Ram Navami: What’s The Story Behind The Festival & How Is It Celebrated?

Lord Rama is believed to be the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He is considered to be an ideal human being and a symbol of truth, righteousness and virtue. He is known for his bravery, courage and devotion for his duty. He was free from greed, hatred and vices; defended the vulnerable and stood up for what was right against all odds, because of these qualities he was known as ‘Maryada Purushottam.’ Ram Navami marks the birth anniversary of Lord Shri Ram. Almost every festival has a story behind it and Ram Navami also has the same. The Hindu epic- Ramayana has a description of the festival.

History/Story Behind Ram Navami

King Dashratha had three queens – Kaushalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra, but they weren’t able to bear him an heir. On the advice of Rishi Vashishth, they performed Putra Kamesti Yagna. Lord of Yagna blessed the three queens and were given kheer. Soon after having the kheer, the queens conceived- on the ninth day of Chaitra month (Threta Yuga), Queen Kaushalya gave birth to Lord Rama, Sumitra gave birth to Lord Shatrughan and Lord Lakshaman, and Kaikeyi gave birth to Lord Bharat.

How Is Ram Navami Celebrated?

Ram Navami is celebrated as the conclusion of Chaitra Navratri. Devotees of Maa Durga organise havan at their homes and end the nine-day-long Navratri fast.

According to Drik Panchang, devotees are supposed to observe a one-day fast, during which they recite and listen to the epic Ramayana and celebrate the union of Lord Shri Ram and Lady Sita. They organise Ram Navami processions. They perform a havan before breaking the fast the next day.

During the puja, they offer kala chana, puri and halwa/kheer. They also prepare panka (juice with muskmelon), masala buttermilk, kosambari.

Although the festival is celebrated across India, it is celebrated in Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) in a grand way.

Happy Ram Navami to all! Jai Sri Ram.

Lord Ganesha’s Significance: Story Behind Worshipping Lord Vinayaka First Before Starting Any Work

People worship many Gods and it all depends on different sections and traditions. It is said that Hinduism has 330 Million Gods and Goddesses, and each God or Goddess is worshiped for a reason. For example, Lord Ganesha is worshipped or remembered first before performing pooja beginning any auspicious work. Do you know that there is a story behind this for the same?

There are two stories as to why Lord Ganesha is remembered or worshipped before starting any work. Read on!

1. Once Goddess Parvati, wife of Lord Shiva, was getting ready for her bath and she ordered Shiva’s vahan- Nandi to guard her private chamber. But, Nandi couldn’t stop Lord Shiva from entering the chamber as he was her husband and thought how can he stop him. Meanwhile, in the chamber, the handmaids who were applying turmeric to Goddess Parvati left the place seeing Shiva. Goddess Parvati got furious and asked Lord Shiva as to how Nandi let Lord Shiva in the chamber. Lord Shiva laughed and asked her if she has forgotten that he is her husband. This again made Goddess Parvati furious, and thought that no Shiva’s followers will completely be hers. So, she collected all the turmeric paste which was applied to her body, created a form and gave life to it. She had a son now and her happiness was out of bounds. The boy hugged Parvati, who named him Vinayaka.

She then ordered Vinayaka to guard the entrance of her private chamber. She gave him a stick which had her powers. When Lord Shiva tried to enter the chamber, Vinayaka was stubborn, didn’t let him in and said that he wouldn’t disobey his mother’s order. This made Lord Shiva furious, and he angrily cut his head with his trishul.

Parvati was angry and she called on Kali and Durga, who started killing all the gans and destroying Earth. Lord Vishnu and Bramha tried to stop them, but in vain. It is then Lord Shiva, who ordered one of his gans to cut the head of anyone who is sleeping towards the north and bring it to him. The gan saw an elephant sleeping in the north and cut its head and brought it to Lord Shiva. Although Lord Shiva was little hesitant seeing elephant’s head, he couldn’t do anything as Durga and Kali would not stop. So, he joined the head to Vinayaka’s body and revived him.

Seeing his dear son back to life, Goddess Parvati called Goddess Durga and Goddess Kali back and named Vinayaka as Lord Ganesha (because of elephant head). She also had a condition for Lord Shiva that he must give the importance to Lord Ganesha, and it is then, Lord Shiva blessed him to be worshipped first before anyone.

2. The second mythological tale is: Once there was a race between Lord Ganesha and his elder brother Lord Karthikeya and their parents- Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati asked both to go around the world and whoever comes first will be declared the winner. Karthikeya began his race thinking Lord Ganesha is slow and will never come first while Lord Ganesha did pradakshine of his parents (went around his parents), and stated that for him, they meant the world. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were impressed with Ganesha’s intelligence and blessed Lord Ganesha with the fruit of knowledge along with that of immortality. This is another reason why we seek blessings of Lord Ganesha before any auspicious work.

Do you know any such mythological stories? Hit the comment box to share with us!