Rama navami, the birth of Shree Rama, is celebrated on the ninth day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month of Chaitra. In some parts of India it is a nine-day festival, coinciding with the Vasanta Navratri, and many people fast over this period.
Glory of Shree Rama
Shree Rama is the 7th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, born into the Ikshvaaku lineage of King Dasharath of Ayodhya. Shree Rama is known as Maryaada Purushottama meaning the perfect manorLord of Self-Control, as His life exemplifies the ideal son, ideal brother, husband and King. Shree Ramas incarnation was to restore Dharma on Earth by destroying the evil King of Lanka, Ravana.
Shree Ramas journey is one of perfect adherence to Dharma, even through difficult situations in life. Seen as a truly devoted renunciant, Shree Rama abandons His claim to the throne for His fathers honour, and serves a 14 year exile in the forest. Unable to bear separation, His wife Sitaji and brother Lakshman both join Shree Rama in his exile.
Many events occur throughout their time in exile, but the most important being the kidnapping of His wife Sitaji by Ravana. This leads to a colossal war against Ravana after a long and painful search. The battle tests Shree Ramas personal strength and virtue, but He eventually slays Ravana and liberates Sitaji.
Upon completing His exile, Shree Rama returns to Ayodhya (the capital of his Kingdom and birthplace) and eventually becomes Emperor, under a reign famously termed Rama Rajya eleven thousand years of perfect happiness, peace, prosperity and justice. Shree Ramas presence and strict following of Dharma attracted powerful devotees such as Hanumanji and the vanaras (monkeys) of Kishkinda, who helped Shree Rama rescue Sitaji. Shree Rama is revered for His endless compassion, courage and devotion to Dharmic values and duty.
Ritual & Celebration
Celebrations of Ramnavmi are marked by Akhand Paath (continuous recital) of the Ramcharitmanas, bhajans and kirtans. Images of Rama are placed on cradles and rocked by devotees. As Rama was born at noon, Mandirs are elaborately decorated and Aarti is performed. Many devotees uphold a Vrata (fasting) on this day and feast in the evening.
Ayodhya, the birthplace of Rama, is a focus for great celebration. A huge fair is organised for two days, where Ratha Yatras (chariot processions) of Rama and his wife Sita, brotherLakshman and devotee Hanuman, set out from many temples. Nasik, Tirupati and Rameshwar(major pilgrimage sites in India) also celebrate Ramnavmi with much joyous ceremony