Chaitra Shukla Paksha 9 (2nd April 2020)
Shriramnavami is celebrated on Chaitra Shukla Paksha 9 to commemorate the birth of Shriram, the seventh Incarnation of Shri Vishnu. Therefore, worshipping Him is akin to worshipping Shri Vishnu.
Celebrations of Shriramnavami start on the first day of Chaitra (Gudhipadwa) and continue for 9 days. During this period, devotees do periodic readings of Ramayan, recite hymns glorifying Shriram (Ramraksha-stotra), sing Holy devotional songs (bhajan-kirtan) in His praise and chant His Name. On the 9th day, in the afternoon, a spiritual discourse on Shriram’s birth is organised.
Importance of Shriramnavami
Why celebrate any Deity’s festival on a particular tithi ? : On a particular tithi (Date according to the Hindu Almanac) related to a Deity, the respective Deity Principle is most active in the entire universe. Due to this, the Deity’s Chaitanya (Divine consciousness) and sattvikata (Spiritual purity) are emitted in a higher proportion.
The Principles of Deities and Incarnations are more active on earth on the day of their birth as per the Hindu lunar calendar. On the day of Shriramnavami, Principle of Shriram is a thousand times more active when compared with other days. On this day, chanting ‘Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram I’ and worshipping Shriram with spiritual emotion helps in obtaining maximum benefit of His Principle.
Information on some common rituals in the worship of Shriram : In the worship of a specific Deity, performing the ritual in a specific way has an underlying science. This action helps the devotee obtain maximum benefit from that specific Deity’s Principle.
Question : Which flowers should be offered to Shriram ?
Answer : Common Jasmine (Jai)
Question : How many flowers should be offered ?
Answer : Four or in multiples of four
Question : How many incense-sticks should be waved to Shriram ?
Answer : Two
Question : How many pradakshinas (Circumambulations) should be performed around Shriram ?
Answer : Minimum of three or in multiples of three
Chanting the Name of Shriram
Various forms of worship such as puja, Arati, etc. bestow the benefit of the Deity’s Principle. However, since all these have their limitations, the benefit is also limited. For continuous benefit from the Deity’s Principle, the worship of the Deity should also be continuous, and there is only one such form of worship – chanting the Deity’s Name. In Kaliyug, this is an easy and excellent form of worship.
One of the common chants of Shriram’s Name is ‘||Shriram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram||’ (||श्रीराम जय राम जय जय राम ||)
The words in this chant have the following meaning.
Shriram : This invokes Shriram Principle
Jai Ram : This denotes praise of Shriram
Jai Jai Ram : This is like Namaha (I surrender unto You), which signifies surrender
Establishing a ‘Hindu Rashtra (Nation)’ is in our hands only !
In Ramrajya, the subjects used to abide by Dharma. This is precisely why they were blessed with a sattvik king such as Shriram, and were able to live in an ideal Ramrajya. Similarly, if we too abide by Dharma and become devotees of God, Ramrajya, that is, a ‘Hindu Rashtra (Nation)’ will certainly be established.
(Reference : Sanatan’s Holy Text – Holy festivals, Religious festivals and Vowed religious observances; ‘Shri Vishnu, Shriram and Shrikrushna’)