava award. “I will visit my father’s samadhi and pay my respects,” he said. 

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