(Last Updated on : 25-05-2019)
The festival of Rama Navami falls on the 9th day of the Shukla Paksha in the Hindu calendar month
, which is on the last day of the Chaitra Navaratri
. Celebrating the birth anniversary of Lord Rama
, the Hindu festival
of Rama Navami is a spring time Indian festival
Origin of Rama Navami
As the 7th incarnation
of Lord Vishnu
, Lord Rama is particularly important to the Vaishnavism
tradition of Hinduism
. The festival of Rama Navami celebrates the descent of Lord Vishnu as the avatar of Rama, who was born to King Dasharatha
and Queen Kausalya
. The purpose of Lord Vishnu incarnating himself on Earth was to defeat the demon king Ravana
, who was wrecking havoc on the people. Ravana was invincible, as he had received several boons from Lord Brahma
and consequently could not be killed by any God. Thus, in the human form of Rama, Lord Vishnu defeated Ravana.
Rituals of Rama Navami
The day of the festival of Rama Navami is marked by worshipping the Lord by singing devotional songs such as bhajans and kirtans, by fasting and reading religious scriptures on Lord Ramas life. Excerpts from the "Ramacharitamanas
", praising Lord Ram, are also recited. Lord Rama's devotees fast for 9 days with fruit and milk
, whilst some fast on the 9th day only. This is one of the 5 Mahavratas observed since ancient times.
Celebration of Rama Navami
The festival of Rama Navami is hugely popular in the Indian states
, Uttar Pradesh
, Andhra Pradesh
and Tamil Nadu
that were mentioned in the Indian epic, Ramayana
, like the city of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, Rameswaram
in Tamil Nadu, Bhadrachalam
in Telangana and Sitamarhi
in Bihar, organize major celebrations in honour of the birth anniversary of Lord Rama.
In Ayodhya, the devotees take a dip in the sacred river Sarayu and then visit the Rama temple. In several places, Ratha Yatras
or the chariot processions, also known as Shobha yatras of Lord Rama, Sita
, his brother Lakshmana
and Lord Hanuman
, are taken out. While in some places, the festival of Rama Navami is celebrated as the wedding anniversary or Kalyanotsavam of Lord Rama and Sita. And in some communities, Lord Surya
is also a part of the worship and ceremonies.
The festival also promotes charitable events like organizing community meals for those in need. In Karnataka
, some local organizations disperse free food and panaka, which is a concoction of jaggery and crushed muskmelon juice. Then in Bengaluru
, the Sree Ramseva Mandali organizes Indias most prestigious, month-long classical music
festival. This musical extravaganza is almost 80 years old and celebrates the Indian classical musicians
, irrespective of their religion, from both genres, Carnatic
. These musicians offer their musical rendition to Lord Rama and the assembled audience.
In the eastern Indian states like Odisha
, Jharkhand and West Bengal
, the Jagannath temples
and regional Vaishnava community observe Rama Navami, and treat it as the day when preparations begin for their annual Jagannath Ratha Yatra in summer. Even today, Lord Rama serves as an inspiration to many Hindus.