`Oh dear! Look at the face of the bride!
Imagine her fate! If you desert her now, at the verge of marriage will
anybody marry her?’
Then people started commenting in their own way depicting their mentalities. `If he is not interested, why didn't he inform beforehand? What right has he to spoil the bright future of a young girl? Such people have to be lined up and shot at with one bullet! He liked the girl, he agreed to marry but suddenly something went wrong somewhere!' `May be something is wrong with the girl'. `Whatever is the reason, we are just a tool in God's hand. It is destined to happen. He is destined to remain a bachelor and the girl is destined to suffer. Who are we to criticize God's ways?’
Whatever were the reactions of the people, the boy who walked out cared a foot for them. He remained an irresponsible brat before everybody. He left sorrow in the hearts of many. His name was Naroba. He looked irresponsible, but he was the most responsible person. He attained self realization. He looked inefficient in the samara sagara but he swam over the sagara quite efficiently. He became a blessed soul and won the name of Samardha Ramadas in due course.
Naroba was born to Suryajipanth and Nirubai in a village called Jamba in Aurangabad district. He lost his father at the age of eight and father's death developed a detachment in him. We use the words `Smasana vairagyam', `Prasuthi vairagyam'. We develop this detachment or vairagya when we see the death of somebody close. A woman develops prasuthi vairagya at the time of delivery. But these are short lived. Very soon we are brought back to this mundane world and continue to be chained by our desires, by our relatives and so on. But the vairagya in Naroba was sincere and serious. He was sick of the world around. He wanted to seek the blessings of God. One day he went to the temple of Lord Hanuma in the outskirts of the village. He was thrilled at the darshan of Hanuma and with tears of joy expressed his feelings. He sought the blessings of Hanuma to be relieved from the world around. Hanuma realized the urge in his prayer and blessed him. He expressed this experience in a song.
`Aamha Saayamsi Hanumantha! Aaradhya daivatha Raghunadha Guru Sri Rama Samardha ! Kaayune de sapi'. With the help of Hanuma, I had the darsan of Rama. I am Ramadas now. Whatever befalls me, I will not leave His lotus feet. This Ramadas settled himself at the feet of Ramadas unmindful of the world around. Naroba's mother came in search of his son and at last found him there. She could read vairagya writ all over his face, but she could not digest that fact. She did not want her son to be some one special. She wanted him to be her son-that's all! So she requested him to come home. Naroba answered `I am very much at home. House is not the one created by man, but it is created by God. I am at the feet of God. That's my house.'
"Punarapi Jananam, Punarapi Maranam." I am caught in the cycles of rebirth. I was born to many parents but my ultimate parent is God.' Any argument led him to God ultimately but she managed to bring him home though she could not bring him back to normalcy. He continued to live in a detached way till he reached his twelth year. As anybody felt, she too felt that marriage was the only solution for his vairagya. So, against his wishes she settled it and brought him to the mantap. Subhamastu it is the opportune time to.... Naroba took it as `Yes it is the opportune time to give up samsara. So did he give up much against the wishes of his kith and kin? He chose a thick forest for his meditation and presented his situation before God. `Oh God! I got up from marriage pandal at the wrong time since I felt it was the right time to give up the world around. I am more attracted to your graceful feet than to the physical body of a woman. I don't know whether I am right or wrong . I leave it to you to decide ` Rama was moved by his ardent prayer and appeared beforehim. He spoke to him thus - `Oh Ramadas ! You are a blessed soul. You have to guide many suffering souls in the world. You sit at the banks of Krishna river and do your meditation. You spread bhakti to people around you.'
Accordingly he meditated upon God for 12 long years. He chanted Ramanama incessantly. He was blessed with many miraculous powers. Then, as per the orders of Rama he toured all over the country spreading Bhaktimarg all through his marg. He renovated many temples and guided many disciples.
One day, Ramadas was lost in his prayer.
A death procession went past him. The wife of the deceased looked at Ramadas
and fell prostrate before his feet. She pleaded for his blessings with
tears rolling down her cheeks. Ramadas opened his eyes and said `May you
be blessed with a son. `She cried even more bitterly'. Swami! I am helpless.
My husband is on his way to cemetery. How is it possible?' Ramadas was
unperturbed. He smilingly said, `These
In the course of his pilgrimage he came to Pandaripur. Sarvam Ramamayam Eko Vishnu. Such words tell us that though we pray to different Gods they are all one and the same. The Almighty If we know this principle don't the saints like Ramadas know? But he was so preoccupied with Rama that he couldn't bear to see Krishna, `Oh God! I know you only as Ram! I can think of you as Ram, can pray to you as Ram. I know you are Omnipotent. You are Krishna but please forgive my foolishness. Please give me your darsan as Rama. Rama did not treat it as foolishness but only blessed him as per his wish.
We get it in the following song.
It begins with where is Sita, where is Hanumanthu, why is Rukmini here and ends with a delightful note! Oh God! How kind you are! You have blessed me in the form of Rama. Ramadas came to Singhanvadi from Pandaripur. Sivaji was the then ruler of Maharastra. He could at one glance make out that this man was no ordinary saint and became his disciple. Sivaji was provided Brahma Jnana.
One day Ramadas came with his begging bowl to the royal court. The king prepared a document in which he donated his entire Kingdom to the saint. But what will a saint do with earthly riches? The saint ordained him his representative. Sivaji ruled the kingdom thus for six years hoisting saffron flag over the kingdom.
Then Samardha Ramadas went to Tamba, his native place. All the villagers gathered round him including his mother. Before his mother could fall prostrate before him, he fell to her feet. She was taken aback at the turn of events. Then he explained to her who he was. He told her, the credit went to her. The mother wondered how he could be so great. He explained, that is the power of Ramanama. If we totally surrender to God and pray to God for His blessings, he will take us into His lap as a mother takes her son into her lap.
The irony of the life was when he developed vairagya as a child, she chided him, but when he came back as a saint she appreciated him. But the tragedy was she couldn't see him to her heart's content, since she became blind.
He touched the eyes of his mother caressingly and lo! She could see her son! Her joy knew no bounds. Ramadas extolled the greatness of Rama and the impact of Ramanama. He stayed with his mother till she breathed her last and served her as a dutiful son.
He prayed for her soul to rest in peace. One day on his way to see Sivaji, he relaxed under a tree with his sishyas. The sishyas stole a few sugarcanes and the owner came and thrashed every one including Ramadas. Ramadas didn't mind it since his sishyas did something wrong, but Shivaji couldn't bear it. As he was personally attending to Ramadas he came across the wounds on the body and gathered the information from his disciples. The owner was hastened to his presence at once. But can you guess the punishment Ramadas made the king give? He was given 25 villages as compensation! Man attains godly qualities in the presence of God.
On another occasion when Ramadas came to Shivaji he had undertaken the construction of palacial fort. That provided work for 5000 people and that boosted up the ego of Shivaji. Ramadas wanted to teach him a lesson. So he told Shivaji to beckon a worker and to make him break a rock. His orders were obeyed immediately. A frog jumped out of the broken rock. Can you believe it that there was sufficient water in the rock for the frog to survive. Then Ramadas proclaimed. `Oh Maharaj! You assume that you provide a livelihood for many people. But did you see how many creatures are surviving without seeking your help? Do you know who helps them? Lord Rama undoubtedly.' Shivaji realized how much vanity he was nourishing and pleaded guilty.
If we go back to analyse Naroba's life, if we seek to find causes which transformed him from Naroba to Samardha Ramadas, we understand that he was different from all of us in every way. When we are controlled by Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada, Mastaryalu, he brought them under control. When we pray to God with an element of faith and a heap of doubt in him, he prayed to God with no element of doubt but only a heap of faith. He believed in the samardhata - capacity of God and that made him samardha Ramadas. Antha Ramamayam, Ee Jagamantha Ramamayam is a song which teaches the essence of Upanishads. Ramadas wholeheartedly believed in that and spread that. His slokas were manachi sloka and dasa byodha!