Lord Rama will always be the epitome of Dharma and righteous living for any human society across the world, says NITA AGARWAL on the occasion of Ram Navami today
From a young age, I have been an ardent devotee of Lord Hanuman. In Hanuman Chalisa, a chaupai reads as follows : तुह्मरे भजन राम को पावै।जनम जनम के दुख बिसरावै।। This means by worshipping Lord Hanuman, my prayers reach Lord Rama, who takes away all my sufferings in every birth. Because Lord Hanuman believes he is born to serve Lord Rama, every moment of his existence is devoted to Lord Rama. Any devotee of Lord Hanuman is naturally a devotee of Lord Rama.
Lord Rama is believed to be the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He was born in Treta Yuga as the son of the Ayodhya King Dashrath and his wife Kaushalya. Navami in Shukla paksha of Chaitra mas (month as per Hindu calendar which generally falls between March and April months of the Gregorian Calendar) is celebrated as the birth date of Lord Rama. Hence it is called Ram Navami.
Ram Navami is the last day of Chaitra Navratri. The first day of Chaitra Navratri is celebrated as the New year as per the Hindu calendar and is known by different names like Gudipadwa, Ugadi, Vishu, Choitro in different parts of India. This is also the harvest season; therefore Ram Navami is celebrated in some parts of Bihar by making food from all new grains harvested in this period. Newly harvested products are brought home and used to prepare various goodies to offer as prasad to celebrate the birth of Lord Rama.
Many people, who fast on all nine days of Navratri, feed nine young girls or kanyas on Ram Navami as offering to Ma Durga. Each day of Navratri is devoted to nine different forms of Shakti/Ma Durga. Navratri also signifies the victory of good over evil. We have two major Navratris celebrated in India. First in the Chaitra month and the second falls in Ashvin month, known as Shardiya Navratri. It ends with Lord Rama killing the Asura King Ravana, his brothers Meghnad and Kumbhakaran, as well as all his sons.
It also signifies victory of good over evil. Two Gupt Navratris in the month of Magh (January/February) and Ashad Navrati (July/August) are also celebrated in India. All four Navratris coincide with the four harvest seasons in any given year. It’s like worshipping nature in gratitude for taking care of our sustenance and survival with its limitless natural bounties.
Lord Rama is worshipped all over India. Ayodhya is believed to be His birth place. He is known as Maryada Purshottam, which translates as Supreme Being who stands for righteousness in all situations as per the law of the land. He is known as the ideal son, husband, brother and king. His rule is known as Ram Rajya. It’s considered as the epitome of the right way to rule any nation at any given time.
Lord Rama born as a mortal human being went through many trials and tribulations, but he never failed in fulfilling His dharma as son, brother, husband or king. He put the welfare of others before His own.
As son, when Lord Rama was banished to the jungle by His stepmother Kaikayi on the eve of His coronation as king of Ayodhya, He never displayed any anguish or displeasure. Following his parents wish was his Dharma as a son. He never harboured any ill feelings for His step mother Kaikayi. As brother, he encouraged younger brother Bharat (son of Kaikayi) to become the king of Ayodhya, without feeling anger about what his mother had done to Him.
As husband, He fought with Asura king Ravana to protect His wife Sita. As king, when ignorant subjects of His kingdom felt that Ma Sita could not be the Queen of Ayodhya because she had lived in the kingdom of Asura Ravana, He ordered an Agni Parkisha to prove the innocence and purity of Ma Sita. Ma Sita was Shakti incarnate. That she could have never become impure was beyond the grasp of the ignorant masses.
Being their king, Lord Rama in the interest of His subjects’ welfare and happiness sacrificed His own happiness. Many to this day criticise Lord Rama for taking Agni Pariksha of Ma Sita to satisfy the disgruntled ignorant people of His kingdom, but He considered it His duty to keep His subjects happy and satisfied. He always took decisions in the larger interest of His subjects.
Being the Lord reincarnate, He knew Ma Sita was unblemished and as pure as fire. As a husband, He remained devoted to his wife, Ma Sita.
Lord Rama set the precedent of following Dharma at all costs. He never cared for His personal needs or comforts.
If we hope to see Rama Rajya ever return to our land, we need politicians who can truly understand and work in the larger interest of people rather than have politicians who work with a selfish narrow vision.
If we all wish to learn the true meaning of following Dharma, we need to follow in the footsteps of Lord Rama, who will always be the epitome of Dharma and righteous living for any human society across the world.
Nita Agarwal is an ex-Table Tennis State player, qualified teacher, self-taught budding painter, a successful blogger, who writes about her observations of life and people; and most importantly, a working housewife.
(Featured Image Courtesy: India.com)