Rama Navami is a major festival amongst the Hindus, particularly the Vaishnava sect. It is the birthday of Lord Rama, who along with Lord Krishna can be claimed to be the only two Gods whose existence can be proved.
Lord Rama is said to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu and in the Rama avatar had demolished the demonic Ravana.
His birthday falls on the shukla paksha on the Navami, in the month of Chaitra according to the Hindu traditional calendar or on the 15th or 16th of April according to the Gregorian calendar approximately in the afternoon.
The observance of his birthday is the celebration of standing up for righteousness and for battling with the demons.
Dates of Rama Navami in the next five years according to the modern day calendar:
- In 2014, the Rama Navami date is Tuesday, April 8.
- In 2015, the Rama Navami date is on Friday, March 27.
- In 2016, the Rama Navami date is on Friday, April 15.
- In 2017, the Rama Navami date is on Wednesday, April 5.
- In 2018, the Rama Navami date is on Monday, March 26.
- Who was Lord Rama?
Lord Rama was born in the Ikshwaku dynasty to the King Dasaratha and his wife Kaushalya according to the epic Ramayana. Rama in literary terms means one who is divine and blissful and one who is rejoiced by the others. It is said that Lord Vishnu, in the form of Lord Rama was born on the Treata yug by his own free will to eliminate adharma. He freed the world from the clutches of Ravana, a Brahmin king and a Shiva devotee who rules over an island kingdom called Lanka. While performing a banabas, or exile in the forest to protect his father’s integrity Lord Rama, his consort Sita, and his brother Lakshmana came across the treachery of Ravana.
Ravana in the guise of a sage kidnapped Sita and held her hostage in the island of Lanka. Lord Rama, with the help of the Banar sena, or army of monkeys managed to bridge the vast ocean infested with fearsome sharks and fierce water animals to reach the island and free Sita mata from the clutches of the demonic Ravana, who had 100 heads. It is firmly believed that Lord Rama and Lord Krishna are the only two Gods according to Vedic Hinduism who really existed.
Lord Rama is said to be the Maryada Purushottam. He was the one person who possessed all the goodness in him. He was respectful to elders, calm collected, brave, brilliant, dedicated, l;oving and ever caring. He was an ideal son, an ideal brother, a glorious king, a protective husband and an ideal friend. He upheld righteousness throughout his life lessons and never compromised it for anything.
- The Ram Navami Celebrations
In the southern part of India, devotees perform Kalyanotsavam or perform an auspicious wedding ceremony between Lord Rama and Sita Mata in the form of small idols. In the evening they take out these processions with the idols through the streets. In the course of this procession, they also play with water and color. Another important aspect of this celebration is the consumption of a drink called Panakam, which is prepared by mixing jiggery and pepper together. Some people also put a small idol of Lord Rama in a cradle signifying joy on his birth. The kalyanam, or the marriage ceremony observed in the Bhadrachalam temple in the district if Telengana is very famous and people come to attend the ceremony from far flung areas.
Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Rama, sees huge celebrations on this day. It marks the end of a nine daylong celebration culminating on his birthday. Bhajan programs are organized, the complete reading of the Ramayana is organized, performing the Akhanda Ramayana path, reading out the entire Ramcharitmanas by Tulisadas, the great poet are some of the things which are done on the occasion of the Ram Navami.
People clean their houses for this auspicious occasion, and decorate the deities of Rama, Sita and Hanuman with garlands. Prasad and flowers are offered to the deities. In a plate, puja ingredients are all kept, these include rice, water, flowers, conch, aipun etc. The youngest member applies red bindi on all the male members’ forehead and commences with the puja. Every member participates in the puja by sprinkling rice and flowers on the deities and then aarti is done. Then everyone sings bhajans, extolling the glories of Lord Rama. Finally all the members of the family partake the Prasad from the Puja.
- Significance of Rama Navami
The story of Ramayana is one, which extols the virtues of Dharma over Adharma and that of a responsible son, husband, brother and a King. The Lord Rama teaches us that a child must obey his parent’s t keep their respect, it teaches that despite someone behaving abominable with you, you must not behave ill with them. As a husband, Lord Rama teaches that one must at all costs, stand up for the protection of your wife and as a king or a ruler, Lord Rama’s life teaches us that one must at all cost sacrifice everything for the people on whom one rules, one must never consider their own comfort and convenience. Lord Rama and his life is one which extols all virtues and it is believed that his life is one which should be emulated by all.
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