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Rama Navami is a Hindu Festival celebrating the Birthday of Lord Rama, Son of King Dasaratha. Rama was an incarnation of Vishnu and the hero of the Ramayana, the Sanskrit epic of 24,000 stanzas.[1]

Rama is regarded as the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Rama is the symbol of courtesy and virtue, a man of values and morals. Hindu God Ram is also known as Maryada Purushottama, which means the perfect man. Sri Ram is an example of idealism; he has been the ideal man, the ideal son, the ideal brother and the ideal husband. Rama took birth on this earth (along with his brothers Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrugna) with the aim to eradicate the wicked forces of the age, personified by Ravanna, the ruler of Lanka. The Ram Naam (Name of Rama) in itself is a divine mantra or prayer. It is believed that chanting the name "Ram" helps one to attain salvation. The Mantra of Sri Ram forms the part of prayers offered to the Lord. Lord Rama Mantra / Ram Mantra is as follows: Om Sri Rama Jaya Rama, Jaya, Jaya Rama[2]

A continuous recital of the Ramayana (the book which tells of the acts of Rama) takes place for about a week prior to the celebration and on the day itself, the highlights of the story are read in the temple.[3]

Rama means the One who delights

Rama Navami is a day of fasting and meditation. There are readings from the Ramayana, devotional songs to Rama are sung. Lectures on Rama's life and teachings of the Ramayana help spiritual and moral evolution of people. Offerings are made of panakam, buttermilk, kosumbari, vada and payasam, which are distributed as prasad (blessed, consecrated food).

In temples, there is a special puja to Rama and recitation of Ramayana. tThe idol of Rama is taken in a procession to enable all to receive blessings. In the Akhanda Deepa puja, the deity is brilliantly lit with garlands of oil lamps which burn through the day and night. Devotees invoke Lord Rama seeking strength to face a calamity or deal with a crisis. Rama Navami comes at the end of the Vasanta Navarti - the spring festival of nine nights. A fast is observed on all nine days or on the first and last days.[4]

The Birthday of Rama is celebrated in order to remind us of the ideals which He stood for. We have to ponder over the ideals set before us by Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughna and also by Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi. Sage Vasishtha declared, Ramo Vigrahavan Dharmah (Rama is the embodiment of Dharma). He described the Divine form of Rama saying, Pumsam Mohana Rupaya (one whose form enchants all). "Rama, the beauty and handsomeness that You are endowed with are not limited to Your physical form alone. Your infinite love and compassion give You this blissful form. Even men are attracted by the blissful form of Yours. You are the very personification of Sat-Chit-Ananda." Thus Sage Vasishtha extolled the glory and majesty of Rama. It is your good fortune that you are able to listen to the sacred story of Rama and sing His glory.[5]

The Ramayana teaches the principles of Dharma and the path of duty to every individual. Though ages and aeons have passed by, the Ramayana remains ever fresh guiding humanity on the path of truth and righteousness. Even today we think of the characters of Ramayana with respect and reverence. You can very well understand its greatness. There is no morality higher than what is depicted in the Ramayana. The Ramayana should be the subject of our Parayana (worship). You should install the principle of Rama in your heart and experience bliss.[6]


  2. Ram Mantra
  3. BBC
  4. Rama Navami South Indian Hindu Festivals and Traditions, by Maithily Jagannathan. Published by Abhinav Publications, 2005, Page 82.
  5. Sathya Sai Baba on festival of Rama Navami, 11 April 2003
  6. Sathya Sai Baba on festival of Rama Navami, 11 April 2003