Swami Vivekananda said, "Rama, the ancient idol of the heroic ages, the embodiment of truth, of morality, the ideal son, the ideal husband, and above all, the ideal king, this Rama has been presented before us by the great sage Valmiki. No language can be purer, none chaster, none more beautiful, and at the same time simpler, than the language in which the great poet has depicted the life of Rama."
Tulsidasji (The Author of the Ram-Charit- Manas- Ramayan), tells us that Shri Ram was born on this day. He goes on to state that he who sings Shri Ram's praise on this day, has all the pilgrimage Centres come to his door-step.
Navami means the number 9.
Shri Ram is connected with the number 9. The No 9 is the Highest number. After the number 9, comes the 0.
In order to truly worship Shri Ram either become complete like the number 9, or empty like the 0.
In order to be a completely full Spiritual Human being, do the following:
- Keep good company
- Sing the Lord’s praises
- Listen to the Almighty’s ‘Katha’ (scriptural narrations)
- Have faith in God
(If you do the first 3, the fourth will automatically arise in your heart).
In order to become 0, or 'Shunya' remove the following:-
WHAT IS RAMNAVAMI?
Ramnavami, the nine-day Hindu festival, celebrated in the month of April (Chaitra), is when Lord Vishnu took the seventh avatar and Lord Ram was born to destroy the demon King Ravana.
Lord Vishnu is worshipped in his human incarnation as Rama, the divine ruler of Ayodhya. Thousands of pilgrims converge in the temples of Ayodhya and Pondicherry, two places closely connected with the events of the Ramayana to participate in Ramnavami festivities. Colourful processions are held, which comprise brilliant floats of Rama, his wife Sita, Rama's loyal brother Lakshmana and Hanuman, Rama's monkey-general.
On this day, temples are decorated and the image of Lord Ram is richly adorned. Traditional worship begins with chanting Vedic mantras dedicated to Vishnu, and offering flowers and fruit to the god. Satsangs (public gatherings) are organized to commemorate the birth of Lord Ram. Excerpts from the "Ramacharitamanas", praising Lord Ram, are recited. People of all castes and creeds participate in these gatherings to listen to the stories and their explanations offered by the learned. Lord Ram's devotees, fast for nine days with fruit and milk, whilst some fast on the ninth day only.
Personality of Sri Rama
Sri Rama has become so much identified with all the good, great and virile qualities of heroic manhood that expressions such as 'Us me Ram nahi hai' (there is no Rama in him) - meaning that a person has lost all manliness and worth - have become common usage. And when a Hindu quits the world stage, he is bid God-speed in his onward journey [with Ramanama satya hai or Raghupati Raghava raja Ram, patita paavana Sita Ram. In fact, the latter couplet has become the nation's bhajan par excellence.
The story of Rama is not that of a single towering personality dwarfing all others. The other characters like Sita, Lakshmana, Bharata and Hanuman too shine in their own greatness. All of them are so closely interwoven with Sri Rama's life and achievements that it is well-nigh impossible to think of any one without the other. In fact, the most popular picture of Sri Rama, i.e., of Sri Rama Pattabhisheka includes Sita, Hanuman and all his brothers. And in the bringing out of the greatness of all these partners of his life-drama, Rama's instinctive recognition of their merit and virtues played no mean part. He would always be the first to openly appreciate the unique and noble traits in others' character. Even for Kaikeyi, who was responsible for his banishment to forest, Rama had only words of kindness. And as for Ravana, the abductor of his wife, Rama's unstinted praise of his erudition and prowess at once lifts the story of Ramayana to heights unsurpassed in the annals of human history.
Spiritual and Religious Significance
The Ramaayana, the Rama story, teaches two lessons: the value of detachment and the need to become aware of the Divine in every being. Faith in God and detachment from objective pursuits are the keys for human liberation. Give up sense objects, and you gain Rama. Sita gave up the luxuries of Ayodhya so she could be with Rama during His exile. When she cast longing eyes on the golden deer and craved it, she lost Rama's presence. Renunciation leads to joy; attachment brings about grief. Be in the world, but not of it.
Rama's brothers, comrades, companions, and collaborators are all examples of people saturated with dharma. Dasaratha is the representative of the merely physical, with the ten senses. The three qualities (gunas) --serenity, passion, sloth (sathva, rajas, thamas)-- are the three Queens. The four goals of life (purusharthas) are the four sons. Dharma (Rama), Artha (Lakshmana), Kama (Bharatha) and Moksha (Shatrughna). These four aims of man have to be systematically realised, always with the last one, Moksha, clearly before the eye. Sugriva is discrimination (viveka). Vali is despair. Hanuman is the embodiment of courage. The bridge is built over the ocean of delusion. The three demon (rakshasa) chiefs Ravana, Kumbhakarna, and Vibhishana are personifications of the passionate, slothful, and serene (raajasic, tamasic, and satvik) qualities. Sita is the awareness of the Universal Absolute (Brahmajnaana), which the individual must acquire and regain while undergoing travails in the crucible of life. With these to help him, Rama seeks the Truth and succeeds. That is the lesson of the Epic to every man.
The entire Ramaayana is like a game of chess. The scene, in the Ramaayana, is a kind of battlefield, where the forces of right and wrong are waging war. Rama represents righteousness and Ravana represents unrighteousness. The battle between the two is the war fought on the battlefield.
Ravana taught a great lesson to the world. He exclaimed: "Oh men! Do not live as I have lived and ruin your lives." What is the root cause of Ravana's ruin? Unable to conquer his desires, unwilling to get rid of his impulses, he ruined his entire clan. His sons were killed, his brother and other kinsmen were killed, and ultimately his country itself was reduced to ashes. Ravana confessed, "In the end I ruined myself." This was Ravana's message to his countrymen in his last moments.
Only by suppressing desires does a man manifest his humanness. A man who is unable to put an end to his desires puts an end to himself. By his good conduct, a good man achieves greatness. Ravana sought to achieve greatness but did not strive to lead a good life.
From time immemorial, every individual in Bharat (India) has regarded Sri Rama's life as an ideal and has sought to sanctify every moment of his life by living up to it. Sri Rama incarnated as a human being to promote peace and happiness in the world. "Rama is the very embodiment of righteousness (Ramo Vigrahavaan Dharmah)." It was as if righteousness itself had incarnated on earth. Dharma and Rama are inseparable.
The word Rama has the triple power of destroying sins, conferring peace, and dispelling ignorance. When you utter the word "Ram", you first open the mouth with the sound "Ra". All your sins go out when your mouth is open. When you utter "M" by closing the mouth, the entry is barred against the sins that have gone out. Everyone should recognize the sweetness, sacredness, and divinity enshrined in the name Rama. It is good to utter the name Rama with full understanding of all that it signifies.
Sri Ramakrishna and Rama
In the year 1835, Khudiram went on the holy pilgrimage to Gaya. Gaya is believed to be abode of Vishnu, the caretaker of the universe. His one incarnation is Rama, and the other Sri Krishna. It is believed that out of the trinity of Gods of Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh it is Vishnu who incarnates to save the mankind in crisis and decline of Dharma. In the last days of his stay, one night Khudiram had the most unusual dream. He saw himself in a Holy Temple, in the act of offering worship to his forefathers at the divine feet of Gadadhar (the mace-holder), one name of Lord Vishnu. He also saw his ancestors in luminous celestial bodies. Overwhelmed with divine emotions on seeing the Lord, Khudiram could not stop the tears flowing from his eyes. He bowed at the holy feet of the Lord. The next moment the temple was filled with divine luminosity as was never seen before by him. Lord Vishnu was seated in a beautiful celestial throne in a posture of graceful deity. The Lord beckoned Khudiram near him, and said in a sweet voice: 'Khudiram, your extraordinary devotion has made me very happy. I bless you. I shall be born as your son and be the object of your loving care'. On hearing these words, strange even for a dream, Khudiram's joy knew no bounds. But the very next moment a thought struck him: how, being so poor, could he possibly feed and give proper shelter to such an exalted Being. This made Khudiram exceedingly sad and in a voice choked with emotion, he said, 'No, no! My Lord, I am not worthy of such a blessing. Is it not enough that you have blessed me by graciously revealing yourself to me? How can this poor man render proper services to God Almighty in my small and poor house?' hearing these words full of pathos, the Lord said, 'Do not fear, Khudiram. I shall relish whatever you give me to eat. Let my desire be fulfilled. With flood of conflicting emotions of joy and anxiety Khudiram lost his consciousness, and soon his dream ended. In due course Sri Ramakrishna was born and was named Gadadhar by his parents.
Before Sri Ramakrishna passed away at the cossipore garden house near Calcutta, one day he called Narendranath to his room and transmitted all his powers to him, saying, Naren, today I have given you my all and I have become a fakir(beggar). With this, you will do great good to the world." It was at this house in August 1886, a few days before he left his mortal coil, something very significant happened. That day Narendranath was sitting near the Master thinking that in the midst of the terrible pain that Sri Ramakrishna was having in his throat, if he can speak out and declare that he is God, then he will surely believe him. No sooner, he thought thus, Sri Ramakrishna said clearly to him: "Well, don't you believe even now? He who was Rama and He who was Krishna is now Sri Ramakrishna in this body."
Ram sumir mein dhyan lagaale chod jagat ke kaam re
O beloved seekers! time is fleeting. Know the value of time. Time is most precious. Utilise every second profitably. Do not procrastinate. Abandon all idle gossiping. Forget the past. Live every moment of your life for the realisation of the divine ideal and goal. Unfold your latent faculties. Grow, evolve and become a superhuman or a dynamic Yogi. Struggle hard and reach the goal of life.
May you all attain the final beatitude of life through intense devotion towards Lord Rama! May you live immersed in the ecstasy of divine love! May Sri Rama who is as effulgent as a million suns and who is adored by the gods and devotees, protect you all! May the blessings of Lord Rama and Sri Ramakrishna be upon you all!
Contributed by Jyoti Moorjani