A unique institution has garnered attention amidst the fervor surrounding the newly constructed Ram temple: the International Shree Sitaram Bank. Founded in November 1970 by Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, head of the Shri Ramjanmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust, this spiritual bank offers a different kind of deposit and return—peace of mind, faith, and spiritual fulfillment.
With over 35,000 account-holders from India and various corners of the globe, including the US, UK, Canada, Nepal, Fiji, and the UAE, the bank holds a remarkable collection of 20,000 crore ‘Sitaram’ booklets, filled with devout inscriptions of the divine name.
Punit Ram Das Maharaj, the bank’s manager, notes a recent surge in daily visitors following the consecration ceremony of the grand temple. The bank provides complimentary booklets and red pens to devotees, who are required to inscribe ‘Sitaram’ at least 5 lakh times to open an account. Subsequently, a passbook is issued to track each individual’s contributions. Operating through 136 branches across India and abroad, the bank meticulously maintains records, even receiving booklets by post for ledger upkeep.
Visitors often inquire about the spiritual benefits of writing ‘Sitaram’ and depositing it into the bank. Maharaj elucidates that this practice parallels temple visits, offering inner peace, faith, and virtue. He draws a parallel to the concept of God keeping a record of one’s deeds, suggesting that depositing ‘Sitaram’ is akin to a form of prayer, providing solace and spiritual enrichment to devotees.
According to tradition, inscribing the name 84 lakh times can lead to ‘Moksha’, or liberation. Devotees like Jeetu Nagar from Gaya, Bihar, testify to the efficacy of this practice, expressing that it serves as their primary mode of prayer. Nagar, a patron for 14 years, diligently writes and deposits his booklets annually, emphasizing the personal connection he feels through this ritual.
Similarly, Suman Das from Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, attests to the transformative power of devotion, having written ‘Sitaram’ 25 lakh times. Despite skepticism from others, Das remains steadfast in his belief, finding reassurance in the belief that his prayers are heard during these moments of devotion.
The recent consecration ceremony of a new idol of Lord Ram at the grand temple, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, further underscored the significance of spiritual devotion, drawing millions to witness the historic event. As devotees continue to flock to the International Shree Sitaram Bank, it remains a beacon of spiritual solace and devotion for individuals seeking inner peace and connection with the divine.