celebrates the birth of Shri Rama or Ramachandra. Ram
is considered to be a reincarnation of Lord
Vishnu, the preserver.
Lord Vishnu took the seventh avtaar named Ram who killed Ravan,
the evil king, on the 9th day of the Hindu month of Chaitra, hence the
day is celebrated as Ram Navmi.
In some parts of India, it is a nine-day festival, coinciding with the
to Brief Story Of Rama
: The epic known as the Ramayana
is one of the great epics of India. The
story of Rama was first written by the great sage Vaalmeeki
in about the 4th century B.C. Rama is supposed to have lived during the
8th or 7th century B.C. This
epic poem Ramayana is recited as a poem and has been passed on to the
present age by word of mouth. The Ramayana is written in Sanskrit.
It is composed of verses called "Sholkas"
which in turn make up chapters called "Sargas".
A group of Sargas together form a book called "Kandas".
There are 7
books comprising the Ramayana.
- Bal Kanda,
the boyhood sections.
the section at Ayodhya, including the banishment of Rama.
the forest section, including Rama's life in the forest and Sita's
abduction by Ravana.
the section describing Rama's stay at Kishkindha, the capital of his
monkey ally, Sugriva.
the beautiful section, including the description of Rama's passage
to Lanka and his arrival there.
the war section, describing the war with Ravana, his death, Ramayana
the recovery of Sita, and the return to Ayodhya. It is also known as
the Lanka Kanda.
the later section, including Rama's life in Ayodhya as king, the
banishment of Sita, the birth of her two sons, Sita's test of
innocence, her return to her mother, and Rama's "Jala samadhi".
This section was added after the main story had been written.
The Ramayana is
the source of many stories told to children to teach them about duty,
correct behavior and other moral concepts. The Ramayana has been made
into a long TV
colorfully depicts the Ramayana. It
is available as a 12 VHS cassette set priced around $260.00. Directed
by film maker Ramanand Sagar. The show was so popular on Doordarshan
that streets would be deserted during the time the show aired...just
like the Superbowl here in the US. So over-powering are the performances
of the stars in this serial that Arun Govil came to be identified as Ram
and Deepika as Sita.
Amar Chitra Katha which
is a very famous Comics Publication Company has put the stories of
Ramayana into pictures and comics for kids of all ages to enjoy.
famous versions of Ramayana include Shri
avadhii (old hindi) by Swami
CHARIT MANAS : Ram Lila, the enactment
of the story of Lord Rama is believed to have been started by great Swami
Tulsidas. The Ram
Charit Manas, written by him till today
forms the basis of Ram Lila performances. Many schools put up plays
based on the Ramayana. Excerpts from the Rama
Charit Manas are recited during this day
and festival. People of all castes and creeds participate in these
gatherings to listen to the stories and their explanations offered by
the learned. In some places, Rama Lila is associated with Vijayadashmi
celebrations in late September and early October and also with Rama
Navami, the birthday of Lord Rama.
: People also chant Vedic mantras dedicated to Vishnu, and
offer flowers and fruit to the god. People fast
throughout the day, breaking the fast only at midnight with fruit.
the birthplace of Lord Ram, is the focus of great pomp and celebrations.
A huge fair is organized for two days. "Rath
yatras" or 'chariot processions' of
Ram and his wife Sita, brother Lakshman and devotee and king of the
monkeys - Hanuman are held from many temples. At the Kanaka
Bhawan Temple in Ayodhya, thousands of
pilgrims converge and colorful processions are held. Shri Ram is said to
have been born at mid day, when a priest formally announces his birth by
placing a coconut in a cradle and at midday.
parts of India, especially Bihar,
Haryana and Uttar
Pradesh, public gatherings called Satsangs
are organized to commemorate the birth of Rama. In Nagpur,
Maharashtra, the Ram Janmostav Shubhayatra is celebrated with very high
spirit at the Shri Poddareshwar Ram mandir,
Nagpur which was built in 1923. Over a 100 floats participate depicting
various inspiring incidents from the life of Lord Rama.
stay awake on the previous night in many of the US Hindu temples, in
anticipation of Lord Ram's birth. A havan is performed and they sing
devotional songs in praise of Lord Ram and rock his image in cradles to
celebrate his birth.
STORY OF RAMA
this out and read it to your kids
of Ayodha chooses his son Rama as his heir. Dasharatha, the wise and
just king of Ayodhya, had three wives. The eldest queen, Kaushalya,
had a son named Rama.
The second queen, Keikeyi,
had a son named Bharata,
and the youngest queen, Sumitra,
had two sons named Lakshmana
His second wife Kaikeyi
asks that he appoint her son Bharata,
instead. Kaikeyi pleads that he owes her two favors, and she feels
misfortune will come upon her if he doesn't crown Bharata king and
banish or exile Rama to the forest for fourteen years. The king
reluctantly agrees, so Rama goes with his beautiful wife, Sita,
and his brother Laksman,
leaving their riches to live a simple life.
is away from Ayodhya when this happens. On his return, when his mother
tells him what she has done, he is enraged. He loves and respects his
brother Rama and does not want to rule in his place. He sets out in
search of Rama and finds him at the entrance of the forest. However, no
amount of persuasion can convince Rama to return, for he believes that
he has to fulfil his duties towards his father and mother "dharma",
by following his father's instructions. He refuses to return to Ayodhya
until his exile has ended. Bharata returns to Ayodhya with Rama's
slippers, which he places on the throne as Rama's
symbol and rules as his brother's regent.
In the forest the
three meet the demoness Shurpanakha
who falls in love with Rama. Rama refuses her advances and Laksmana
wounds her. She flees to her brother Ravana,
ruler of the island kingdom of Lanka (known as the 10 headed
hearing Surpanakha's report of the beauty of Sita, Ravana decides that
he must have Sita and changes himself into in wandering holy man to find
her in the forest. Sita crosses the "Lakshman
and when Rama and Laksmana are distracted, Ravana carries Sita off to
Sita mourns in
Ravana's garden in Lanka, while Rama and Laksmana enlist the services of
Hanuman who becomes a devotee of Rama. Hanuman the monkey king, helps
them find Sita. Hanuman, able to make himself larger or smaller, starts
his search for Sita by taking a giant step to the Island of Lanka.
Carrying Rama's ring he finds Sita and identifies himself as Rama's
messenger. Sita is delighted, but Hanuman is caught and Ravana sets
Hanuman's tail on fire. Hanuman escapes but sets fire to Lanka.
Laksmana, Hanuman, and his monkey army lay siege on Lanka. The monkeys
make a bridge to Lanka, and after a long battle with spears, bows and
arrows, Rama kills Ravana, the 10 headed demon. Rama is reluctant to
accept Sita back, because he questions her chastity. She has lived in
the home of another man for almost a year. But Sita proves her innocence
by an ordeal of fire or Agni.
Proving her chastity by remaining unscathed by the fire, she rejoins
there are people in the kingdom who are unhappy about the fact that
their queen had lived in the house of another man for so long. Rama
convinced that his queen has to be above suspicion banishes a pregnant
Sita from Ayodhya. She goes to live in the ashram of sage Valmiki and
bears twin sons Luv
who as young men become reunited with their father, the god-king Rama.
this time Sita is again asked to prove herself with the ordeal of fire
but this time she cannot bear this cruelty by Shri Rama and asks "mother earth"
to swallow her. She cannot be saved by her son Kush. Shri Ram cannot
bear the thought of Sita gone so he decides to sacrifice himself to the
Sarayu river and does "Jala
is a common chant for Shri Rama :
Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare