Ram Navami, the day which tells us about the teachings of Lord Ram will be celebrated on April 15, 2016. Known as the seventh Avatar of Lord Vishnu, Ram is the deity of simplicity, moral & courage. Let’s explore all about Ram Navami through this article.
What is Ram Navami?
The glorious festival of Ram Navami is celebrated every year to commemorate the birthday of Hindu Lord Rama. The epic Ramayana is the biography of Lord Rama. Rama was the eldest son of the king Dashrath and queen Kaushalya of Ayodhya. As per Hindu mythology, Lord Rama is the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
As Lord Rama is the 7th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, let's know a bit about Lord Vishnu and his incarnations. The term ‘Dashavatara’ means ‘ten incarnations’. The Hindu mythology describes that Lord Vishnu has in total 10 incarnations. Amongst which 9 are already born and 10th is yet to come. As per belief, name of the tenth Avatar is 'Kalki'.
Ram Navami & Navratri
Ram Navami is the part of nine day Navratri festival. As Navratri comes four times in a year, this one is Chaitra Navratri. As Chaitra Navratri's ninth day is associated with Ram Navami, it is also known as 'Sri Rama Navratri'.
While celebrating Ram Navami, you will get to hear Ramayana Path at a lot of places in your neighbourhood. Throughout these nine days, devotees arrange for the ‘Akhand Path of Ramayana’. It is the continuous recital of the epic Ramayana throughout the nine days.
Devotees also perform Bhajan & Kirtan to enchant the Almighty. During these nine days, devotees arrange a spiritual event on daily basis, which is followed the Puja Aarti at the end. After Aarti, everybody receives the Holy food. Indeed it is a mesmerizing festival.
Images or idols of baby Rama are placed over the cradles and are rocked by the devotees. As the legends say, Lord Rama was born at noon, temples are beautifully decorated and devotees chant the traditional holy prayers since morning.
The entire environment becomes so mesmerizing with those Holy murmuring of Vedic words. Delicious fruits and beautiful flowers are offered to the God. Many devotees also keep fast on this day and celebrate with a feast in the evening.
Ram Navami 2016 Celebration
Like every year, Ram Navami in 2016 will be celebrated with great zeal and gusto, especially at the places where Lord Rama belongs to. For example, Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) celebrates Ram Navmi at a grand level, as Rama was born there. There is a place in Bihar, Sita Samahit Sthal (Sitamarhi); Bhadrachalam in Andhra Pradesh and Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu; all these places sizzle on the event of Ram Navmi. All these places have something special related to Lord Rama.
Rathyatras (the chariot procession) are also taken out on this day, which is also known as 'Shobha Yatra'. The chariot carries the idols of Lord Rama, Goddess Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman. On this day, many people take a bath at river Sarayu. It is considered very auspicious.
The festival is celebrated on a grand level throughout India and Indian diaspora.
Birth Chart of Lord Rama
When a child is born Hindus, first things that is done to the baby is the creation of his birth chart. Same happened with Lord Rama. Valmiki, the author of Sanskrit Ramayana described the birth chart of Lord Rama is this way –
"On the completion of 6 ritual seasons and in the 12th month, on the ninth day of the Chaitra month, where Aditi is the presiding deity of ruling star and Punarvasu is the ruling star of the day, the ascendant has the asterism, while 5 of the 9 planets (Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Venus) are at their peak and Jupiter as well as Moon is ascendant in Cancer, when the day is advancing, the Queen Kaushalya gave birth to a son with divine attributes like roseate lips, lotus-red eyes, voice like drumbeat and lengthy arms. He is adored by all the worlds and is the greatly blessed Avatar of Vishnu, namely Rama."
Bala Kanda, Ramayana by Valmiki, Sarga 18, Verses 8, 9, 10 & 11
The festival of Ram Navami has its own glory. As all Hindu festivals have some logic behind them, Ram Navmi is also the one. As Janmashtami is for Krishna, Ram Navami is for Lord Rama. As Ram Navmi comes every year on the ninth day of the bright half of Hindu lunar month Chaitra, the marriage anniversary of Lord Rama comes on the same day of the Hindu lunar month Margshirsha. In South India, many people also celebrate the marriage anniversary of Lord Rama.
Lord Rama was married to Goddess Sita, who is considered as the incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. As per legend, Goddess Laxmi is the consort of Lord Vishnu. On the other hand, epic Ramayana mentions the character of Lakshman, the younger brother of Lord Rama, who followed his brother Rama during his 14 years of exile. Hindu mythologies have described him as the incarnation of Sheshnag. Sheshnaag is the divine snake that stays with Lord Vishnu and provides him shade while he rests.
The epic Ramayana describes Lord Rama as the ‘Maryada Purushottama’, which means ‘the man with highest moral character’. Also, he is the one who follows ethics and considered as the righteous man ever. Men in India are taught to be like him and follow his path. He is ideal for everyone. Ram Navami is the day to celebrate the birthday of glorious man Rama, who is the incarnation of Almighty. Worship Lord Rama on this day and make your life worthwhile. God doesn’t expect your perfection in worship, he just desires for your compassionate feelings. With this, we wish you a very Happy Ram Navami 2016!