Rama Navami marks the birth of Lord Rama on the ninth day of the Shukla Paksha in the month of Chaitra (March-April). The festival gives a chance to celebrate the most iconic rituals of India. This year Shri Rama Navami happens to be on April 2nd.
Lord Rama was the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu and the deity is worshipped all across the world by Hindus. This day is a part of Chaitra Navratri. On the auspicious occasion of Rama Navami, one can witness elaborate rituals in several parts of India. Temples all over the country are beautifully decorated and special pujas are organised to worship Lord Rama. Held at various regions throughout the country, the best celebrations are at Ayodhya. In Ayodhya which is the birth place of Lord Rama, the celebration is extra magnificent. Thousands of devotees from all over the country visit the religious place, Ayodhya to celebrate the birth of Lord Rama with music, dance and feast. Devotees take a dip in the sacred water of River Saryu early in the morning. Then they visit the Rama temple. Chariot processions or Rathayatras with the idols of Lord Rama, Devi Sita, Lakshmana and Hanumana are driven all around the city. Celebrated during Navratri, it is one of the major attractions of Ayodhya giving a sight to behold. Community meals (bhandaras) are organised as part of the celebrations. Besides Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, there are few more places in India where this celebration takes on a special note. They include Sitamarhi in Bihar, Bhadrachalam in Andhra Pradesh and Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu. On this day the temples of Lord Rama at these places are filled with thousands of devotees who offer special pujas and chant the lord’s name. The marriage of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita is also performed in many temples in South as the day is observed as the day of Sita-Rama Kalyanam. It is believed that the day also coincides with the auspicious occasion of the marriage of the deities. In ISKCON temples all over India, the festival is celebrated with lots of zeal. Not only in India, but Hindus across the globe celebrate the birth of Ram Lala with great pomp and glory. It is the end day of Chaitra Navratri celebrations.
On the day of Rama Navami, devotees offer prayers, chant holy mantras and recite Ramayana. Some even observe partial or total fast to reap the fruits of the Lord’s blessings. The festival is usually celebrated through recitals of the Akhand Path from Ramcharitramanas, bhajans, kirtans and aarti. Prasad distribution is also an auspicious part of the festival. Images of Lord Rama are placed in cradles and kept in temples and homes. Traditional prayers are offered with fruits and flowers and chanting of hymns. A ‘havan’ or sacred fire ceremony is also performed at many places. Books related to Lord Rama are distributed at various temples. Special meetings are arranged where disclosure on the life and teachings of Lord Rama are delivered.
Lord Rama shows the righteous path as a living example. He is well-known for giving victory of Dharma over Adharma as he killed the demon Ravana. Lord Rama was a dutiful son, loyal husband, loving brother, true friend and above all a perfect human.
On this propitious day, devotees vow to lead a righteous life and chant the name of the lord to grant them blessings and protection.
Happy Rama Navami 2020!