RAM NAVAMI

In the year 2015, Ram Navami will be celebrated on 28th March. Ram Navami is the day on which Lord Ram, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu, incarnated in human form in Ayodhya. The word “Ram” literally means one who is divinely blissful and who gives joy to others.

Ram Navami falls on the ninth day of the bright fortnight in the month of Chaitra (April/May) and coincides with Vasant Navaratri or Chaitra Navratra. Therefore in some regions, the festival is spread over nine days. This day, marking the birthday of Lord Rama, is also observed as the marriage day of Rama and Sita and thus also referred to as Kalyanotsavam.

Bhagwan Shri Ram exemplified the perfect person (maryada purushottam). He was the embodiment of compassion, kindness, righteousness gentleness and integrity. His reign in Ayodha is referred to as Ramarajya, the epitome of perfect governance. Ayodhya was the capital founded by the king-rishi Manu. During the reign of King Dasharath, Ayodhya reached a period of great prosperity. But Dasharath had one problem--he had no children. Therefore he decided to perform the Ashvamedh Yagna. Elaborate and difficult rituals had to be observed. Rishi Rishyashring presided over the Yagya. At the end, Rishyashring recited a Mantra and made an offering to the fire. Then the gods, gandharvas, siddhas, and rishis present around began to pray to Brahma. During that time Ravan, the king of Lanka, was terrorizing the people, and they 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 for help and requested him that since Dasharath was a glorious king, that He take birth in the wombs of his three queens in four different incarnations of His divinity. When Dasharath's sacrifice came to an end, a shining figure appeared over the sacrificial kund, and offered the king a divine beverage called "payasam", which was to be given to his queens Kausalya, Kaikayi, and Sumitra. In due time, Kausalya gave birth to Ram, Kaikayi to Bharat and Sumitra to Laxman and Shatrugna.

The Sun is considered to be the progenitor of Shri Ram's dynasty, which is called the Solar Dynasty (Raghukula or Raghuvamsa – Raghu means Sun and Kula or Vamsa mean familial descendant). Rama is also known as Raghunatha, Raghupati, Raghavendra etc. That all these names begin with the prefix Raghu is also suggestive of some link with Sun-worship. The hour chosen for the observance of the Lord's birth is that when the Sun is overhead and is at its maximum brilliance. In some Hindu sects, prayers on Ramnavami day start not with an invocation to Rama but to Surya (Sun). Again the syllable Ra is used in the word to describe the Sun and brilliance in many languages. In Sanskrit, Ravi and Ravindra both mean "Sun".


Bhagwan Shri Ram teaches that : As a son

Respectfully and lovingly obey your father’s orders. Sacrifice your own comfort for your father’s dignity.

As a step-son

Even when your step mother (or mother-in-law) is not kind to you, even when she clearly dis- criminates against you in favor of her own birth child, do not resent her, do not fight against her. Respect her and her wishes.

As a brother

Remain loyal to your brother. Care for him.

As a husband

Protect your wife. Fight for her protection and her purity. But there are times when one’s divine path must even take precedence over the path of householder. Do not keep the role of householder as the ultimate role.

As a King

Sacrifice everything for your people. Do not worry about your own comfort, your own convenience or your own pleasure. Be willing to put the kingdom ahead of your own needs.

 

Ram Navami is a festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Rama, the son of King Dasharath. It was a joyous occasion in Ayodhya all those centuries ago when King Dasharath's heir was finally born. It was like a dream come true for the king as the lack of an heir had troubled him sorely for many years.

Lord Rama is an Avatar of Lord Vishnu who came down to earth to battle the invincible Ravan in human form. Lord Brahma had been receiving complaints from all the gods about the havoc that Ravan was wreaking on earth, but because Lord Brahma had granted Ravan so many boons, he could not be killed by a god. But Ravan had become so overconfident that he would never expect an attack from a human being. So Lord Vishnu agreed to go to earth in the guise of Prince Ram, the son of King Dasharath and Queen Kaushalya.

The story of Lord Rama as told in the great epic Ramayana is one that most Indians know irrespective of caste, creed and religion. Lord Rama is a legendary figure, the epitome of all that is good and true, the man who vanquished the demon king, Ravan. Lord Rama is not just a hero, but has been given the status of a god by the Hindus. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that his birth is celebrated year after year with great pomp and enjoyment on the ninth day after the new moon in Sukul Paksh (the waxing moon), which falls sometime in the month of April.