The festival of Rāmanavamī celebrates Bhagavān Srīrāma’s birth, an incarnation of Bhagavān Viṣṇu. It occurs on the ninth day after new-moon of Caitra (March-April) in the lunar calendar. This timing aligns with certain special celestial conditions. According to the Rāmāyaṇa, Srīrāma was born under the Punarvasu Nakṣatra, with five graha-s exalted and the Candra (Moon) and Guru (Jupiter) conjunct in Kaṭaka (Cancer). This celestial alignment symbolises divine blessings. Celebrations include prayers, Rāmāyaṇa recitations, bhajan-s, fasting, and temple visits. Rāmanavamī not only honours Srīrāma’s birth but also reflects on his life and teachings inspiring spiritual growth.

There are two ways of looking at Rāmanavamī:

1. Devotional: Rāmanavamī commemorates the birth of Bhagavān Srīrāma, an event celebrated by devotees through various rituals. As per the Rāmāyaṇa, Bhagavān Srīrāma’s birth occurred under these specific conditions –

ततो यज्ञे समाप्ते तु ऋतूनां षट् समत्ययुः। ततश्च द्वादशे मासे चैत्रे नावमिके तिथौ॥ १-१८-८

नक्षत्रेऽदितिदैवत्ये स्वोच्चसंस्थेषु पञ्चसु। ग्रहेषु कर्कटे लग्ने वाक्पताविन्दुना सह॥ १-१८-९

प्रोद्यमाने जगन्नाथं सर्वलोकनमस्कृतम्। कौसल्याजनयद्रामं सर्वलक्षणसंयुतम्॥ १-१८-१०

On completion of the ritual, six seasons have passed by. Then, in the twelfth month, Caitra, on the ninth day of that month [March-April], when the ruling star of that day is Punarvasu, presided over by Aditi, and when five of the nine graha-s – Sūrya (Sun), Kuja (Mars), Guru (Jupiter), Śukra (Venus), Śani (Saturn) – are in their respective exalted positions, specifically in the zodiac signs of Meṣa, Makara, Karkaṭa, Mīna, Tulā. Additionally, when Candrayukta Guru and Karkaṭa lagna – Jupiter in conjunction with the Moon – is ascendant in Kaṭaka (Cancer), and the day is advancing, Queen Kausalya gave birth to a son. 

In the context of Jyotiṣa śāstra, the birth of Bhagavān Srīrāma signifies various celestial alignments and auspicious occurrences. The phala, or the outcome, of such a significant event is described in the scriptures, underscoring its profound significance and divine nature.  Let us look at each of these briefly based on the commentary of Śrī Govindarāja, (whose commentary on the Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa is named ‘Bhūṣaṇa’): 

(i) Navamī Tithi: 

The tithis of aṣtamī and navamī are generally considered inauspicious for initiating any significant new endeavours. Bhagavān Mahāviṣṇu, as if to bless these two tithi-s, took two of his most important of the avatāra-s in these two tithi-s as Kr̥ṣṇa (on aṣtamī) and Śrīrāma (on navamī). This shows his quality of dīna-bandhutva even for tithi-s.

Bhagavān Srīrāma’s birth happened on the Navamī Tithi. The number 9, known as “Pūrṇa-Saṁkhyā” or the complete number, holds special significance due to its unique divisibility property. A positive integer is divisible by nine if its digital root, obtained by repeatedly adding its digits until a single-digit number is reached, equals nine. This property is demonstrated in various examples, reaffirming the completeness and self-generating nature of the number 9.


दीर्घवैरी भुवि ख्यातो वश्यः शूरश्च पण्डितः। 

निर्भयः सर्वभूतेभ्यो नवम्यां जायते नरः।

An individual born on Navamī tithi gains fame and glory in the world, becomes victorious in battles, wise, and fearless, and is respected by all beings.

(ii) Vasanta R̥tu – The specialty of Vasanta R̥tu, or the Spring season, lies in its rejuvenating qualities, symbolised by the blooming of colourful flowers, the sprouting of new leaves, and the arrival of migratory birds. In the scriptural lore and traditions, Vasanta R̥tu is celebrated as a time of joy and festivity, marked by preparatory festivals like Holi and Vasanta Panchami welcoming the spring season.

(iii) Caitra Māsa – 

चैत्रे मधुरभाषी स्यादहङ्कारसुखान्वितः। 

The consequence of being born in the month of Caitra is that the person tends to speak pleasantly and exudes a sense of pride and joy.

(iv) Punarvasu Nakṣatra & 4th Pāda – 

The Nakṣatra governed by Aditi, devoid of any unfavourable planetary conjunctions, ensures that only auspicious Siddha and Amr̥ta Yoga-s prevail.

सहिष्णुर्गूढवृत्तिश्च श्लेष्मलो नाट्यकोविदः । 

अगृध्नुरल्पसन्तुष्टः शीघ्रगोऽदितिधिष्ण्यजः ।। 

The outcome of one’s birth under the Punarvasu Nakṣatra: Such an individual tends to be tolerant, secretive in nature, knowledgeable in arts, generous, content with little, and quick in action, akin to the blazing sun. 

कान्तप्रियवपुः श्लक्ष्णः सज्जनः प्रियदर्शनः। 

लक्ष्मीवान् प्रियवादी च आदित्यान्ते प्रजायते।।

The consequence of being born in the fourth quarter: The person possesses a pleasing and attractive appearance, is well-mannered, enjoys being in the company of virtuous individuals, is endowed with prosperity, and speaks sweetly, akin to the radiance at the end of the day.

(v) Kaṭaka Lagna – 

कर्कटे लग्नके चन्द्रयुक्ते दृष्टे च भोगवान् । 

गुरुणा वीक्षिते युक्ते धनाढ्यो बहुभोगवान् ।।

When the Moon is positioned in Kaṭaka (Cancer) Ascendant and is aspected favourably, the individual experiences prosperity and enjoys abundant pleasures.

(vi) Gurucandra Yoga – 

दृढसौहृदो विनीतः स्वबन्धुसम्मानकृद्धनेशश्च। 

शशिगुर्वोर्गुणशीलः सुरद्विजेभ्यो रतो भवेत् पुरुषः।। 

A person endowed with the auspicious combination of Jupiter and Moon is steadfast in friendship, humble, respectful towards relatives, and wealthy. Such an individual is virtuous like the Moon and Jupiter, and is beloved by gods and scholars.

(vii) Exalted position of 5 graha-s

The birth chart of Bhagavān Śrīrāma showcases an extraordinary alignment of five exalted graha-s: Sūrya, Kuja, Guru, Śukra, and Śani. According to Vedic astrology, this alignment holds profound significance. The scriptures state that being born under a single exalted graha dispels all adversities.

एकग्रहोच्चजातस्य सर्वारिष्टविनाशनम् ।

Furthermore, being born under multiple exalted graha-s bestows various positions of authority and leadership. For instance, 

चतुर्ग्रहोच्चे सम्राट् स्यात् पञ्चोच्चे लोकनायकः ।।

द्विग्रहोच्चे तु सामन्तस्त्रिग्रहोच्चे महीपतिः । 

One becomes a minister under two exalted graha-s, a sovereign under three, an emperor under four, and a leader of the people under five. 

Each exalted graha carries its own unique blessings:

सूर्ये स्वोच्चगते जातस्सेनापत्यमवाप्नुयात्।

भौमे स्वोच्चगते जातो वने राजा भविष्यति।

गुरौ स्वोच्चगते जातो धनी राज्याधिपो भवेत्।

शुक्रे स्वोच्चगते जातो राज्यश्रियमवाप्नुयात्।

शनौ स्वोच्चगते जातो राजा(ज्या)धिपसमो भवेत्।

The Sun grants leadership in the military, Mars brings rulership in the forest, Jupiter bestows wealth and kingship, Venus confers royal splendour, and Saturn establishes a rule akin to Indra.

Such an incredible moment of Śrīrāma’s birth is celebrated by devotees with great fervour and devotion in the following ways –

  1. Performing Pūjā and offering prayers (refer this link to an authentic way of experiencing Śrīrāma-tattva through Śrīrāma-pūjā)

राम-पूजा-विधानम् । Learn to do Rama Pooja

(Access the Śrīrāma-Pūjā PDF for free by registering for the above course at no cost)

  1. Reciting Rāmāyaṇa – in parts or whole 
  2. Singing Bhajan-s and engaging in Nāmasmaraṇa
  3. Observing Upavāsa (Fasting)
  4. Performing Dāna (Charitable donations)
  5. Visiting temples for Deva-Darśana (Temple visits)

2. Allegorical: Our body is likened to Kosala Deśa, with our heart representing Ayodhyā. Just as Daśaratha’s rule ensured Ayodhyā’s safety, our inner kingdom remains undisturbed when governed by righteousness. Two rivers, Sarayū (symbolising devotion-Bhakti) and Tamasā (representing the path of knowledge-Jñāna), converge within us. The fusion of knowledge (Jñāna) and devotion (Bhakti), exemplified through Daśaratha’s Aśvamedha yajña, catalyses inner purification. Aśvamedha symbolises Karma, hence, with the presence of Sarayū and Tamasā, this Karma facilitates Cittaśuddhi (purification of the mind), leading to self-realisation and the manifestation of Srīrāma-avatara within each individual.

In one of the verses in Ātmabodha, also referred as “Ekaśloki-Rāmāyaṇam,” by some, Ādi-Śaṅkarācārya, emphasises this concept:

तीर्त्वा मोहार्णवं हत्वा रागद्वेषादिराक्षसान्।

योगी शान्तिसमायुक्त आत्मारामो विराजते॥ ५०॥

Having crossed the ocean of delusion and slain the demons of desire and hatred, the yogin, united with peace, shines as the self-contented Srīrāma.

Why does Rāmanavamī sometimes fall in March and sometimes in April?

Rāmanavamī occurs on the 9th day after the festival of Cāndramāna Yugādi, which marks the beginning of the lunisolar calendar month of Caitra. One intriguing aspect of Rāmanavamī is its varying occurrence, sometimes in March and other times in April. This variation in timing is rooted in the lunar calendar system, which differs from the Gregorian solar calendar.

Rāmanavamī is observed on the ninth day (Navamī) of the bright half (Śukla pakṣa) of the lunar month of Caitra. The lunar calendar, unlike the solar calendar, is based on the phases of the moon. As a result, lunar months are shorter than solar months, and they fluctuate in duration.

The lunar calendar follows Saṃvatsara-Cakra. Each cakra consists of 60 years and is further divided into two cycles: Adhika-māsa (extra month) and Nija-māsa (regular month). These variations are necessary to synchronise lunar months with the solar year, ensuring alignment with seasonal changes.

Due to this lunar-solar interplay, the date of Rāmanavamī shifts within the Gregorian calendar, spanning March and April. Sometimes, Rāmanavamī falls in March when the Caitra month begins early, while in other years, it occurs in April when the Caitra month starts later. This variability reflects the dynamic nature of the lunar calendar and its intricate adjustment mechanisms.


Rāmanavamī, is rich in symbolism, reflecting divine blessings through planetary alignments and Nakṣatra conjunctions. Bhakta-s commemorate Srīrāma’s birth through prayers, recitations, fasting, and temple visits, honouring his life and divine personality. Additionally, Rāmanavamī holds allegorical significance, symbolising inner purification and self-realisation.

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