Hindus’ faith based on Skanda Purana: SC

New Delhi: The faith and belief of Hindus that the land in Ayodhya, where the Babri Masjid once stood, is the birthplace of Lord Ram was based on scriptures and sacred religious books, including ‘Valmiki Ramayana’ and ‘Skanda Purana’, and it cannot be held as “groundless”, the Supreme Court said on Saturday.

‘Shlokas’ from religious texts, which are of much earlier period than 1528 when the Babri Masjid is supposed to have been constructed, were referred to by witnesses and placed as evidence before the Supreme Court by the Hindu parties to canvas their arguments that the site was indeed the birthplace of deity Lord Ram, a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said.

The bench also comprising Justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer in their 1045-page judgement said, “Religious scriptures, which are main source of Hinduism are the foundation on which faith of Hindus is concretised. The epic Valmiki Ramayana is the main source of knowledge of Lord Ram and his deeds...”

It further said that the epic Valmiki’s Ramayana, whose composition dated back to the period Before Christ (BC), was the main source of knowledge of Lord Ram and his deeds.

The top court further said that ‘Shlokas’ in ‘Valmiki Ramayan’ referred to birth of Lord Ram with planetary situation at Ayodhya.

According to the top court, ‘Shlok 10’ of Valimiki’s Ramayan stated that Kaushalya gave birth to a son who was the Lord of the whole world and Ayodhya was blessed with his arrival.

“He was invested with divine symptoms. It was not birth of an ordinary man. Ayodhya was blessed with the arrival of the Lord of the whole world, even then Aligarh. Historians say that Ayodhya was never sacrosanct because of the birth of Rama,” it quoted from the ‘Shloka’.

It said, one of the witnesses during his cross-examination had testified saying, “In the fifth couplet, which starts with the word -’Janmabhoomi’, the word city stands for the whole city and not for any particular site and the same thing has been mentioned by the word ‘ihan’ in the 7th couplet and the same very thing in couplet number four has been described as Awadhpuri.

“It is wrong to suggest that in all these three couplets, the word ‘puri’ has been used in the sense of ‘Janmabhoomi’,” the top court said.

It, however, said that though the epic associated the birth of Lord Ram with Ayodhya, it did not gives any description of place of birth except that Lord Ram was born to Kaushalya at Ayodhya in the Palace of King Dasratha.

It also noted that a witness of suit number 5 and other Hindu parties also relied on religious scripture Skanda Purana from the eight century AD.