Thursday, Feb 20 2020
Ramanavami is celebrated on the ninth day in the bright
half of Chaitra and represents the birth anniversary
of Lord Rama. It is a day when we should dwell upon
Lord Rama’s virtues, and resolve to be a better
person. The occasion is also used to perform SEETHA
KALYAN or VIVAH at the temple. Kalyan means auspicious
wedding. It is believed that performance of Seetha Kalyan
bestows peace and prosperity to all the devotees.
relating to the festival:
Lord Rama was the son of Dasaratha and Kauslaya.
Dasaratha realised that his son was becoming qualified
to rule the kingdom of Ayodhya, and was determined to
install him as Yuvaraja. However on the eve of the coronation,
his favourite wife Kaikeyi, instigated by her wicked
nurse asked Dasaratha to fulfill her two boons that
were granted by him. In her first boon she wanted the
banishment of Lord Rama for fourteen years into the
jungle and the other was the installation of her own
son Bharatha as Yuvaraja. Dasaratha was amazed by these
demands and tried his best to dissuade her from her
decision but she was unwilling to change her mind and
unfortunately Dasaratha had to grant her two boons.
Lord Rama being a good son immediately prepared to
go and stay in the forest accompanied by his wife Sita.
Lord Rama the Avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu, descended
on earth for the very destruction of evil. Ravana, who
wanted to take revenge on Lord Rama because Lakshmana
had accidentally insulted his sister, kidnapped Lord
Rama’s wife. After asking around, Lord Rama reached
a monkey God, Hanuman who told him that his wife was
in Lanka. After being persuaded by Sugreeva, Lord Rama
decided to invade Lanka and destroy Ravana and rescue
Sita. Lord Rama conquered Lanka, killed Ravana along
with his whole hoard of demons, and installed Vibheeshana
as king of Lanka. Lord Rama accompanied by Sita and
his friend in battle, returned to Ayodhya where he was
Swami's message on Ramanavami:
"Rama is the supreme example of how people should
conduct themselves in the world, how a country should
be governed, how the integrity and morality of human
beings should be protected. High-minded actions, ideal
qualities and sacred thoughts are basic foundations
of character. Rama is the very embodiment of these three
attributes. This means that every human being should
cultivate sacred thoughts, right actions and good qualities.
Rama demonstrated by his words, thoughts and actions
how such a life could be lived. Rama acted upon the
ancient injunction: 'Speak truth. Practice righteousness.'
Eschewing harsh words, Rama pleased everyone by his
sweet speech. He countered harsh speech by others with
composure, patience, and sweetness and smile. He never
pried into the affairs of others, never took notice
of their faults, never indulged in ridicule, and never
caused any pain to others by the way he spoke to them.
It is essential for everyone to follow the example set
by Rama and cultivate his many noble qualities and do
righteous actions. People should entertain sacred thoughts."
-Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Sanathan Sarathi, Vol V Pages
114 & 115
Swami's message on how to celebrate Lord Rama's
"Today people celebrate Rama's birthday as a festival,
but do not practise Rama's ideals. Enshrine Rama's ideals
in your heart. Without it, there is no meaning in celebrating
Rama's birthday. You must follow the example of a noble
and ideal person. This is the right meaning of devotion.
Remember that the lessons taught to Bharata by Rama
are ideal lessons”.
How is the Festival celebrated
Ramanavami occurs in the month of March. Celebrations
begin with prayer a to the Sun God in the early morning
hours. At midday- the time Lord Rama is believed to
have been born - a special prayer is performed. In Northern
India especially, Ramanavami is a well-celebrated festival.
The public’s worship starts with morning ablutions,
chanting Vedic mantras dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and
offering flowers and fruit to the different forms of
God. People fast throughout the day, breaking it only
at midnight with fruit. In some parts of India, especially
Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, public gatherings called satsangs
are organized to commemorate the birth of Lord Rama.
Excerpts from the Ramacharitamanas, extolling the glory
of Lord Rama, are recited. People of all castes and
creeds participate in these gatherings to listen to
the stories and their explanations offered by the learned.
Jai Sai Ram
SSEHV Group 4