The seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu, Shri Ram was born in Ayodhya to mother Kaushalya and father Dashratha. In Vishnu Sahasranamam, Rama is the 394th name of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that Rama and his siblings Lakshman, Bharat, and Shatrughana were the chaturvyuha (fourth generation) of Vishnu.

Shri Ram is one of the most worshiped deities in the world and especially amongst the Vaishnava sects. The whole life of Lord Ram is the magnificent display of bravery, valour, sacrifice, and modesty.

It is believed that Rama took birth by his own will when Adharma shrouded mankind. It was when Ravana (the king of Lanka) breached all his limits and went out of rein, Lord Vishnu incarnated to destroy him and save the mankind from the Demon King.

In India, the birth of Lord Ram is considered as one of the most auspicious occasions and celebrated with tremendous zeal and enthusiasm throughout the country as 'Ram Navami'.

Ram Navami Falls on the ninth day of Chaitra Masa Suklapaksha Navami. The day is also observed as the marriage day of Lord Ram and mother Sita. On this day, people take out processions on the streets and perform 'Kalyanotsavam' with small statues of Rama and Sita in their houses.
In Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, a festival named Vasanthothsavam (Festival of Spring) is celebrated along with Ugadi, the nine-day festival that ends on Ram Navami.

Temples are decorated with flowers and lights. Idol of infant Ram is placed in a cradle and rocked by devotees. The continuous chanting of Akhand Paath, mostly from Ramcharit Manas can be heard from different temples. On the last day of Navratra, elaborate bhajan, kirtan and distribution of prasad takes place after the puja and aarti.

Although, the festival of Ram Navami is celebrated all across the world but the main functions are held at Janakpurdham (Nepal), Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh), Sita Samahit Sthal (Sitamarhi, Bihar), Bhadrachalam (Telangana), Kodandarama Temple, (Vontimitta, Andhra Pradesh), and Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu).


Victor Dasgupta/JPN

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