Ram Navami is the celebration of the birth of Lord Rama, considered the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu. The festival celebrated on the ninth day of Navratri, is considered particularly significant as per the Vaishnavism tradition of Hindu religion.
Ram Navami is the day when Lord Vishnu appeared in his seventh Avatar on earth. That Avatar was Shri Rama born to Raja Dashrath and Kaushalya Mata. This was the completion of a long series of events that had been put into motion before thousands of years.
Shri Rama appeared in four forms – himself and three brothers – Bharat, Lakshmana and Shatrughna. Lord Vishnu had appeared to rid the world of unbearable suffering created by Ravana and the demon race.
Raja Dashrath’s Putrakameshti Yagna
Raja Dashrath was the king of Ayodhya and Kaushalya Devi was his first queen. The king had two more queens – Kaikeyi and Sumitra. Raja Dashrath was the son of King Aja of Ayodhya. He and Kaushalya Devi had been blessed in an earlier life to be the parents of the seventh Avatar of Lord Vishnu.
Many years passed but Raja Dashrath had no sons. On the advice of Rishi Vashishtha, Raja Dashrath organized a Putrakameshti Yagna on the banks of a river. At the end of the Yagna Agni Dev, he appeared from the Havan fire with a bowl of Havishyaan Payasam (Divine Kheer). Agni Dev blessed Raja Dashrath and asked him to divide the Divine Prasad among his wives.
The joy that Raja Dashrath experienced at this time was no less than Brahmananda (Divine Happiness). He divided the Payasam into two parts and gave one part to Kaushalya Devi. The other half of the Payasam was divided into three parts. One part was given to Kaikeyi and two parts were given to Sumitra. The joy of the queens was immeasurable.
The arrival of Divinity on Earth – Rama Janma
On the ninth day of the sacred month of Chaitra (Shukla Paksha), all planetary positions and other astronomical factors were in perfect alignment. Nature was at its comfortable best. On this day Kaushalya Devi gave birth to a son. The city of Ayodhya explodes in joyous celebration. All the Devtas showered flowers on Ayodhya City from their chariots in the sky. Lord Shiva and Brahma were there to pretend the witness this glorious event.
The birth of Shri Rama was followed by the birth of three more sons – one to Kaikeyi and two to Sumitra. Lord Vishnu had appeared as promised in the form of Shri Ram and three brothers – Bharat, Lakshman and Shatrughna.
Kaikeyi was the mother of Bharat. Sumitra was the mother of Lakshman and Shatrughna. Shri Narayana had made a good promise to Kashyap and Aditi. This day is now celebrated as Rama Navami.
The naming of Shri Rama, Bharat, Lakshman and Shatrughna
The day now came when the naming ceremony (Naamkaran) of the four Avatars of Lord Vishnu was to be held. Rishi Vashishtha was given the honour of choosing names for them. First of all, the Rishi named Shri Rama. He gave the name Rama. Which consists of three letters – R – A – M. These three letters represent the core mantra of Agni, Bhanu and Himkar (Fire, Sun, Moon).
Rishi Vashishtha declared this name is enough for a devotee to cross the ocean of the cycle of life and death. The name Rama is the 394th name of Lord Vishnu in the Vishnu Sahasranama. He then named the three brothers – Bharat, Lakshmana and Shatrughna. Bharat is the one who maintains the world.
Lakshman is an Avatar of Sheshnag known for His extraordinary devotion to Shri Rama. Sheshnag is equally devoted to Lord Vishnu. Shatrughna is a name that in itself is enough to overcome enemies of the Godly path.
The great poet and composer of Ramcharitmans (Ramayana) Goswami Tulsidas Ji says that the name or word ‘Rama’ is even bigger and greater than Shri Rama Himself. In the Ramayana Tulsidas Ji talks at length about the name and gives many examples of why he considers the name bigger than the Lord Himself. The name is a store of happiness and satisfaction and whosoever chants the name with devotion will easily cross all hurdles in his spiritual path.
Ram Navami celebrations are held across the country from Ayodhya to Rameshwaram. Temples all over the country are decorated. The day is observed by readings of the Ramayana, Bhajan and Kirtan programs. Many devotees observe a strict fast on this day. Processions, Rath Yatras, Shobha Yatras of Shri Rama, Sita Mata, Lakshmana and Hanuman Ji are taken out in many towns and cities.
In some states particularly Bihar and Jharkhand devotees take part in processions with tall bamboo poles with flags tied at the top. During these processions, the electricity is switched off to prevent unexpected accidents.
Some of the more important celebrations happen in Ayodhya – Ram Janmabhoomi, Sitamarhi in Bihar which is considered the birthplace of Sita Mata, Bhadrachalam in Telangana, Ramanathaswamy temple in Rameshwaram, Kodandarama temple in Andhra Pradesh.
Chitrakoot is fully lit up and celebrations here are on a grand scale. This is a place where Shri Rama spent many years of his exile. Other places connected with the Ramayana also celebrate this day.
Outside India too, Ram Navami is celebrated in many countries by those of Indian Origin. South Africa, Trinidad, Tobago, Mauritius, Fiji, Malaysia and Singapore are some of those countries.
Ram Navami is widely known to honour Lord Vishu as Ram avatar, also referred to as Maryada Purshottam. He was born in Ayodhya to Kaushalya and Dasrath in Treta Yuga.
It describes how the king and his three queens- Sumitra, Kaikeyi and Kaushalya performed Yagna on the recommendation of Rishi Vashisth when none of them were ready to give birth to the subsequent ruler of Ayodhya.
- This Ram Navami, may Shri Rama shower you with his blessings. Here’s wishing you and your family on this auspicious day.
- Ram jinka naam hai, Ayodhya jinka dhaam hai, Aise Raghunandan ko, humara pranam hai, Aapko aur aapke parivar ko Ram Navami ki hardik shubhkaamnaayein.
- May the divine grace of Lord Rama always be with you. Wish you a very happy and prosperous Rama Navami.
- May this auspicious occasion of Ram Navami bring a lot of positivity, peace and harmony to your life. Happy Ram Navami.
- With the gleam of diyas and the echo of the chants, May happiness and contentment fill your life. Wishing you a Happy Ram Navami.
- On this holy occasion of Sri Rama Navami, let us pray to Lord Rama to bless us with strength, courage and wisdom to overcome all challenges in life. Jai Shree Ram
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