Sri Ram Navami was celebrated with great devotion and endeavor at Mantralayam Sri Raghavendra Swami Mutt, Kolhapur Branch.
Being Thursday on the previous day, devotees gathered and started for preparation of the next grand day celebration. Sri Prahlada Rajaru was given special alankara of Prabhu Shri Rama and pravachana on Sri Rama and his name was delivered.
Preparations lasted till late night up to 4 am. Immediately 5:30 am started the Suprabhata seva. Fragrant oil was brought by suhasisnis singing suprabhat to Sri Rama. Sri Rama was then bathed ‘abhyanga snana’ followed by maha panchamruta snana to Sri Rama Panchayatana by Purushasookta pathana. That followed by Vishesha Alankara to Sri Rama, Sri Sita Devi and Sri Laxmana deveru.
Sharp by 10:00 around 400 people gathered for a thrilling event “Samuhika Sri Ramaraksha Pathan”. Sri Keshav Bhave (kaka) guided the huge mob to recite Sri Ramaraksha stotra (details given below) 13 times. The well decorated mutt and well disciplined darshan system was appreciated by all. The pathan ended by 11:30. Everybody took darshan of Sri Rama. The Utsava murthy of Sri Rama were decorated on Gajavahanam. It was indeed heavenly to witness the beauty of Sri Rama on elephant.
Then came the most awaited movement, the birth of Sri Rama. Sharp at 12:05 pm was huge burst of tal, zhagate ad other vadyas. Shri Rama was born (avatara). All the upacharas and pooja were guide by the Mahalaxmi temple priest, Sri Madhu bhau as a tradition. Laali and palana followed by Araati was done in both mutt and Marathi style. Around 200 people witnessed the blissful event. Kaushalya devi was worshipped with all mutt respect, as a tradition here. Later Vishnu Sahasra nama pathan was done followed by naivedya, hastodaka and mahamangalarati. Around 100 devotees were fed mahaprasada.
In the evening Pallakki utsava of Sri Rama was done, with all Sri Rama bhajanas only by bhajana mandalis. Later ashtavadhana, Pravachana on Sri Rama and mahamangalarati was done. Every body went home content and happy to be a part of this grand occasion.
For this the entire Mutt staff, Haribhakti Bhajana Mandali, volunteers, well wishers played a vital role to make this event a grand success.
Sri Rama at Kolhapur:
The Sri Rama at Kolhapur is as old as Shri Mahalaxmi at Kolhapur. The temple dates around 1, 200 (approx.) years old and is a magnificent architectural structure. Sri Rama, Sri Sita devi and Sri Laxmana are beautifully carved of white marble. The age old temple is fully built of black stone of hemandapanthi style is under the archeological department of Kolhapur. It was a private property of Sri Raghavendra Shikhare who had installed mruttika Vrindavana of Sri Raghavendra Swami. This was later donated to Mantralayam Sri Raghavendra Swami Mutt. The mutt takes all due care of its serenity and conducts all rituals as per Sri Raghavendra Swami mutt tradition. The Pranadeveru here is facing Shri Rama outside the temple and is famous as “Dakshinamukhi Maruti”
Sri Sushmeedra Teertharu Dreamt of bhakta nivasa and Sri Suyateendra Teertha Swamiji miraculously fulfilled his dream. The mutt is fully acquainted with 8 rooms two big halls and al the basic amenities. It is just 1 minute walking distance away from Mahalaxmi temple.
Sri Ramaraksha Stotra:
Considered to be very important stotra written by Vishvamitra Rushi (the originator of Gayatri Manta). Importance of Sri Rama and his name was told to vishvamitra rushi by rudradevaru himself in a dream and it was written as it was orderd by vishvamitra.
Aadishtavan yatha svapne rama raksha mimam hara
Tatha likhitvan pratah prabuddho budhakaushika !!
It is believed that even one akshara of it can relieve from mahapapas and is generally compulsory in all marathi houses.
Ekaikamaksharam pusam mahapataka nashanam!!