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Tulsidas: The great Rama Bhakta

Sant Tul­si­das is one of Indi­a’s finest saints and poets. Known for his intense Rama Bhak­ti, Sant Tul­si­das made the Ramayana acces­si­ble to the mass­es through the Ramacharaithamanas. His com­po­si­tion on Hanu­man the Hanu­man Chal­isa res­onates in every home even today. How did this world get this Sant? Was he born enlight­ened? Here is the sto­ry of Sant Tulasi­das.

Born to Ata­ma­ram, a brah­min liv­ing in Hasti­na­pu­ra, Tul­si­das enjoyed his child­hood with his par­ents. At a very young age, Tul­si­das was mar­ried to Mam­ta. His love and devo­tion for his wife was so intense that he would nev­er leave her com­pa­ny. He could nev­er endure sep­a­ra­tion and lead a hap­py life togeth­er. It so hap­pened that King Akbar was on a tour and Tul­si­das joined the entourage. As soon as he left, Mam­ta got a mes­sage from her home that her moth­er was seri­ous­ly ill. Lis­ten­ing to this, Mam­ta became so hys­ter­i­cal that she start­ed weep­ing aloud. Tak­en aback, the mes­sen­gers revealed that they had lied to her because this was the only way to make Tul­si­das agree to send her home. Mam­ta explained that Tul­si­das was not at home and she could come with them. She took the per­mis­sion of her in-laws and went home. When Tul­si­das returned home, he found that Mam­ta had left for her par­ents home. Unable to bear the pangs of sep­a­ra­tion, he spent a sleep­less night. The thoughts of Mam­ta filled his head and his heart ached. His mad­ness was so intense that he walked a good ten miles in the floods to reach Mam­ta’s home. Won­der­ing how to reach her room, Tul­si­das noticed a huge rope and used it to climb to her room. Shocked to see him there, Mam­ta won­dered how he had come in the floods and man­aged to climb to her room. When Tul­si­das men­tioned about the rope, Mam­ta sent her guards to inves­ti­gate. Only then did they realise that Tul­si­das was so intox­i­cat­ed with love for her that he had used a huge ser­pent as a rope. Frus­trat­ed with his behav­ior Mam­ta remind­ed him of sto­ries of Ravana and Indra who did incor­rect things intox­i­cat­ed with love. She told him how sen­su­al plea­sures take peo­ple nowhere and devo­tion to God alone can lead to mok­sha. “Life becomes mean­ing­ful only by remem­ber­ing the holy feet of Shri Hari”, she said. That very moment, Tul­si­das realised who he real­ly was. He bowed down to his wife who gave him the great­est reminder of his life. Visions of him being the avatar of Val­imi­ki came before his eyes. It was a moment of self-reli­aza­tion and the van­i­ty and tran­cient nature of plea­sure and enjoy­ment dawned on him. He came to Varanasi and under­took immense Tapasya and Vra­ta. He became com­plete­ly devot­ed to Shri Rama and con­tin­ued his intense aus­ter­i­ties for a peri­od of 12 years. To be con­tin­ued…

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#tulsidas #tulasidas #sant #bhakti #saints

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