Sanskrit: राम, Rāma
It is in the life of Lord Rama that we see the divinely perfect role-models for each type of relationship. Sri Rama was a king endowed with great strength, nobility, spiritual wisdom, mastery of human relations, and earthly powers. He used his skills with grace, truth and gentleness for the benefit of all creation without a trace of selfishness.
Sri Rama is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He was born as a prince in a royal family, who were descendants of the Solar Deity, Surya. Swamiji explains the holy meaning of Rama’s name as follows: “R” means the subtle body, “A” measures universal consciousness, “M” means the culmination or perfection. Therefore, “Rama,” means “the Manifestation of Perfection in the subtle body of Consciousness.”
The story of Sri Rama is called the Ramayana. It is considered to be one of the greatest epics of world literature by many scholars. In the Ramayana, all of the characters exemplify ideal personality traits in every relationship. We see the perfect king, the perfect wife, the perfect brother, the perfect servant, the perfect devotee, the perfect father, the perfect mother, and an ideal kingdom. Even the character of Ravana, the personification of pure evil, is perfectly represented in the Ramayana.
Worship and its Benefits
Due to its profound spiritual philosophy, its depictions of ideal human relations, and its mystical links to all the paths of yoga, the Ramayana is compared to a mirror–a mirror of life. The more we study and chant its verses, the more we understand the ideals depicted, and we receive the grace to choose Dharmic ideals. With these ideals we can build an ideal life that leads to spiritual liberation.
Sri Rama was born on the 9th day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month called Chaitra, which usually falls in the month of April. This day is called Rama Navami. We all pray to Sri Ram to guide us and make our lives perfect in Dharma, love, and truth.
Worship and Celebrations at the Devi Mandir
Ram Navami is celebrated with great devotion at the Devi Mandir. Special sweets are offered to Sri Rama, and He is worshiped with great love and devotion. Swamiji and Shree Maa lead us in the beautiful chanting of the Sundar Kanda during Rama Navami. After the recitation of the Sundar Kanda, the temple resounds with continuous chanting of “Sri Ram, Jaya Ram, Jaya Jaya Ram.”
The Sundar Kanda is the famous chapter from the Tulsidas Ramayana which explains how the story and characters are extremely relevant to our own lives. Swamiji has translated the Sundar Kanda, which is available in our bookstore.