About Sri Rama Navami - THE HINDU PORTAL - Spiritual heritage Rituals and Practices

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

About Sri Rama Navami


Rama (centre) with Laxman, Sita and Hanuman
Ram Navami is a festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Rama. Rama Navami falls on the ninth day of a Hindu lunar year or Chaitra Masa Sukla paksha Navami, which usually falls in March or April. Lord Rama is an avatar of Lord Vishnu who came down to earth to battle the invincible Ravana in human form.The story of Rama was first written by Vaalmeeki in about the 4th century B.C. Rama is supposed to have lived during the 8th or 7th century B.C. The epic known as the Ramayana.

Birth story of Lord Rama
The country of Kosal 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 faced a big 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.
At 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 with the request, “Dasarath is a glorious king. Please, take birth in the wombs of his three queens in four different degrees 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).

Celebration :
The festival of Ramnavami is celebrated with great devotion across the nation and every region has its own regional significance behind the celebration. Ayodhya is the focus of great celebrations. A huge fair is organized for two days. Ratha yatras or 'chariot processions' of Rama and his wife Sita, brother Lakshmana and devotee Hanuman, are taken out from many temples.

Excerpts from the Ramacharitamanas, extolling the glory of Rama, are recited. 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.

Rituals and ceremonies :
The house is thoroughly cleaned on Rama Navami and is also decorated. Offerings of fruit and flowers are placed on the family shrine and after an early bath, prayers are recited.

The youngest female member of the household leads the puja (prayers) by applying a red tilak (mark) to all the other members of the family before everyone joins together in worship. An image or picture of baby Rama is placed in a covered cradle. At noon the covering is removed and Prasad (special sacred food) is offered to Rama, which may then be shared amongst the congregation.

There is an element of fasting. Some people don't eat certain foods, particularly things like onions, garlic, some spices and wheat products. The festival is a focal point for moral reflection and being especially charitable to others. Celebrations at places associated with Sri Rama, like Ayodhya in Andhra pradesh,Uttar Pradesh and Ramesvaram in Tamil Nadu, and all India attract thousands of devotees.

Stage Programme:

  • 2:00pm-3:20pm – Ramayan Katha
  • 3:20pm-3:30pm – Traditional Dance performance
  • 3:30pm-5:30pm – Ram dhun and kirtan
  • 5:30pm-6:00pm – Drama
  • 6:00pm-6:10pm – Messages of support
  • 6:10pm-7:00pm – Ram dhun and kirtan
  • 7:00pm-7:30pm -Drama

When is Ram Navami - Dates & Details?
When is Ram Navami in 2013?
Ram Navami in 2013 is on Saturday, the 20th of April.
Ram Navami falls on the ninth day of the Hindu lunar year (thus named Chaitra Masa Suklapaksha Navami).

When is Ram Navami in 2014?
Ram Navami in 2014 is on Tuesday, the 8th of April.
Ram Navami falls on the ninth day of the Hindu lunar year (thus named Chaitra Masa Suklapaksha Navami).

When is Ram Navami in 2015?
Ram Navami in 2015 is on Saturday, the 28th of March.
Ram Navami falls on the ninth day of the Hindu lunar year (thus named Chaitra Masa Suklapaksha Navami).

When is Ram Navami in 2016?
Ram Navami in 2016 is on Friday, the 15th of April.
Ram Navami falls on the ninth day of the Hindu lunar year (thus named Chaitra Masa Suklapaksha Navami).

When is Ram Navami in 2017?
Ram Navami in 2017 is on Wednesday, the 5th of April.
Ram Navami falls on the ninth day of the Hindu lunar year (thus named Chaitra Masa Suklapaksha Navami).

When is Ram Navami in 2018?
Ram Navami in 2018 is on Monday, the 26th of March.
Ram Navami falls on the ninth day of the Hindu lunar year (thus named Chaitra Masa Suklapaksha Navami).

When is Ram Navami in 2019?
Ram Navami in 2019 is on Sunday, the 14th of April.
Ram Navami falls on the ninth day of the Hindu lunar year (thus named Chaitra Masa Suklapaksha Navami).

When is Ram Navami in 2020?
Ram Navami in 2020 is on Thursday, the 2nd of April.
Ram Navami falls on the ninth day of the Hindu lunar year (thus named Chaitra Masa Suklapaksha Navami).

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