Ram Navami Festival India 2023

  • TypeType:Religious
  • Dates:30-Mar-2023
  • Location:India

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Rama Navami is a Hindu spring celebration that honours the birth of Swami Rama, a crucial figure in the Vaishnava school of Hinduism as the seventh incarnation of Vishnu. On this day, Lord Rama, the seventh manifestation of Lord Vishnu, was born as a human in the kingdom of Ayodhya. He possesses half of Lord Vishnu's divine characteristics, also known as the ardha ansh of Vishnu. Rama means "one who brings joy to others, who is wonderfully delightful, and whom the sages exult in." The event occurs on the ninth day of the light fortnight in Chaitra (April/May), eight days after Yugdi. In some areas, it lasts for nine days, coinciding with Vasant Navratri of Chait Durga Puja. In addition to celebrating Lord Rama's birth, the day is also observed as Sita and Rama's wedding day.

IMPORTANCE OF RAM NAVAMI

Rama Navami is an auspicious occasion celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm by Hindus worldwide. The festival is a tribute to Lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who was born in Ayodhya to King Dasaratha and Queen Kausalya. Rama Navami falls on the ninth day of the bright half of the Hindu calendar month (Shukla Paksha), usually in March or April. It is considered an optional public holiday in India, and people celebrate the occasion by reading or reciting Rama legends. The Mahabharata and the Ramayana are two epic poems that hold great significance for Hindus. The reading or recounting of these stories is considered a way of paying homage to Lord Rama. Some Vaishnava Hindus also practise bhajans or songs with music as part of their worship and aarti, while others offer prayers in their homes. Additionally, volunteer activities and communal meals are organised, allowing people to come together and share their joy and happiness.

For many Hindus, Rama Navami is a time for moral introspection and fasting. The festival is celebrated in many parts of India, including Ayodhya, Sita Samahit Stal in Uttar Pradesh, Sitamarhi in Bihar, Janakpurdhanam in Nepal, Bhadrachalam in Telangana, Kodandarama Temple, Vontimitta in Andhra Pradesh, and Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu. The festivities include the Rath Yatra, the Shobha Yatra of the chariot, Sita, and his brother Lakshmana, also known as Hanuman. Many people in Ayodhya also dip in the revered Sarayu River before visiting the Rama Temple. Rama Navami is a festival that holds great significance for Hindus and is celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy every year. The festival provides an opportunity for people to come together and celebrate Lord Rama's birth, reflect on their lives, and seek blessings from the Almighty.

TRADITIONS OF RAM NAVAMI

The seventh manifestation of Vishnu is Rama. He is the first-known author of the Ramayana. Before the ritual, during the Chaitra month, the book is read nonstop. The story's highlights are read aloud in the temple, much like on Ram Navami. On Rama Navami, all homes are thoroughly cleaned, and miniature figurines of Lord Rama are placed throughout the family hall. After the initial bath, prayers are said, and shrines and fruit offerings are laid out on the monument. Hindus who observe this day may fast or limit their diet to a certain food, abstaining from wheat, onions, and garlic. Thousands of devotees attend celebrations at key Sri Rama locations like Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh and Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu. In some regions of India, it is customary to hang money from trees, and the neighbourhood kids form groups to compete for the pot. It's more complicated than it seems. Soft dirt is present at the tree's base. Onlookers shoot water jets at the teams as they attempt to build human pyramids to reach the tree's summit.

CELEBRATION OF RAM NAVAMI IN INDIA

The day is Chaitra Navratri's ninth and last day (not to be confused with Autumn Navratri). Lord Vishnu commemorates Lord Rama's entry in his seventh avatar. It can be identified by the devout worship of devotees and hymns like devotion, fasting, and reading Rama's life passages. According to Ramayana legends, major festivities honouring Rama's life are held in particular cities. Some places hold chariot parades, while others commemorate Sita and Rama's wedding anniversary. The celebration has Lord Rama's name, and Sita, Lakshman, and Hanuman are typically honoured. Some Vaishnava Hindus observe the event in temples, while others do it at home. In some cultures, the Hindu sun god Surya is revered and celebrated. Some Vaishnava Sanghas recite the Ramayana and Chaitra Navratri Rama, and some temples organise private nighttime discussion sessions. Temples and Vaishnava organisations provide community meals; for many Hindus, this is an opportunity for moral reflection. Local councils (organisations) in Karnataka also commemorate Sri Rama Navami by offering free panaka (jaggery and juice from crushed muskmelon) and other meals in various locations.

The most prominent month-long classical music festival in India is also held at Sri Rama Seva Mandal at R.C.T. Chamarajpet, located in Bangalore and Karnataka. The climax of this musical spectacular from the 1980s is when Indian classical musicians from two different musical traditions—Karnataka and Hindustani—come together to perform for Sri Rama and the assembled crowd. A key location for Rama Navami celebrations is the Bhadrachalam Temple in Telangana. The Jagannath Temples and the local Vaishnava Samaj commemorate Rama Navami in the eastern Indian states of Odisha, Jharkhand, and West Bengal. The summer is regarded as the day of preparation for their yearly Jagannath Rath Yatra. Iskcon adherents observe fasts during the day. Many Iskcon temples now hold a larger holiday celebration to cater to the needs of the expanding local Hindu community. With the added obligations of the devotees' fasting, it is always a noteworthy calendar event in the traditional honour calendar.

CELEBRATION OF RAM NAVAMI OUTSIDE INDIA

Rama Navami is one of the Hindu holidays observed by the Indian diaspora, which has roots in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh. For instance, the descendants of Indian treaty workers continued to celebrate Ram Navami by reciting the Ramayana and singing bhajans while living under the apartheid regime in South Africa. These individuals arrived in colonial South Africa before 1910 to work in British-owned plantations and mines. In modern times, this tradition is still practised annually in Hindu temples in Durban. Similar to what they do in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Jamaica, other Caribbean nations, Mauritius, Malaysia, Singapore, and many others, Hindu descendants of colonial-era contract workers transported from India by the British government observe Ram Navami. Hindus in Fiji and those who have emigrated from Fiji to other countries celebrate.

SIGNIFICANCE OF RAM NAVAMI

As exemplified by the conflict between Rama and Ravana, the Ramayan is a classic, timeless, and universal tale about Dharma versus adharma, deva versus demon, and good versus evil.

Brahman by birth, Ravana was a brilliant scholar who produced a large body of writings on the philosophy of scripture. He had an attractive appearance and was strong and lively. He had all one could want or need to live a happy and serene life as the smart, attractive King of Lanka. But he was also haughty, egotistical, lusty, and greedy. His ravenous appetite made him yearn for more authority, wealth, and women to appease his every whim. The fundamental distinction is that Bhagwan Rama's heart overflowed with divine qualities like love, kindness, humility, and a sense of responsibility. In contrast, avarice, anger, and egoism filled Ravana's heart. The animals were transformed into his believers and his divine servants by Bhagwan Rama's almighty touch. Ravana's influence caused even people to turn into animals.

When he leaves for the wilderness, instead of being crowned as King, he teaches the world to choose Dharma over Artha and Moksha over Kama by his noble and holy decisions (when he chooses his kingdom over his marriage). Bhagwan Rama proclaims:

As a son
Respectfully and tenderly, carry out your father's instructions. Give up your comfort in favour of your father's honour.

Being a stepson
Do not harbour resentment or conflict with your stepmother (or mother-in-law), even if she is not friendly to you or overtly favours her biological child over you. Be respectful of her requests.

As a brother
Remain devoted to your brother as a brother. Provide for him.

As a husband
Be a good husband and guard your wife. Fight for her safety and innocence. However, there are occasions when choosing one's spiritual path above the path of a householder is necessary. Do not regard the position of the householder as the most important one.

As a king
Give everything you have as a king to your people. Do not concern yourself with your convenience, comfort, or enjoyment. Be prepared to prioritise the needs of the kingdom before your own.

Due to his ego, Ravana brought about his death, first taking his spirit and heart, then his physical body. He believed he was in charge of everything. He thought himself to be the "doer" of it all. On the other hand, Bhagwan Rama was constantly modest and never claimed credit for anything. Bhagwan Rama was giving Sitaji a tour of the city after the war in Lanka, pointing out the many locations where the various events had taken place. When they arrived at where he had triumphantly killed Ravana, he told Sitaji merely, "And this is where Ravana died." The devil was crushed here, but he didn't mention it. The celebration of Ram Navami commemorates the birth of Lord Rama, King Dasharath's son. When King Dasharath's heir was finally born in Ayodhya all those centuries ago, it was a happy occasion. For the King, who had been greatly concerned for many years by the lack of a successor, it was like a dream come true.

Lord Vishnu's Avatar, Lord Rama, descended to Earth to fight Ravana in human form, who was unbeatable. All the gods had been complaining to Lord Brahma about the destruction Ravana was causing on earth, but because Ravana had been given so many boons, Lord Brahma was unable to put an end to him. But Ravana had grown so cocky that he never anticipated being attacked by a person. King Dasharath and Queen Kaushalya's son, Prince Ram, were chosen to travel to Earth in Lord Vishnu's disguise.

Regardless of caste, creed, or religion, most Indians are familiar with the tale of Lord Rama, as it is told in the famous epic Ramayana. Legendary character Lord Rama is the embodiment of all that is right and true. He is known for having defeated the demon king Ravana. Hindus have elevated Lord Rama to the rank of a god, making him more than just a hero. It should therefore come as no surprise that his birthday, which falls sometime in April, is always observed with great fanfare and joy on the ninth day following the new moon in Shukla Paksha (the waxing moon).

PILGRIMAGES TO VISIT IN RAM NAVAMI

During this sacred season, people travel to holy locations connected to Lord Ram. Numerous pilgrims from all around the nation flock to locations like Ayodhya, Ujjain, and Rameshwaram. Thousands of people in Rameshwaram ritually bathe in the sea before attending the Ramanathaswamy temple. Numerous locations in North India hold festivals in honour of the holiday, which is celebrated with breathtaking fireworks on Rama Navami. The purest, quickest, and simplest path to emancipation is purification, peace, wisdom, understanding, joy, prosperity, and chanting of his name (Rama Nama). According to Bhagwan Rama, repeating His name just once is equivalent to saying the name of God 1,000 times or chanting a mantra 1,000 times.

Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh: Ayodhya is the most popular place in India to celebrate Ram Navami. In Hindu mythology, Ayodhya is regarded as the city where Lord Ram was born. People perform numerous religious rites, decorate their homes, and decorate their dwellings. An elegant chariot parade is held to commemorate the Ram Navami holiday.

Rameshwar, Tamil Nadu : Rameshwar is well-known for its Ram temple. It is said that a bridge known as the Rama Setu was built to connect Rameshwar with Sri Lanka. People who live close to Rameshwar should think about scheduling a 2- to 3-day excursion there.

Telangana's Bhadrachalam: It is well-known for its Lord Ram temple. It is located in the town of Bhadrachalam. The area, located along the Godavari River, observes Ram Navami with a lot of devotion. The temple serves as the focal point for all Ram Navami events.

Sitamarhi, Bihar: Sitamarhi is thought to be where the goddess Sita was born. For Hindu pilgrims, it is a major location. Ram Navami is a festival celebrated at the temple Janaki Mandir. A fair is being held while the temple is being adorned.

Tamil Nadu's Vontimitta: is a small town. It is located in Andhra Pradesh. The well-known tourist attraction is the Ram-dedicated Kodandarama Temple. An important location to observe Ram Navami is this temple.

Ram Navami Holidays 2024-2028

  • 17-April-2024, Wednesday
  • 06-April-2025, Sunday
  • 27-March-2026, Friday
  • 15-April-2027, Thursday
  • 04-April-2028, Tuesday
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FAQs about RAM NAVAMI Festival

Q.What does Ram Navami teach us?
Ra means radiance, and Ma tells me, mine or myself. Rama means the light in my heart. The light of the soul is what Lord Rama truly signifies, and this day of 'Ram Navami' celebrates this Divine inner light which is within each one of us.
Q.What is Sri Rama Navami?
Sri Rama Navami is a Hindu festival celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
Q.When is Sri Rama Navami celebrated?
Sri Rama Navami is celebrated on the ninth day (Navami) of the Hindu month of Chaitra, which usually falls in March or April.
Q.What are the customs and rituals followed during Sri Rama Navami?
Devotees offer prayers to Lord Rama, recite holy hymns, perform puja and offer prasad (food offering) to the deity. Some also observe a fast on this day.
Q.What is the significance of Sri Rama Navami?
Sri Rama Navami is significant as it marks the birth of Lord Rama, who is considered the epitome of righteousness, dharma and sacrifice. It is also believed that praying to Lord Rama on this day helps one attain spiritual and material well-being.
Q.How is Sri Rama Navami celebrated in different parts of India?
Sri Rama Navami is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm in different parts of India. In Ayodhya, the birthplace of Lord Rama, a grand procession is taken out to celebrate the occasion. In other parts of the country, devotees offer prayers and perform puja in temples dedicated to Lord Rama.
Q.Is Sri Rama Navami a public holiday in India?
Sri Rama Navami is not a public holiday in India, but it is a gazetted holiday in some states like Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Q.What is the significance of reading the Ramayana on Sri Rama Navami?
Reading the Ramayana on Sri Rama Navami is considered auspicious as it helps in understanding the life and teachings of Lord Rama, and how to lead a righteous life.
Q.Can non-Hindus participate in the celebrations of Sri Rama Navami?
Yes, non-Hindus are welcome to participate in the celebrations of Sri Rama Navami and seek the blessings of Lord Rama.
Q.Is there any specific dress code for Sri Rama Navami celebrations?
There is no specific dress code for Sri Rama Navami celebrations, but it is recommended to wear traditional Indian attire.
Q.What is the significance of offering prasad on Sri Rama Navami?
Offering Prasad on Sri Rama Navami is considered auspicious as it is believed that the food is blessed by Lord Rama and offers spiritual and material well-being to the devotee.
Q.Are there any special dishes prepared on Sri Rama Navami?
Some devotees prepare special dishes like panakam (a sweet drink), neer mor (buttermilk) and kosambari (a lentil salad) on Sri Rama Navami.
Q.Is there any specific time to pray to Lord Rama on Sri Rama Navami?
Devotees can offer prayers to Lord Rama at any time on Sri Rama Navami, but it is considered auspicious to do so during the auspicious muhurat (auspicious time).
Q.What is the significance of chanting the Rama Mantra on Sri Rama Navami?
Chanting the Rama Mantra on Sri Rama Navami is considered auspicious as it helps in invoking the blessings of Lord Rama and brings peace and prosperity to the devotee.
Q.Are there any taboos or restrictions to be followed on Sri Rama Navami?
There are no specific taboos or restrictions to be followed on Sri Rama Navami, but it is recommended to avoid non-vegetarian food and alcohol on this day.