Ram Navami 2019: Did You Know Lord Rama Had a Sister? 10 Interesting Facts about Sri Ram
Lord Rama (Photo Credits: YouTube stills | The Legend of Prince Ram)

Rama Navami, observed on the last day of Chaitra Navaratri, is the celebration of Lord Rama’s birth. In Hinduism, Lord Rama or Rama is a supreme godhead, the representation of everything virtuous. Hindu legends say that Lord Rama was born on the ninth day of Chaitra Navaratri, on the auspicious day of Shukla Paksha. He, along with his brothers Bharata, Lakshana and Shatrughana, was born at 12 noon on this day. The date of Rama Navami 2019 is on April 14. On this day, devotees observe fast, perform puja, feed Brahmins and listen to the vrat katha or the story of Prince Sri Rama. It is said that by praying to Rama, devotees will be blessed with peace, harmony and prosperity in their lives. On Rama Navami 2019, let’s learn some interesting and lesser-known facts about Sri Rama.

1. Rama Was Born After a Yagna

King Dasharatha was worried since none of his queens – Kaushalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi – bore him an heir. So heeding Rishi Vasishta’s advice, the king performed the Putra Kamesti Yagna. Rama Navami 2019 Date: Know Everything About Vrat Katha, the Story of Lord Ram.

Putra Kamesti Yagna by King Dasharatha (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

After it was successfully performed, Agnideva himself appeared out of the yagnakund and offered Dasharath a bowl of sweet or kheer. It was then given to three queens, who conceived Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrugna after consuming it.

2. Gods Willed the Birth of Rama

The Gods themselves had willed the birth of Rama, because he was destined to kill Ravana. King Ravana had antagonised the devas and the rishis who approached Bramha to save them from him. Gandharvas, yakshas or other demons couldn’t kill him. So Lord Vishnu was chosen to perform the task through his birth as Rama. So he was born to King Dasharatha and Queen Kaushalya in his seventh incarnation. Ram Navami Celebrations in Ayodhya: Know How Lord Rama's Birthplace Marks This Festive Occasion.

King Dasharatha gives kheer or payasa to his wives. (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

3. Rama Was an Ajanbahu

Lord Rama had distinct physical characteristics, which showed that he was not ordinary and was destined for greatness. He had a superhuman form when he was born and bore all the auspicious signs on his body. His lotus-shaped eyes were reddish and his body shone like a thousand suns. More importantly, he was an “ajanbahu” (having long arms beyond the knees). These signs showed that Rama was no ordinary being.

4. Chanting Rama's Name Evokes Powerful Results

Vashishta Maharishi suggested the name “Rama” to Dasharatha. Uttering the name of Rama or chanting Rama Nama works as a powerful mantra. It can banish pain, suffering and anguish, and give immense peace to the chanter. His name is composed of two Bhija Aksharas – ‘Ra’ the agni bhija and ‘ma’ the amruta bhija. Chanting Rama’s name can instantaneously rejuvenate the body and mind.

In tantric yogic philosophy, the syllable "Ra" is the Mooldhara or the place where power of Kundalini originates. "Ma" is the Sahasrara, where the energy ends (the crown of the head). It’s believed that chanting the name alone can help you become a yogi.

Rama (Photo Credits: YouTube stills)

5. Rama was the Ideal Man

Rama was the ideal man, an inspiration for every human being. He was polite, generous, kind, affectionate, chivalrous and free from pride. According to religious texts, he was intelligent like Brihaspati and powerful like Indra.

He was the perfect king to the people of Ayodhya and the perfect son to Dasharatha. Rama was proficient in the vedas, philosophy and poetry and peerless when it comes to his skills as a warrior. It’s no surprise he was admired for his qualities by his subjects.

Rama, Sita and Lakshmana in exile (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

6. Rama had a Sister

Not many know this, but Rama also had an elder sister Shanta, according to Valmiki. She is the daughter of Dasharatha and Kaushalya, and was given away to king of Angadesh Rompad and his wife Vershini. Like Rama, she was also quite accomplished in the vedas, arts and crafts. She was beautiful and was a skilled warrior. According to a legend, she saved Romapad’s kingdom from a severe drought by marrying Rishyasringa and getting him to perform a yagnya. In the end, it finally rained and the kingdom was saved.

7. Rama had 14 Kalas

Kalas are 16 divine arts that all the incarnations of Vishu are supposed to possess. Krishna had 16 kalas, but Rama had only 14. The gods had intended it to be this way because had Rama been a purna avatar, he couldn’t have killed Ravana who was not immune to humans. The demon king made a fatal mistake while asking for a boon from Bramha.

He thought he was above humans and monkeys (both of whom eventually killed him) and they could never harm him. So by intentionally withholding two kalas, the gods ensured that Rama was still human enough to slay Ravana.

8. Rama’s Bow Could Wipe Out An Army

Rama’s bow Sharanga, known also as Kodanda, was known to wipe out armies at once. The bow originally belonged to Lord Vishnu and was crafted by Vishwakarma, the cosmic architect and weapon maker.

After a war with Shiva over the might of their individual weapons, Vishnu gave away Sharanga to Parashurama and Shiva gave away his bow Pinaka to King Janaka’s ancestors.

After Ram broke the Pinaka at Sita Swayamwara, Parashurama stalled him in his way and asked him to lift the Sharanga. When he did so without breaking a sweat, Parashurama realised that Rama is Vishnu himself.

9. Squirrel Got Its Stripes From Rama

An unlikely helper who aided Rama in his quest for Sita, apart from the Vanarsena, was a little squirrel. The furry animal did whatever it could to build the bridge to Lanka by carrying tiny pebbles in his mouth, dropping it into the sea.

Rama and squirrel (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

Pleased by the squirrel’s efforts, Rama ran his fingers down the rodent’s back with affection. The three distinct stripes we see today on squirrels’ body is a result of Rama’s caress.

10. Rama Chanted Sita’s Name Till The End

Rama and Sita’s marriage was preordained. The two were deeply attracted to each other from the time they set eyes on each other. All through their life, their loyalty for each other was unwavering. Although Rama did test Sita through the agnipariksa, he always loved her truly.

Rama and Sita (Photo Credits: YouTube stills)

According to some accounts, Rama had her exiled when she was pregnant with her twins, Luv and Kush because of gossip mongers. But it was an act he regretted. Rama dies by drowning himself in the Sarayu, chanting Sita’s name. And eventually, he joins her in the afterlife.