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28
May
2017


Sri Ramdas Navami (Sant Samarth Ramdas Navami). Samarth Ramdas, originally named as, Narayan Suryajipant Kulkarni Thosar, was a Marathi poet-saint of 17th century. Sri Ramdas was born in 1606 on Sri Ram Navami and died in 1682 on Krishna Paksha Navami in Magh Month as per Marathi Calendar. Hence, it is celebrated as Sri Ramdas Navami.

Samarth Ramdas (1608-1681) is considered one of the greatest Hindu saints of Indian history. A contemporary of another Hindu saint, Tukaram, he was a devotee of Lord Hanuman and Lord Rama, the former of which appears in carvings on many of the established mutts (monasteries) he constructed. He was also the spiritual guru of Shivaji, one of the most popular Hindu leaders in history.

He was born under the name Narayan Suryaji Thosar to Suryaji Panth and Renuka Bai in Jamb, Maharashtra, on the auspicious day of Ram Navami. As a boy, Ramdas became curious as to the teachings of his older brother, who was a Brahmin. He had often seen his brother take certain people into a sealed room, where he would initiate them in a ceremony or meditation of some sort. From this curiosity, Ramdas saw to inquiring and examining the Hindu scriptures, thereby attaining a mild understanding of their tenets.

It was at this point that he began to isolate himself in prayer. On one occasion, his mother found him in meditation and inquired as to his behaviour. To this he replied that he was praying for all who suffered in the world, at which his mother began to encourage his meditations. However, his family still urged him to remain secularly inclined, afraid that he would become an ascetic, so preoccupied as he was with religious study at an early age.

Of his many works, Samarth Ramdas is best remembered for the Dasbodh, a guide to organising one's spiritual and worldly livelihood, for the establishment of many mathas (monastic schools) throughout the Indian subcontinent, and for the school of thought which reflects his dynamic personality and efficient method of organisation. He is also remembered for popularising the 13-character devotional chant of "Sri Rama Jaya Rama Jaya Jaya Rama

 

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