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Celebrating Lord Rama: Do's and Don'ts of Ram Navami

While the festivities take place during the Ram Navami celebrations, it is important to focus on the sacred nature of this festival by observing certain customs and traditions. Here is a comprehensive guide to the dos and don’ts of Ram Navami.

Ram Navami celebrations in Calcutta
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Marking the birth of lord Rama, Ram Navami, followed by Navratri is the last day of the 9-day Hindu fasting festival. It is a day celebrated with great enthusiasm marking the birth of the lord, whom the Hindu diaspora considers a role model of righteousness, truthfulness, courage, compassion, and unwavering devotion to duty.

While the festivities take place during the Ram Navami celebrations, it is important to focus on the sacred nature of this festival by observing certain customs and traditions. Here is a comprehensive guide to the dos and don’ts of Ram Navami

Do's

Preparing the Home: 

Maintaining cleanliness and purity is vital before proceeding with Ram Navami rituals. Decorations such as Rangolis with vibrant colors are also done while doorways are adorned with mango leaves and marigold garlands, symbolizing prosperity and auspiciousness.

Fasting: 

Observing the festival of Ram Navami, devotees also indulge in strict fasting to show devotion towards Lord Ram. While there are certain rules to these spiritual fasts, one can choose a full or partial fast based on their health conditions and capacity.

Ensure to stay hydrated while fasting with water, buttermilk, coconut water, or fruit juices.

 

Prayers and Poojas: 

The heart of Ram Navami lies in devotional practices. Prayers and chants during Ram Navami are specifically directed towards Lord Ram and Goddess Amba. Chanting hymns like the “Rama Raksha Stotra” and “Hanuman Chalisa” help seek blessings and protection. While offering prayers at home is an adequate option, you can also visit temples that are dedicated to lord Ram and offer fruits, flowers, sweets, and incense. Light diyas and perform aarti to the lord with devotion.

Community Celebrations: 

All the practices involved in Ram Navami celebrations are to promote the community celebration spirit. Partaking in cultural programs, temple recitation, and dramatic Ramayana enactments can help form social connections and share the joy of the occasion. Attend discourses (Katha) by learned scholars who delve into the deeper meanings of the Ramayana.

Charity and Seva (Selfless Service):

Emulate Lord Rama's generosity by extending a helping hand to those in need. Many devotees find Ram Navami an occasion to engage in community service like donations and feeding drives. At many places people organize Bhandaras, to distribute food and sweet dishes marking the joy of the Ram Navami celebrations. You can always add volunteering in food drives or donating to charitable causes to your to-do list on this day.


Satvik Food: 

One of the strict rules for Navratri celebrations is maintaining a clean vegetarian diet, particularly focusing on sattvic dishes. Light and pure meals, promote a sense of calmness in individuals. Examples include lentils, vegetables, fruits, and dairy products. Some families may choose to avoid onions and garlic during this period.

It is advised to avoid foods with strong smells, items like onions and garlic. Some devotees abstain from the consumption of both of these food items during Ram Navami.

Don'ts

Tamasic Food: 

Abstain from the consumption of tamasic food, as these are believed to have a heavy and lethargic influence on the mind and body. This includes meat, fish, eggs, and alcohol.

Anger and Harsh Speech: 

Cultivate peace and harmony on the occasion of Lord Ram’s birth celebration. Avoid getting into arguments, and the usage of harsh words and negative words. It is the time to embrace inner peace and purify your thoughts and intentions. 

Dishonesty:

Lord Rama is the epitome of truthfulness. Refrain from any form of dishonesty, cheating, or lying. Uphold ethical conduct in your daily life.

Neglecting Family Responsibilities: 

While offering prayers, it is important to also prioritize the needs of your family. It is a great opportunity to reflect on your relations and spend quality time with your loved ones, creating a harmonious atmosphere during the festival.

Following certain rules allows us to recognize the value of these sacred practices by paving a path to spiritual growth and self-improvement. These rules seem to be strict but they provide immense value to our devotion. This Ram Navami let the principles of lord Rama lead you to a better version of yourself.

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