About Rama Navami
Ram Navami is a major Hindu festival that commemorates the birthday of Lord Rama, the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu. Sri Ram was born to King Dasharatha and Queen Kaushalya of Ayodhya after many prayers and grand homas, as the king yearned for an heir to inherit his throne. It was during this period that the denizens of Earth were undergoing many hardships due to the nefarious acts of Ravana, the king of Lanka. Since Ravana was immune to being killed by any God due to a boon, he felt invincible and decided to expand his empire with total disregard for all those who stood before him. The helpless Gods could only look on and pray for a savior who would deliver them from the evil acts of Ravana before the world disintegrated into total anarchy and chaos. Just when things were about to spiral out of control, Lord Vishnu decided that the time have come to restore order and manifested as a human being in the form of Sri Ram.
Thus, Lord Sri Rama was born in the Hindu month of Chaitra on the ninth lunar day of Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of the moon). This momentous day is celebrated as Ram Navami, and grand festivities are held all over the country and in many other places which have a sizable Hindu population.
Ram Navami Pooja
Lord Rama is considered as the ‘Maryada Purushottam’ or the ultimate man who is perfect and flawless in every way. He was an ideal son, a perfect husband and a great father who left behind an excellent legacy for everyone to follow. Temples across the country witnessed a flurry of activities on the auspicious occasion of Rama Navami and devotees from all overcome with faith and devotion in their hearts to get the blessings of the Lord. Special Poojas are held to observe the occasion, and everyone takes part in the proceedings with great sincerity and a pure heart. In keeping with the Hindu tradition, many devotees observe a fast on the day and break the fast in the evening by consuming only Satvic food (without salt). Rama Navami Pooja does not involve any elaborate rituals or ceremonies and can be performed by anyone. It is a ritual of the masses, and caste, creed or religion does not come in the way of doing Rama Navami Pooja.
Devotees generally visit temples and listen to the stories of Lord Rama’s birth and other amusing anecdotes from the Ramayana. Bhajans are also sung in praise of Sri Ram, Devi Sita, Lakshman, and Hanuman. Special Poojas are performed to felicitate and glorify the heroes of the Ramayana and celebrate their triumph over Ravana and his near invincible armies.
Performing Rama Navami Pooja at Home
Rama Navami Pooja does not require any unique skills or rituals and is a simple affair which can even be done at home. One should first clean the house thoroughly and make the Pooja altar ready for performing the ritual. Images of Ram, Sita, Lakshman, and Hanuman are placed on a dais, and incense sticks are lit, along with earthen oil lamps. All the members of the family assemble and worship the deities while offering sweets, specially prepared food items and other items like bangles, rice, water, and flowers. The Pooja ritual is finally concluded by performing an Aarti, and holy water is sprinkled on all those assembled to signify the blessings of the Lord. After successful completion of the Pooja and Aarti, Prasad is distributed among the family members and to all those who took part in the ritual.