Emulating Maryada Purushitham Ram on Ramnavami

published on April 19, 2013

Today is Ram Navami, when Hindus all over the world celebrate Lord Rama’s birth, the 7th incarnation of Mahavishnu. According to the Hindu calendar, the day falls on Shukla Paksha of Navami, the ninth day of Chaitra month. Thus it is also known as Chaitra Masa Suklapaksha Navami, marking the end of the nine-day Chaitra-Navratri celebrations.

On this day, devotees celebrate the event in an elaborate style with temples and homes decorated elegantly, with the chant of traditional prayers including the Hanuman Chalisa. Bhajans praising the exploits of Lord Rama, his loyal brother Lakshman and his devoted wife Sita are sung.

Special havans are performed in temples along with Vedic chanting of Vedic 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.

“Shri Ram was born around nine lakh years ago at the end of Treta yug,” said Pandit Ravindra Nagar of Birla Mandir, New Delhi. “Since April 11, devotees have been chanting the ‘Ram naam’ in two-hour shifts. Our celebrations will peak with the ‘janmotsav’ at 12.15 pm followed by the ‘mangal aarti’.

Temples perform the ceremony of rocking the cradle, followed by partaking of ‘bhojan prasad’. Devotees fill temple courtyards with water, setting a decorated boat afloat bearing the idol of Lord Rama. The idol is bathed with ‘panchamrit’ of yogurt and honey, fruit juices and coloured flower petals. The ‘utsav moorti’ is brought out of the altar to bless the congregation

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