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Ramacharitamanas by Swami Tulasidas

Ramacharita Manas by Tulsidas
The original Ramayana was written in Sanskrit by Rishi Valmiki. Several other great saints and poets also wrote the Ramayana in the various Indian languages. The most popular one in northern India is the Ramacharita Manas by Goswami Tulasidas. It is considered auspicious to recite it at home. Reciting of several chapters is recommended as a remedy for various malefic influences and to get various benefits. For example reciting of Sundara kanda is recommended for better health and also to ward off the negative effects of Saturn and for getting children the Bala kanda is recited.

Tulasidas was born in the year 1532 in a Brahmin family in the town of Rajapur near Varanasi. He lost his parents at an early age and was neglected by his relatives. He lived in a Hanuman temple, in Varanasi and ate whatever was given to him. Naraharidas, his guru, spotted him and instilled in Tulasi the love for Sri Rama. Tulasi grew up and became a scholar in Vedas and Upanishads.

Tulasidas married Ratnavali, who was a very intelligent and pious lady. Tulasi loved his wife, and could never stand even a moment’s separation from her. Once he crossed a flooded river to see his wife, who was visiting her parents. Ratnavali got angry and said “What do you get by loving this mortal body? If you were to love Lord Sri Rama like this, you would get mukti.”

These words rekindled his love for Sri Rama, he renounced family life and started traveling across north India, preaching Sri Rama’s life. In Chitrakoot, he wrote the masterpiece Rama Charita Manas. He wrote in one of the Hindi dialects known as Avadhi spoken around Ayodhya region. Tulasidas employed “doha”, “chowpayee”, “swaratae” and other meters in his poem. The entire story is given as narrated by Siva to Parvati. His other works are other works Gitavali (1571), Kavitavali (1612), Barvairamayana (1612) and Vinaya Patrika (request to Rama). He authored 22 different works.

Once king Jahangir offered him money to the performance some miracles. Tulasi retorted ‘Who needs money when one has the love of Rama and of what use are the miracles before his glory ?’

In Kashi, he became the head of the monastery in Lolarka Kunda and was designated the title ‘Gosain.’ or “Goswami”. Tulasidas passed away on the third day of the dark fortnight in the month of Shravana in 1623.

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