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Pilgrimage of 8000 km from Rameshwaram to Ayodhya: The incredible story of Srinivasa Shastri carrying Lord Ram’s gold-plated Charan Padukas on his head

Author: OpIndia Staff
Publication: OpIndia.com
Date: January 7, 2024
URL:   https://www.opindia.com/2024/01/srinivas-shastri-rameshwaram-ayodhya-foot-pilgrimiage-charan-padukas-lord-ram/

The gold-plated Charan Padukas of Lord Ram, carried by Srinivasa Shastri, are valued at approximately 64 lakh rupees.

As the auspicious day of the consecration ceremony at the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya draws near on 22nd January, the entire nation is gripped in fervent devotion and anticipation.

Among the many acts of faith and reverence, the journey of Hyderabad’s Challa Srinivasa Shastri, a 64-year-old devout follower of Lord Ram, stands out.

He embarked on a remarkable 8000-kilometre foot march to Ayodhya, carrying gold-plated Charan Padukas of Lord Ram, valued at approximately 64 lakh rupees, atop his head.

Srinivasa Shastri’s journey, which is the reverse of the route taken by Lord Ram during his exile, began on 20th July. He plans to visit various holy sites like Puri, Trimbakeshwar, Dwarka, and especially the significant locations where Lord Ram installed Shivalingas.

His path also includes stops at Chitrakoot, 272 km from Ayodhya, Prayagraj, and finally culminating in Ayodhya for the consecration ceremony. The devout pilgrim, also the founder of the Ayodhya Bhagyanagar Sitaram Foundation, carries with him a profound personal devotion.

“My father had participated in ‘Karseva’ in Ayodhya. He was a great devotee of Lord Hanuman. He wanted a Ram temple to be built in Ayodhya. He is no more, so I decided to fulfil his wish,” stated Shastri, echoing a deep-seated spiritual commitment passed down through generations.

This journey isn’t just a personal pilgrimage for Shastri; it symbolizes the collective spirit of millions of devotees. Shastri plans to donate the Charan Padukas to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath upon his arrival.

His journey had a brief pause due to a trip to the UK but resumed with the same zeal soon after his return. The upcoming event at the Ram Mandir has stirred a wave of enthusiasm across India. Villages, towns, and cities are preparing to celebrate this historic moment in their local temples, reflecting a nationwide spiritual awakening.

Shastri’s unique journey, laden with historical and cultural significance, encapsulates the deep-rooted devotion and reverence for Lord Ram, a central figure in the country’s spiritual ethos.


Saudi Arabia Cuts Oil Prices to Asia as Market Weakness Persists

Author: Sherry Su, Alfred Cang, Anthony Di Paola
Publication: Bloomberg.com
Date: January 7, 2024
URL:   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-01-07/saudi-arabia-cuts-oil-prices-to-asia-as-market-weakness-persists

• Aramco cuts Arab Light to Asia by $2/bbl for February

• Aramco cuts prices to all regions amid market weakness

Saudi Arabia will cut key crude prices for buyers in all regions, including its main Asia market, for February amid persistent weakness in the market.

Oil consumption typically eases during February and March, with refiners using the period to shut some facilities for periodic maintenance. At the same time, strong global supply, including from the US, is raising the likelihood of a surplus that forced the OPEC+ group, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, to extend output cuts into this year.

State producer Saudi Aramco reduced its flagship Arab Light price to Asia by $2 to $1.50 a barrel above the benchmark. That’s bigger than a $1.25 a barrel reduction estimated in a Bloomberg survey of refiners and traders. Aramco also cut all prices for February delivery to Northwest Europe, Mediterranean and North America.

Global crude prices declined in 2023 for the first time since 2020. The market has so far shrugged off concern over the Israel-Hamas war and deepening Middle East turmoil. Attacks by Houthi militants on merchant vessels transiting the Red Sea also haven’t yet resulted in supply disruptions.

The OPEC+ group’s production cuts are also aimed at preventing a buildup of oil in storage, amid concern a sluggish economy will crimp global demand. Saudi Arabia is taking on the bulk of the burden, with voluntary cuts of 2 million barrels a day through the first quarter and possibly longer.
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