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Rama Navami is a spring Hindu festival that celebrates the birthday of Lord Rama. It is observed on the last day of Chaitra Navaratri.
In Hinduism, Lord Rama is the representation of everything virtuous.
According to Hindu legends, Lord Rama was born on the ninth day of Chaitra Navaratri, on the auspicious day of Shukla Paksha. He, along with his brothers Bharata, Lakshana and Shatrughana, was born at 12 noon on this day. The date of Rama Navami 2019 is on April 14. On this day, devotees observe fast, perform puja, feed Brahmins and listen to the vrat Katha or the story of Prince Sri Rama.
It is believed that by praying to Rama, devotees will be blessed with peace, harmony, and prosperity in their lives. Here are some lesser-known facts about Sri Rama:
Gods Willed the Birth of Rama
The Gods themselves had willed the birth of Rama because he was destined to kill Ravana. King Ravana had antagonized the devas and the rishis who approached Bramha to save them from him. Gandharvas, yakshas or other demons couldn’t kill him. So Lord Vishnu was chosen to perform the task through his birth as Rama. So he was born to King Dasharatha and Queen Kaushalya in his seventh incarnation.
Rama Was Born After a Yagna
King Dasharatha was worried since none of his queens - Kaushalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi - bore him an heir. Thus heeding Rishi Vasishta’s advice, the king performed the Putra Kamesti Yagna.
After it was successfully performed, Agnideva himself appeared out of the yagnakund and offered Dasharath a bowl of sweet or kheer. It was then given to three queens, who conceived Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrugna after consuming it.
Chanting Rama's Name Evokes Powerful Results
Vashishta Maharishi suggested the name “Rama” to Dasharatha. Uttering the name of Rama or chanting Rama Nama works as a powerful mantra. It can banish pain, suffering, and anguish, and give immense peace to the chanter. His name is composed of two Bhija Aksharas - ‘Ra’ the agni bhija and ‘ma’ the amruta bhija. Chanting Rama’s name can instantaneously rejuvenate the body and mind.
In tantric yogic philosophy, the syllable "Ra" is the Mooldhara or the place where the power of Kundalini originates. "Ma" is the Sahasrara, the energy reaches (the crown of the head). It’s believed that chanting the name alone can help you become a yogi.
Rama Was an Ajanbahu
Lord Rama had distinct physical characteristics, which showed that he was not ordinary and was destined for greatness. He had a superhuman form when he was born and bore all the auspicious signs on his body. His lotus-shaped eyes were reddish and his body shone like a thousand suns. More importantly, he was an “ajanbahu” (having long arms beyond the knees). These signs showed that Rama was no ordinary being.
Rama Had a Sister
Not many know this, but Rama also had an elder sister, Shanta, according to Valmiki. She is the daughter of Dasharatha and Kaushalya, who was given away to the king of Angadesh Rompad and his wife Vershini. Like Rama, she was also quite skilled in the Vedas, arts, and crafts. She was beautiful and was a skilled warrior. According to a legend, she saved Romapad’s kingdom from a severe drought by marrying Rishyasringa and getting him to perform a yagnya. In the end, it finally rained and the kingdom was saved.
Rama’s Bow Could Wipe out An Army
Rama’s bow Sharanga, known also as Kodanda, was known to wipe out armies at once. The bow originally belonged to Lord Vishnu and was crafted by Vishwakarma, the cosmic architect and weapon maker.
After a war with Shiva over the might of their individual weapons, Vishnu gave away Sharanga to Parashurama and Shiva gave away his bow Pinaka to King Janaka’s ancestors.
After Ram broke the Pinaka at Sita Swayamwara, Parashurama stalls him in his way and asks him to lift the Sharanga. When he does so without breaking a sweat, Parashurama realizes that Rama is Vishnu himself.
Squirrel Got Its Stripes From Rama
An unlikely helper who aided Rama in his quest for Sita, apart from the Vanarsena, was a little squirrel. The furry animal did whatever it could to build the bridge to Lanka by carrying tiny pebbles in his mouth, dropping it into the sea.
Rama Chanted Sita’s Name till the End
Rama and Sita’s marriage was preordained. The two were deeply attracted to each other from the time they set eyes on each other. All through their life, their loyalty for each other was unwavering. Although Rama did test Sita through the agnipariksa, he always loved her genuinely.