Sangati Jogwar

News Highlights

  • Ashoka Ashtami is celebrated with great fervour in many parts of the country
  • It is a part of Chaitra Navratra which is also celebrated as Navratra of Shri Ram.

In India, currently the Hindu families are celebrating Chaitra Navratra which is an important festival dedicated to Goddess Shakti and Lord Mahadev. Ashoka is a term to represent someone who removes hurdles and protects from danger and sorrow.

Ashok Ashtami also known as Bhavani Ashtami is celebrated by worshipping Goddess Durga on the day of Chaitra Shukla Ashtami.

Why is Ashok Ashtami celebrated?

Chaitra navratra is also celebrated as navratra of Shri Ram as he was born on Ram Navami. The Hindu puranas state that Lord Ram and Ravana battle continued for many days. But even after a prolonged heavy battle Ram was unable to kill Ravana. That is when, Vibhishana, the younger brother of Ravana recommended that Ram should perform a puja and pray to Goddess Shakti and Lord Shiva at Bhubaneswar’s Lingaraj Temple.

Ram worshipped and prayed at this temple for seven days and with the blessings from Shakti and Shiva successfully killed the Demon King Ravana using Lord Brahma’s Brahmastra. To offer his gratitude and celebrate the joy of victory over Ravana Lord Ram then took out a spectacular procession with Shiv-Shakti in a chariot. This was the day of Ashtami which now is celebrated as Ashoka Ashtami to mark the victory of Lord Ram over Ravana which signifies victory or goodness over evil.

Ashoka Ashtami is celebrated with great fervour in many parts of the country but the celebrations are at a grand level in Bhubaneswar and Tripura. Shiva is also known as Tribhuvaneshwara and that is how the term Bhubaneshwar has evolved. The capital city of Odisha has many temples dedicated to Lord Shiva but the most important one is the Lingaraj Temple where a rath yatra is organised on Ashoka Ashtami.

Lingaraj Mahaprabhu and Lord Ram

Another mythological tale states that during the Tretya Yuga when Ram was in exile for 14 years, he visited Ekamra Ksetra where he was welcomed by Lingaraj Mahaprabhu who requested Ram to spend some time with him there. Ram stayed at a place called Rameswara. His birthday fell during the time he was staying in Rameswara. That is when Lingaraj Mahaprabhu along with his children Kartikeya and Ganesha and wife Devi Parvati went to the Rameswara Temple in his chariot or Ratha to wish Bhagwan Ram.

Since then the Rath Yatra is celebrated on Ashoka Ashtami every year and the celebration is carried out for five days.