Recently Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli claimed that the real Ayodhya lies at Thori in the west of Birgunj, Nepal. PM Oli is not the only person to claim that Ram was not born in India’s Ayodhya. Many cities around the world share the same name, Ayodhya.
People in many countries claim Ram was born amidst them. The Thais believe Ayutthaya (near Bangkok) is associated with Ram’s birthplace mentioned in their epic, Ramkein. Ayutthaya, which is now in shambles, was established in the 14th century by the descendants of the Lavo Kingdom, named after Ram’s son Lav.
There is also Ayodhya in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mongolia, and Indonesia. And none of these claims on the location of Ayodhya as a birthplace of Lord Ram is universally accepted. The reason is very simple.
The faith and belief of some Hindus that the land in Ayodhya of Uttar Pradesh India, where the Babri Masjid once stood is the birthplace of Lord Ram was based on scripture and religious books including Ramayana composed by Balmiki and Skand Puran.
Modern researchers believe that Balmiki’s Ramayana was based on oral history or folklore. And there is no other solid historical document or archaeological evidence to conclusively prove that the Ayodhya of Lord Ram was confirmed particularly to one place.
But Ram and Ayodhya are everywhere and there is no need to visit anywhere and we can pray Ram at our home too. In other words, wherever there is a Ram temple, there is Ayodhya. Ram is the culmination of ideal. For most Hindus Ram is adorable; other religions accept them as least a great man.
The acceptance of Ram is universal, which is necessary and vital in today’s life. In Nepal, he is the highest peak of faith and one special day called Ram Navami is celebrated to commemorate the birth.
Ram Navami Celebration
Ram Navami is the culmination of Basanta Navaratri. As the name implies, it marks the birth of Lord Rama – the seventh Avatar of Lord Bishnu. The day usually falls on the ninth day of the Chaitra month, which is also the last day of Navaratras. This lends it the name Chaitra Maas Shuklapaksha Navami. This year, Ram Navami was celebrated on 21 April.
On Ram Navami, a large number of devotees flocks to visit Ram temples, recite holy text from the Ramayana and take part in Bhajan and Kirtan (devotional gathering). Devotees even bring miniature idols of Lord Ram, bathe and dress and place them in the cradle.
A lamp is lit in front of the idol and various food items of milk prepared as an offering to the god. On this day, devotees also pray for peace, prosperity and success and seek divine blessings from Lord Rama. On this day Nepali also perform the rituals of Kanya Pooja, where nine girls are invited at home and paid homage as Hindus believe that they are the manifestation of nine forms of Goddess Durga.
On this auspicious day, some followers also keep a day-long fast. The fast begins in the morning and extends till the sunrise of the following day. In some parts of Nepal, the festival also celebrated by performing the ceremonial wedding of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita.
Nowadays, people also celebrate this auspicious day by sending their wishes, quotes, and greetings on Whats App, SMS, or Facebook messengers to their loved ones.
Lord Ram and Poets
Many Nepali poets have told and retold the story of Ram in different ways, in multiple language and dialects. Adikavi (The first poet) Bhanubhakta first translated Ramayana from Sanskrit to Nepali. The popular appeal of his Ramayana can be gauged from the fact that Nepali people not only in the time of Ram Navami, even in the time of leisure and almost all festivals, but they also carried the book of Ramayana translated by Bhanubhakta and reciting the poem and performing the Ramleela, which has thrived over the time.
Lekhnath Paudyal also depicts devotion to Ram and wrote Mero Ram (My God) beautifully. Mero Ram is his devotional poems. In this Mahakavya (great epic), he focuses mostly on material concerns and tries to show his affection towards Ram. Furthermore, Paudyal, as an expert in writing moral poems, also describes Ram as an ideal adoration.
The story of Ram as depicted in Ramayana is very simple. As per Ramayana, Ram was a prince of Ayodhya and was born son of King Dasharath and Queen Kaushalya. He won the hand of beautiful princes Sita but was exiled with her and his brother Lakshman for 14 years through the plotting of his stepmother Kaikeyee.
During his stays in the forest, he encounters various personalities; his journey to distant Lanka is in pursuit of his wife who has been kidnapped by cruel Ravana, and his ultimate victorious return to his home Ayodhya. The story and very persona of Ram are full of meanings and significance.
Lord Ram was an ideal son, an ideal brother, an ideal friend and an ideal king. Ramayana teaches us high moral values. Ram, the most prominent character, shows how many should follow the ideals of life. He possesses all the feature of a highly idealistic and realistic human being. He humbly follows the system. He fights for justice and his right.
It seems to be a story of a common ordinary man. So, it has a great appeal in our society forever. As a result, Mahatma Gandhi, the freedom fighter of India, also emphasized Ram Rajya, the divine raj (the Kingdom of God) in India. Ram Rajya is a system where the society is run by the principles of Lord Ram. Ram Rajya means the sovereignty of the people based on pure moral authority. Many of our rulers in Nepal also emphasise the Ram Rajya.
The Hindus look up to the qualities of Lord Ram in every sphere. He has been the most divine figure of all times. He performed himself wonderfully as the perfect man, both in his good days and difficult period. At all times, he displayed exemplary attitudes as the perfect human that he was known to be.\
And many of our Nepali poets wrote:
“People say I want a friend like Ram, father says I want a son like Ram, girls say I want a husband like Lord Ram.” Besides, we all want our judges, leaders, and rulers to be like Ram.
May Lord Ram shower his divine blessing on you and your family!
Source : THE RISING NEPAL,