To mark the birth anniversary of Lord Rama, Ram Navami is celebrated by Hindus worldwide. Ram Navami will be celebrated on March 25, 2018 in India.
Ram Navami 2018
Ram Navami - Ram Navami is the day etched out in the Hindu calendar as the auspicious occasion that consecrates the birth of Lord Ram, Lord Vishnu's seventh human incarnation on earth. Born to King Dasarath and his wife Kaushalya on the 'navami' or the 'ninth day' of Chaitra month, Ram Navami is celebrated in the spirit of a festival in March/April. According to Hindu belief, Lord Rama came on earth invested with the divine qualities of Lord Vishnu, associated with purity of soul, beneficence and humility. From the mythological perspective, Lord Rama is seen as eternally blissful and in his earthly form came to exemplify the perfect man, referred to as 'Maryada Purushottam'. It is this aspect that is recalled during the Ram Navami festival. Lord Rama's dutifulness, integrity and magnanimity are detailed out through the various episodes of the epic 'Ramayana'.
When is Ram Navami in 2018
Ram Navami is one of the most significant days observed by the Hindus, especially the followers of Vishnu. In 2018, Sri Ram Navami falls on 25th March. Ram Navami is celebrated with elaborate preparation and fervor.
Ramayana is a very instructive tale and Lord Rama along with brother Lakshman, wife Sita and devotee Hanuman represent various divine aspects in their earthly journey of life. The situations in their life have echoes in today's life as well where man is accosted with unforeseen events that test his ego and moral sense of duty and humaneness. Thus, recitations and discourses from the Ramayana help us to take cues from Lord Rama's demonstration of integrity and courage in order to triumph over evil motives and selfish desires. Thus, Ram Navami festival is for all those who want to imbibe these qualities in thought and action. It is with this spirit that Ram Navami is celebrated in all parts of the country, with instances of full nine-day celebration and fasting rituals to seek Lord Rama's grace throughout the crest and troughs of life.
The rituals in the observance of Ram Navami include recitations from 'Ramayana' or Tulsidas's 'Ramacharitmanas', long renditions of bhajans and kirtans and awe-inspiring puja and arti. The bhajans are very uplifting as they eulogize the virtues of Lord Rama, Lakshman, Sita, and Hanuman. Hanuman is known for is his devotion to Rama, and a lot of devotees recite 'Sunderkand' that strengthen qualities of courage and dedication.
In Rishikesh, which is an important seat of Ram worship, special payers dedicated to Lord Rama, japas and constant chantings invoking Lord Rama's name is a common practice. Mantras like 'Om Sri Ram', 'Jai Sri Ram' raise the higher energies around the place. One can opt to fast from sunrise till sunset on the Ram Navami day itself. On the final day of the Ram Navami festival, Lord Rama is adorned beautifully as well as temples are bedecked majestically with lights. Devotees listen to discourses which are supplemented by ample leaflets, booklets and books on Lord Rama's life and teachings.
Ram Navami celebrations
Ayodhya, Lord Rama's holy birth place witnesses a huge congregation of devotees who come to take a holy dip in river Saryu on the pious occasion of Ram Navami. People pray wholeheartedly to earn Lord Rama's blessings. A most awaited event is Ayodhya is the two-day fair that includes 'rath yatras', a ceremonial procession that involves carrying the deities of Ram, brother Lakshman, wife Sita, and Mahavir Hanuman in chariots.
The gaudiest aspect of the Ram Navami celebration is the Ram Navami procession. Donning a pageantry look, four persons attired suitably pose as Rama, Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman and do the rounds of the city in a 'rath' - a ritual which devotees look forward to every year.
In South India, the Ram Navami festival carries on for nine days consisting of several elements of ceremony and rituals. Since the day coincides with the wedding of Rama and Sita, the mood on this day is extremely jubilant. The programs of kirtans, chantings and recitals lend a greatly inspiring and instructive tone to the Ram Navami celebration. In Andhra Pradesh, temples re-enact the marriage of Lord Rama and Sita on the final day of Ram Navami.