Ram Navami

Lord Sri Ram
|| Sri Ram Jay Ram Jay Jay Ram ||

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Introduction

Shriram Navami is celebrated to proclaim the birth of Lord Shrirama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. ‘The nineth day (Navami) in the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Chaitra is referred to as Ram Navami. On this day, when the five planets and the sun, etc. were in first house of cancer at noon along with the lunar asterism Pushya, Ramachandra was born in Ayodhya. Several temples of Lord Rama celebrate this festival for nine days beginning from the first day (pratipada) of Chaitra. It is celebrated by periodic readings (parayans) of the Ramayan, organising spiritual discourses (kirtans) and beautifully embellishing Lord Rama’s idol. On the ninth day, in the afternoon a spiritual discourse on Lord Rama’s birth is held. At noon, a coconut draped in a hooded cloak is placed in a cradle and the cradle is rocked. Devotees shower a red, fragrant powder (gulal) and flowers onto it.’

Celebrations of Ram Navami start on Gudi padwa, the first day of Chaitra; and continue for 9 days. During this period, devotees do parayans of Ramayan, recite the Ramarakshastotra, sing bhajans-kirtans in His praise and chant His name.

Celebration of Ram Navami

Ram Sita LaxmanShrirama Navami is called a holy festival (sun) when it is celebrated individually, a religious festival (utsav) when celebrated collectively and when performed individually with a resolve (sankalpa) it becomes a vowed observance (vrat). Also, unlike most vowed religious observances, which are practiced individually, Shrirama Navami is a vowed religious observance undertaken by a group.

Several temples of Lord Rama celebrate this festival for nine days, beginning from Gudhipadva (the first day (pratipada) of the month of Chaitra). It is celebrated by periodic readings (parayans) of the Ramayan, organizing and attending spiritual discourses (kirtans) and beautifully embellishing Lord Rama’s statue. During these nine days, reciting the Ramaraksha prayer (stotra) eleven times daily with a resolve (sankalpa) brings the prayer to fruition, yielding benefits like reduction of speech impairment and other ailments, and gaining prosperity. On the ninth day, that is, on Shrirama Navami a spiritual discourse on Lord Rama’s birth is held in the afternoon. At noon, a coconut, draped in a hooded cloak is placed in a cradle and rocked. The coconut signifies the baby Lord Rama. A red, fragrant powder (gulal) and flowers are showered onto it. Many places in North India host fairs in connection with the festival, culminating in spectacular fireworks on Rama Navami.