Ram Navami Festival in India

Ram Navami Festival in India

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Ram Navami Festival

The birth anniversary of Lord Rama is celebrated in the month of Chaitra, which usually falls in March or April according to the Hindu calendar is known as Ramnavami. Ramnavami is dedicated to the memory of Lord Rama. It occurs on the ninth day ( navami ).

The festival commemorates the birth of Rama who is remembered for his prosperous and righteous reign. Ramrajya ( the reign of Rama ) has become synonymous with a period of peace and prosperity. It is celebrated with great devotion across the nation and every region has its own regional significance behind the celebration.

The public worship starts with morning ablutions, chanting Vedic mantras dedicated to Vishnu, and offering flowers and fruit to the god. People keep a fast throughout the day, breaking it only at midnight with fruit.

In some parts of India, especially Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, public gatherings called satsangs are organised to commemorate the birth of Rama.

The pilgrims flock the temples of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, where Rama was born and Pondicherry to participate in Ramnavami festivities. Excerpts from the Ramacharitamanas are recited on the occasion. Rama Leela ( the play depicting the major life events of Rama ) are organized in different parts of the country.

The highlights of the festival are these Ram Leela and colorful processions with brilliant floats of Rama, His consort Sita, brother Lakshmana and the great devotee and monkey – general Hanuman, which are taken out in the streets of different states.

People visit sacred places associated with Lord Ram during this holy time. Places like Ayodhya, Ujjain and Rameshwaram, attracts thousands of devotees across the country.

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Rama’s Birthday

The birthday of Sri Rama, indeed, signifies an event worth of remembrance by every one, whatever his country or race or religion, who cherishes the time honored sublime values of human culture and civilization.

Devotees stay awake on the ninth night, in anticipation of Lord Ram’s birth. A havan is performed and they sing devotional songs in praise of Lord Ram and rock his image in cradles to celebrate his birth.

A special puja is performed the next morning as a token of thanks. Ramnavami is festival and celebration and brings its devotees worldly happiness and salvation. It gives them the strength and courage to fight against all odds of life.

According to the legends in the place called Kosal, which was situated on the banks of the river Sharayu. Ayodhya was the capital founded by the king rishi Manu. During the reign of king Dasarath, Ayodhya reached a period of great prosperity.

But Dasarath had one problem he had no children. Therefore he decided to perform a sacrifice known as “ashvamedh“, or horse – sacrifice. Elaborate and difficult rituals had to be observed. A very holy man, rishi Rishyashring, was chosen to conduct the sacrifice with the utmost accuracy.

The performance of this sacrifice was a great event in Ayodhya. At the end Rishyashring recited a mantra and made an offering to the fire. Then the gods, gandharvas, siddhas, and rishis present arid began to pray to Brahma. During that time Ravan, king of Lanka, was terrorizing the people, and all were longing for liberation from his menace.

Ravan had acquired great power because he had obtained from god Brahma the boon that he would never die at the hands of gods, or gandharvas, or yakshas ( demigods ) or demons. As he was not afraid of men he did not care to include men in the list of his potential slayers. So Brahmadev declared that Ravan would die at the hands of a man.

Then the gods went to Vishnu for help and requested him that Dasarath is a glorious king so please, take birth in the wombs of his three queens in four different incarnation of your divinity. When Dasarath’s sacrifice came to an end a shining figure appeared over the sacrificial kund, and offered the king a divine beverage called “payasam” to be given to his queens Kausalya, Kaikayi, and Sumitra.

In due time Kausalya gave birth to Rama, Kaikayi to Bharat and Sumitra to Laxman and Shatrugna. Rama was born at noon of the bright ninth day of Chaitra. He was believed to be the embodiment of half degree of Vishnu’s divinity, ( ardha ounsh ).

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Ram Navami Festival Around India

Sri – Ramnavami, dedicated to the birth of Lord Rama, occurs on the ninth day ( navami ). The festival commemorates the birth of Rama who is remembered for his prosperous and righteous reign known as Ramrajya, associated with a period of peace and prosperity. Ramnavami occurs in the month of March.

It is celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy nation wide. Celebrations begin with a prayer to the Sun early in the morning. At midday, when Lord Rama is supposed to have been born, a special prayer is performed. In northern India especially, an event that draws popular participation is the Ramnavami procession.

It is avery famous procession which attracts people all over the country. The main attraction in this procession is a gaily – decorated chariot in which four persons are dressed as Rama, his brother Laxman, his queen Sita and his disciple, Hanuman. Several other persons dressed in ancient costumes as Rama’s soldiers accompany the chariot.

The procession is a gusty affair with the participants shouting praises echoing the happy days of Rama’s reign.

The birthday of Lord Rama, the celebrated hero of the famous epic, ‘Ramayana‘, is enthusiastically celebrated on the ninth day of the waxing moon in the month of Chiatra, all over India. Lord Vishnu is worshipped in his human incarnation as Rama, the divine ruler of Ayodhya. Celebrations begin with a prayer to the Sun early in the morning.

At midday, when Lord Rama is supposed to have been born, a special prayer is performed. People sing devotional songs in praise of Rama and rock, images of him in a cradle to celebrate his birth. Rathyatras or chariot processions of Ram, his wife Seeta, brother Lakshman and devotee Hanuman are held from many temples.

People gather in thousands on the banks of the sacred river Sarayu for a dip. Some observe a strict fast on this day. Ayodhya is the focus of great celebrations. Devotees throng the temples of Ayodhya and Pondicherry, two places closely connected with the events of the Ramayana to participate in Ramnavami festivities.

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Ram Navami Significance

The festival of Ram Navami marks the birthday celebrations of the Hindu God Rama, who is considered to be one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. According to the Hindu calendar, it falls on the ninth day of the Chaitra month, which is the Spring season.

In some parts of India, it is celebrated as a nine – day festival that coincides with Vasanta Navratri, dedicated to the female force better known as Durga or Shakti. Though Rama Navami is a major festival for Vaishnavites, it is widely celebrated by worshippers of Shiva, too.

It is considered auspicious to undertake a fast on the day in the name of Rama. Devotees perform elaborate pujas and chant the name of Rama. Temples of Rama have special services and bhajan sessions through the day.

Stories from the Ramayana are read out in joyous public gatherings and satsangs. Most people fast until midnight. They break their fast with a prasad of fruits and milk.

One significant and popular element of the celebration is the Ramayana parayana, a discourse on the Ramayana, by a pundit or a professional story – teller. It usually lasts nine days, beginning on Ugadi and ending on Rama Navami.

A skilled story – teller who can liven up the event by weaving in contemporary events attracts massive crowds. The main significance behind the celebration of this festival is that the character of Lord Ram signifies an ideal son, an upright husband, a righteous King, and a loving brother and even an ideal man, someone who follow the right path against all odds in life.

He was also the true embodiment of humanity. So celebration of Ramnavami is some way special reminder of all the noble deeds or ideals for which Lord Ram symbolizes. So if we see it in true sense it is not only a festival to enjoy and have fun there are lot more things to be learnt.

It is a celebration of goodness and its victory against all evils. Sacred places associated with Rama, like Ayodhya, Ujjain and Rameshwaram, draw tens of thousands of devotees. In Rameshwaram, thousands take a ritual bath in the sea before worshipping at the Ramanathaswamy temple. Many places in North India host fairs in connection with the festival, culminating in spectacular fireworks on Rama Navami.

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