Thursday, 21 April 2016

R for Ramnavmi

Rama Navami is a Hindu festival, celebrating the birth of the Lord Rama, the seventh & one of the oldest avatars of Lord Vishnu having a human form. The day falls in the Shukla Paksha on the Navami, the ninth day of the Chaitra month of Hindu calendar. Thus it is also known as Chaitra Masa Suklapaksha Navami, and marks the end of the nine-day Chaitra-Navaratri (Vasanta Navaratri) celebrations. Rama Navami is one of the most important Hindu festivals.

The Deity Ram , Lakshmana & Sita with hanuman

Mythology & Celebration:

At some places the festival lasts the whole nine days of the Navaratri, thus the period is called 'Sri Rama Navaratra'. It is marked by continuous recitals, Akhand Paaths, mostly of the Ramacharitamanas (which has nine / 30 parts that can be read by devotees doing Akhand Paath in Navratra (9days) and for those who are continuously reciting Ramacharitmanas (30 days) respectively). These recitals culminate on this day, with elaborate bhajan, kirtan and distribution of prasad after the puja and aarti. Images of the infant Rama are placed on cradles and rocked by devotees. Community meals are also organized. Since Rama is believed to have been born at noon, temples and family shrines are elaborately decorated and traditional prayers are chanted together by the family, havans are organized, along with Vedic chanting of mantras and offerings of fruits and flowers. Many followers mark this day by vrata (fasting) through the day followed by feasting in the evening, or at the culmination of celebrations.  In South India, in Bhadrachalam the day is also celebrated as the wedding anniversary of Rama and his Nepalese consort Sita. Sitarama Kalyanam, the ceremonial wedding ceremony of the divine couple is held at temples throughout the south region, with great fanfare and accompanied by group chanting of name of Rama.

Holy Bath at Saryu

The important celebrations on this day take place at Janakpurdham (Nepal), Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) Sita Samahit Sthal (Sitamarhi) (Bihar), Bhadrachalam (Telangana), Kodandarama Temple, Vontimitta (Andhra Pradesh) and Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu), thronged by thousands of devotees. Rathayatras, the chariot processions, also known as Shobha yatras of Rama, Sita, his brother Lakshmana and Hanuman, are taken out at several places, including Ayodhya where thousands of people take a dip in the sacred river Sarayu.

Ceremonial bath of Idols

In the epic Ramayana, Dasharatha, the Emperor from Ayodhya, had three wives named Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi in the Treta Yuga (which follows the Satya Yuga and succeeded by the Dwapara Yuga). Rama is born to Kaushalya, Lakshmana & Shatrughna to Sumitra and Bharata to Kaikeyi. Rama is known as 'Maryada Purushottam' which means an ideal, righteous and a great or a perfect human being, being the best son, brother, husband and father.

Rama believed to have taken birth by his own will, on Bhuloka (Earth) when Adharma ruled over Dharma. He protects all his devotees by vanquishing the roots of Adharma. Vishnu decided to incarnate, as Rama, to destroy the Asura (person with demonic and evil designs) called Ravana who is a Brahmin king of Lanka. Lord Rama & Lord Krishna are two gods in Hinduism or Aryan Vedic context that were born and then departed from earth.

In south some highlights of this day include Kalyanam, a ceremonial wedding performed by temple priests,  Panakam, a sweet drink prepared on this day with jaggery and pepper, procession of murtis in the evening, accompanied by playing with water and colours.

Across India Vedic temples are decorated and readings of the Ramayana take place. Some people put a small idol of Rama in a cradle, symbolising the significance of the day and offer prayers to it. Community meals are also organised.

Devotees dressed as Ram, Sita & Lakshmana etc. for Rath Yatra

In Northern India, an event that draws popular participation is the Rama Navami procession, also called Ratha Yatra. The main attraction in this procession is a gaily decorated chariot in which four persons enact the divine pastimes of Rama, his brother Lakshmana, wife Sita and devotee, Hanuman. The chariot is accompanied by several other persons dressed up in ancient costumes as Rama's soldiers. The procession is a gusty affair with the participants praising echoing the blissful days of Rama's rule as the Supreme Emperor on Bhuloka (Earth).

Aditya Sinha

That’s for today with R. Tomorrow it would be another festival with “S”
List of Other Festivals : Anant Chaturdashi, Akshay Tritiya ,Buddha Purnima, Basant Panchmi, Baisakhi,  ChhathaDiwali/DeepawaliEasterFestival of Breaking Fast - Eid ul FitrGanesh ChaturthiHoliId-ul-Zoha or Bakra-Eid , Janmashtmi Karva ChauthLohriMahavir JayantiNag PanchmiOnam, Pongal , Queer Facts , Ramnavmi , Shivratri

For my parallel second Challenge blog with A pls visit : Let the Soul Pour

For other A to Z challenge blogs visit : A to Z Challenge 2016