Ram Navami 2020: Date, Puja (Muhurat) Timing, Significance of Ram Navami
Sri Rama Navami (2nd April, 2020 Thursday) is a Hindu festival that celebrates the appearance day of Lord Ramachandra on the holy land of Ayodhya in Treta Yuga. All the Vedic scriptures confirm that Lord Krishna or Vishnu descended in the most beautiful incarnation endearingly known as Ramachandra and performed various pastimes setting the parameters of culture, heroism, principles, morality, good governance, humility and renunciation.
The ancient scriptures of India have always stressed that the Lord descends in His various incarnations in order to attract the devotees and annihilate the evil-minded. The activities performed by the Lord are all worshipped, celebrated and meditated on by His dearest devotees. These activities are called as lila (pastimes). Such pastimes were performed by Lord Vishnu in His Rama incarnation or Avatar. Rama Navami marks the birthday of Lord Rama as He appeared on this day in His all-auspicious, divine human avatar.
Descending from the solar dynasty that entitled Him as Suryavamsi, Lord Ramachandra was the son of King Dasharatha and Queen Kaushalya of Ayodha. He had three younger brothers, Bharata of Kaikeyi (Rama's stepmother) and Lakshman and Shatrughna of Sumitra (Rama’s another stepmother). Trained by His guru Vishvamitra, Lord Rama studied and practiced martial arts. And it was all executed against the demonic forces that attempted to disrupt Vedic Yajna and ceremonies.
Rama Navami is the appearance day
of Lord Ramachandra on the holy
land of Ayodhya in Treta Yuga.
Rama is one of the celebrated
incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
On this day, people especially devotees of the Vaishnava sect of Hinduism engage in reading or reciting the Ramayana, offering pujas and performing Havans at Rama temples. People take out the deity idols of baby Rama for a sacred bath and bedeck it with fresh clothes before putting in into a cradle. There are local groups or mandals who organize charitable events and community meals. People also fast on this day. However, the most important spiritual activity on this day is bhajan or bhakti songs dedicated to Lord Ramachandra. The central part of Ramayana is performing one’s occupational duties with a complete detachment from worldly affairs and cultivating attachment to the Supreme Lord.
Rama Navmi 2020: Description in the scriptures
Lord Brahma in his scriptural treatise Brahma Samhita prays to the Lord reciting: ramadi-murtishu kala-niyamena tishthan
nanavataram akarod bhuvaneshu kintu
krishnah svayam samabhavat paramaha puman yo
govindam adi-purusham tam aham bhajami Meaning: “I offer prayers to Lord Govinda, the Primeval Lord, Who personally appeared as al-divine Krishna and the different incarnations in the world such as Rama, Nrisimha, Vamana and others as His subjective portions.”
The prayers by Lord Brahma confirm the fact that the Lord appears in His various incarnations. Out of which the Rama incarnation personifies justice, ethics and victory over vices. As a part of the spring Navratri, Rama Navami is marked on the ninth day of the bright half (Shukla Paksha) in the Vedic/Hindu calendar month of Chaitra (March or April).
Ram Navami History: Legends of Lord Rama, Ramayana Story in brief:
Written by Sage Valmiki, the Ramayana
comprises 24000 verses and seven
sections. The entire story revolves
around Lord Rama’s journey to bring
back His consort Sita, who is abducted
by Ravana, the demonic king Ravana.
Ramayana was written by sage Valmiki composing 24,000 verses splitting it into seven kandas or chapters. The entire story revolves around Lord Rama’s journey to bring back His consort Sita, who is abducted by Ravana, the demonic king Ravana. Although Lord Rama was Himself the divine incarnation, He performed all of His prescribed duties with perfection. Life and activities of Rama is called Ramayana. It is one of the greatest ancient epics that teach justice and morality. His father King Dasharatha who wanted to enthrone Rama was forced by his youngest queen to exile Him and enthrone her son Bharata.
As a result, Lord Rama just like an obedient son obliged and lived in exile with His consort Sita and brother Lakshmana. The Lankan King Ravana besotted with the beautiful Sita abducted Her causing ire in the mind, body, heart and soul of Rama. Assisted by His eternal servitor Hanuman and with the blessing of Lord Shiva, Rama engaged in one of the ghastly wars against the evil army of Ravana. The war witnessed the death of many. Ravana who was considered the mightiest among the evil-minded succumbed unto the feet of Rama and died. Legends of Rama feature His serving as the King, husband, son, brother, master and nemesis (Ravana's). He played as the most perfected being in these roles.
King Dasharatha of Ayodhya, who retires, decides to choose his son Lord Rama as the next he. However, one of his queens Kaikeyi forces him to appoint her own son, Bharata saying that he owes her two favors. One that her own son becomes the king and Rama must be exiled for fourteen years.
Pained by the harsh promise, King Dasharatha gives in to her demand. As a result, Lord Rama leaves for the forest, accompanied by His chaste wife Sita and brother Lakshmana leaving the Raghu kingdom.
During exile, a lady named Surpanakha besotted with Rama asks Him for marrying her. But Rama introduces her to Sita. Envying Sita’s beauty, she tries to harm Her but Lakshman quickly cuts her nose.
She describes to her brother Ravana the unmatched beauty of Sita. Hearing it, Ravana is not able to check his urge to see and enjoy Her. Soon he decides to get her to Lanka.
Because Sita is guarded by Ramchandra and Lakshman, Ravana sends Maricha disguised as a golden deer to make Rama and Lakshmana go away from Sita. She wishes to have the deer. Rama follows the deer.
Rama takes too long. Sita asks Lakshman to help Him. Lakshman secures the woodshed with a mantra-charged line drawn around it and leaves. Ravana then disguised as a mendicant comes and asks for alms.
Crossing over the line, She offers alms but Ravana grabs Her hand and carries Her off in his pushpaka (airplane). Jatayu fights with Ravana to save Her but dies. Before breathing his last, he tells everything to Rama.
During Her captivity at Ashok Vatika, Sita mourns and anxiously awaits Rama to save Her. During this time, She is watched over by Dasis (demoniac servants) of Ravana who often visits Her to check on Her.
Lord Rama gathers a sufficient army with the help of Hanuman, and Sugriva against the army of Ravana. Hanuman determines to help Rama rescue Sita from Ravana and takes a giant leap to Lanka.
Using his mystic powers, Hanuman becomes as small as an ant and secretly enters Lanka at dead night. He meets Sita and gives Her a ring sent by Rama. She states that Rama should save Her quickly.
Before leaving, Hanuman wants to check strength of Ravana’s men. He allows himself to be captivated and Ravana orders his men to set his tail on fire. Hanuman enjoys seeing their desperation and deep fear.
With the burning tail, Hanuman escapes and sets the city on fire. As a result, the whole Lanka is devoured by the rising flames of fire. When Ravana finds this out, he commands for war preparation.
Hanuman returns and informs Rama about the grave situation ahead. Rama orders them to start war preparations. He invokes the grace of Varuna, the sea-god with Nala and Nila helping build a bridge to Lanka.
Soon a great battle begins. Both sides attack with each other Ravana's son Indrajit badly wounds Lakshmana. To heal Lakshmana, Hanuman in a gigantic form and brings a mountain full of herbs to Lanka.
Soon, Rama and Ravana battle but Rama finds it difficult to kill him. Informed by Vibhishana, Rama shoots hid abdomen of with an arrow and he dies. Rama installs Vibhishana as the king of Lanka.
Seeing that Sita was in captivity of another man, Rama asks Her to undergo agni-pariksha the test to prove Her chastity. However, the Fire god is unable to touch her and She proves Her chastity.
Lord Rama returns to Ayodhya with Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman. People become overjoyed to see their king return after fourteen years. Bharata and Shatugna fall at Their feet, asking Rama to take over the throne.
When Rama overhears a man talking to his wife about Sita’s chastity, He abandons Sita and arranges for Her stay at sage Valmiki’s ashram. She learns about Bhakti and soon gives birth to Luv and Kusha.
Both grow up under Valmiki who recites the glory of Rama and Sita. He asks them to narrate it to the world as hearing Ramayana will be a great yajna in Dwarpa and Kali Yugas.
Spiritual Significance of Rama Navami:
- Rama (ra and ma): ‘Ra’ means light. ‘Ma’ means within. Divine light within you is Rama.
- Dasharatha (dasa and ratha): Rama’s father. ‘Dasa’ means ten. ‘Ratha’ means chariot. Ten chariots mean five working senses or active senses (Karmendriya) and knowledge acquiring senses (Gyanendria). The active senses include ability to talk, the hands, the legs, the evacuating part, and the genitals. The knowledge-acquiring senses include eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and sense of touch.
- Kaushalya: Rama’s mother. It means ‘skill’. A skilled charioteer rides the ten chariots and generates the strength that is contained in Rama.
- Ayodhya: Birthplace and capital city of Lord Rama. ‘A’ is the negative prefix to ‘Yodhya’ which means ‘war’. So, a place where there is no war but prosperity and justice is called Ayodhya.
It is said that in the Satya Yuga, there were wars between gods and demons from different planets. In the Treta Yuga, there were wars between gods and demons that lived in different places but on the same planet (Rama from Ayodhya and Ravana from Lanka). In the Dwarpa Yuga, there were wars between people living in the same families (Pandava and Kaurava).
In the Kali Yuga, the wars are within us wherein Rama is our Soul, Sita is our Mind, Hanuman (son of the Wind god) is our life force (prana) and Ravan is our ego.
Ravana (Ego) takes over Sita (Mind) which makes Rama (Soul) restless. To harmonize Mind and Soul, one needs to meditate and breathe (Hanuman) in complete awareness. One the harmony is established, Rama and Sita reunite and ego is destroyed.
Ram Navami Celebration: Timing or Puja Muhurat, How to celebrate Ram Navami:
|Particular ||Date & Day ||Time starts ||Time ends |
|Navami Tithi Starts ||April 2 Thu ||3:40 AM || |
|Rama Navami Madhyahna Muhurat ||April 2 Thu ||11:28 AM ||1:56 PM |
|Basoda Puja Time ||April 3 Fri || ||2:43 AM |
- Reason why we celebrate Ram Navmi is that it is celebrated in the social spirit. People engage in reciting Ramayana or reading the scriptures like Ramayana, Shrimad Bhagvatam and the like.
- Since the Lord is Absolute Truth, prayers offered in any form are absolute themselves. One can simply listen to the recitals or take part in Ram Navami Aarti, bhajans, kirtans (devotional songs) at temples or at home.
- Listening to the divine qualities mentioned in the scriptures is the best of all devotions. Once also take part in the Abhishek (coronation) ceremony of Lord Rama on this day.
- One can wear a Ten Mukhi Rudraksha bead ruled by Lord Krishna, an Eighteen Mukhi Rudraksha bead ruled by Bhumidevi (wife of Vishnu) and a Nineteen Mukhi Rudraksha bead ruled by Lord Narayan. All these beads are connected with Lord Vishnu or Rama Himself.
- You can also observe vrata (fast) and engage in services at temples of Rama. This is considered a service equal to that offered by Hanuman for engaging in the temple service with a devotional mood is also serving the lotus feet of Rama. Such a devotee is rare.
Rama Navami 2020: Performing Rama Navami Puja Vidhi And Mantra Japa
A Puja Vidhi performed as per the scriptures during Rama Navami is highly auspicious. A Rama Navami Puja includes: Kalash Sthapana, Panchang Sthapana (Gauri Ganesh, Punyavachan, Shodash Matrika, Navgraha, Sarvotabhadra), 64 yogini Pujan, Shetrapal Pujan, Swasti Vachan, and Sankalpa.
Also it includes Ganesh Pujan and Abhishek, Navgraha Pujan and 108 chants of each planetary mantra, Invocation of major Gods and Goddesses in Kalash, Ram Sita Pujan, Recitation of Sunderkand Paath, 108 Patha of Ram Raksha Stotra, Ram Raksha Stotra Japa (5100 chants), Yagna, Aarti and Pushpaanjali.
If you wish to have a Rama Navami Puja and Mantra Japa performed under the experienced Karmakandi Pundits, you book the puja online here. The entire puja will be performed as instructed in the scriptures.