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Birth of lord Rama- Ram Navami
Posted By Sarin on Apr 01, 2012     RSS Feeds     Latest Hinduism news
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Ram Navami Sri-Ramnavami is dedicated to Lord Rama, the seventh and most ideal incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Ram navami is celebrated on the ninth day(navami) in the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Chaitra (March-April).Compared to other grand festivals like Holi and Diwali, this festival is not revered widely, but yet this auspicious festival reminds all about Lord Rama, his idealistic attributes and the inspirational values he gave us.  
Why it is celebrated?
The festival commemorates the birth of lord Rama who is recognised for his righteous and prosperous reign
. Ramrajya(the kingdom of Rama) has become synonymous with a period of prosperity and peace . The birthday of Lord Rama, hero of the famous epic 'Ramayana', is celebrated enthusiastically not only in India but all across the world. Along with Rama, idols of Lord Vishnu is also worshipped across the various hindu temples.
One of the reason to celebrate ramanavami festival is to imbibe at least some of the good values and ideas enshrined in the life of lord Rama. As per the saying, One who worship the lotus feet of Lord Rama with devotion, love and humility becomes peaceful, large hearted, noble, master of senses, pious and beloved of the wisest god.  

Lord Rama

Who is lord Rama
Lord Rama's belonged to the Sun dynasty (Raghuvamsa or Raghukula, Raghu meaning Sun and Vamsa or Kula means family descendant).
Rama is also known as Raghavendra, Raghupati, Raghunatha etc. All names beginning with the prefix Raghu is suggestive of his link with Sun dynasty.

Lord rama with sun (surya) in background
  
Lord Rama was the elder son of Emperor Dashrath and princess Kaushalya, so he is rightly also called as Dashrathanandan. Lord rama is known for his kindness and extreme patience. With immense endurance, lord Rama completed 14 years of Vanvas(exile) sentenced by his father, under the deception of his second queen Kaikeyi. He never diverted from the path of truth.  
Lord Rama is the epitome of all goodness, the legendary man to vanquish demon Ravana and thus gave the message thattruth and right path always achieve victory over evil.
Because of such qualities, Lord Rama is not treated as a hero, but as a god by the Hindus. This is the reason why even after mliions of years, his birth is still celebrated every year with great exuberance.  
A fair insight of Ramayana's immense popularity can be taken from the fact that there 350 unique version of ramayana in Hindi alone, and the name of Rama is used in many salutations among the masses like , as "Ram Ram" or "Jai Ram ji Ki",.

When celebration starts?
Celebrations of Ram Navami starts on the first day of Chaitra(Gudi padwa); and continues for next 9 days. During this ten days, devotees praise lord rama by singing bhajans-kirtans,recites Ramaraksha stotra,performs parayans of Ramayan and chants his holy name.  
The exact time chosen for the celebration of lord's birth is when the sun is overhead, at its maximum brilliance (Evening 1PM approx)..Since Rama belongs to sun dynasty, some hindu sects offer prayers to Surya(sun) before worshipping rama

Qualities of lord rama?
Name:Name Shriram's existed even before His birth. When lord rama demonstrated his Godhood while defeating ravana, everyone started addressing him as Shriram (Srirama).  
Ideal in All Respects: Lord rama is considered as an an ideal example of perfectking,brother,husband,son,friend and enemy.  
The Follower of Dharma(Righteousness): Lord Rama observed all decorum and rituals prescribed by Dharma as mentioned in vedas; this is why he was known as 'Maryadapurushottam'. Some of his well revered qualities were Ekvachani(honouring one's promise),Ekbani(needing one arrow to shot or defeat anything) and Ekpatni (having only one wife). Having one wife was his greatest charcateristic since Kings of that era had the norms of having many wives in order to expand their kingdom and clan.
Shriram's Kingdom (Ramrajya): During Shriram's rule, Everyone was given justice and not even a single person belonging to the lowest class of citizens, was treated unjustly in his kingdom
The direct meaning of this is complete control over the five motor organs, five sensory organs, intellect, subconscious mind and ego  
Ideal son: He never disobeyed his parents; at times even advised his brothers and elders when his step mother gave him the punishment he didn’t deserve (14 years exile).
Ideal brother:  Even today, if someone want to cite the epitome of brotherly love, then the first one to come in their mind is Ram-Lakshman.
The Ideal husband:  He was so much devoted to his only wife sita that he promised her that he will not marry anyone else. This was against those days norms of king having many wives..
The Ideal friend:  He helped vibhishan(Brother of king Ravan), Sugreev and many others in their extremely difficult times and didn’t care of his own life while helping them.
The Ideal King:  He devoutedly followed all rules, regulations and code of conduct specified for Kings in Vedas and other hinduism scriptures. 
The Ideal Enemy:  When vibhishan decline to perform the last rites of his brother Ravan, lord rama said him, 'If you don't then I will. He is my brother too.'
Because of all this qualities, lord rama is known as Maryadapurushottam. He signifies the supreme extent of kindness and Righteousness
  
Why lord rama came to earth
Lord Rama was an avatar of Lord Vishnu descended on earth to kill the invincible Ravana. In treta yug, Ravana was creating havoc on earth and so, many demi-gods started pestering lord Brahma for his boon to Ravana that he would be invincible to all demi-gods.Lord To stop this vast destruction, brahma requested lord Vishnu to help. Lord Vishnu agreed to help by taking birth as the son of King Dashrath and Queen Kaushalya..
   
Lord rama killing ten-headed demon raavana
  
Lord Rama birth is celebrated every year on the ninth day post the appearance of new moon in Sukul Paksh (the waxing moon), which approximately falls sometime in the month of April.  
Every Incarnation descend on Earth for a specific task or set of tasks:However, The foremost mission of every Incarnation is to create the Kingdom of truth and justice; but the proportion of this varies according to the different Yugas.
Final Liberation: Many embodied souls followed the path of Knowledge (Dhyanyoga) to complete their individual spiritual enlightenment but since their spiritual enlightenment for the citizens of society(Samashti sadhana) was incomplete, they didn't achieve Moksha(Final Liberation). In Satya-yuga, there was no provision to do spiritual enlightenment by teaching the citizens of society and therefore, many pure souls got stuck midway. For their final liberation, during lord Rama reign, this souls were born as vanars(monkeys). Also, some of the demi-Gods who were cursed to become monkeys, were born in this reign as monkeys. In orSo, one of the task of lord Rama was to liberate all such embodied souls..
To set an ideal for the people: Shriram set an example through his each and every action. He explained how an embodied soul can attain Moksha(Final Liberation) by following the vedas and other holy scriptures.
He set an example of a Divine Kingdom for the people: During his reign, many impure souls (Demons) started harassing Sages performing yagnas and other vedic rituals. Lord rama protected all Sages and gave the message to all kings to be fearless,selfless,impartial, courageous and free from desire.
The implied meaning of Ramayana in our life are:  
  Lakshman refers to the enlightenment of the soul, instead of getting stuck in wordly desires.
      
  • Bharat signifies a seeker wrapped in the worship of radiance.
  • Shatrughna refers to one who annihilate the six foes (Shadripus) of the soul.
  • Rama,Lakshman and Sita together stand for spiritual knowledge,detachment and devotion respectively.
  • Hanuman represents the activated Kundalini and  
  • Ravana represents the 6 enemies of every living entity which are attachment,anger,vanity,desire, greed, and envy.
        Today, people are so much involved in materialistic enjoyment that their mind lost the true meaning of responsibilities and duties. Their mind are totally involved in selfishness, greed, and falsehood which are the pre-defined qualities of Kaliyuga-the Iron Age, where the whole atmosphere is filled with evil acts.
    How it is celebrated?
    Ram Navami will be celebrated this year on April 1, 2012. Temples of Rama are decorated,Ramayana is recited for nine days and religious courses & sessions are held.  

    Decorated temples with devotees performing pooja
      
    one should recite the Ramaraksha stotra(prayer)daily eleven times for next nine days, to make their wish(sankalpa) become true. It alo helps in yielding benefits like improvement in delivering speech, hearing impairment and simialr ailments, and gaining prosperity. At noon, a coconut (signifies the baby Shriram) covered with a hooded cloak is placed in a cradle and swinged.While swinging,all devotees offer fragrant red powder (gulal) and flowers on this draped coconut.
    Many temples performs chariot processions(Rathyatras) of Rama,brother Lakshmana,wife Seeta and devotee Hanuman. This chariot is accompanied by several devotees dressed up in ancient costumes signifying Rama's soldiers.

    Rath yatra in ayodhya

      
    At home, devotees decorate their poojasthan (place of worship) and offer colourful fragnant flowers and mesmerizing dhoop on idol(or picture) of shri Rams.Temple Pundits adorn idol of lord Ram with crown made of gold or silver, and cover idols with beautiful, clean silky embroidery.
    Special puja is conducted where everyone participates by offering roli, water sprinkles, aipun and handfuls of rice on idols of the deities. Then everybody rhymes to the tunes of aartisung by pundits. After aarti is finished, ganga jal(plain water if ganga jal not availaible) is sprinkled over the gathered devotees. Traditionally,youngest female family member applies teeka to all family male members. Similarly, all female members applies a red bindi on their foreheads . At the end, prasad is distributed to all the devotees gathered for worship.
    Some people fast on this day and all devotees strictly follow a vegeterian diet. Diet of a fasting devotee can include boiled potatoes without haldi (turmeric), ginger, garlic or onion. Fruit and some root vegetables are permitted. Curd,coffee,tea,milk,are also allowed.  
      
      
    Celebrations across india
    Since Lord Ram was born in Ayodhya, citizens here resplendently decorated rath yatras and performs chariot processsons across street and lanes of ayodhya.chariots are lavishly decorated with Lord Ram, his wife Sita, brother Laxman, and his greatest devotee Hanuman.These rath yatras are followed by all devotees resembling lord rama soldiers. Such rath yatra happens all over north India for two days, with much rejoice and fanfare. During this chariot processions, participants chant religious songs and verses, praise and remembers the glorious days of Ram's era.

    Lord Rama with brother lakshman, wife sita and Lord hanuman
    Other sacred places like Rameshwaram and Ujjain also attracts Lakhs of devotees from diffrent parts of the world for this festival. People visiting Rameshwaram take a ritual bath in the sea before praying at historic Ramanathaswamy temple.  



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