The spirit of celebration expands beyond this Valley, and Ram Navami, the birth anniversary of Sri Ram Chandra from Ayodhya, a city in present-day India. The seventh incarnation of Vishnu, the super-hero of the great epic Ramayana, perfect king and man, and an all-around good guy.
Ram Navami is a festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Rama, the son of King Dasharatha. It was a joyous occasion in Ayodhya all those centuries ago when King Dasharathaa’s heir was finally born. It was a dream come true for the king as the lack of an heir had troubled him sorely for many years.
Lord Rama is the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu who came down to earth in human form to battle the invincible demon, Ravana during the Treta Yug
Lord Brahma had been receiving complaints from all the gods about the havoc that Ravana was wreaking on earth, but because Lord Brahma himself had granted Ravana so many boons, the demon could not be killed by a god. Ravana had turned so overconfident that he never expected a war from any living human being. He never asked for a boon to be invulnerable to humans. So Lord Vishnu agreed to go to earth in the guise of Prince Rama born to King Dasharatha and his first wife Queen Kaushalya.
The story of Lord Rama as told in the great epic Ramayana is one that most Hindus know irrespective of caste, creed, and religion. Lord Rama is a legendary figure, the epitome of all that is good and true, the man who vanquished the demon king Ravana. He is not just a hero but has been given the status of a god by the Hindus. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that his birth is celebrated year after year with great pomp and delight, on the ninth day after the new moon in Sukul Paksha (the waxing moon), which usually falls in the month of April.
Some people choose to fast on this day. The diet of such a person would include potatoes made in any form without turmeric, garlic, ginger, or onion. He can also eat fruit and root vegetables of any kind. Yogurt, tea, coffee, milk, and water are also permitted.
Bhajans (devotional songs) praising the exploits of Lord Rama, his loyal brother Lakshmana and his devoted wife Sita are sung. The house is swept clean and pictures of Lord Rama, Lakshmana, Sita, and Hanuman are put on a dais in preparation for the puja.