|SAMARTHA GURU RAMDAS|
|Written by Administrator|
|Wednesday, 11 April 2012 20:38|
SAMARTHA GURU RAMDAS
Samartha Guru Ramdas (original name Narain) was one of the greatest saints of the world and was the inspirer of Chatrapati Shivaji. He was born of Suryaji Panth and Renuka Bai in Jamb, ‘Maharashtra, in 1608 A.D.
Ramdas was a contemporary to Sant Tukaram. He was a great devotee of Hanuman and Lord Rama. He had Darshan of Lord Rama even when he was a boy. Lord Rama Himself initiated him.
Ramdas did Purascharana of the Rama Mantra of thirteen letters Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram thirteen lakhs of times at Tafali, near Nasik, on the banks of the Godavari. After the Purascharana was over, once again Guru Ramdas had Darshan of Lord Rama and Sri Ramachandra ordered Ramdas to visit holy places such as Nasik, Haridwar, Kasi, etc.
One Samartha Guru Ramdas sprinkled the holy water over a dead body uttering the names of Rama and the dead body was restored to life to bless a woman who had just lost her husband.
Guru Ramdas had this very noble quality that he never hated any religion or nation. His main object was to spread the Hindu religion throughout India.
Guru Ramdas had not visited Pandharpur did not know the existence of this holy place. One day, the tradition says, Lord Panduranga Vittal, in the form of a Brahmin, with a batch of three hundred pilgrims, appeared before Ramdas and asked him whether he had any objection to see Lord Krishna. Ramdas replied in the negative. Lord Panduranga Vittal, then took Ramdas to Pandharpur, and when the Bhaktas approached the temple, the Brahmin disappeared. Ramdas then acknowledged that it was none other than the lord himself who had brought him to that holy place. He entered the temple, and to his great surprise, found Sri Rama standing alone on a brick.
It is said that Lord Sri Rama ordered Guru Ramdas to go to the banks of the Krishna and help the cause of Shivaji, the incarnation of Siva and founder of the Kingdom of Maharashtra. Guru Ramdas came to the Krishna and went about preaching from Mahabaleshwar to Kolhapur. He established eleven principal seats of Maruti or Hanuman that emphasized the importance of physical development. He installed the shrines of Sri Ramachandra at Champavati and introduced Sri Rama Navami Mahotsava and the procession of Sri Rama’s chariot. It was at the place called Singanvadi that Shivaji became the disciple of Guru Ramdas.
Shivaji placed the sandals of his Guru on the throne and acted as regent of the kingdom under the order and guidance of his Guru and adopted as densign the flag of orange colour There is a beautiful and romantic incident current in the Maharashtra country about Shivaji’s adoption of the Gerua flag and his ruling the kingdom in the name of Guru Ramdas. Ramdas asked Shivaji to rule the kingdom in his (Ramdas’s) name, to take the Safforn (Gerua) Color for his flag and defend its honour with his life, and to think that the kingdom did not belong to him self but treat it as trust to be ruled justly and well before God. And thus Gerua Flag had come to Shivaji.
Life and Preachings of Guru Ramdas
Guru Ramdas’s ways were very peculiar. He appeared to the outside world as a mad man. He had a small bow. He used to have, by his side, a large number of stones with which he pelted every object he saw. To men really interested in his teachings, he gave the Mantra Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram.
Guru Ramdas had eleven hundred disciples, of whom three hundred were women. The women disciples were also expert preachers and were virtuous. Guru 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. Guru Ramdas’s organization in the South, round about Thanjavur, helped Shivaji’s son Rajaram to go to Jinji and carry on the Twenty Years’ War with Aurabgazeb. When Guru Ramdas visited Thanjavur, Venkoji, who was the step-brother of Shivaji, became his disciple. Guru Ramdas appointed Bhimaswami, his direct disciple, as the Mahant of the Thanjavur Mutt.
(One wonders would Shivaji Maharaj been the same person if it were not for Guru Ramdas. Not only did the Swami motivate, encourage Shivaji to protect his motherland and ask him to rule justly but he also used his disciples to help Shivaji as referred to in the above para. As human beings we need to realize the importance of a good advisor. While I am all for using one’s intellect one cannot know all, we must always try and benefit from the knowledge / experience of the more learned.
Last Days of Guru Ramdas
Guru Ramdas generally preferred to live in the forest, where he would say, he had better meditation. During his last days, Guru Ramdas devoted his time partly to literary activities and partly to the systematic building up of his disciples and mutts, both in the north and in the South. The literary works of Guru 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. It was as a tribute to Guru Ramdas’s extraordinary patience and determination in rehabilitating the Hindu religion in India that people named him Samartha Guru Ramdas, a name that he richly deserved. This great Guru of Maharashtra breathed his last in 1682 at Sajjangad, near Satara, a fortress that was given to him by Shivaji for his residence.
Guru Ramdas repeated the Rama Mantra with his last breath. At the time of his departure from the world, a dazzling light emanated from his body and Guru Ramdas was absorbed in the image of Lord Rama.
The last instructions of Guru 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”.