Thursday, June 1, 2017

Sri Rama Navami

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Eight days after the Hindu New Year is the birthday of Sri Rama, one of the two most popular and highly revered incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Sri Rama is said to have been born at noon on this day. This year, it falls on 05 April.

Many devotees of Sri Rama observe the Rama-navami vrata (the penance of Rama-navami) which commences from the previous night with fasting. The occasion is also celebrated with many religio-cultural programmes like Paaraayana or ceremonial recitation of the epic Ramayana (usually spread over the nine days from Ugadi or the Hindu Calendar New Year), Hari-kathaa (musical discourse on mythological stories on Hari, an epithet of Vishnu), classical music or devotional songs, etc.

Here are Sri Aurobindo's revealing words on Sri Rama and his role on earth:

“Rama… was the Avatar of the sattwic mind—mental, emotional, moral—and he followed the Dharma of the age and race.”

“[Rama's] business was to destroy Ravana and to establish the Rama-rajya—in other words, to fix for the future the possibility of an order proper to the sattwic civilised human being who governs his life by the reason, the finer emotions, morality, or at least moral ideals, such as truth, obedience, co-operation and harmony, the sense of domestic and public order,—to establish this in a world still occupied by anarchic forces, the Animal mind and the powers of the vital Ego making its own satisfaction the rule of life, in other words, the Vanara and Rakshasa. This is the meaning of Rama and his life-work…”

“…it was Rama's business to make the world safe for the ideal of the sattwic human being by destroying the sovereignty of Ravana, the Rakshasa menace. All this he did with such a divine afflatus in his personality and action that his figure has been stamped for more than two millenniums on the mind of Indian culture, and what he stood for has dominated the reason and idealising mind of man in all countries, and in spite of the constant revolt of the human vital, is likely to continue to do so until a greater ideal arises.”

Sri Rama Navami

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