Sri Ram Navami

April 19, 2013

 

Sri Ram Navami is celebrated to proclaim the birth of Lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The nineth day (Navami) in the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Chaitra is referred to as Ram Navami. On this day, when the five planets and the sun, etc. were in the first house of cancer at noon along with the lunar asterism Pushya, Ramachandra was born in Ayodhya. Several temples of Lord Rama celebrate this festival for nine days beginning from the first day (pratipada) of Chaitra. It is celebrated by periodic readings (parayans) of the Ramayan, organising spiritual discourses (kirtans) and beautifully embellishing Lord Rama's idol. On the ninth day, a spiritual discourse on Lord Rama's birth is held.

At noon, a coconut, draped in a hooded cloak is placed in a cradle and rocked. The coconut signifies the baby Lord Rama. A red, fragrant powder (gulal) and flowers are showered onto it. Many places in North India host fairs in connection with the festival, culminating in spectacular fireworks on Rama Navami.

Rama was the Lord Vishnu Himself, incarnate on earth for the destruction of Ravana. He was well accomplished, beautiful and endowed with royal marks. His glory and prowess were unlimited. He was peerless on earth. He was free from malice. He was gentle. He was the protector of all His people. He always addressed them in gentle words. He never used any harsh words even when somebody provoked Him. He held sway over the whole world.

Let Sri Rama be your ideal. Ideals are remembered and adored for the purpose of adopting them in your own life. The Ram Navami celebration or the Vasanta Navaratri every year is an opportune period for us to saturate ourselves with the spirit of Lord Rama. We love and adore our ideals because we express thereby our yearning to unite with them. In our worship of God it is implied that we should be virtuous, good and perfect even as God is. Hence the wise instruction: "One should become divine in order to be able to worship God". One cannot be a real worshipper of Lord Rama unless one makes an honest attempt to grow in the virtues that the Lord represents. On the other hand, worship of Lord Rama is itself the surest means to develop such virtues.

One who approaches Sri Rama with love and worshipfulness becomes large-hearted, pure in spirit, good-natured and dispassionate in thought, word and deed. A true devotee of Lord Rama is His representative, with His power and His knowledge.

Sri Ram ~ Jai Ram ~ Jai Jai Ram

Lord Rama was the prince of the Ikshvaku race. He was virtuous and of great strength. He was the Lord of the mind and the senses. Brave and valiant, He was yet gentle and modest. He was a sage in counsel, kind and sweet in speech, and most courteous and handsome in appearance. He was the master of all the divine weapons, and a great warrior. Ever devoted to the good and prosperity of His kingdom and His subjects, He was a defender of the weak and the protector of the righteous. Endowed with numerous wondrous powers of the mind, He was well versed in all sciences--in military science as well as the science of the Self.

Deep and unfathomed like the ocean, firm and steadfast like the Himalayan mountains, valiant like Lord Vishnu, He was the joy of Kaushalya. Though fierce like fire on the battlefield, He was calm like the cool breeze of the Mandara Hills, patient like Mother Earth, bounteous like the god of wealth and righteous like the lord of justice himself. In the pains and the griefs of His people, His heart swiftly sympathised with the sufferers. In the festive scenes which held them in joy, He like a father, shared their joys. By His honour and heroism, as well as by His gentleness and love for His subjects, He greatly endeared Himself to the hearts of His people. Such a great person was the Lord Rama!

Lord Rama was the best of men with a sterling character. He was the very image of love. He was an ideal son, an ideal brother, an ideal husband, an ideal friend and an ideal king. He can be taken to embody all the highest ideals of man. He led the ideal life of a householder to teach the tenets of righteousness to humanity. He ruled His people so well that it came to be known as Ram-Rajya, which meant the rule of righteousness, the rule which bestows happiness and prosperity on all.

The noblest lesson embodied in the Ramayana* is the supreme importance of righteousness in the life of every human being. Righteousness is the spiritual spark of life. Cultivation of righteousness is the process of unfoldment of the latent divinity in man. The glorious incarnation of the Supreme Being in the form of Lord Rama has exemplified the path of righteousness. Let mankind follow His footsteps and practise the ideals cherished by Him, for it is only thus that there can be everlasting peace, prosperity and welfare in this world.

None but the righteous can be truly happy. None but he who has the correct sense of duty and the will for its implementation can be said to live worthily. One must be imbued with a definite conviction about the supremacy of moral principles, ethical values and spiritual ideals. These ought to guide one's day-to-day actions and serve as powerful means for the culture of the human personality. That is the purpose of life. That is the way to Self-realisation. That is the message and the mission of Lord Rama's life on earth.

To a devotee, Sri Rama is not simply a good and a great person, but God Himself. Rama was the son of King Dasaratha of Ayodhya, but He is also the divine omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient God. The destruction of the ten-headed Ravana signifies the annihilation of the mind or the ten senses. Worship of Lord Rama is worship of the all-pervading Godhead Himself. Devotion to God is not a simple emotion. It is the result of intense dispassion and purity of heart and attitude. One should strive to possess the good qualities that are extolled in the Ramayana and exemplified in the life of Lord Rama.

* An ancient Sanskrit epic poem forming an important part of the Hindu faith and ascribed to sage Valmiki who is regarded as India's first poet. It depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal father, ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal wife and the ideal king.

 

On Sri Ram Navami, a special puja will be performed at Amma's Penisula Ashram in India. For more details about sponsorship, please click here.

(Sorry, sponsorships are now closed.)

 

Amma's beautiful songs of devotion to Lord Rama is available on CD at the Amma Store.

To purchase or to listen to samples of the songs, please click here.

 

Sri Ram ~ Jai Ram ~ Jai Jai Ram

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
May All Beings Be Happy

Om Shantih Shantih Shantihi
May All Be in Peace

 


 

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