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Mahanavami

Date: 21st october, 2015

Mahanavami is one of the most renowned and consecrated festivals and celebrated by all Hindus with full gaiety and cheerfulness. The sacred festivity mainly celebrates the birth of divine Lord Rama, which was a significant incarnation of powerful Lord Vishnu. Mahanavami is derived from two words ‘Maha’ means ‘Great’ and ‘Navami’ signifies for ‘Ninth day’. This festival takes place on the ninth day of Navaratri. On this day, people with full devotion and fervor worship Lord Rama.

When is Mahanavami Celebrated?

The Hindu festivity is mainly celebrated in Hindu month ‘Chaitra’ and on ‘navam’ or ninth day of the Shukla Paksh. As per English calendar, the divine day falls in the month of September or October.

Origin of Mahanavami

According to Hindu folklores, Dashrath was the great and kind king of Ajodhya and he had three wives named Kaikeyi, Sumithra and Kaushlaya. Even after several years of his peaceful marriages, the king had no child and this was becoming a matter of worry for him and people of his kingdom as well. One day the king shared his worries with Rishi Vashishta and pleaded for a solution. The great saint advised him that the king has to perform a holy yagna named ‘Puthra Kamesti’ through which he can become father.

As per the suggestions given by the rishi, king Dashrath performed a yagya and as a result, Yagneshwar came out, offer Dashrath a bowl full of kheer, and told him to divide the sweet dish between all his three wives. After few days, on the ninth day, Kaikeyi gave birth to Bharath, Kaushlaya gave birth to Lord Rama at noon of the bright ninth day of Chaitra and the third queen gave birth to two twins. The entire kingdom of Dashrath with full joy and jauntiness celebrated this day, since then, the devotees of Lord Rama started commemorating the significant day by the name of ‘Mahanavami’.

Mahanavami Customs and Traditions

Fasting

On Mahanvamai, the followers of Lord Rama keep a fast with full devotion for whole day. Although it is not necessary to keep fast without having water and food, but many believers keep stern fast and break it next morning after performing puja. It is said that when a devotee keep fast with full sincerity and faith, he or she is enthroned with prosperity, wealth and health for the year ahead. In ancient Hindu religious texts, it is written that fasting is the only way to attain happiness and emancipation from all the pain and worries.

Rath Yatra

Devotees perform pujas on a grand scale, chant mantras and sing holy songs to appease Lord Rama. Temples are decorated beautifully and in majority of shrines, bhajan and satsang programmes are organized on Mahanavami. In Ajodhya, devotees of Lord Rama, Lakshmana and Sita takes out hallowed Ram Rath Yatra and a lot of natives as well as foreign visitors attend the magnetizing chariot procession to attain happiness and wealth.

Holy Bath

The Hindus believe that by taking bath in holy rivers like Saryu in Ajodhya, one can purify mind and soul and attain Moksha. People wake up in the early hours of morning, take bath and perform puja at home or temples to make the Lord happy.

Significance of Mahanavami

Celebration of Mahanavami symbolizes the birth of divine power on earth. This day endeavors to praise the power of religion and it echoes the never-ending conflict amid good and bad. To portray the life of Lord Rama and his conflict with several demons is displayed beautifully through cultural programs like Ramlila. We can witness the wonderful fusion of numerous virtues on the character of the divine being. The character of Lord Rama tells us that one should always walk on the path of truth and must pay reverence to his/her parents.