Ram Navami Message 2021
Ram Navami is universally celebrated as the birthday of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba. Celebrations are not only held at Baba’s temple at Shirdi but also at other places around the globe. Factually speaking, Shirdi Saibaba’s date of birth has not been established as yet. Here the question that naturally arises in the minds of readers/devotees is regarding why Shri Ram Navami is celebrated as the birthday of Baba? Although there cannot be a definitive answer to this question, yet it can be found that Baba gave a lot of importance to the celebration of Shri Ram Navami at Shirdi. There had been a tradition of Ram Navami celebration at Shirdi even before the advent of Baba during the second half of the 19th century. However, the dimensions of the Ram Navami celebration expanded multi-fold in Baba’s time. It not only became the most important function of Shirdi, but also a festival which was the largest crowd puller with multiple activities. People from Shirdi and also from the urban areas like Ahmednagar, Bombay, Nasik and Aurangabad, etc. used to visit Baba on this day, considering it as a special day. There used to be a lot of preparation not only by villagers/devotees but also by the Gram Sabha of Shirdi, the Police, Civil Department and local administration, weeks before the Ram Navami celebrations. There is a reference about Shri Hari Vinayak Sathe bringing an Assistant Police officer to supervise the police and other civil arrangements in one of the Ram Navami festivals. Baba used to participate spiritedly and joyously in the Ram Navami celebrations with all His devotees.
There is a reference of a ‘Ramdashipanth’ lady (Chennai’s Bhajani Mela) in Shri Sai Satcharita (Chapter 29), where she saw the holy figure of Shri Ram in Baba and was moved emotionally. She expressed this to her husband after meeting Baba. There is also a mention of a doctor who visited Baba with his friend (Mamlatdar, i.e., Revenue Officer) in Shri Sai Satcharita (Chapter 12) who saw Shri Ram in Baba and prostrated before Him.
Ram Navami is a unique celebration for all Hindus across the globe, not only in temples but also in the homes of the devotees. Shri Ram Chandra, a Divine Incarnation of Tritiya Yuga, played the role of an ideal king in protecting his subjects. His war with Ravana, the king of Sri Lanka, is an epic fight and his success in defeating Ravana in the war of Ramayana symbolizes the victory of virtue over vice. Shri Ram stood for truthfulness, sacrifice, kindness and generosity of the highest order and hence, is depicted as “Maryada Purushottama”.
Shirdi Saibaba always advised His devotees to imbibe the qualities of truthfulness, honesty, sacrifice and kindness. On this day we remember Him for His kindness in protecting His devotees in Shirdi, during His lifetime and even now, after taking His Mahasamadhi.
Jai Shri Sai.
Dr. Chandra Bhanu Satpathy,