Ram Navami is a spring Hindu festival that celebrates the birthday of the Hindu God, Lord Rama. He is particularly important to the Vaishnavism tradition of Hinduism as the seventh avatar of God Vishnu.
The festival celebrates the descent of Vishnu as Shri Ram avatar, through his birth to King Dasharatha and Queen Kausalya in Ayodhya.
The festival is a part of the spring Navratri and falls on the ninth day of the bright half in the Hindu calendar month of Chaitra.
Ram Navami is an optional government holiday in India.
Ram Navami is on Wednesday, April 21. The Madhyahna Muhurat for Ram Navami is 10:19 AM to 12:52 PM.
The Ram Navami Tithi begins at 12:43 AM on April 21 and ends at 12:35 AM on April 22.
The significance of the festival indicates the victory of good over evil and the establishment of the Dharma to beat the Adharma.
Ram Navami celebration starts with offering jal (water) early morning to the God Sun (a deity) to get blessings from him. People also believe that God Sun was an ancestor of Lord Rama.
Birth of Lord Rama: The country of Kosal was situated on the banks of the Sarayu river. During the reign of King Dasarath, Ayodhya reached a period of great prosperity.
However, Dasarath faced problems as he had no children. Therefore, he decided to perform a sacrifice known as "ashvamedh" or horse sacrifice.
A very holy man, rishi Rishyashring, was chosen to conduct the sacrifice with the utmost accuracy. The performance of this sacrifice was a great event in Ayodhya.
In the end, Rishyashring recited a mantra and made an offering to the fire. Then the Gods, Gandharvas, Siddhas and Rishis present arid began to pray to Lord Brahma, the creator of Hindu Trinity.
At the time Ravana (King of Lanka) was terrorizing the people and all were looking for liberation from his menace. Ravana was invincible because Lord Brahma gave him a boon according to which he would never die at the hands of Gods or Gandharvas, or Yakshas or demons. As he was not afraid of humankind, he did not care to include men in the list of his potential slayers. Therefore, Brahmadev declared that Ravan would die at the hands of a man. Then the Gods went to Vishnu and requested, “Dasarath is a glorious king. Please, take birth in the wombs of his three queens in four different degrees of your divinity.”
When Dasarath’s sacrifice ended, a shining figure appeared over the sacrificial homa kund, and offered the king a divine beverage called “payasam” to be given to his queens Kausalya, Kaikayi, and Sumitra. In due time, Kausalya gave birth to Rama, Kaikayi to Bharat and Sumitra to Laxman and Shatrugna.
Rama was born at noon of the bright ninth day of Chaitra. He was believed to be the embodiment of half degree of Vishnu’s divinity, (Ardha Ounsh).
His birth is celebrated as Ram Navami, with pomp and geity. Ram atoned killing Ravan.
Ravan, the character believed to symbolize evil, was a great scholar. A story behind Ravan having ten heads says that the ten heads symbolize the six shastras and the four Vedas he mastered. Ravan was the great-great-grandson of Lord Brahma, a Brahmin. Rama was a Kshatriya.
By killing Ravan, Rama committed a sin, and instead of misunderstanding it as a person belonging to a caste that is apparently ranked lower than the other, the sin was of killing a custodian of Brahma-Gyan or the knowledge of God. It is believed that Rama built a Shiva temple in Rameshwaram to wash away the sin of killing Ravan.