The holy observance of Chaitra Navaraatri

AS we commence the holy observance of Chaitra Navaraatri, also called Vasant or Raama Navaraatri which will culminate with the observance of Raamnavami on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, the Sabha takes delight in wishing everyone a thrilling and spiritually uplifting experience during the period. We pray that not only do we ensure the festival is observed, but that genuine, sincere and prayerful efforts are made to enhance our individual spiritual gains and attainments.

We also take the time to implore that as we observe this holy period under the COVID-19 pandemic, let us do so with strick adherence to the protocols as set out by the health authorities, primarily mask wearing, constant sanitising and social distancing.

Unlike Sharad Navaraatri (September/October) which is exclusively dedicated to Mother worship, this Chaitra Navaraatri is focused on recapturing the events in a spirit of love and devotion leading up to Sri Raam Birthday or appearance. As the Ramayana points out, the events which unfolded as humanity had petitioned the Lord for His saving grace and mercy, today more than ever, the world needs to capture this ever incessant flow of grace of the Lord and seek the higher goals of life in as much as we take part in the beauties of the world.

Therefore, this Navaraatri is relevant and has much to offer to the world and we who have been so privileged to claim it, must make the best use of it all. We must recommit to the further growth of our faith and love for Lord and be ever grateful for this gift of life.

Sri Raama represents in every way the values, traditions, culture and teachings of Sanatan Dharma. Taking his inspiration from Rishi Valmiki, Tulsidas portrays his Hero, Sri Rama, as the very epitome of Vedic characterisation. The details of Rama’s birth, parentage, upbringing, schooling, relationship with brothers and friends, service to elders, marriage, and practice of ideals are all aimed at portraying Him to be a living representation of Vedic ethics. In Rama’s life, there is an application of the Vedic spiritual culture of Yajna and Sanskaaara – rituals and sacraments. This is the life Tulsidas wanted to see rejuvenated in the Hindu world.

So focused is Tulsidas in portraying Rama in Vedic terms that he says in Uttarkanda 23.1, “He (Raama) was a defender of the Vedic Path and a champion of righteousness. He was above the influence of the three gunas, – Sattva, Rajas and Tamas…”
He further wrote in the Sundar kanda 38.2 that Raama is, “An ocean of compassion, he has assumed the human form for the good of all. He brings joy to righteous people, and breaks the ranks of evildoers; He is the Champion of the Vedas and of righteousness.”

This is the Raama, the blessed Lord whose appearance is the central reason and purpose for observing Vasant Navaraatri. May he bless us all.

Yours sincerely,

Sanatan Vaidic Dharma Pandits’ Sabha, Region Three

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