Ram Navami is a Hindu festival and commemorates the birth anniversary of Lord Ram who is the seventh incarnation of lord Vishnu. This day falls on the 9th day of the bright fortnight of the month of Chaitra of Hindu lunar year.
Lord Rama History
Lord Rama was born to King Dasarath and Kaushalya in Ayodhya. It is believed the king Dasarath had three wives named Kaushalya, Sumithra and Kaikeyi. The king was not blessed with a child even after many years of marriage. So Rishi Vasistha suggested Dasarath to perform Puthra Kamesti Yagna. Accordingly the yagna was performed by Maharshi Rushya Shrunga in the Ayodhya and king was handed a bowl of payasm to distribute among his wives. The king gave one half to Kausalya, and another half to his younger wife Kaikeyi. Both wives gave half of their portions to Sumithra. Thus Lord Rama was born to Kaushalya at noon on the ninth day of chaitra month on the same day Kaikeyi gave birth to Bharath, and Sumithra gave birth to twins, Lakshman and Shatrughan. It is believed that Lord Rama who is the seventh incarnation of lord Vishnu took birth on this Earth annihilate the evil forces of the age. He is known as Maryada Purusottama and is the emblem righteousness.
The celebrations of Ram Navami can be traced back to pre-Christian era and Ram Navami has also reference in Kalika puran.
How is Ram Navami Celebrated?
The festival is celebrated with immense joy and enthusiasm. In some parts of India, it is celebrated as a nine-day festival. Celebrations of Sree Ram Navami start on the first day of Chaitra and continue for 9 days and is called Shri Ram Navratri. It is considered auspicious to undertake a fast on this day in the name of Rama while some devotees even fast for the nine days. It is believed that observing a fast on this day purifies the mind and soul greatly and leads to the attainment of salvation.
The celebrations begins with the worship of sun god early in the morning since Rama's dynasty is considered to have descended from the Sun. Since it is believed that lord Rama was born at noon special prayers are held during this time. Grand processions or Rath Yatra are held where beautifully decorated chariots which carry four persons dressed up as Rama, his brother Laxman, his queen Sita and his disciple Hanuman are taken out. The chariot is followed by many other people dressed up as King Ram’s soldiers. This kind of processions are very famous in North India. Throughout the nine days Ramayana is read in the temples.
Though this festival is celebrated all over India places like Ayodhya, Pondicherry, Ujjain and Rameshwaram draw thousands of devotees on this day as these places have special significance in lord Rama’s life.