Ram Navami 2018
Ram Navami is a Hindu festival popularly celebrated all over the country with great joy and fervor. Falling on the ninth day of the Chaitra month in the Hindu Lunar Year, it marks the birth of Lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Celebrated on the last day of the Chaitra Navami in the Shukla Paksha or waxing moon, many devotees keep a fast on this day to receive benedictions and blessings of Lord Rama.
In the respects of Lord Ram, many great and religious Hindu Epics have been written, Ramayana and Ram Charit Manas are one of them. Hindu celebrates many events in different season in respect of Lord Rama; Ram Navami is also one of them.
Rama Navami Dates
Ram Navami 2017 Date : April 05, 2017 (Wednesday)
Ram Navami 2018 Date : March 26, 2018 (Monday)
History of Ram Navami
One of the oldest festivals of India, the history of Rama Navami can be traced as far back as before the era of Christ. Reference to Ram Navami can be seen in the Kalaki Puran. Ram Navami is a very popular festival that was allowed to be celebrated even by the lower castes in earlier times. A sacred festival for the Hindus, keeping a fast on this auspicious day leads to salvation.
According to the Ramayana, Dasarath, the King of Ayodhya who had three wives, did not have a child and was always unhappy about it. Even the people of his kingdom worried about their king not having an heir to his throne. At this time, Rishi Vasistha suggested the Puthra Kamasti Yagana, to fulfill the King’s desire for a child.
King Dasarath agreed and went to the ashram of the great sage Maharshi Rushya Shrunga to convince him to perform the yagna. The rishi accompanied the king back to Ayodhya where the yagna was performed. After the yagna, yagneshwar appeared and gave the king kheer (made from milk and rice) as prasadam to distribute among his three wives. The King gave half of the prasadam to his eldest wife Kausalya and the other half to the second one, Kaikayi. Each of them gave half of their prasadam to the youngest Sumithra. After few days, all three of them became expectant mothers and on Chaitra Navami, Kausalya gave birth to Lord Rama at noon, Bharath was born to Kaikayi and twins Laxman and Shatrughan were born to Sumithra. It was a day of great joy and festivity in Ayodhya and since then the day is celebrated with immense delight and enthusiasm by devout Hindus across the globe.
Ram Navami Celebration in India
The celebrations for Ram Navami begin on the first day of the Chaitra month of the Hindu calendar. Spiritual kirtans and reading of Ramayana are organized and the idol of the Lord is decorated beautifully. Reading the Ramaraksha stotra is considered highly beneficial during these nine days. It is said that if one takes a sankalp and recites the stotra eleven times every day, then one can become prosperous and even get freedom from ailments, speech problems and any other diseases.
On Ram Navami, elaborate prayers are organized in temples beginning at the time of sunrise. Special spiritual discourses, kathas and kirtans are held during the afternoon, the birth time of Lord Rama. Some temples arrange for reading of the Ramayana by a priest throughout the nine days, ending on the day of Ram Navami.
Ram Navami is a festival that brings bliss to the Hindus who celebrate it with great zeal. At several places, throughout the country, Rathyatras are organized with chariots carrying children or adults dressed as Lord Rama, Sita mata, Laxman and Hanuman, the supreme devotee of the Lord. These chariots are decorated lavishly and people participate in the Rathyatra with lot of passion and fervor. Fairs with spectacular display of fireworks are hosted in several parts of the country. Cities like Ayodhya, Ujjain and Rameshwaram are well known for their festive spirit and celebrations of Ram Navami drawing huge crowds of devotees from all over the nation to praise the birth of their Lord.
On 9th day, all Northern and Eastern Indian devotees first celebrate Havan (Yagya) at their home, then all family members give Ahuti with Vedik mantras and Durga mantras in the presence of Pandit and then they do Jaware Visarjan activity at their nearest Temple or in River and finally devotees break their nine days fasts. Some devotees who can’t do fasting till nine days they do fasting only on first day and ninth day of Navratri.
Many devotional activities are performed on this day such as Kanya Bhojan, Akhand Ramayan etc, many people decorate their nearest temple with flowers and lights in the respect of Lord Rama. Rich people distribute clothes and food to the needy people.
Ram Navami is celebrated in all over India equally with full devotion, but in some states such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana devotees celebrate this festival majorly. Lord Ram’s birth place is in Ayodhya (City of Uttar Pradesh) and birth day celebrations are memorable in this city, for celebrating festival of Ram Navami devotees come from all over the India.
Ram Navami Mantras
The name of the Lord, Rama is a “Taraka Mantra”, that can cure every disease of the material world, alleviates the human sufferings leading to salvation. Rama Nama is a derivative of the roots of two great mantras, “Om Namo Narayana” which is the Asktakshara and “Nama Sivaya”, the Panchakshara depicting the union of Lord Vishnu and Shiva. In the Sthala Purana of Kasi, it is mentioned that if a person dies in the sacred place, Kasi, then Siva speaks the name of Lord Rama in his ear softly to liberate the soul from the material world.
When King Parikshit asks Suta about how can a person emancipate himself from the sufferings borne out of one’s own karma, then Suka Goswami tells that it is possible to absolve oneself from one’s own sins only by chanting the divine name of the Lord. Though one must atone themselves but chanting His names helps to invoke the grace of the Lord, purifying ones’s thoughts, spoken words as well as acts.
Besides this, one can also chant, “Shri Ram, Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram”.
Other mantras that can be chanted on Ram Navami are:
“Neelambhuj shyamalkomlang Sita samaropitvambhagam
Namame Ramam Raghuvanshnatham”
Ram Gayatri Mantra
“Om Daserathaya vidhmahe
Sita vallabhaya dheemahe thanno Rama prachodayath”
Chant the holy name or mantras of Lord Ram this Ram Navami, 5 th April, 2017 and receive His divine grace and merciful benedictions.