An 85-year-old woman is set to end a self-imposed 30-year vow of silence that only allowed her to speak for an hour a day.

Saraswati Devi, also known as ‘Mauni Mata’, began her ‘maun vrat’ (vow of silence) in 1992. She devoted her life to Lord Ram after the death of her husband in 1986 and has spent most of her time on pilgrimages ever since. In 1992, she arrived in Ayodhya, where she met Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, head of Ram Janmabhoomi Trust, who ordered her to circle Kamtanath Mountain as a sign of devotion to Lord Ram. On December 6, the same day that the Babri Masjid was demolished in Ayodhya, Saraswati met Swami Nritya Gopal Das, the head of Ayodhya’s largest temple, the Mani Ram Das Ki Chavani, and was so inspired by him that she vowed to refrain from speaking until a new temple dedicated to Ram would be built in the city. Her vow will finally end later this month, with the inauguration of the Ram Mandir temple in Ayodhya.

The hour she spoke for every day still helped the family a lot, but in 2020, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially announced the construction of the Ram Mandir, the octogenarian stopped speaking completely.

Saraswati Devi has visited the most prominent Hindu temples in India during the last 32 years while maintaining her vow of silence, and her devotion to Lord Ram has attained an almost legendary status. On January 22, when the Ram Mandir is to be inaugurated, she will end her ‘maun vrat’ by uttering her first word in over 3 years, ‘Ram Naam’.