Sri Rama Navami Festival
Sri Rama Navami festival or Ram Navami is celebrated as the birthday of lord Rama which falls on the ninth day of Shukla Paksha (or bright phase of the lunar fortnight) in the month of Chaitra (mid-march) of the Hindu or Lunar calendar.
Lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu, incarnated in human form to kill demon Ravana in human form and freed people from evil.
Why Sri Rama Navami Festival Celebrated:
Ram Navami is a popular Hindu festival Celebrated on the mark of lord rama birthday. The word Rama has a divine force to destroy sins, removing lack of awareness and spreading peace on the planet. Chanting – reciting the name rama get rid of all sins.
The festival of Ram Navami is held in high regard not only by the people in India but also by the Hindu community living in the other parts of the world. Rama Navami festival is celebrated with immense joy and enthusiasm.
Many devotees also fast on this occasion. It is believed that all the devotees who fast on this day are showered with immense happiness and good luck by Lord Rama.
Sri Rama Navami History :
Lord Ram, who was born in the kingdom of Ayodhya to Queen Kausalya and King Dasharatha, in the ‘Treta Yuga’ (or Treta Yug). Ayodhya was the capital of the Kingdom of Kosala in Avadha (known as Awadh in Uttar Pradesh).
According to the great epic Ramayana, once upon a time there lived a King named Dasarath, then king of Ayodhya, who had three wives named Kaushalya, Sumithra and Kaikeyi.
As even long after his marriages, Dasarath was not blessed with a child, this has become a question of worry for him. Even the people of Ayodhya were disheartened because they had not heir to their kingdom. At this stage, Rishi Vasistha suggests Dasarath to perform Puthra Kamesti Yagna, through which he can have a desired child.
Soon King Dasharath agreed to do the Yagya and headed to Maharshi Rushya Shrunga’s ashram, to get him for performing the yagya. Maharshi agreed and accompanied Dasharath to Ayodhya to solemnize the perform Puthra Kamesti Yagna.
As the result of yagna, Yagneshwar appeared and hands Dasarath a bowl of kheer and asked him to feed this to his three wives. Dasarath did the same. He gave one half of the kheer to his elder wife Kausalya, and another half to his younger wife Kaikeyi. These two gave one half each of their kheer to Sumithra.
After few days all the three Queens conceived Dasratha’s child. On the ninth day (Navami) of Chaithra Masa (first month in Hindu calendar), at noon Kaushlya gave birth to Lord Sri Ram, Kaikeyi gave birth to Bharath, and Sumithra gave birth to twins, Lakshman and Shatrughan.
It was the day of joyous celebrations in Ayodhya. This day since then is celebrated as an auspicious occasion by the devotees.
Sri Rama Kalyanam
In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Sri Rama Kalyanam is celebrated on Navami day. Devotees witness the wedding celebrations of Lord Rama with Sita. According to ancient texts, Sri Rama Vanavasam was done in this State. The Kalyanotsavam is being celebrated with utmost glory and pomp at Sri Bhadrachalam temple.
Devotees from various parts of the country will throng the temple to witness the Kalyanotsavam. The Government of Telangana will present pearls and wedding dress material to Lord Rama and Sita. In this temple, the festival is celebrated for five days ie., Navami, Dasami, Ekadasi, Dwadasi, and Trayodasi. During these days, devotees chant Sri Rama Nama.
What Does Lord Rama Teach Us :
Lord Rama as a son : Lord Rama obeyed his father’s orders, he Sacrifice his own comfort for his father’s dignity. This teaches us to respect and love your father and his decisions
Lord Rama as a step-son : Lord Rama Respect her step mother and her wishes even when she clearly discriminate against Rama in favor of her own child. This teaches us to respect mother or mother in law even if she is against you.
Lord Rama as a brother : Lord Rama Remain loyal to his brother. This teaches us to be loyal to your brothers and sisters and care them.
Lord Rama as a husband : Lord Rama Fought for her protection and her purity. This teaches us to Protect your wife, respect her and care her.
Lord Rama as a King : Lord Rama Sacrificed everything for people. This teaches us to help others without looking for your own comforts, needs and pleasure.
Rituals On Sri Rama Navami :
Devotees of Lord Rama observe fast on this day.
The holy text of Ramayana is recited at different temples during the entire day of Ram Navami.
Images of the deity are worshiped with enchanting of hymns and mantras
devotees offer flowers and sweets to the Lord
In some states of India, this is a part of a nine day long festival.
Shobha yatras of the idols of Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshman along with Hanuman are organized across the streets.
The sacred chant of ‘Om Sri Ram’ is recited many times throughout the day.
Temples and other religious places are decorated with lights and the idols of Lord Rama are adorned with the best of clothes and jewellery.
In many places, this day is also observed as the marriage anniversary of Lord Rama and Mother Sita.
In Southern India, Kalyanotsavam is organized on the day of Ram Navami. On this day, a ceremonial wedding is arranged to mark the marriage of Rama and Sita’ following this ‘panakam’ is served to all devotees. This is a sweet drink which is prepared with jaggery.
How to prepare Panakam – Sri Rama Navami Prasadam
Panakam is considered the preferred food item on the Sri Rama Navami day.
Ingredients used to prepare Panakam on Sri Rama Navami : Jaggery, Water, Lemon, Dried ginger, Cardamom, Pepper and Salt
Procedure to prepare Panakam in Sri Rama Navami
Mix the jaggery in water and dissolve it well. Filter the ingredients in a cloth. Add lemon juice, dried ginger powder, Cardamom, Pepper and Salt.
Mix this well and serve chilled. This can be served as a welcome drink to quench the thirst the devotees who visit the temple in hot summer.
Sri Rama Kalyanotsavam
When we come to discuss about Sri Rama Kalyanotsavam, according to purans, Sri Rama was born in Tretayuga with Punarvasu star in Karkataka lagna Navami day. He was born as the avatara of Lord Vishnu to Kausalya Devi.
The Kalyanam was celebrated in the place of Janaka Maharaju on Phalguna sudda Poornima day. As per Panchratragama custom, the Kalyanam of God has to be celebrated on the day he was born. Accordingly, Sri Rama Kalyanam is celebrated on Navami day itself.
Mangalam Kosalandreya Mahaneeya Gunatmane
Chakravati Tanujuya Saarvabhowmaaya Mangalam
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