In Hari-bhakti Vilasa, Srila Sanatana Goswamipada describes the vow to worship Bhagavan Sri Ramachandraji, Sri Rama-navami vrata, in sixty-verses taken from Agastya Samhita and Ramarchana-candrika.
Devotees who are fully absorbed in the primary Krishna bhakti-bhajana of shravana, kirtanam and smaranam need not observe all the details of the many vows and vratas mentioned in Hari-bhakti Vilasa. This book describes vratas for each and every month, for Bhagavan and His various forms, and even for the different seasons..
However, for devotees who are not practicing intense bhajana, such occasional Vaisnava vratas are very useful because they help one remain absorbed in Krishna consciousness. All activities in Krishna bhakti are performed only for the purpose of pleasing Sri Krishna, attracting His glance of mercy and bringing His sweet love into our hearts.
Quoting from (HBV 14.241-301), we will describe the vrata to inspire devotees to do more—serve more, surrender more and make more and more spiritual advancement.
- What are the benefits?
One becomes purified of material desires, sinful reactions and goes to Vaikuntha. But most importantly, love for Krishna comes in our hand, bhaktis tasya kare sthita! ((HBV 14. 300)
- What are the Starting Mantras?
“O Raghava (Lord Rama), today for Your pleasure, I WILL FAST FOR 24 HOURS!!!! (sunrise to sunrise), ashta yama. O Lord Hari, please be merciful to me and liberate me.” (HBV 14. 262-266)
III. Procedure of Worship
- Rise early, bathe and complete worship before noon. If possible, observe the vrata in sadhu-sanga. Offer full arati to a murti, painting (picture) of Sita-Rama, Laksmana and Hanuman.
- Hear Rama-katha about the divya-janma, siksha and lilas of Sri Ramachandraji.
- Offer prayers to Sri Rama, play musical instruments and chant Hari Nama-sankirtana. Especially chant the following mantra:
In San Francisco (U.S.A.), 1968, Srila Prabhupada introduced a new chant which was the favorite of Mahatma Sri Gandhiji. Prabhupada personally repeated the words one by one and even spelled them.
Then in his wonderfully rich, love-laden voice, Srila Prabhupada sang so beautifully…
raghupati raghava raja rama, patita-pavana sita-rama.
Srila Prabhupada said that these were Lord Rama’s different names, glorifying Sri Rama as the Lord of the Raghu dynasty, the ideal king, the deliverer of the most fallen, and the husband of the most gorgeous goddess of fortune.
- Jagarana, remaining awake all night worshiping Sri Rama is suggested, although this may not be feasible for many.
- A fragrant sweet offering:
“Without being lazy, one should spend his day and night lovingly offering fragrant flowers to Lord Rama every three hours.” (HBV 14.296) Jai Vijaya Rama ki jai!
- Breaking the Vrata
Rise early (if you have not done jagarana), offer full arati to Sri Ramachandraji; feed and donate to brahmanas and honor maha-prasadam.
- Concluding Prayer
“O Lord Rama, I am breaking my vrata by honoring Your prasadi. May You be fully satisfied with me, and please give me peace and Krishna bhakti.”
tava prasada svikarat, krtam yat paranam maya
vratenanena santushta, svasti bhaktim prayaccha me
Sri Rama Navami Vrata ki jai! Sita-Rama Laksman Hanuman ki jai!
Jai Jai Sri Radhe!