Saturday, March 28, 2015

* Sri Rama Navami | ஸ்ரீ இராம நவமி மஹோத்ஸவம் *


Sri Rama Navami(celebrating the virtue of Lord Rama) wishes to all my readers who are celebrating! Sri Rama Navami is celebrated across the country to commemorate the birth of Lord Sri Rama(the 7th incarnation of Lord Vishnu), who was born to King Dasharatha and Queen Kaushalya of Ayodhya. The auspicious occasion will be celebrated on the ninth day, bright half of the moon (Sukhla Paksha Navami) in the Hindu month of Chaitra(March-April) in the Hindu lunar calendar.
In Southern states of India, devotees observe this day as the wedding anniversary of Rama and Seetha, thus also referred to as Kalyanotsavam. Sri Seetha Rama Kalyanam(சீதா கல்யாண வைபோகமே!) is performed in a grand way on this auspicious day. Through organizing wedding of this celestial couple, the devotees of Rama intend to celebrate the loving bondage of husband and wife. 
According to Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu incarnated himself in the form of Lord Rama to destroy Ravana. The word 'Rama' literally means, one who is divinely blissful and who gives joy to others, and one in whom the sages rejoice. 
Celebrations :- The celebration of Ram Navami means the destruction of negativity from the earth. The devotees of Lord Rama make an effort to eliminate all signs of evilness from themselves though this festival. According to religious sources, Lord Rama was born at noon. Therefore, the main celebration of Ram Navami takes place at noon.
 Significance of Rama Navami :-King Dashratha of Ayodhya had three queens (Kousalya, Sumitra, and Kaikeyi), but not even a single child. The king was very depressed. He organized a special Yagam(Putra Kameshti Yagam) with a hope of getting blessed with a child. His Yagam paid off and he got Lord Rama (incarnation of Lord Vishnu) as his son from his wife Kaushalya, Bharat from Kaikeyi and Laxman & Shatrughan as twins from Sumitra. 
Performing Rituals :-  On this propitious day, the devotees of Lord Rama perform abhishekam, lectures, aarathi, keerthanas and pushpanjali  to commemorate the sacred event of the birth of Rama. A huge number of devotees assemble at temples there and observe the day through chanting the name of Rama. Fruits and sweets act as religious offering which the priests distribute among the followers at the end of the worship. At some places, Ram Navami is celebrated throughout the nine days of Navratri and is known as Sri Rama Navaratri.
ரமேஸ்வரனே ராம, ராம, ராம என்று மூன்று முறை மனமொன்றி சொன்னால் 'விஷ்ணு சஹஸ்ர நாமத்தை' சொல்லிய பலன் கிடைக்கும் என்று கூறுகிறார். By chanting "Rama Rama Rama” (the Name of Rama), is as equivalent to chanting Vishnu Sahasra Namam
Taking Holy Bath :- Taking holy bath in the sacred river of Sarayu in Ayodhya is a part of elaborate rituals of this ceremony. The Hindus believe that this bath will help in the process of purification of body and soul.
Fasting:- The devotees celebrate this day by maintaining fast for the whole day. The practice of keeping fast helps to purify body’s system. They break the fast at midnight after having fruits or sweets.  In most of the Rama temples across the country, to mark the festival, poor feeding and various welfare activities are held.
Recipes / Naivedyam :- Neer Moor( Butter milk) and Panagam ( Sweetened water), Vadapappu (soaked Moong dal with grated coconut, grated raw mango, salt, chopped green chilies) are the main naivedyams for the lord. All these have a refreshing effect and act as great coolants during these sunny days!
Chariot Procession on the eve of Ram Navami is a significant part of this religious ceremony. Devotees in large number participate in the procession. They place the statues of Lord Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman made of wood or stone in a well decorated chariot after their worship at temples and go for a procession.
Rama Leelai is a dramatic representation of the life of Rama and his battle with Ravana. This play is an important part of Ram Navami celebration. Generally actors perform it in an open air stage. 
Irrespective of country, race or religion, Sri Rama Navami is an event worth of remembrance by everyone who cherished the time honored sublime values of human culture and civilization. On this auspicious day, don’t just worship him, emulate him too. Have a blessed Sri Rama Navami.                                                                    
                                   சுபம் 

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