Sri Rama Navami – Ram or Rama?

Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara – One of our well learned volunteer has explained the usage of Ram vs. Rama and what is the correct way to pronounce it. There are a few more parts that will be posted on this subject. For now, let us read this explanation, learn, and share. Rama Rama.

Sri Rama Jayam

Sri Vedavyaasaaya Namah
Sri Ganapathaye Namah

Hanuman’s source of Strength –

      यत्र यत्र रघुनाथकीर्तनं तत्र तत्र कृतमस्तकांजलिम्

वाष्पवारिपरिपूर्णालोचनं मारुतिं नमत राक्षसान्तकम् ॥

Wherever the glories of Raghunatha are sung, there, with hands held over His bowed head in salutation, and eyes filled with tears, Maruti (Bhakta Hanuman) is present; I Salute Maruti who puts an end to the Rakshasas.

Sri Rama Navami is approaching, so let us relish the importance of Rama Nama which has endless glories. Anjaneyar is a powerful being, well versed in the sixty-four arts and nine Vyakaranas (rules of grammar). None could defeat him, even Siva couldn’t defeat his own avatar, Anjaneya in a duel.

The secret of Anjaneya’s strength is:

  1. Good regulation of breath, thus his mind is calm and active.
  2. Rama NamamEven we can be like Hanuman (at least in a few aspects), all we need is Pranaayamam which will pacify the mind, other things also pacify the mind.  Then you need Rama Nama.

    RAma Nama – So many stotras, mantras, tantras are there but Anjaneyar keeps doing only Rama Japam and nothing else. Don’t skip Nithyakarma and cite Anjaneya as an example, Hanuman is an exception.  Do Sandhyavandanam then Rama Japam.

    We shall focus on Rama Namam. Many mistakes are being made even in telling Rama Namam. Periyava must forgive me for pointing out this mistake.

    सत्यम् ब्रूयात् प्रियम् ब्रूयात् न ब्रूयात् सत्यमप्रियम् |
    प्रियम् नानृतं ब्रूयात् एष धर्मः सनातनः ||

    Sri Adi Shankara Bhagavathpadhar tells ” Speak truth in such a way that is pleasing to others, never speak truth which is unpleasant to others. Never tell a untruth, even if it is pleasant. This is the path of Sanatana Dharma.”

    We must pronounce it as “RAMA” not RAM.

    ராம not ராம். राम not राम्  Hindi will confuse you, use Sanskrit for this. Rama is not correctly pronounced, it becomes a mantra if pronounced as Ram.

    I’m not finding fault with anyone for saying Ram, but Rama is the apt pronunciation. Rama is 2 aksharas not 1 akshara. If we say Ramachandran or Sitaraman, we say it correctly but in the case of only Ram.

    There is Ram but it is one akshara mantra that needs some regulations. Rama needs no strict regulations like Ram.

    Do not worry if you have been telling this the incorrect way, all this while you remembered Rama, that is enough. Now, let’s correct ourselves.

    “The safest way is to chant Rama or Sri Rama Jayam.”

    Explanation with Chandas

    Everyone of you reading this must be in a position to explain this.

    There are many Chandas like Gayatri, Ushnik, Anushtup etc. We will explain a mantra with Anushtup Chandas,

    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.
    Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare.

    हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण। कृष्ण कृष्ण हरे हरे ।
    हरे राम हरे राम । राम राम हरे हरे ॥

    Anushtup means 32 aksharas.

    How to count aksharas for Chandas ?

    ह- This is counted as one. A Swvara (vowel) must be present along with a Vyanjana (consonant) then it is counted as an akshara.

    ம – This is one akshara, ma. ம் – This is not one akshara.

    म् – This not an akshara and this must be not counted for Chandas. Consonant is not having a svara attached with it.

    Now, count the aksharas in the Hare Krishna mantra, 8 in each paadam (foot) not padam (word). So, 4 paadams that means 32 totally which implies Anushtup Chandas.

    Now imagine if Ram is used instead of Rama. Only 28 aksharas will be there, then no chandas is formed. Chandas is the foot of the vedas, without proper chandas, concentration of stotra or mantra won’t be there.  Thus, Rama is the apt pronunciation.

    If you see in Sanskrit grammar, only Rama shabha is there. There is no Ram shabda. Even Thyagarajar sings that Rama nama is formed by aksharas from Ashtakshari and  Panchakshari.

    “Ra” from Om Namo Narayanaaya then
    “Ma” from Namah Shivaya. Again, note this “Ma” is taken not ம்.

Many of you might have made mistakes including me. Don’t ponder over it, just carry on. We will explain later why Sri Rama won’t find fault for telling Ram (quoting his upanishad, in part 3) but Rama is the one we need to use.

Another thing you might ask is why in Nama Ramayanam, Ram is used not Rama.

Again, Annamacharya has used Ram or Rama there ? The famous singer sang those Annamacharya keerthanas when she was above 60, she had been acquainted only with Thyagaraja keerthanas. Her husband asked her whether it was possible for her to sing, she replied she could do it. Perhaps, like many of us, Ram was used by her also. This mistake might have been carried forward.

Rama nama means two aksharas only. So, with the above confirmations, I can firmly say RAMA is the right pronunciation.

Rama nama has no regulations, you can chant it whenever possible. This will be a tough topic to grasp, I will continue with the main content in the upcoming parts.

Sri Rama Jayam.

Categories: Deivathin Kural


9 replies

  1. Jaya Rama Jaya Rama, Rama Rama Jaya Jaya…..

  2. May I reiterate the statement, that, , it is RA MA, only with following quotes :
    Vishnu sahasranamam… Phala sruti

    SRI Bhagwan uvaacha. :-
    SRI Rama Rama Ramethi…..

    Kamba Ramayanam—Bala kaandam.

    Nanmai yum selvamum Naalum Nalkume

    Thinmai yum paavamum sithaindu theyume

    Janmamum maranamum indri theerume

    Immai ye RA MA endra IRANDU ezhuthinaal.

  3. Yes. The Thrayodasakshari will have 13 aksharas if and only if Rama is pronounced. In two syllables.


  4. I agree. it must be RA MA and not ram

  5. I heard this in our Mahaperiyava voice…He is reciting RA MA RA MA…

  6. I think Ram is equally powerful as whole of India reverbates with the mantra JAI SREE RAM or just RAM RAM.
    Rama us basically a South Indian way of pronouncing the Nama.
    So the difference in pronouncing is purely regional.
    After all Valmiki attained realisation by chanting the Rama Nama as MARA MARA.

  7. How about chanting” SRIRAMA Jayarama Jaya Jaya Ram” propagated by Samartha Ramadas?

    • Yes, we can chant that also. Jaya jaya Rama in the end, remember ram is one Akshara mantra with regulations. Mentally prostrate to anjaneyar(Anjaneya’s incarnation is Samantha Ramadan)before starting japam, this will be help to rectify or avoid mistakes while doing Japam.

  8. Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare

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