The Ayodhya dispute can be seen in the light of a religious perspective or ownership perspective.
Talking of religion, the tragedy of every religion or practice in this world was that the very evil that the religion conquered would come back into the religion in some other form and kill its core spirit. It has happened to Hindu sects, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism et al.
Adi Sankara established Advaita defeating many philosophers across India, stressing on the Unanimity of Brahman, stressing on simple bhakti and devotion to reach higher goals of life and fighting against discrimination based on birth. He integrated all the god forms and formed the Smarta tradition. He fought against Abhimana (desire) and Ahamakara (pride/ego) and advised his sanyasin followers to give up these things in life.
Adi Sankara put all his life in defeating the mimamsaka point of view which stressed on rituals and fruits of rituals alone without any quest for more knowledge and wisdom. He stresed on searching and attainment of real Gnana (wisdom) by a continuous quest for it.
But what happened..? Except for saffron robes and celibacy, everything Sankara mutts practise today are against what Sankara preached. His mutts enjoy huge political connections and power. His so-called disciples enjoy every luxuries of life from clothes to food to travel. His so-called disciples exhibit the very same abhimana and ahamkara, that Sankara was against.
Sankara’s very own mutts discriminate people based on birth (whereas the Guru taught Universality of Atma) and have become the symbols of casteism and untouchability today. His mutts do not carry out any activity to discover or re-discover the vedic texts or upanishads. They do no search in the path of gnana and wisdom. They simply parrot out slokas and rituals. They have become the prime examples of mimamsa philosophy (but in Saffron robes), that Sankara opposed.
Same thing happened to Mohammad. The very people who fought Mohammad the prophet tooth and nail to destroy him in war, became his followers on military defeat and after his death, brought back all the evils that Mohammad preached against except for idol worship. Instead they made sure they are ‘almost’ worshipped and feared.
The whole concept of ‘Jihad’ in the way it is interpreted today is what Mohammad fought against, as that Jihad was the principle of the barbaric tribes that he fought against. After Mohammad, greedy caliphs took over and in his name continued every practice that Mohammad fought against except for idol worship. They killed even Mohammad’s grand-son who dared them.
Same thing happened to Jesus. The same Roman kings who demonised him, converted to christianity, due to social pressures but continued all the barbaric practices. How can we explain Church burning men and women alive when their son of god asked them to show the other cheek when they are slapped in one..?
No religion in the world including Buddishm, Jainism and Sikhism is exception to these.
Talking of ownership perspective, look at the history of India. The northern part of India has been under continuous invastions for several thousands of years now from kushanas to moghuls to British. Even before that it could have been Aryans and other tribes too. The southern part of India has also been seeing a ‘trickle down’ effect of these invasions all these years.
In this process it is not only the private property that changed hands. Public properties also changed forms and hands. Public property would have become private and private would have become public.
Jain temples had become Amman temples, Buddhist temples had become Saivaite temples, Saivaite temples had become Vaishnavite temples, Vaishnavite temples had become Saivaite temples and temples had become masjids too.
What was the name of the diety before it was called Lord Venkateshwara in the Tirumala..? Was it Subramanya..?
There are stories abound that Ramanuja converted the Subramanya (a Shaivite sthal) into Venkateshwara (a Vaishnavite sthal). There are also eye-witness reports that the presiding deity in Tirumala resembles more a woman (Shakti) with long hair than a male form. Only those who had the opportunity to go around the deity will be able to observe all the features of the diety. It is possible that it was a Sakthi sthal and converted into a Shaivaite Sthal by shaivite rulers who installed temples for Lord Subramanya in every Hill.
Remember, I worship dieties and I worship Lord Venkateshwara in the current vaishnavite tradition though I am a Smartha (a la Shaivite of Sankara fold). I believe Lord Venkateshwara is a very powerful diety. I believe in the power of Venkateswara and pray always to be aligned to His wishes.
To me it is perfectly acceptable that the diety at Tirumala could be called Subramanya at some point of time or Amba at another point of time and now Lord Venkateswara.
The current Ayodhya dispute has to be viewed from the above angles. The Sadhus, sanyasins and others who claim the Sankara Heritage and are fighting for Ram temple have nothing to do with the ‘real’ Hindu Dharma.
These Sadhus and Sanyasins are the remnants/descendants of those, that Sankara’s dharma defeated in every place all over India.
These Sadhus and Sanyasin have nothing to do with Vedas and Upanishads. Neither they understand their real meanings nor they do care for it. They are mimamsakas who simply care about rituals, procedures and power. They are people filled with Abhimana and Ahamkara.
Lord does not reside in temples, structures or forms of dieties. Lord resides in the way we see Him. I see my Lord in the form of Venkateshwara. Another one sees it in the form of Jesus. Another one sees it in the form of a crescent. In every religion there is some form which is associated with the Lord. People see it in that way, whether they believe Him to be of form or formless. In all religions Lord resides in us.
According to the Vedas, He is Rudra the force manifestation. He is Amba the original matter/energy manifestation. He is purusha the dark matter manifestation. He is vishnu the smallest denomination of particle/matter manifestation with which every matter in this Universe is formed. He is Shakti the ‘energy present in the matter’ manifestation. He is Narayana, ‘the consciousness floating in every cell of a biological being’ manifestation.
All over India, every old temple has its own story. Some would have specific features that clearly state they were Buddhist temples once with idols of Shiva or Vishnu installed with the diety name being that of erstwhile local ruler’s name. Some would have a history that a previous structure was demolished by an ardent devotee king of another god and a new structure raised for a different god.
If we start going back on all these changes that have happened, where will this nation be..? It will be a dog fight between different sects and religions. This country will go to dogs.
Look at who, Rama is. For those people who shout ‘Jai Shri Ram’, know probably nothing about Ram also.
Ram all through his life was a perfect law abiding citizen.
He gave up his throne and went to forest as a law abiding citizen. Even when he killed Bali, valmiki says, his arrow went through 7 ‘aacha’ trees and landed on Bali to ensure he follows the Saastras. He asked Ravan to come back next day of the war, as a dharma abiding citizen, instead of killing defense-less Ravan.
It is bizzare that a group of people who took law unto their hands and broke all the dharamas and saastras of land did so in the name of Ram, a perfect law abiding Citizen.
This country, today, does NOT require temples for Ram or idols of Ram. It requires everyone of us to be a Ram, perfect law abiding citizen.
The best solution for the Ayodhya dispute is to remove the idols of Ram and Sita which has been placed inside the Babri Masjid structure against all Agama Sastras, by people drunk with Abhimana and Ahamkara (such people are called hoodlums/thugs) and let our Muslim brothers to decide what they want to do with that structure.
The ‘gods’ of Hindu dharma are not bound to a place or idol. They are in everything and everywhere, as Sankara said. Remember not just Ram, all the avatars of Narayana depict the evolution of consciousness and intelligence in the planet.
Maryadaha Purushottam Ram, as a form of Narayana, is more a model for us to emulate than an idol for us to worship.