What is Ram Navami?
If you are a traveller to India, you will find lots of temples celebrating Ram Navami today. Ram Navami is the birthday of Lord Rama or Ram who was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He was born more than 7, 000 years ago and is the role model of millions of Indians.
We celebrate Ram Navami by fasting and feeding young girls who have not attained adolescence.
What does ‘Navami’ mean?
In the context of Ram Navami, the word Navami means the ninth day of the month of Chaitra ( corresponding to late March/early April). Chaitra is one of the months in the Indian calendar. This month marks the onset of summer in the northern plains of India.
Why is Rama the role model of Indians?
Rama has impacted the lives of millions of Indians in many ways. He gave a lot of respect to women during his lifetime which was a great thing in those days. Even though, Rama was born in a powerful royal family and was the next in line for kingship, he married only one woman all his life- Sita.
Rama’s father, Dashrath had 3 wives and if Rama wanted, he too could have married other women as well.
Rama is an ideal son, father, brother, friend, king and husband for all of us Indians.
Rama was an obedient son and renounced the kingdom of Ayodhya when his father ordered Rama to do so. Unlike others, he too could have revolted against his father and occupied the throne by force but he did nothing of this sort.
Rama was deeply attached to all his three brothers. He never bore any illwill to any of his brothers.
When he came back from exile after a turbulent 14 years, Rama ruled his kingdom as an ideal king should. Everybody in his kingdom was happy and contented and lived a fruitful life.
Rama was banished by his father to spend 14 years in the forest. Dashrath wanted to honor his word that he had given to one of his queens, Kaikeyee. She wanted her son, Bharat to be the next king and also desired that Rama leave the kingdom for the forests.
Rama never wanted to see his father unhappy. As soon as he got his father’s orders, Rama immediately left the kingdom for the forests. Isn’t this gesture great? How many people obey their parents unquestioningly?
Tell me about his family?
Rama, his wife Sita, and three brothers- Bharat, Lakshmana and Shatrughna. His father was Dashrath, the king of Ayodhya. Dashrath had three queens- Kaushalya, Kaikeyee and Sumitra.
Ram was the son of Kaushalya while Lakshman and Shatrughan were the children of Sumitra.
You were saying something about Lord Vishnu
Yes. Vishnu is that part of the God almighty who protects and preserves all the righteous people. When there is a lot of evil around, then Vishnu comes down to Earth in one of the forms ( human, animal, tortoise etc.) and removes the evil. Vishnu is always given company by his consort, Lakshmi-the goddess of wealth.
If you and I lead virtuous lives then we will be blessed with lots of wealth.
What evil did Rama remove?
Rama killed Ravana who had kidnapped many women around the world and kept them in his harem as his slaves.
This man, Ravana had also kidnapped Sita and wanted her as his wife.
It was not an easy task to defeat this demon. He had terrified the world to such an extent that nobody wanted to confront Ravana.
I see, and who was Hanuman?
Hanuman is the trusted follower of Rama. He is immortal and cannot be found easily by us lay folks. Hanuman is the embodiment of wisdom, power and virtue. Rama is incomplete without Hanuman.
Millions of Indians pray to Lord Hanuman to deliver them from fear and desperation.
I am embedding one of the prayers to Lord Hanuman here. This prayer was written by Sant Tulsidas, one of the greatest poets that the world has seen.
Do you know that even as I write this post, Lord Hanuman is sitting close by and reading this article? He is such a great fan of Lord Rama. He is is never tired of reading the stories of Lord Rama.
Where is Ayodhya?
This city is roughly 700 miles north-east of Delhi. If you want to travel to Ayodya, you can take a train or drive down the road.
For train reservations, click this Government of India website; http://www.irctc.co.in .
Did you like this post? Please write back to me if you want to know more about Ayodhya and other fascinating destinations in India.