Ram Navami is the celebration of the birth of Lord Rama who was the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu.  This is one of the most pious Hindu festivals which is celebrated on the 9th day of Chaitra Navratri.

Every Hindu festival has an interesting story behind it. The festival of Ram Navami also has an interesting story. Some of the elder generations may already be aware of the same. Let us once again look into the story behind  this festival.

The Story of Rama Navami

King Dasaratha of Ayodhya and his three queens Kaushalaya, Kaikai and Sumitra were saddened by the fact that they had not been blesses with a son. It is then that their guru Rishi Vashishtha asked the King to perform the Putra Kamesti Yaga so that they can be blessed with a male child.

The king went to Rishi Shringya’s ashram to perform the yagnya. The rishi performed the ritual and gave kheer to the king to feed his queens. The king gave half of it to Kausalya and another half to Kaikeyi. The queens, in turn, gave half of their share to the queen Sumitra. All the three queens conceived. Then on the 9thday of Chaitra month of the Hindu calendar queen Kaushalya gave birth to Lord Ram in the afternoon. Then Kaikeyi gave birth to Bharat and finally, Sumitra gave birth to twins Lakshman and Shatragna.

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The celebrations of Rama Navami

As mentioned before people in different parts of India celebrate this festival with lots of pomp. Though this is actually the birthday of Lord Ram people give lots of importance to Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman. Every family and every state celebrate this festival in their special way. This festival is celebrated on a big scale inthe northern parts of India. But other parts of India also celebrate thefestival with lots of zest.

The first day of Chaitra month that is Gudi Padwa or Ugadi marks the beginning of Chaitra Navratri. For the next nine days, people will keep vrat or fast. They will read the holy book Ramayana. They will also sing holy hyms praising the Lord.

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RamJananam is celebrated on the ninth day. In the afternoon a coconut is covered with a beautiful cloak. This coconut is symbolic for baby Ram. This is placed in a cradle. Devotees will then rock the cradle and celebrate the birth of the Maryada Purushottam Ram.

Ram temples across India are decorated for nine days. Devotees recite Ram Japa and Rama Raksha Stotr. The ninth day is special and the Ram temples are in complete glory. The temple is decorated with lots of flowers. The idol of Ram and Sita are alsodecorated with special embellishments.

Devotees throng to the Ram temples to worship the Lord. People also perform pooja of Lord Ram in their homes. Some people may not fast for all nine days but they make sure that they fast on the day of Ram Navami. They will then end their fast in the evening after praying and worshipping Lord Sri Rama. People will have special sweets and special delicacies in the evening.

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This is the story of Ram Navami and this is how the festival is celebrated in India. The Chaitra month of the Hindu calendar will be there in just a few months. If you have missed out on celebrating this wonderful festival then make sure that you celebrate it this year with your loved ones. The fasting and the Ram Japa will give you a whole new devotional experience which will be a never before experience.

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