First of all, before even starting off the post I would love to wish all my beautiful readers a very Happy Ram Navami and Annapurna Puja! May Bhagwan Ram and Goddess Annapurna bless all of us with all bliss and happiness. I have never seen the Ram Navami festival ever as we don’t celebrate that in Bengal but I have read a lot and would love to share my knowledge with you guys! Do correct me if I am wrong. Dig in!
Hindu religion has some festival or other all year long and some even continue for straight nine days (Navaratri)! We enjoy every bit of the celebration and even wear the best of clothes and have the best of food on those days. Navaratri is one of the major celebrations of India and various states of India celebrating this festival by different names. It is celebrated twice a year – at the confluence of spring-summer and also at the junction time of Autumn-winter.
Chaitra Navaratri usually falls in the month of March or April and marks the first day of the Hindu Luni-Solar calendar. Undeniably, Navratri is one the biggest Hindu festivals celebrated across the nation with great fervour and enthusiasm. However, Chaitra Navratri is more popular across the Northern part of the country. Navratri stands for ‘nine nights’, each dedicated to the nine forms of Goddess Durga – Shailputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandmata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri.
This Navaratri festival is celebrated for 9 days straight and yesterday was the Ashtami Puja or the Annapurna Puja. Maa Annapurna is the goddess of nourishment. She is the avatar of Parvati, wife of Shiva. Annapurna is eulogised in “Annada Mangal”, a narrative poem in Bengali by Bharatchandra Ray. Ashtami is considered as a very important day in the Navaratri festival as most people break their fast on this day while some other continue it to the next day i.e Navami.
Those who break their fast on this day clean their houses early in the morning, take shower and worship the goddess. Devotees offer a“bhog” of Kala Chana, Halwa and Puri to nine young girls as a gesture of offering home-cooked bhog to the nine avatars. Most families then undertake Yagna practice to thank all gods, seek their blessings and mark the end of Navratri.
Today is Ram Navami and on this day, the seventh Avatar of Vishnu appeared on the Earth as the son of Ayodhya King Dasharath. Decorating the house with the pictures of Lord Ram, Mata Sita and Dev Lakshman is one of the prime keys to celebrate this festival.
They prepare the sweets, sweet drinks, prasad to perform the puja, they invite the purohit to perform havan and Katha, they read religious songs, mantras and aarti at the end of puja to remove the bad powers from their houses and substitute it with all the good forces. They also pray for the good future and health of their children and other family members.
The festival of Ram Navami is of supreme importance to the Hindu religion. It symbolises the removal of evil forces from the Earth and the entrance of good power to every household. To remove the Asura power on the earth in order to maintain the Dharma, Lord Vishnu had to born on the earth as a son of the Ayodhya King Dasharatha. Ram Navami is a ritual celebration for the people of Hindu religion which they celebrate enthusiastically for their soul and body purification. Lord Rama came to the earth to perform a special responsibility means to destroy the demon Ravana in order to maintain the Dharma.
That’s all folks! Hope you are enjoying the festival with all pomp and believes. Stay happy and Stay Blessed guys!
Watch the Ashtami celebration video here