Ram Navami (Birthday of Lord Ram) is one of the oldest festivals in India. It is the birthday Lord Rama and his brothers Bharat, Lakshman and Shatrughn. Lord Rama is a major deity in Hinduism.
Lord Rama, the seventh re-incarnation or avatar of Lord Vishnu, was born more than 5,000 years to King Dashratha of Ayodhya & his first wife, Kausahalya in the Solar Dynasty (Surya Vansh or Raghukul). Lord Rama is also called, Marayada Purshottam Ram.
Why was Rama born?
The story behind Shri Rama Navami starts with the King of Lanka, ‘The Ravan’.
In his rule, people were being terrorized and wanted to get freedom from his menace.
Ravan had acquired the power from Lord Brahma that he would never get killed by the Gods or Yakshas (demigod). He was the most powerful of all.
Therefore, due to this terrorism, all Gods went to Vishnu with a request for help.
Kausalya, the wife of King Dasaratha, gave birth to Lord Rama, who later killed Ravan.
Since then, the day is celebrated as Sri Ramanavami.
Festival of Ram Navami commemorates the story of Rama, Sita and their companions, which is the ideal example of Duties, Rights and Social responsibilities of an individual.
It illustrates the victory of good over evil.
The wedding anniversary of Lord Rama with Sita is also celebrated on this day.
Lord Rama was born at noon on the ninth day of Chaitra month, the first day of the Hindu calendar, which coincides with the ninth day of Chaitra Navratri, which is the day when the fasting concludes. It marks the culmination of the nine-day spring festival of Chaitra Navratri. This day is called Ram Navami or Rama Navratri.
The celebration of Ram Navami is done with devotion and joy.
It’s a time to reflect on morals values and many people fast through the daylight hours, on this day and spend the time chanting bhajans and kirtan, Rama katha recitals and reading about Lord Rama’s life through the Ramayana.
The house is decorated and Deity idols are beautifully decorated with flowers, clothes and jewels.
Many devotees mark the event by taking miniature statues of the infant Rama, washing it and clothing it, then placing it in a cradle.
Some prefer spiritual meetings at home, where after puja, Kheer, a milky rice pudding is usually made on that day & eaten as prasad. The youngest member of the family puts red tikka to all the other members.
Many Vaishnava Hindus celebrate by visiting temples, which are beautifully lit & decorated on the day.
In Bengaluru, a month-long classical music festival is held to celebrate this auspicious occasion.
This is a unique 80 years old musical extravaganza that celebrates musicians, irrespective of their religion, from both Carnatic and Hindustani origin, which is played to the assembled audience.
Charitable events and community meals are also organized by the temples & Vaishnava organizations.
In Ayodhya, many take a dip in the sacred river Sarayu and then visit the Rama temple.
Ram Navami festival celebration starts with a bath in any of the sacred rivers and the Jal (water) offering at dawn to Surya, the Sun God, to get the scared blessings. Surya is believed to be the ancestor of Lord Rama.
We hope that on this Ram Navami, your paths will be enlightened with true devotion and spirituality.
How many Ram temples are there in India?
Some of the most famous Rama temples are in:
- Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh),
- Bhadrachalam (Telangana)
- Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu)
- Raja Ram Temple (Orchha, Madhya Pradesh)
- The Sitamarhi temple in Bihar &
- The Jagannath Temples in Odisha, organize Rath-yatras (chariot processions), also known as shobha yatras of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana & Hanuman to honour this auspicious occasion.