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Observing Sri Rama Navami

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_alum.calberkeley.org)
Date: Tue Apr 11 2000 - 12:37:45 PDT

Re: The Date on Which to Observe Sri Rama Navami

Dear Rama Bhaktas,

Here's some information on the date to celebrate Sri Rama Navami.
I will first discuss the appropriate date for Indian Standard
Time.

Chaitra Shukla Navami (the ninth day after the new moon in the
month of Chaitra), Punarvasu Nakshatram, Karkataka Lagnam are the 
date, nakshatram, and lagnam at which time Sri Rama is said to have
been born. It is recorded that Sri Rama was born at noon.

This year, Chaitra Shukla Navami falls on April 12th (Indian
Standard Time).  However, Karkataka Lagna and 12:00 noon can
coincide only on or after the Solar New Year (April 13). So, according 
to some interpretations of the circumstances surrounding 
Sri Rama's birth, the birthday must fall on April 13. (see
http://www.ramanuja.org/sv/bhakti/archives/mar99/0206.html and
http://www.ramanuja.org/sv/bhakti/archives/aug97/0059.html for
more details). Furthermore, there are some guidelines that
dictate when a Navami actually is Sri Rama Navami, which depend 
once again on the exact timings of the period of Navami vis-a-vis 
sunrise, etc.

The bottom line is that there are differing interpretations
of the times which lead to two days being observed as Sri Rama Navami:

  April 12: observed by followers of munitraya sampradAya
            (including Andavan Ashramam, Poundarikapuram Ashramam)
            and Ahobila Matham. smArtas also probably observe on this
            day.
  April 13: Most other Sri Vaishnavas, particularly around temples 
            including Kanchipuram Varadaraja Swami temple, Tiruvallikkeni,
            etc. Most Pancaratra temples will be observing this date.

Once again, this is all for Indian Standard Time.

For people living east of India, such as in Singapore, etc., it
is probably more appropriate for all of you irrespective of
sampradAya to observe Sri Rama Navami on April 13, as April 12
has far too much Ashtami in it given your timezone.

For people living west of India, it appears that one should
do on the date as if one were in India.

adiyen
mani ramanuja dasan




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