This, Kaikeyi took advantage of, when the time
came for crowning a prince as the future King of
the Ayodhya Kingdom. She invoked the King's
promise and asked for Raama's banishment, so
that her son Bharatha could be coronated as the
King of Ayodhya.

          Raama had three younger brothers. They
were Lakshmana, Bharatha, and Shatrughna.
Prince Raama had to go to the forest and stay
there for 14 years because of a promise his
father had made to his second wife Kaikeyi to
fulfill any of her wish she demands of him at any
time in the future, following an event in which
Kaikeyi had saved the life of King Dasharatha
during a battle. This, Kaikeyi took advantage of,
when the time came for crowning a prince as the
future King of the Ayodhya Kingdom. She
invoked the King's promise and asked for
Raama's banishment, so that her son Bharatha
could be coronated as the King of Ayodhya.

During the Vanavaasa, Lankan King Raavana
kidnapped Seetha and took her to his palace in
Lanka. Seetha was imprisoned in the Ashoka
Vana in the palace premises and she was
persuaded by multiple means by Raavana to
marry him. She rejected the evil King's demands
and waited for her husband to come and free her
from captivity. Lord Raama fought a prolonged
war with the Lankan King Raavana to free
Seetha from captivity.

Hanuman became deified because he took part
with Raama in his war to free Seetha.
Hanumantha (alias Hanumantha) is worshipped
as a God by Hindus and his birthday known as
Hanuman Jayanthi is observed as a festival.
Hanuman, Lakshman, the king of monkeys
Sugriva and many others helped Raama in his
war with Raavana and therefore they are also
worshipped. However, Sugriva is not clubbed
with Raama because his efforts in the war was
limited and localised. Hanuman accompanied
Raama when the latter returned to the capital
Ayodhya after his triumph in the war. Hanuman
was given a respectable position in the court of
Raama after he occupied the throne in Ayodhya.
Lord Raama was born in Ayodhya to King
Dasharatha and Queen Kausalya, on the ninth
day (Navami) of Shukla Paksha of the Chaithra
month, as per the Chaandramaana Calendar
(Calendar based on the movements of the
Moon).
 Navami is the ninth day of the fortnight (fifteen
days of the half month). There are two fifteen
day periods in every month. The first one is
known as 'Shukla Paksha' and the second one
is known as the 'Krishna Paksha'. Shukla (white)
is when the moon ends as a Full Moon and
Krishna (black) is when the moon ends as a
New Moon. The Full Moon Day is also known
as Poornima and the New Moon day is known
as Amavasya.
  Raama had three younger brothers. They
were Lakshmana, Bharatha, and Shatrughna.
Prince Raama had to go to the forest and stay
there for 14 years because of a promise his
father had made to his second wife Kaikeyi to
fulfill any of her wish she demands of him at any
time in the future, following an event in which
Kaikeyi had saved the life of King Dasharatha
during a battle.
In Hinduism Lord Vishnu takes birth in
this world from time to time to help the
people in most difficult times. This event
of incarnation of God is called the
Avathaara. Lord Raama is considered
one of the ten Avathaara(s) Hinduism has
known. Therefore Lord Raama is
worshipped as God since many centuries.
              There are many temples
dedicated to Lord Raama in India and
abroad. Lord Raama's portrait in which
he stands with his younger brother on his
right and his wife Seetha on his left and
Hanuman sitting at the feet of the three,
next to Seetha on the left is very popular
and found in almost every house of
Hindus. This portrait or a similar
sculpture is garlanded on the Raama
Navami Day. A special worship called
Puja is performed to Raama, Lakshmana,
Seetha and Hanuman together by
decorating the portrait with flowers,
raising Aarathi to the accompaniment of
Jaagate-beating and blowing Shankha ,
Naivedya, and Sastanga namaskara at
an appointed hour on this day in every
Raama Temple or in every home where
there is a portrait or sculpture of Lord
Raama.
      Lord Raama is considered to be the
ideal person or Purushottama because of
the fact that he had only one wife and he
followed the Dharma or Rules of Life
strictly according to the Scriptures of
Hinduism.
                Festivals bring joy to practically every one in the society.  Many of the festivals and
functions are necessary for the healthy psychological development of the person,
whether the festival is scientifically meaningful or not.
 
Usually it is a task for a person to fulfill the rituals of a festival or a function and the occasion
tries his patience and abilities in performance. The man in the family has to provide the
supplies and other members have a role to play in implementing the various processes.  The
task is a trial for all who take part in the festival.  It is a totally independent matter, however,
and how one celebrates the festival in his confines of the home is a personal matter.  There
are no compulsions except the deity or the sacred structures meant for the festival are given
proper respect in handling the different programs laid down in the rules of the ritual.  
The Hindu Festival of Raamanavami
By Mohan Shenoy
Adyar Gopal Parivar
RAMANAVAMI
A Hindu Religious Festival
Adyar Gopal and Radha Bai
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From Left to Right: Lakshmana, Lord
Rama, Seetha and Hanumantha
Bharatha the son of Kaikeyi refused to be
crowned as the king when Raama left for
Vanavaasa although it was precisely the
desire of Kaikeyi and the reason why
Kaikeyi demanded Raama undertake the
Vanavaasa. Bharatha loved his brother
Raama so much that he did not wish to
become a king which position was rightly
Raama's. The noble conduct of Raama,
Lakshmana, Seetha, Hanuman and
Bharatha is for all Hindus to emulate in
their lives.
The story of Raama in the epic
Raamayana is recited during the festival
by chosen men and women for all to hear.

A festival is held to celebrate completion
of a harvest, or celebration of the
anniversary of inauguration of community
halls, temples, etc., or anniversary of
birth or death of great personalities
belonging to the community.

Relatives and friends watch and observe
how well one does the festivals in the
current year compared to what one did in
the previous years.  It is a measure of
one’s current abilities and enthusiasm.  It
is a measure of one’s prosperity and
health to know how well a particular
festival is carried out in the current year
by the descendant.  If you have time and
money you may turn it into a large-scale
extravaganza or if you don’t, then you
can moan and groan and give excuses to
downsize the whole thing.  It requires
skills of management and liberal religious
or social attitude.

In any case how superficial or how deep
one participates in the festival is a mood-
related subject.  But it is a revelation of
one’s position and exposes him to the
open.  Many consider that the money
spent on a festival is worth more than its
value but there are some who cling to
excuses in order to celebrate it in a
subdued fashion.  They might save
money, time and toil.  They may not save
their face well, though.

           A certain menu for the feast is
recommended under the tradition and a
list of decorations for the festival is
carried out but there is ample leeway
available so that no one is put to
hardship.  We usually repeat what our
parents and other elders did in the past
festivals.  It is a small challenge to do at
least as good or better than our parents.  
We can also polish the procedures to fit
in the modern times and innovate the
look and shape of the event.

The festival can be grand with
involvement of relatives and friends or it
can be converted into a family-only
matter.
practiced polygamy and kept many women in
their harems, Lord Raama remained a
monogamist, with only Seetha as his wife. He
was so much aware of his role or Dharma as the
King that he took care that no one in his
kingdom would find fault in his character or
behaviour as a king. Therefore when he learned
from a spy that a washerman among his
subjects raised the question whether Raama's
wife is a tainted woman because she was in
captivity in the palace premises of Lankan King
Raavana, he decided to put her to test. Seetha
had to walk on the burning embers and come
out unscathed if she was pure and she did.
Once Seetha passed the test of her purity
Raama took her back as his queen and wife.

     Lord Raama is also considered to be an
ideal person because he as an ideal son
abandoned the throne to fulfil the promise of his
father to his stepmother. The conditions put forth
by the stepmother were harsh and included a
14-year Vanavaasa for Raama.
PURUSHOTTAMA RAMA
Although Lakshmana was not asked to go
on a Vanavaasa he opted to accompany
Raama because Lakshmana loved his
elder brother very dearly. Although
Raama wished his wife Seetha to stay
home, to avoid the great hardships of
Vanavaasa, Seetha as a good wife joined
her husband in the Vanavaasa.
FESTIVALS BRING JOY TO EVERYONE
Navami is the ninth day of the fifteen days of the
half month. There are two fifteen day periods in
every month. The first one is known as 'shukla
paksha' and the second one is known as the
'krishna paksha'. Shukla is when the moon ends
as a Full Moon and Krishna is when the moon
ends as a New Moon. The New Moon day is also
known as amavasya.

Lord Ram (pronounced as in calm, palm) was
born in Ayodhya to King Dasharatha and Rani
Kausalya. He had three younger brothers. They
were Lakshmana, Bharatha, and Shatrughna.
Prince Ram had to go to the forest and stay there
for 14 years because of a promise his father had
made to his second wife Kaikeyi to fulfill any of
her wish she demands of him at any time in the
future, following an event in which Kaikeyi had
saved the life of King Dasharatha during a battle.

This, Kaikeyi took advantage of, when the time
came for crowning a prince as the future King of
the Ayodhya Kingdom. She invoked the King's
promise and asked for Ram's banishment.A
festival is held to celebrate completion of a
harvest, or celebration of the anniversary of
inauguration of community halls, temples, etc., or
anniversary of birth or death of great
personalities belonging to the community.

Festivals bring joy to practically every one in the
society.  Many of the
festivals and functions
are necessary for the healthy psychological
development of the person, whether the
festival is scientifically meaningful or not.
 

Usually it is a task for a person to fulfill the rituals
of a festival or a function and the occasion tries
his patience and abilities in performance. The
man in the family has to provide the supplies and
other members have a role to play in
implementing the various processes.  The task is
a trial for all who take part in the festival.  It is a
totally independent matter, however, and how
one celebrates the festival in his confines of the
home is a personal matter.  There are no
compulsions except the deity or the sacred
structures meant for the festival are given proper
respect in handling the different programs laid
down in the rules of the ritual.  
A certain menu for the feast is
recommended under the tradition and a
list of decorations for the festival is
carried out but there is ample leeway
available so that no one is put to
hardship.  We usually repeat what our
festivals.  It is a small challenge to do at
least as good or better than our parents.  
We can also polish the procedures to fit
in the modern times and innovate the
look and shape of the event.

The festival can be grand with
involvement of relatives and friends or it
can be converted into a family-only
matter.

Relatives and friends watch and observe
how well one does the festivals in the
current year compared to what one did in
the previous years.  It is a measure of
one’s current abilities and enthusiasm.  It
is a measure of one’s prosperity and
health to know how well a particular
festival is carried out in the current year
by the descendant.  If you have time and
money you may turn it into a large-scale
extravaganza or if you don’t, then you
can moan and groan and give excuses to
downsize the whole thing.  It requires
skills of management and liberal religious
or social attitude.

In any case how superficial or how deep
one participates in the festival is a mood-
related subject.  But it is a revelation of
one’s position and exposes him to the
open.  Many consider that the money
spent on a festival is worth more than its
value but there are some who cling to
excuses in order to celebrate it in a
subdued fashion.  They might save
money, time and toil.  They may not save
their face well, though.
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