Sri Ramachandra appeared as the son of Dasharatha, the king of Ayodhya, who hailed from the dynasty of Maharaja Ikshvaku (also known as Raghu vamsha). Dasharatha had three wives: Kaushalya, Kaikeyi, and Sumitra, but he had no children. On the advice of Maharishi Vashishtha, the king performed a Putra Kameshti Yajna. As a result the three wives conceived sons. Kaushalya gave birth to Rama and Kaikeyi gave birth to Bharata. Sumitra gave birth to the twins: Lakshmana and Shatrughna.
The life and activities of Sri Rama are explained in detail by the great sage Valmiki in the epic Ramayana. A summarized version of the Ramayana as narrated by Shukadeva Goswami to Parikshit Maharaja is included in the ninth canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana).
Sri Rama Navami Celebrations
Sri Rama Navami is one of the important festivals celebrated at all over India. Devotees fast throughout the day and remember Sri Rama, by chanting His holy names or hearing from the Ramayana. They break the fast at sunset. You can also observe Rama Navami Vrata at home.
On this day Devotees sing the glories of Lord Rama and chant His names and perform Rama Taraka Homa by chanting the Sri Rama Ashtottara Shata Nama.
On this day panakam and kosambari are distributed as prasadam to all visitors to the temple.
On the 9th day of the bright half of the Lunar Month Chaitra, the Birth of Lord Ramchandra is celebrated in all the Shri Ram temples throughout India. Shri Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu was believed to be borne on this day at noon.
In Northern and Southern India Ramnavami festival is celebrated for 9 days beginning on Chaitra Shuddha 1 (Pratipada) and ending on Chaitra Shuddha 9 (Navami).
During this festival the devotees go to the Shri Ram Temple and read the Ramayana as well as chant the Mantra “Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram” as many times as possible. In many Ram Temples Kirtan, Bhajan, Pravachan (lectures) on Ramyana – one of the legendary epics – are arranged.
In many Hindi speaking states and regions of India, people greet each others “Jai Ramji ki”.
Prabhu Ramchandra was ideal son, ideal husband and an Ideal King. He was the true symbol of truth and morality. Following qualities of Prabhu Ramachandra are remembered, cherished and adopted during this festival:
- “Ekpatni Vrata“, which means married to only one woman and loyal to her throughout the life;
- “Purushottam“, which means best of all the men.
- “Satyavachani“, which means person always speaking truth.
“Nrupottama“, which means best of all the Kings.
Chaitra Shuddha 9