Ram Navami is a sacred Hindu festival celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm all over the country. It is celebrated on the ninth day (Navami) of the Chaitra month (first month of Hindu lunar calendar) in 'Shukla paksha' or waxing moon. This festival is observed in order to celebrate the birth of Marayada Purshottam Ram, considered to be a form of Lord Vishnu, one of the prime deities of Hindu trio. It is said that, Lord Rama is not only god but also the ideal figure for a human being. He is considered to be an ideal son, a doting husband, a mighty king, a wonderful brother and a great father. On the occasion of Ramnavami, mot only the people in India but also the Hindu community living in the other parts of the world celebrate this great day with immense joy and fervor.
Rama Navami Traditions & Customs
Pooja: On the occasion of Ram Navami, all the devotees of Lord Rama worship to appease him. All the members of the family worship together, in order to celebrate the auspicious birthday of Lord Rama. The Pooja begins with the establishment of the idols or pictures of Lord Rama, Laxmana, Sita and Hanuman. All of these Gods and Goddess are then welcomed by lighting diyas and incense sticks. Then they are worshipped with the auspicious pooja materials like roli, aipun, rice, water, flowers, bell and conch and are also offered scrumptious sweets. At last, an aarti is performed and all the devotees in the Pooja are sprinkled with holy water as a sign of blessing and auspiciousness from God. The youngest female member of the family applies teeka to all the male members of the family. At the last the prasad is distributed to all the devotees.
Bhajan: Bhajans are also an important ritual of Ram Navami Pooja. The devotees of Lord Rama make the entire atmosphere pious by singing the bhajans and choupais of Ramcharit Manas. A holy priest narrates the story of Ran Janama (Lord Rama's birth) to all the devotees who observe fast on this day. Continuous chanting of holy mantras and Ramnam (Ram's name) makes the occasion highly religious as well as spiritual.
Fast: The followers of Lord Rama also observe a whole-day fast on the festival of Ram Navami. Many of the devotees go for a fast on satvik food i.e. holy food without salt and other adulterated materials. However many of them also observe a waterless fast (nirjal vrat). Those who prefer to have satvik food can have potatoes made in any form without haldi (turmeric), garlic, ginger or onion. Sendha namak (rock salt) is allowed for usage in fast. While on a fast, the person can also eat curd, milk, tea, coffee, fruits and root vegetables. The Ram Navami fast is opened on midnight if one has observed a waterless fast (nirjal vrat).
Rath Yatra: On the occasion of Ram Navami, a Rath Yatra or a chariot procession is also taken out in Ayodhya, the birth place of Ram. The Ram Rath Yatra also consists of idols of Sita, Laxman and Hanuman. The Rath Yatra is taken out by many of the temples in the city and is followed with the chanting of Ram Nama ( Rama's holy name) by the devotees. Many foreigners who are seeking spiritual enlightenment also attend this chariot procession as it is said to bring spiritual enlightenment and good luck forever in life.