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Acharyas And Sampradayas Of Dharma
Once one great sant had explained that Dharma is like a vast tree, different sampradayas are like its branches, and Adhyatma is its root.

Different Acharyas that take birth from time to time are like the fruits that the tree bears when the right season comes.

Depending upon which direction a branch faces - it takes a different shape, and develops in a different size. But the essence of the tree - the seeds - remain the same and are contained inside the fruits - the Acharyas.

So, as long as we see the tree is flowering and bearing fruits, we can be assured that the tree is healthy and potent.

This thread is to collect sayings, anecdotes, life and deeds of all the great Acharyas of all the various sampradayas of all the hues and shades of Sanatan Dharma.


Sant Tulsidas ji was very poor, almost a beggar, of which he has described at many places in his writings. But he had become famous, and some of Akbar's Navaratnas were his followers and friends.

As was the tradition, kings used to appoint state poets. Someone, on behalf of Akbar sent for him the invitation to join as the state's protected poet.

He laughed and declined saying:

ham chaakar raghuveer ke, paTo likho darbaar,
ab tulsi kaa hoinge, nara ke mansabdaar!
tulsi apne rama ko, reejh bhajau ke kheejh,
ulto soodho oogi hai, khet pare ko beej!
bane, so raghuvar so bane, kai bigarai bharpoor,
tulsi bane jo aur so, ta banibe me dhoor!
chaatak suta-hi sikhaavahi, aan dharma jina lehu,
mere kula kee bani hai, swati boond so nehu!

(we are servant of raghuveer, with an agreement in that darbaar
now, what will Tulsi join, as a mansabdaar of a man?
Tulsi is now praying, only to his Rama, either with pleasure or in disappointment,
knowing that, good or bad, either ways, the harvest will now grow, seeds have been sown.
if something has to become, it will be a making of raghuveer, if not, then all will be lost,
but if Tulsi has to become 'something' through somebody else, he sends dust to such becoming.
Chaatak-bird teaches its offsprings, "dont ever accept other dharma,
such is the tradition of my family, our love is only with the drops of swaati nakshatra, none else.")

Dhanyavaad. Wonderful topic. Just the other day I had run into this



One of my fathers' favorite episodes which he told me a thousand times (atleast) in a thousand contexts was his "kya baranau chabi aap ki, bhale bane ho nath, Per Tulsi mastak tab name jab dhanush baan lo haath". It is said that Naradji once tricked Sant Tulsidasji and took him to a Krishna temple and he composed this dohaa which means -- Oh Lord, how do i even begin to describe your beauty, but then Tulsi's head can only bow when you pick up the bow and arrow".. It is said that Krishna put down his flute and picked up dhanush-baan just for his bhakta... <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->


I think I have asked this before but doesnt hurt to ask again. This was again a sanskrit sloka that my dad repeated many a times - not sure about the author. This too was about the Chaatak Bird. I remember a line in that sloka was "bho bho chaatak saavadhaan manasa". Does anybody remember it ?

And in general, whats with the chaatak bird tradition ? I must have heard tonnes of slokas related to the Chaatak bird and would love to hear from guroos regarding this tradition.
Sri Vedanta Desikar
<span style='color:red'>Bhaktamaal</span>

bhakti, bhakta, bhagwant, guru - naam chatur bapu ek
inke pad-vandan kiye, naashain vighna anek

{devotion, devotee, Bhagwan, Guru - 4 names of the same thing
by praying to their holy-feet, all obstacles vanish}
- Bhakta Sri Nabha Das Ji.

Above is the preface of a great medieval work called 'Bhaktamaal', of Nabha Das ji.

Bhaktamaal can be said to be the first ever collection of biographies and narrative of the different Bhaktas - irrespective of sampradaya.

As per the anecdotal traditions, he was ordered by his Guru Sri Agradasa ji to write a collective narrative of all the Bhaktas of Bharatvarsh, irrespective of the panth. Nabahdas ji, who was not literate, asked how he would be able to write. Guru blessed him and said that all the Bhaktas themselves would appear to him one by one and narrate/write their own tale.

Thus we have Bhaktamaal, which starting from Satayuga, down to midieval ages, narrates the story of every known-unknown Bhaktas.

When and where did he live? Scholars have different opinions. Like all Bhaktas, he has said almost nothing about himself.

But most agreed upon opinion is that he was born towards the beginning of the 16th century (near-contemporary of Tulsidas) when Mugals had arrived. He mentions about physically meeting Tulsidas to compile his narrative into Bhaktamaal. He says he went to Ayodhya to meet Tulsi, but tulsi was in meditation. He waited for several days, but Tulsi did not come out from meditation, so he returned to Vrindavana where he lived. He says, later when Tulsidas realized it, he himself came to Nabha in Vrindavana to meet him.

Place of birth

In opinion of bhasha-scholars like Acharya Sri Ram Chandra Shukla, Nabhadasji's parents were Telugu. He says he was born in Tailanga-desh, at a place called Rama-Bhadrachal on the northern banks of Godavari, and his father Sri Ramdas ji, himself was a Bhakta.

Like Tulsidas ji, he has mentioned in the background, the political situation of his contemporary times. he says:

gond ganvaar nripaal kali, yavan maha mahipaal,
saam na daam na bheda ab, keval danda karaal !!

{Kaliyuga has come when our nripala-s (kshatriyas) have become quality-less, and yavana-s have become the ultimate emporer.
sama, dama, and bheda - all have disappeared - only danda (suppression) is in vogue}

Anyways, Bhaktamaal is a great work, a complete encyclopedia of our Bhakti tradition, which after Nabhadas, his shishyas like Bhakta Priyadas continued to revise and append with newer entries like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and also provided commentaries on older ones.

Bhaktamaal even includes Bhakta-saints who were Muslims. I have yet to hear about a single book of Christians or Muslims, where they include sants of other religions.
<span style='color:red'>Fakkad Baba of Hathiram Math, Tirupati, AP</span>

Rahul Sankrityayan recalls him in 'Jinaka Main Kritagya', based upon encounters during his stay at the Tirupati in 1913.

<img src='http://inlinethumb33.webshots.com/26720/2341564010100818794S600x600Q85.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

<img src='http://inlinethumb10.webshots.com/28233/2512814450100818794S600x600Q85.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

1. Fakkad Baba's mother tongue was Hindi, he was from somewhere around Moradabad UP.

2. He became Vairagi and started living around Tirupati, and subsequently became permanent resident of Baba Hathiram Math both at Balaji and Tirupati.

3. Vairagi - the roaming sadhus- are almost absent in the Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayali regions. People there, especially local Brahmins dont like these unorthodox - "Jaat Paat Poochhe Na Koi, Hari ko Bhaje so Hari Ka Hoi - Ravidas" - style Sadhus that dont follow Varna-Dharma. As a result if at all Vairagi Sadhus are to be found in south, they are mostly from North, and less in numbers. he says the reason for objection to Vairagi-s was less driven by shastra and more by fear that grihastha-s might get more attracted to these virakta sadhus rather than karma-kand brahmanas.

4. Says dispite being a math in south - it is mostly populated by Sadhus from north India - and Mahant is almost always from North. The then Mahant was a Mahant Prayagdas who came from Marwad Rajasthan.

5. The tradition comes from Baba Hathiram himself who was from north but made Tirupati his abode and a local king later donated all his wealth to the Math. Math is doing very well here. The government by passing Devottar Sampatti Law has taken over its properties that yield about 13-14 Lakhs per annum. A Sanskrit University and research institute is run with the money.

6. Mentions free and popular usage of ganja, and that Sankrityayan himself started using ganja at the Math itself - the habit which only grew in time.

7. Says there were lions in the Tirumala forests, but he along with Baba used to walk miles in the forest every day, always towards a new direction, coming back late in evenings after dark.
In the Bhaktamaal (see post 4 for background), there is an interesting mention of Sri Ram Setu as follows: (in context of biography of Bhakti Acharya Sri Ramanand)

tin ke rAmAnand pragaT visvamangal jinu bapu dharyo
Sri rAmAnuj paddyati pratAp avani amR^t hai anusaryo ||

anantAnand kabIr sukhA padmAvati narahari
pIpA bhAvAnand raidAs dhanA sen sursur kI gharahari ||

auro sisya prasisya ek te ek ujAgar
visvamangal AdhAr sarvAnand dasadhA Agar ||

bahut kAl bapu dhAri kai pranat janan kau pAr diyo
Sri rAmAnand raghunAth jyon dutiya <b>setu jaga taran kiyo</b> ||

a fluid translation:

in his (Sri Raghavanand's) house appeared Ramanand, taking body for the benefit of the world,
And followed the graceful path shown by Sri Ramanuj, the very nectar on this earth.

Anantanand, Kabir, Sukha, Padmavati, and Naraharidas
Pipadas, Bhavanand, Ravidas, Dhanna, and Sen etc,
(All these) and many more were his disciples and further their disciples, one brighter than the other.

For the sake of good to the world, he spread devotion in all the ten directions,
and lived for a long time delivering countless humans (from entangling worldliness)

Indeed! Sri Ramanand constructed a second Setu (of devotion), just Like Lord Ram before him, for people to cross (this ocean of) the world.
Question to Hauma Hamiddha Ji:

Can you please share information on sri sAbarnatha, sAbar-mantra, sAbar-panth, sAbar.

Per some paurANic traditions I have heard, particularly Saiva, he is mahAdev himself, and relates to the samudra manthana episode. after having consumed the poison, and holding it in his throat, he came upon a sivAlik peak of himAlaya and in that condition with poison in his throat he started reciting mantra-s which are known as sAbar-mantras and considered very secret, revealed only to select few mAntrik-s.

per another narrative (esp. nAth sampradAya), sri sAbarnAth ji was a guru-bhrAtA of sri gorakshanAtha ji, and a disciple of sri matsyendranAtha ji. Like guru gorakshanath inherited the haTha-yoga, guru sabarnAtha ji inherited mAntrik heritage and propogated that in the world.

What is the situation of their panth today?

Sanpera (snake charmer) community claims sAbarnAth ji as their Adi-guru too (I beleive) or at least treat him with special reverence.
Vilwamangalam Swamiyaar was not only Lord Krishna's great devotee, but also a wise saint and a great poet. He was one of the greatest saints who could see Lord Krishna with his material eyes. His most famous work was Sreekrishnakarnaamritham, verses about Lord Krishna in Sanskrit. He lived in 17th century. He was the contemporary of Melppathoor Narayana Bhattathiri and the great poet Poonthanam. Lord Krishna was his inseparable companion, who always appeared in front of him in the form of a very naughty little boy. Here are a few legends about that versatile.

1. Swamiyar Writes Sreekrishna Karnaamarutham

Before accepting the asceticism Swamiyar was like any other young man who was the victim of spiritual weaknesses and bad habits. Here is the story that tells us his transition from the dissolute personality to the supreme most rank of spiritual awareness of aversion from worldly pleasures. He was in love with a lady who belonged to the cast of temple-employees. He loved her so much, so that where ever he went during the day he wanted to go to her to sleep. He didn't care about any obstacle that came across his way to his destination, because his beloved ones proximity itself was paid its value. One day he finished all his business for the day and got ready to go to her house but it set in to rain. He waited for the rain to stop vainly but to see it more fiercely than before. It was ten o' clock at night and pitch dark out side. But he decided to proceed.

He lit a country torch (dried coconut leaves rolled into a scroll-choot) and set off. Even though he had an umbrella, the torch was extinguished, due to the strong wind. Some how he managed to get to the bank of the river that flew between the two villages of his and his loved ones. When he was returned from her home that morning the river was not flooded. But the condition had changed completely in a few hours. Both banks of the river were subdued by the suddenly raised water from the nearby mountain. Nobody was around to help him. He didn't want to go back to his own home to sleep.

He needed to get her. He became so gloomy for the condition that he was being entrapped. By the will of God there happened a thunderbolt in which his eyes caught the glimpse of a piece of a tree trunk lying down near his feet. He laid on the trunk and swam across to the other side of the river. When he got up from the piece of wood something hindered his legs. He groped to find that it was a rope. With that rope he tied the trunk to a nearby tree. Then he got into the lady's house soaked and drenched. When he reached there he told her the whole story happened on his way. When she heard all that with patience that chaste woman felt so sorry for him. She was a wise lady, so after he was finished his talking she pointed out a picture of Lord Krishna which was hung on the wall and told him "If you had the concentration on him instead of me you would have gained the salvation by now. Alas! You are just squandering such an honorable birth as a Brahmin ". Her words were impressed deeply in his mind and he started to realize his knowledge of the Supreme Soul. He stared at the picture and told her, "What you have told is true. Now I am aware of the truth. You are the one who diverted my mind from evil to virtue. So I consider you as my Guru." He sat quietly looking at the picture for a long time and then started to sing a poem about Lord Krishna which streamed out of his mind fluently during that heavenly moments. When he started to sing the verses, the lady copied those pearl beads immediately into a notebook. But she omitted some of them, because she noticed that when he started to sing, the picture of Krishna shook his head as he appreciated it very much. But in some points he didn't shake his head so she knew that those were not as good as the rest. Finally when he finished he got up and walked out without telling a word to the lady. When he reached the bank of the river he looked for the tree trunk which he used to cross the river last night. With a surprise he found that it was not a piece of wood but was a corpse of a man with a small rope around his neck. By this time he already knew the eternal truth that our body was perishable, but the soul is the only thing that we had to take care of wisely. He called for a boat and went his home, and within a few days he accepted asceticism.

2. Swamiyar and Cherthala Karthyani

Once Swamiyar was traveling by land he found seven girls who were playing near a wood. As soon as he saw them he realized that they were not a bunch of ordinary girls but some divine beings. So he went closer for a better look When these girls were aware of his presence they started to run away. Swamiyar ran after them with the same speed. The girls ran and jumped in to a pond. Swamiyar also did the same and pulled them out of the water one by one. He managed to get six of them out but the seventh one was so arrogant and she resisted with all her might. By the time she got all muddy on her hair because she was on the shallow side of the pond.. Swamiyar couldn't control his fury seeing this stupidity of that young girl so he called her, the Mudheaded Prostitute (Chettil thala Pumschali). Somehow he managed to pull that little girl also out of the water and he showed them seven different places and ordered to sit down. Now the place where the seventh Devi was seated is called Cherthala.

3. Swamiyar and Sree Padmanabhaswami Temple

After Lord Krishna gave Swamiyar the divine sight to see His material body, He used to go and sit near him when ever he did the worship for Vishnu. Always it was in the form of a very naughty little boy just to put Swamiyar in a lot of troubles. During this perticular time Swamiyar called Lord Krishna, Unni. When Swamiyar was busy getting things ready for the worship Unni used to climb on his back, threw away the flowers that the old man collected from the garden, urinated in the vessels those were washed for the rite were a few of the usual troubles He made for Swami. One day the mischief broke the boundary, agitated by anger Swamiyar stroke the little boy away with the back of his hand telling, "Unni, please don't bother me."

Unni became very upset, because striking with back hand was considered very humiliate. Ill-felted Unni left Swamiyar saying, "If you want to see me again come to Ananthan Kaadu." As soon as He was disappeared Swamiyar realized that what big mistake he had committed. He became so grief-stricken. Immediately he set off to look for Ananthan Kadu. He wandered from place to place looking for this particular place, asked a lot of people but nobody knew a place by this name. After a long time he got very tired and sat down under a tree regretting about his own wrong deed. While he was sitting there he heard a Parayan and his wife was having an argument. Parayan was shouting, "If you start another fight with me I will kill you and throw you away to Ananthan Kadu." As soon as Swamiyar heard this part he got up went to the hut of that couples consoled them and asked them gently could they show him Ananthan Kadu. Parayan showed him the place. Even though it was a dense forest and very dangerous to get in Swamiyar didn't hesitate to walk forward. He looked hear and there and finally found the Lord. But at that time He was not in the form of the little boy, but in Ananthasayi position with Kshama and Rama sitting by His head and feet respectively. Swamiyar fell on the ground to bow His feet. The Lord was happy to see Swamiyar and told him, "I'm very hungry. Please give me some thing to eat." He couldn't find any other fruit in the forest other than some tender mangos which were lying on the ground under a mango tree. He picked up a few of them crushed it on a stone and gave it to the God. He ate it and told, "I am not hungry any more and am pleased with you now."

Then Swamiyar went and told Maharaja of Tranvancore about this incident. Maharaja came to Ananthan Kadu with his lords and knights, but they couldn't see Lord Vishnu. Even then they believed Swamiyar, because he was famous with all his divine power, so Maharaja decided to build a temple there. After the construction was completed he made a statue of Lord Vishnu in the form of Ananthasayi, exactly the way Swamiyar has witnessed it. The idol in Padmanabhaswami Temple still stays the same.

4. Swamiyar and Ambalapuzha Krishnan.

One day vilwamangalam Swamiar came to Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple to worship. He couldn't see Bhagavan in the sanctum sanctorum. When he started to circumambulate the temple he found Lord Krishna disguised himself as a Tamil Brahmin (Pattar) serving food for Marars. Nobody could recognize Bhagavan in that form but Swamiar, because of his divine eyes. Immediately he went to salute the Lord and asked him why he was doing this since there were a lot of people to do cooking and serving. This was the reply of Bhagavan. "These are the people (Marars) who are working hard to make the festival a big success. So I find happiness when I can serve them food with my own hands. I come here every year to serve them for their feast." Ever since in the theater of Ambalapuzha temple the feast of Marars became more significant.

5. Swamiyar and Vadakkunnathan

On the Karthika day of the month of Vrischika, Swamiyar came to Vadakkunnatha Temple to worship. When he reached the sanctum sanctorum he couldn't find Bhagavan inside. He thought, "How can I pay my salutations without seeing him?" So he came out side to circumambulate the temple. Suddenly his eyes caught the figure of Bhagavan sitting on the southern wall of the temple looking outside. Immediately he went to him paid his salutations and asked, "Lord why are you sitting here?" Bhagavan answered, "I am sitting here to watch my most beloved one, kumaranelloor Karthyani who is coming this way with all the ornamentations after her ablution" Since that incident each year on the auspicious day of Karthika in Vrischika the ceremonial offering to the God in the morning takes place on the southern wall of the temple. Still the devotees of Vadakkunnathan believe that every year on that particular day the Lord comes and sits on that wall to see the divine procession of the Goddess.

6. Swamiyar and Vaikkathappan

On an ashtami day (the eighth day of the month according to lunar calendar) Swamiyar came to visit Vaikkathappan. When he reached there at noon he saw a lot of Brahmins are sitting and having their lunch. He went to sanctum sanctorum to worship only to find out that Bhagavan was not inside. He was so surprised to know the disappearance of The Almighty. He started to look every where in the temple very carefully and found out that Bhagavan was sitting near a pillar in the chuttambalam and having lunch along with the other Brahmins, disguised himself in the costume of an old Brahmin. Nobody else could recognize Bhagavan other than Swamiyar, because of his divine power of insight. Immediately he went to the Lord paid his salutations and informed the other people about what he had witnessed. Since then when ever the temple arranged a feast, a banana leaf was put near that pillar exactly at the same place where Swamiyar found the Lord and served with all kinds of dishes, believing that the Great Lord still comes there to enjoy the feast.

7. Swamiyar's role in Krishnattam

Once Swamiyar and King Manaveda (Malayalam Era -8th century- 9th century.) came to live together in Guruvayoor. (He wrote Krishnageethi in M.E 829 = 1654 A.D.) One day the King Manaveda requested the saint to make it possible for him to see Lord Krishna with his material eyes. Swamiyar said he would ask the Lord and give him a reply. The next day he told the King that the Lord has consented his request. Then the King saw Lord Krishna in the form of a little boy, playing under an elanji tree. He was so excited, so he ran towards to Him to give Him a hug. Suddenly He slipped away from his reach and told "Swamiyar didn't tell me this" and disappeared immediately. At that time a peacock feather fell down from His hair and the King took and kept it. Then when he created the Krishnattam he used that feather to decorate the Krishnamudi of the actor who acts the roll of Krishna. Still in Guruvayoor Temple they use that particular feather on the crown of Krishna in Krishnattam.
A life sketch of Sri Ramanand.

He was born in year 1299, on Magh Saptami of Krishna Paksha at Prayag in the home of mother Sushila Devi and father Punyasadan. His Guru was Sri Raghavanand of Sri Ramanuj Acharya's stream.

Ramanamd was a reformer, and affected many changes in the tradition of Ramanuj Acharya. This included amongst other things, relaxation of varna norms, introducing the vernacular doctrines. 7 books are attributed to him, 2 in Sanskrit (vaisnava-matAbja, srirAmArchana paddyati) and 5 in old-Hindi (rAma-rakshA-stotra, siddhAnta-paTala, gyAna-lIlA, gyAna-tilaka, yoga-chintA-maNi). He eventually created a large following, which included masters like Kabir, Ravidas, Dhanna etc, and really started a Bhakti-reform in the North India.

While the sampradaya of Ramanand came to be known as 'RamavatI', that of earler traditional followers in the line of Sri Ramanuj started being known as 'AchArI'. Ramavati-s also started having different type of tilaka, tripunda etc, known as rakta-sri.

He died in Ayodhya at a ripe age of 111 years. Traditions about his dead body etc are shrouded in mystery, like many other teachers.


<span style='color:red'>राम के अनन्य भक्त</span>
डा. वंशीधर त्रिपाठी

स्वामी रामानन्द का जन्म 1299 ई. में माघकृष्ण सप्तमी को प्रयाग में हुआ था। इनके पिता का नाम पुण्यसदन और माता का नाम सुशीला देवी था। इनका बाल्यकाल प्रयाग में बीता। यज्ञोपवीत संस्कार के उपरान्त वे प्रयाग से काशी चले आए और गंगा के किनारे पंचगंगा घाट पर स्थायी रूप से निवास करने लगे। इनके गुरु स्वामी राघवानन्द थे जो रामानुज संप्रदाय के ख्यातिलब्ध संत थे। स्वामी राघवानन्द हिन्दी भाषा में भक्तिपरक काव्य रचना करते थे। स्वामी रामानन्द को रामभक्ति गुरुपरंपरा से मिली। हिन्दी भाषा में लेखन की प्रेरणा उन्हे गुरुकृपा से प्राप्त हुई। पंचगंगाघाट पर रहते हुए स्वामी रामानुज ने रामभक्ति की साधना के साथ-साथ उसका प्रचार और प्रसार भी किया।

स्वामी रामानन्द ने जिस भक्ति-धारा का प्रवर्तन किया, वह रामानुजी परंपरा से कई दृष्टियों से भिन्न थी। रामानुजी संप्रदाय में इष्टदेव के रूप में लक्ष्मीनारायण की पूजा होती है। स्वामी रामानन्द ने लक्ष्मीनारायण के स्थान पर सीता और राम को इष्टदेव के आसन पर प्रतिष्ठित किया। नए इष्टदेव के साथ ही स्वामी रामानन्द ने रामानुजी संप्रदाय से अलग एक षडक्षर मंत्र की रचना की। यह मंत्र है- रां रामाय नम:। इष्टदेव और षडक्षर मंत्र के अतिरिक्त स्वामी रामानन्द ने इष्टोपासनापद्धति में भी परिवर्तन किया। स्वामी रामानन्द ने रामानुजी तिलक से भिन्न नए ऊ‌र्ध्वपुण्ड तिलक की अभिरचना की। इन भिन्नताओं के कारण स्वामी रामानन्द द्वारा प्रवर्तित भक्तिधारा को रामानुजी संप्रदाय से भिन्न मान्यता मिलने लगी। रामानुजी और रामानन्दी संप्रदाय क्रमश: अचारी और रामावत नाम से जाने जाने लगे। रामानुजी तिलक की भांति रामानन्दी तिलक भी ललाट के अतिरिक्त देह के ग्यारह अन्य भागों पर लगाया जाता है। स्वामी रामानन्द ने जिस तिलक की अभिरचना की उसे रक्तश्री कहा जाता है। कालचक्र में रक्तश्री के अतिरिक्त इस संप्रदाय में तीन और तिलकों की अभिरचना हुई। इन तिलकों के नाम है, श्वेतश्री , गोलश्री (बेदीवाले) और लुप्तश्री (चतुर्भुजी)।

इष्टदेव, मंत्र, पूजापद्धति एवं तिलक इन चारों विंदुओं के अतिरिक्त स्वामी रामानन्द ने स्वप्रवर्तित रामावत संप्रदाय में एक और नया त8व जोड़ा। उन्होंने रामभक्ति के भवन का द्वार मानव मात्र के लिए खोल दिया। जिस किसी भी व्यक्ति की निष्ठा राम में हो, वह रामभक्त है, चाहे वह द्विज हो अथवा शूद्र, हिन्दू हो अथवा हिन्दूतर। वैष्णव भक्ति भवन के उन्मुक्त द्वार से रामावत संप्रदाय में बहुत से द्विजेतर और हिन्दूतर भक्तों का प्रवेश हुआ। स्वामी रामानन्द की मान्यता थी कि रामभक्ति पर मानवमात्र का अधिकार है, क्योंकि भगवान् किसी एक के नहीं, सबके हैं- सर्वे प्रपत्तिरधिकारिणो मता:। ज्ञातव्य है कि रामानुजी संप्रदाय में मात्र द्विजाति (ब्राह्मण, क्षत्रिय, वैश्य) को ही भगवद्भक्ति का अधिकार प्राप्त है। स्वामी रामानन्द ने रामभक्ति पर मानवमात्र का अधिकार मानकर एक बड़ा साहसी और क्रान्तिकारी कार्य किया था। इसके लिए उनका बड़ा विरोध भी हुआ। स्वामी रामानन्द का व्यक्तित्व क्रान्तिदर्शी, क्रान्तिधर्मी और क्रान्तिकर्मी था। उनकी क्रान्तिप्रियता मात्र रामभक्ति तक ही सीमित नहीं थी।

भाषा के क्षेत्र में भी उन्होंने क्रान्ति का बीजारोपण किया। अभी तक धर्माचार्य लेखन-भाषण सारा कुछ देवभाषा संस्कृत में ही करते थे। मातृभाषा होते हुए भी हिन्दी उपेक्षत-सी थी। ऐसे परिवेश में स्वामी रामानन्द ने हिन्दी को मान्यता देकर अपनी क्रान्तिप्रियता का परिचय दिया। आगे चलकर गोस्वामी तुलसीदास ने स्वामी रामानन्द की भाषा विषयक इसी क्रान्ति प्रियता का अनुसरण करके रामचरितमानस जैसे अद्भुत ग्रंथ का प्रणयन हिंदी भाषा में किया। ऐसा माना जाता है कि स्वामी रामानन्द विभिन्न परिवेशों के बीच एक सेतु की भूमिका का निर्वाह करते थे। वे नर और नारायण के बीच एक सेतु थे; शूद्र और ब्राह्मण के बीच एक सेतु थे; हिन्दू और हिन्दूतर के बीच एक सेतु थे; देवभाषा (संस्कृत) और लोकभाषा (हिन्दी) के बीच एक सेतु थे। स्वामी रामानन्द ने कुल सात ग्रंथों की रचना की, दो संस्कृत में और पांच हिन्दी में। उनके द्वारा रचित पुस्तकों की सूची इस प्रकार है:

(1) वैष्णवमताब्ज भास्कर: (संस्कृत),
(2) श्रीरामार्चनपद्धति: (संस्कृत),
(3) रामरक्षास्तोत्र (हिन्दी),
(4) सिद्धान्तपटल (हिन्दी),
(5) ज्ञानलीला (हिन्दी),
(6) ज्ञानतिलक (हिन्दी),
(7) योगचिन्तामणि (हिन्दी)

ऐसा माना जाता है कि लगभग एक सौ ग्यारह वर्ष की दीर्घायु में स्वामी रामानन्द ने भगवत्सायुज्यवरण किया। जीवन के अंतिम दिनों में वे काशी से अयोध्या चले गए। वहां वे एक गुफा में प्रवास करने लगे। एक दिन प्रात:काल गुफा से शंख ध्वनि सुनाई पड़ी। भक्तों ने गुफा में प्रवेश किया। वहां न स्वामी जी का देहशेष और न शंख।

वहां मात्र पूजासामग्री और उनकी चरणपादुका। भक्तगण गुफा से चरणपादुका काशी ले आए और यहां उसे पंचगंगाघाट पर स्थापित कर दिया। जिस स्थान पर चरणपादुका की स्थापना हुई, उसे श्रीमठ कहा जाता है। श्रीमठ पर एक नए भवन का निर्माण सन् 1983 ई. में किया गया।

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