Celebrated In: India in Spring Season
Celebrated By: Hindu (Hindu)
Ram Navami, popularly known as Shri Ram Navami, is a Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Ram. According to Hindu lunar calendar, the sacred day is celebrated on the ninth day of Shukla Paksh in the month of Chaitra, which usually falls in March or April. Lord Ram, the Seventh Incarnation of the Lord Vishnu, was born as the first son of King Dasaratha and Queen Kausalya of Ayodhya.
Maryadapurushottam(the ideal Man) Ram was born on Navami Tithi during Shukla Paksha of Chaitra month; which is observed as the birthday of Lord Ram. According to Hindu spirituality, Lord Ram was born during Madhyahna period which is regarded as the middle of Hindu day. Madhyanha (12PM) is the most auspicious time to perform Ram Navami Puja rituals. All the temples symbolize this moment as birth moment of Lord Ram. Ram Navmi celebration reaches its peak during this time.
Ram Navmi in Ayodhya:
Lord Ram was born on earth as Avatar of Lord Vishnu with a purpose to battle the invulnerable Ravan in human form. Lord Brahma had granted Ravan so many boons; he could not be killed by a god as per the boon. So Lord Vishnu came down to earth in the guise of Prince Ram, as the son of Ayodhya’s King Dasharath and Queen Kaushalya.
Ram Navami celebrations in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh are remarkable and full of great devotion, enthusiasm as Ayodhya is the birthplace of Lord Ram. Every year devotees come to Ayodhya from all over India to celebrate Ram Navmi. After taking a dip into holy river Sarayu, devotees visit Rama temple to offer special prayers.On Ram Navami, devotees keep eight prahar fasting to please the God; it ensures that devotes should observe the fast from sunrise to next day sunrise.
Ram Navami Vrat(Fast):
However Ram Navami Vrat can be observed in three different ways that includes casual fasting that is to be observed without any cause, continual fasting that is observed throughout life without any desire and the third one is desirable fasting that is observed to fulfil any desire.
Traditions of Ram Navmi:
On Rama Navami devotees clean their houses properly and sanctify the place of worship with sacred Ganga Jal. They decorate the family shrine with small statues of Lord Ram. Flowers and fruits are offered to the deity as they are placed on the shrine. Prayers and mantras of Lord Ram are chanted after taking an early morning bath. Hindus keep fast or restrict them to a specific diet and avoid eating certain foods like onions, garlic, and wheat products. In some parts of India, there is a tradition wherein an earthen pot full of money on top of a tree is tied and local youths form teams try to claim the pot. However it is very tough to get the pot as the base of the tree is covered with soft mud. As soon as the teams try to reach the top of the tree by forming human pyramids, the crowd gathered there throw water jets at them. The celebrations at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh and Ramesvaram in Tamil Nadu attract thousands of devotees every year.
Significance of Ram Navami:
The holy ‘Ramayan’ is eternal as it depicts the story of lord Ram and his way of practising Dharma. Moreover it teaches us the difference between dharma and adharma, good and evil, which is reflected in the battle between Ram and Ravan.
Ravan was a Brahmin but a cruel king of Lanka; he used to be a great scholar as he wrote lot of philosophical scriptures. He was powerful, dynamic, and the richest king on earth. He had everything that one would need to lead a happy and peaceful life. Yet, he possessed few negative characteristics like arrogance, ego, greed and lust. His insatiable desires to get ‘Sita Ji’ as his wife, led him to death.
On the other hand Bhagwan Ram was born with divinity, love, generosity, humility, and a sense of duty. With Bhagwan Rama’s divine touch, even the animals became his devotees and his divine helpers. Lord Ram taught the world to choose dharma over Artha, as he left all the luxury of being crowned as a king to fulfil his father Dasarath’s promises. He taught to follow Moksha over Kama as he chose his kingdom over his marriage.
As a son Bhagwan Ram taught to obey your father’s orders respectfully and lovingly by sacrificing comfort for your father’s dignity.
As a step-son of Mata Kaikeyi, Lord Ram taught to respect elders despite their discriminations against us.
As a brother Bhagawan Ram taught to remain loyal to your brother and to Care for his interests.
As a Husband, he taught the mankind to protect their wife, fight for her protection and her purity. He did not prefer to marry again when he performed religious activities in the absence of ‘Mata Sita’; rather he placed a golden idol of Mata Sita to carry out the rituals.
As a King, Lord Ram advocated the essence of sacrificing everything for his kingdom without worrying about his own comfort, convenience and pleasure.
Ravan was finished out of his own ego, first his spirit and heart got demised and then his body got perished. He thought that he was everything and the whole universe was guided by him only. On the other hand, Bhagwan Rama was the perfect example of humbleness.
The holy Ramayan is written by Maharshi Balmiki wherein Lord Rama is a legendary figure, the epitome of truth and goodness. He is the man who conquered the demon king of Lanka; Ravana. Ramayan depicts the victory of good over evil as Ram killed Ravan on the day of Vijaya Dasami (Dussehra). On that day Goddess Durga also defeated the demon Mahishashur in a difficult battle. Ram Navmi also celebrates the ninth day of Chaitra Navratri; a festival which advocates the supreme power of Goddess Durga. Ultimately the holy Ram Navmi holds a lot of significance in every Indian’s life as it bestows the devotees with good values and inner strength.