On Chaitra Shukla Navami (the ninth day of the bright half of Chaitra) 'Sri Ramanavami' is celebrated.. Sri Ram appeared on this day and years later on the same day Rama married Sita. Aside from celebrating Sri Ram's appearance, some temples also celebrate the wedding or Sri Ram to Sri Sita ji known as Sri Sita Ram Kalyaana Mahotsava with great tradition and devotion.
Ram-naam (name of Sri Ram)contains the power of all mantras. Just uttering the syllable 'Ra' can purge us of all sin. The following syllable 'Ma' ensures that expunged sins do not return to plague us.
The Ram-naammantra stands for Supreme Reality. Chanting Rama's name produces a rhythmic sound that sooths and relaxes the mental and physical system. Mental recitations are equally, if not more, effective.
'Ra' is taken from the Astakshari Mantra Om Namo Narayanaya and 'Ma', from Panchakshari Mantra, Namah Shivaya . The word Rama stands for one who is always present in the hearts of yogis and makes them feel happy. Ram naamliberates from ego and desires. If you are depressed, the mantra will lift your spirits.
Adi Shankaracharya praised the Rama mantra and said that Lord Shankara, knowing the sweetness of it, initiated his beloved Parvati to it. He tells her: Sree Rama Rama Ramethi Rame Raame Manorame Sahasranama Tat Thul-yam Rama Nama Varananemeaning it is only Rama nama which is equal to a thousand names of Vishnu. This mantra can be chanted anywhere, anytime and by anyone. Rama nama has the power of intercession for the dead. The pall bearers repeat: Ram naam satya hai (the name of Rama is absolute truth).
Tulsidas, Ramdas, Kabirdas and Mahatma Gandhi are among those who thoroughly enjoyed the sweetness of this mantra. Tulsidas said that if one repeats the mantra unconsciously, he is taken from hell to paradise. He said that he is as eager to repeat the mantra as a Chataka bird is to drink rain drops, the only source of its survival.
Japo re-Ram naam sukhadaayi – Chant the name of Sri Ram, which embodies joy.
Kabirdas believed that the benefits of Rama nama cannot be destroyed or robbed.
Ram naam ki odho chadariya – Be obsorbed in the name of Sri Ram.
Meera Bai repeated the name of Rama day in and day out. According to her, it is like nectar in a gold cup which none can resist.
Ram naam ras pije manu-a – Partake of the nectar like name of Sri Ram.
Purandaradasa and Thyagaraja have immortalised the Rama nama in their beautiful compositions. Thyagaraja, the saint-poet, is said to have obtained the darshan of Rama with Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman after having recited the Rama nama 950 million times in 38 years on the advice of his guru. It is even said that Rama nama is mightier than Rama himself.
Ram se bada ram ka naam – Greater than the Lord is His name.
By chanting the Rama nama , a notorious bandit Ratnakara got liberated of all his past sins and as Valmiki, went on to author the Ramayana. The Ramayana is not just a great epic; it is history, philosophy, mythology and spirituality all rolled into one. Valmiki describes Rama as having 16 great attributes - Rama stood for truth, he was a believer of truth, he was a good son and brother, he was an ideal king and was a symbol of moral excellence.
A great king of the Ikshavaku dynasty, Rama is revered incarnation of Maha Vishnu. Great sages like Vashista, Bhardwaaj, Atri, Valmiki had Sri Ram’s grace. Sage Vishwamitra composed the “Suprabhata” in praise of Kaushalya’s good fortune in having a illustrious child like Sri Ram. “Kaushalya supraja rama, purva sandhya pravartate” he wrote.