The Appearance Day of Lord Ramachandra
Sunday April 13th, 5 PM
8628 S. State St., Spanish Fork, Utah
Contact: Caru or Vai 798-3559/787-1510
Every member of the public is invited to attend the festival of Ram Navami. There will be a drama depicting the life of Valmiki who wrote the epic of Rama. Lasya School of Classical Indian dance in San Francisco is sending their star performer, Anuradha Sivaram*, to tell in dance format some of the stories of Rama and Krishna. There will additionally be some Sanskrit chanting, a sacred fire ceremony, and the exuberant chanting and drumming for which the Krishna devotees are famous. There is no admission fee, and sumptuous hot vegetarian meals will be served throughout the evening for a modest donation. Guests and visitors are invited to bring an offering of fruits, flowers, or even a cooked vegetarian preparation to augment the feast.
There is more background to the festival below.
Lord Ramachandra appeared many tens of thousands of years ago in Ayodhya, Northern India, as the son of King Dasarath, of the Iksvaku dynasty. Lord Rama's saga is told by the sage Valmiki in the epic, Ramayana, which is three times longer than the Illiad and Odyssey combined.
Lord Rama is an avatar of Lord Vishnu who came down to earth to battle the invincible Ravana in human form. Lord Brahma had been receiving complaints from all the gods about the havoc that Ravana was wreaking on earth, but because Ravana had been granted so many boons, he could not be killed by a god. Ravana had become so overconfident that he would never expect an attack from a human being. So Lord Vishnu agreed to go to earth in the guise of Prince Ram, the son of King Dasharath and Queen Kaushalya.
The story of Lord Rama as told in the great epic Ramayana is one that most Indians know irrespective of caste, creed and religion. Lord Rama is a legendary figure, the epitome of all that is good and true, the man who vanquished the demon king Ravana. Lord Rama is not just a hero, but God incarnate as the perfect son, husband, king, and brother. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that his birth is celebrated year after year with great pomp and enjoyment on the ninth day after the new moon in Sukul Paksh (the waxing moon), which falls sometime in the month of April.
Rama is the supreme exemplar of how people should conduct themselves in the world, how a country should be governed, how the integrity and morality of human beings should be protected. High-minded actions, ideal qualities and sacred thoughts are basic foundations of character. Rama is the very embodiment of these three attributes. This means that every human being should cultivate sacred thoughts, right actions and good qualities. Rama demonstrated by his words, thoughts and actions how such a life can be lived. Rama acted unto the ancient injunction: "Speak the truth. Practice Righteousness". Eschewing harsh words, Rama pleased everyone by his sweet speech. He countered harsh speech by others with his composure, patience, sweetness and smile. He never pried into the affairs of others, never took notice of their faults, never indulged in ridicule, and never caused any pain to others by the way he spoke to them. It is essential for everyone to follow the example set by Rama and cultivate his many noble qualities and do righteous actions. People should entertain sacred thoughts.
Today, in the pursuit of power, men are prepared to commit any kind of crime and to inflict any kind of harm on people to achieve their ends.
Rama, on the contrary, gave up the kingdom and, to honor the pledge given by his father, chose to face the ordeals of life in the forest as an exile. He demonstrated to the world that one should never go back on his word. Rama gave up the throne and became a denizen of the forest. In life, it is not difficulties and calamities that are important. The supreme importance of Truth was what Rama wanted to hold forth to the world.
Anuradha has been learning Bharatanatyam from Guru Vidhya Subramanian from
the young age of five. Anuradha has been an active participant in many Lasya
performances. She has performed several times at the Concord and Livermore temples,
as well as the FIA mela, the NASA Ames Multicultural Festival, the San Francisco
Ethnic Dance Festival of 1998, and other venues. Anuradha has had multiple roles
in Lasya¹s two full-length classical drama productions, Shakuntalam (1999),
and Silappadikaram (2001) and performed in multiple pieces in Dasaka Natya Samaroh
(2002). Anuradha performed her Arangetram, or solo dance debut, on August 24,
2002. Apart from dance, Anuradha learns Carnatic music from Guru Asha Ramesh.
She has also been attending Chinmaya Mission Bala Vihar and Tamil Classes since
age 5. Anuradha also attends Gita Chanting instruction classes at the Chinmaya
Mission Bala Vihar, and has received third place in the intra-class chanting
competition. She is also a volunteer teacher aide for junior Bala Vihar classes.
Anuradha will be a sophomore at Lynbrook High School this fall, where she is
an active member of the Speech and Debate Club. She also volunteers for her
school¹s service clubs. Anuradha¹s hobbies include arts and crafts,
reading, and swimming.