Arun Yogiraj: The Artisan Behind Ram Lalla's Magnificent Idol
As the 'pran pratishtha' ceremony of the idol of Ram Lalla unfolds in Ayodhya, the spotlight shines on Arun Yogiraj, the master sculptor responsible for bringing the divine form to life. Hailing from a legacy of sculptors with a family history spanning five generations, Arun Yogiraj's journey from a corporate career to becoming a revered sculptor is a tale of passion, dedication, and artistic brilliance. This article delves into the life and works of Arun Yogiraj, showcasing his contributions to cultural heritage and his role in crafting iconic sculptures of historical significance.
1. Roots and Legacy:
Arun Yogiraj, aged 41, traces his roots to Agrahara, Mysuru, in Karnataka, and belongs to a family that boasts five generations of sculptors. His grandfather, Basavanna Shilpi, enjoyed the patronage of the King of Mysore, adding a rich historical context to Arun's artistic endeavors.
2. Transition to Sculpting:
Despite the family's sculpting legacy, Arun initially pursued a different path, earning a master's degree in business administration and working in the corporate sector. However, in 2008, he made a pivotal decision to follow his passion for sculpting full-time, marking a significant transition in his career.
3. Notable Works:
Arun Yogiraj's portfolio includes a myriad of sculptures, each a testament to his skill and artistic vision. One of his acclaimed works is the 30 feet statue of Subhash Chandra Bose, located behind the Amar Jawan Jyoti near India Gate. This sculpture, recognized by PM Narendra Modi, stands as a tribute to Bose's contribution.
4. Recognition and Appreciation:
Arun's dedication to his craft has earned him recognition from the BJP government and personal appreciation from Prime Minister Modi. The sculptor gifted a miniature two-feet tall statue of Bose to the Prime Minister around the time of the Bose sculpture installation.
5. Monumental Creations:
Among Arun's monumental creations is the 12 feet tall statue of Adi Shankaracharya in Kedarnath, inaugurated in 2021. Weighing 35 tonnes, this statue stands at the seer's samadhi stal, symbolizing a harmonious blend of spirituality and artistry.
6. Diverse Artistic Portfolio:
Arun Yogiraj's artistic repertoire extends to various sculptures, including a 21 feet monolithic stone sculpture of Hanuman in KR Nagar, Mysore, a 15 feet monolithic white marble stone sculpture of Dr B. R. Ambedkar, and a 10 feet monolithic white marble stone sculpture of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
7. Spiritual and Cultural Contributions:
His impact is felt in temples as well, where sculptures of Panchamukhi Ganapathi, MahaVishnu, Buddha, Nandi, Swami Shivbala Yogi, Swami Shivakumara, and Banashankari bear testament to his spiritual and cultural contributions.
8. Ayodhya's Ram Lalla Idol:
As Arun Yogiraj stands in the limelight with the creation of Ram Lalla's idol in Ayodhya, he expresses gratitude, stating, "I feel I am the luckiest person on the Earth." His sentiments reflect not only personal achievement but also a deep connection to his ancestors, family, and the divine figure he has sculpted.
Arun Yogiraj's artistic journey is a remarkable odyssey, blending family legacy, personal passion, and societal recognition. From corporate corridors to the sacred grounds of Ayodhya, his sculptures narrate stories of cultural richness and historical significance. As the pran pratishtha unfolds, Arun Yogiraj's role as the sculptor behind Ram Lalla's idol solidifies his place in the annals of artistic brilliance and spiritual devotion.