Luv and Kush were the twin sons of Sri Ram and Mother Sita and their story appears in the Ramayana. The Jayanti is celebrated to commemorate their day of birth in the Ashram of Sage Valmiki.
Legend and HistoryAlthough Luv and Kush were familiar with the story of Lord Rama and Sita, they were unaware that they in fact were the sons of Lord Rama. They were also unaware of the true identity of their mother and the fact that she was abandoned by her husband because the people of Ayodhya had raised questions about her chastity after being abducted by Ravana.
Once, when Lord Rama had organized the Ashwamedha Yagna, the twins captured the horse when it was loitering around the Ashram. When the great warriors of Ayodhya learned of this, they came back to claim the horse, which the twin brothers refused to return. A battle ensued between the warriors of Ayodhya and the twin brothers in which even the might brothers of Rama, Lakshman, Bharata and Shatrughna were defeated.
Upon hearing this, Lord Rama was forced to enter the battle himself. He was impressed by the strength and valor of Luv and Kush and invited them to his palace. There he learnt of their true identity and also asked his wife Sita to return to the palace. Upon reaching Ayodhya she once again pleaded her innocence and asked Mother Earth to usurp her into her fold. Mother Earth obliged and swallowed her. The anguished Lord Rama took Samadhi in the River Sarayu to meet Sita in heaven. After the Samadhi of Lord Rama, the Ayodhya dynasty was carried down by the brothers Luv and Kush.
Another legend has it that Sita gave birth to Luv shortly after she started living at the Ashram of Valmiki. One day she wanted to go to the forest to collect wood. She left her son Luv under the care of Sage Valmiki and left. Soon after, the sage got busy with his chores and the little one crawled into the forest. When the sage realized that the infant was missing, he was exasperated. He did not have the heart to tell Sita that he had lost her only child. Therefore, he created another look alike of Luv from Kusha grass.
When Sita returned, Sage Valmiki was surprised to see little Luv in her arms. In turn, Sita was surprised to see the identical twin. Since, he was made of Kusha grass, he was named Kush and continued to live at the Ashram with Sage Valmiki, Sita and his twin brother Luv.
These are the two most important legends associated with the stories of Luv and Kush. These stories are recited on the Luv Kush Jayanti in most places to commemorate the birth as well as the bravery and strength of the young lads who serve as an inspiration for the youth.
SignificanceEven though the festival is celebrated on a small scale among select communities, the sentiment and importance attached to it marks its significance. It is not only an ode to the Lord Rama and his family. It is a moment of reunion and celebration of family values.
Special emphasis is placed on inculcating the virtues of respect for parents, service to society, brotherhood and bravery in times of trial to the children. The birth of twins is regarded as an auspicious occasion as it is believed Luv Kush have taken birth again.
Celebration and RitualsPeople wake up early in the morning and take a Holy Bath. They offer prayers to Lord Vishnu (since Lord Rama is an avatar of Lord Vishnu), read shlokas from the Ramayana and have bhajans and kirtans in the praise of the Lord.
Apart from offering prayers to Lord Rama, Maata Sita and Luv and Kush, children dress up as Luv and Kush on this day and important scenes from the Ramayana are re-enacted. Many cultural programs and satsangs are organized on this day.
The Kushwah Samaj in Indore holds a grand procession from Chiman Baag Grounds to Gandhi hall in which thousands of members of the community including women, senior citizens and children participate. Alternatively, processions are also held from the Luv-Kush Chauraha on Ujjain Road in Indore to Chiman Baag.
People play drums and trumpets. Prayers are offered and there is a distribution of Prasad followed by a planting of seeds and plants. There are speeches and readings from the Ramayana. The priests and important members of the Samaj remind the community members of their rights and duties towards each other. The gatherings are also addressed by eminent personalities of the State who serve as Guest of Honor for the occasion.
Some people also organize events wherein the whole Ramayana is read out aloud for over 24 hours. Thus, Luv Kush Jayanti may be celebrated on a small scale but forms an important event in the Hindu calendar and is a significant occasion for some communities.
लव कुश जयंती के बारे में हिंदी में पढ़ने के लिये यहां क्लिक करें