The Hindus celebrate Ram Navami as the birthday of Rama. According to the Hindu religion, it is the Shuklapaksha Navami of Chaitra; that is the ninth day of the Hindu lunar year. Ram Navami is a special festival of the Vaishnav sects among Hindus. Ram Navami indicates the start of the Vasanthothsavam; that is the festival of Spring, starting with �Ugadi� and continuing for long nine days.
If you throw a glance on the life of Rama, you will definitely find it interesting. Rama is believed to be a perfect Avatar of the supreme protector Vishnu. He was an ideal son of king Dasharatha, an ideal king and an ideal husband. Rama was the epitome of morality, truth, virtue and chivalry. The most important part is that His adventurous and heroic deeds still inspire the present generation very much.
Though it is the birthday of Rama, people also worship Sita, His wife and Lakshmana, His younger brother on Rama Navami. Hanumana, the monkey god, who was an ardent devotee of Rama is worshiped too.
On this auspicious day, temples are decorated with the idol of Lord Rama richly bejeweled. On the pious day of Rama Navami the priests offer the Vedic readings to Lord Vishnu and Rama. Excerpts from famous novels like �Ramacharitmanasha�, praising Ram, are also recited.
There are some important features related to Ram Navami. On this holy day, the priests perform several marriages. This ritual is known as the �Kalyanam�. These marriages are generally performed on banks of the river Godavari. The riverside marriages are known as Bhadrachalam. You can also see colorful processions with a play of watercolors. At Ayodhaya, where Rama was born, a big fair takes place. In South India, the �Rama Navami� festival is held and it continues till the ninth day.
On this holy day of Ram�s birth, Hindu ladies fast or restrict themselves to a specific diet. The fast is regarded as the �vrat�. The Hindus believe that, it is through the vrat, they can gain peace in the material world and achieve salvation at the same time. Besides, a special sweet dish, named �Penakam� is prepared on this day mixed with jaggery and pepper.
- On Rama Navami, the houses are cleaned and decorated
- The personal shrines get richly embellished
- After an early bath, Vedic chants are recited
- The youngest female member of the family starts the puja
- She puts �tilak� or a red mark on the other members� foreheads
- Initially a photo of baby Rama is worshipped
- Then the �prasada� is distributed among the family members
- It is a day, when serious devotees fast in order to pay their insoluble respect to the Lord
Thus, Ram Navami stands as an important day among the Hindus. It is a day when you can really feel the sacredness and piety of Hindu religion.