Ram Navami and Chaite Dashain
Ram Navami – the birthday of Lord Ram, a Hindu God. This day is celebrated with lots of joy. This celebration not only reminds of the birth of Lord Ram but also the respect and duties of a son towards his parents, family, and teachers. This day also prompts us to be a dutiful member of a society to live with diligence, dignity, and self-respect. It usually falls on the Chaitra Masa Shuklapaksha Navami according to the Hindu calendar. This year, it is on April 13, 2019.
Lord Ram is considered to be the Seventh Incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the protector of the universe. It was believed that the birth of Lord Ram was to end the evil Ravan as he received the boon from his meditation (Tapasya) that he would be killed only by a man. King Ravan was considering himself invincible. So, Lord Vishnu took avatar of Lord Ram in human form and killed him after the war of 32 days according to the Ramcharitra Manas.
Ram Navami is celebrated worldwide among Hindus, especially in India and Nepal. In Nepal, the temples of Lord Ram are decorated and fairs (mela) are organized. Like other festivals, on Ram Navami too, the devotees visit temples of Lord Ram and worship especially early morning and sing hymns, prayers, and dance in the songs dedicated to Lord Ram. In Kathmandu, there is a Ram temple situated at a hilltop in Battisputali, Kathmandu which is usually crowded on this day. Similarly, Janakpur is beautifully adorned on this day as there is the Janaki temple. Thousands and thousands of Hindus flock into Janakpur from India and different parts of Nepal to visit Janaki temple on Ram Navami. With the Hindu mythology belief, the devotees dip into the holy pond named Gangasagar first and then go to worship Lord Ram at the temple. Even though, Janakpur is the birthplace of Goddess Sita, this day of Lord Ram is celebrated here at Janakpur with full happiness and enjoyment.
Lord Ram is also popular as “Maryada Purushottam Ram” meaning the highest class of human being who is a devoted, dutiful person. He has set an example of what and how a human being should be in a family, in a society and how he should fulfill his duties and responsibilities. He received his education under Guru Basistha with his 3 brothers and all 4 of them were very smart and talented. Lord Ram got married to Goddess Sita (incarnation of Goddess Laxmi). But due to arrogance and selfishness of Queen Kaikai, King Dashratha had to send Lord Ram and Sita to the forest for 14 years. During this exile, Lord Ram and Sita were also accompanied by his brother Laxman. They had a hard time in the jungle. Laxman got the boon from the goddess of sleep “not to fall asleep until the exile ends” and instead of Laxman, his wife was put into sleep for 14 years. During this exile period, Sita was abducted by King Ravana of Sri Lanka in his Pushpak Biman.
After Sita was taking away to Sri Lanka, Lord Ram traveled a lot and met many people who were devoted to him. Shree Hanuman was one of them who always stayed with him after he found out about Lord Ram. He gave him full support and company in the war with King Ravana. King Ravana treated himself as a god and didn’t allow anyone to worship except him. The ten heads of King Ravana is the symbol that he was ten times intelligent and brilliant than anyone on the earth at that time. But he was too arrogant and proud. After a battle of about 32 days, Lord Ram was successful in killing Lord Ravana and freed Sita. Then the kingdom of Sri Lanka was handover to Bibhishan, the brother of King Ravana. The day of the return of Lord Ram and Sita to their home is celebrated as “Chaite Dashain”. It is believed that Lord Ram worshipped Goddess Durga for about 9 days before King Ravana was defeated to death and on the tenth day, the victory was achieved. Hence, this is the story behind the Chaite Dashain.
Chaite Dashain is the last festival of the Hindu calendar. As soon as the Chaitra month ends, New Year begins with Baisakh month. It is believed that this Chaite Dashain was actual Big Dashain we celebrated as a victory but due to the start of the summer season, people started falling sick as they will eat and drink during festival time. So, for the good health and benefit of people, this day was shifted to Bada Dashain and this Chaite Dashain is celebrated as Small Dashain. In this way, Ram Navami and Chaite Dashain are connected with each other and celebrated worldwide.
Author: Step On Himalaya
Date: 9th April, 2019