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More Details about Festival - Ram Navami

The birthday of Rama Chandra is observed on the 9th of the light half of the month chetr (March-April) and is kept by some as a strict fast. It was on this day that Vishnu incarnated as Rama through Dasharat’s wife Kaushalya. This day is also important because the celebrated Sanskrit poet Tulsi Dasa started composing his classic Ram Charit Manas. The devotees take a bath in Saryu River on this day. The fast on this day reminds us about the righteousness of Rama, his devotion to his teacher, removal of casteism, shelter to the refugee, brotherhood, devotion to parents, monogamy, devotion to the master by Hanuman and Angad, dutiful devotion of huge bird Garud. The temples of Rama are illuminated and his image adorned with costly ornaments. The Ramayana is read in the temple and Naches (nautches) are kept up during the night of the 9th. The celebration concludes on the 10th. In Andhra it is celebrated with great religious fervour at the Sri Seetha Ramachandraswami Temple annually in March- April at Bhadrachalam near Warangal. It is celebrated in Jaipur (Rajasthan) in honour of Rama’s birth, when a big fair is held at Gattaji in Jaipur.

In Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh region, there is a tradition of sowing wheat, urad or grams (5-7 kinds) on this occasion, on chetr shukl pratipada on the floor of the house or in baskets. It is possible that in ancient times, only barley seeds were sown, so it was called Jawara, later on Navrat Navratri. From the very first day an earthen vessel is installed, before which a light is kept burning for all the nine days and nights. On the 8th day yageya (Hom-Havana) is performed. The seedlings are worshipped every morning and evening. On the ninth day, among the singing of songs and playing on musical instruments, the seedlings are immersed in water. A black he-goat is slaughtered on this day. After this the Jawara seedlings are distributed among friends communicating good wishes. The offer of Jawara is symbolic of the strength of the man. The songs sung on the occasion pertain to Yakshas, also mentioning Yakshasinis, who are the attendants of the goddesses Mehmai, Bhavani, Shitala, Buddhimai, durga. Thus Rama worship and Sakti worship are synthesized into one at this occasion.

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