SRI SAMARTH RAMDAS
Hanumath devotee - brief biography
Saint Shri Samarth Ramdas was born in 1608 A.D. in the village Jaamb, in
Marathwada on the auspicious day of Ramnavmi as the second son to the pious
couple Suryaji Panth and Renuka Bai. His parents named him Narayan. His elder
brother was Gangashar Shastri alias Sheshta.
In the year 1620 all arrangements
were made for Narayan’s wedding. He sat in front of the bride. There was a
screen between the bridegroom and the bride. When the priests started chanted
"Sawadhan!" which means ‘alert oh! Bridegroom’, Narayan vanished in a
twinkling of an eye.
From there he went to village Takli near Nasik. There he practiced meditation
of Gayatri and Rama Mantra. He chanted the mantras in knee-deep water from
early morning till noon. BY raising alms he took his prasad, he
attended spiritual discourses in his free time. The discoursers were at
various temples in Nasik and Panchavati.
Ramdas also studied Sanskrit and
copied in his own hand the Ramayana of Valmiki. His manuscript of Valmiki
Ramayan is still preserved in the collection of Sri S.S. Dev of Dhubliah.
This shows his knowledge of Sanskrit; he got the blessings of Sri Ram after a
rigorous penance of ‘rama japa’ for twelve years. Later he came to be
known as SAMARTH RAMDAS. This mantra of thirteen letters "Sri Ram Jaya Ram
Jaya Jaya Ram" was chanted by him thirteen lakhs of times at Tafali, near
Nasik, on the banks of the Godavari.
On attaining twenty four, he started for
pilgrimage, moved to all corners of India such as Nasik, Haridwar, Kasi,
etc., for nearly twelve years. The tradition says, that Lord Panduranga
Vittal Himself appeared before Ramdas and took him for the visit to
Pandharpur and gave him dharshan as Sri Rama. In Pandharpur, Ramdas
came in contact with Tukaram and other saints of Pandharpur. Both the saints
had spread the message of bakthi by traveling together. It is said
that Sri Genasha, the presiding deity of Mayureswar alias Moorey goen had
given dharshan to these saints as Panduranga Vittal and Sri Rama at
the same time. Even today the invoking prayer of Sri Genasha at this temple
is the one that was composed by Ramdas. In his pilgrimages, Ramdas observed
and studied the social, political and economic conditions of Indians and
their utter helplessness in life. He started the mission for the upliftment
Guru of Chatrapati veer Shivaji
Ramdas went about preaching his philosophy, along the banks of river Krishna
between Mahabaleswar and Kholapur. At Singanvadi, Ramdas met Chatrapati veer
Shivaji, the then ruler of Maharashtra.
Shivaji became an ardent devotee
of Ramadas. Being an ardent devotee of Sri Rama and Maruti (Anjenaya) he
installed shrines of Rama at Champavati, and established eleven principal
seats of Maruthi. At that time Shivaji’s rule some territories were under the
tyranny of foreign rulers. In adopting the principals of his Guru Samarth
Ramdas, he was able to bring peace and harmony to his country and country
Teachings and Religious Activity
His inspiring teachings in pragmatic treatise 'Dasbodh'
were written at 'Shivthar' a place, which is virtually heaven on earth. The
literary works of Ramdas such as Dasabodh, Manache Shlok (verse addressed to
the mind), Karunashtakas (hymns to God) and Ramayana (describing only the
conquest of Lanka by Sri Rama and the vanquishing of Ravana) are very
popular. To men really interested in his teachings, he gave the “thryodhashari
“ Mantra "Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram".
Ramdas had many disciples,
including many noble women. The women disciples were also expert preachers
and were virtuous. Ramdas sent his disciples to all parts of India to spread
the Hindu religion. His disciples and Mutts in the North directly or
indirectly helped Shivaji and his work. Ramdas's organisation had spread to
South also and with Thanjavur as the center. Ramdas appointed Bhimaswami, his
direct disciple, as the Mahant of the Thanjavur Mutt.
In his last days Ramdas devoted his time to
literary activity and building up of his mutt in various corners of India. It
was as a tribute to Ramdas's extraordinary patience and determination in
rehabilitating the Hindu religion in India that people named him Samarth
(all-powerful) Ramdas, a name that he richly deserved. This great Guru of
Maharashtra breathed his last on the 'Navami' in 'Maagh', 1681
at Sajjangad, near Satara, a fortress, which was given to him by Shivaji for
his residence. His samadhi at Sajjangad, inspires devotees for self elevation
and supreme excellence in every segment of life.
The last instructions of Ramdas
to his disciples were: "Do not think much of your bodily wants. Have
Satsang with devotees. Keep the image of Lord Rama in your heart. Repeat
the name of Lord Rama always. Annihilate lust, greed, anger, hatred and
egoism. See Lord Rama in all creatures. Love all. Feel His presence
everywhere. Live for Him alone. Serve Him in all beings. Make total and
unreserved surrender unto Him. You will always live in Him alone. You will
attain immortality and eternal bliss".
|| Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya
|| Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram ||