Tulsidas Jayanti celebrates and acknowledges the greatness of the saint, poet reformer and propagator of the Bhakti cult, Tulsidas or Goswami Tulsidas.
He is best and till date most revered for his work on Ramayana called Ramacharitmanas, which is an extremely lucid and easy retelling of Valmiki’s Sanskrit Ramayana which was only limited to an extremely educated set of people.
He retold the bhaktipurna or the story full of love and regards of Ramayana in Awadhi, which was the vernacular and easier for people to appreciate.
Tulsidas Jayanti is celebrated on the saptami of Shukla paksha of the month of Shravan as per traditional Hindu calendar and as per Gregorian calendar, it falls in the waxing phase of the moon is the month of August. In 2019, Tulsidas Jayanti will be celebrated on the August 7th.
- Life of Tulsidas
Tulsidas was bortn on the saptami of the Shukla paksha in Sharavan in Rajapur, some distance away from Ayodhya in the year 1497 or in a different view 1532 to Hulsi and Atmaram Dubey. He was born into a Brahmin family. According to legends, Tulsidas stayed in his mother’s womb for 12 months, and when he came out he had 32 teeth in his mouth , looked almost like a 5 year old and rather than crying the first thing that he uttered was Ram. He was thus christened Rambola, due to an inauspicious positioning of planets during the time of his birth, his parents sent him away and abandoned him in the care of a female servant called Muniya or Chuniya on the fourth day after he was born. Chuniya took him to her village, Haripur and took care of him for 5 and a half years after which she died. He was left to begging to feed himself.
Rambola was then adopted by Narharidas, who was a Vaishnava ascetic. Rambola was given the mantra of Ram nam and taken into fold. He was given a new name and a new identity of Tulsidas. His Upanayana or the sacred thread ceremony was held in Ayodhya when he was 7 years old. Tulsidas later went to Varanasi and studies the Sanskrit language. After finishing his studies, he went to Rajapur to find out his parents, but they were no more.
It is said that Tulsidas was married to Ratnavali , who chided him for not being as devoted to God as he should be , instead of showing his devotion to her. Tulsidas renounced family life and took to sanyas, or living the life of an ascetic and relocated to Prayag.
After this Tulsidas spent most of his time in Varanasi, Prayag, Ayodhya etc. He also visited the Manassarovar Lake.
It is said that a departed soul to whom Tulsidas everyday would give water to guided hi m to Hanuman who took the guise of a leper. Hanuman revealed himself and in that spot Tulsidas later built the Sankatmochan temple and then getting a boon from Hanuman went to Chitrakoot Mountains to see Lord Rama with his own eyes.
In the year 1575 CE Tulsidas started his master piece composition Ramcharitmanas. He kept composing this epic for a period of 2 years 7 months and 26 days and completed this epic on the day when Rama and Sita are supposed to have got married.
He passed away in the year 1623 CE, though there are contradictions to this in Varanasi.
- Significance of Ramcharitmanas and Tulsidas
Tulsidas’ saintly life style and his devotion filled narration or bhakti uplifted morale much more than the stren teaching of lot of learned gurus. Till date the Ramcharitmanas is read and worshipped with a lot of reverence in mostly the northern part of India. Tulsidas incorporated the Bhakti movement in the staccato description of Ramayana in Sanskrit. The Lord Rama of Ramcharitmanas is easilt identifiable as the savior by millions of people. Common man could identify with the trials and tribulations of Lord Rama and found him to be a savior.
- Celebration of Tulsidas Jayanti
On the auspicious day of Tulsidas Jayanti, devotees keep fast and engage in various charities. It is believed and suggested too, that Tulsidas was the incarnation of Valmiki, the original story teller of the epic Ramayana. Who was ordered by Hanuman to be reborn to tell the tale in other simple lucid language than lofty Sanskrit.
On this day Lord Rama along with Sita Mata and his biggest disciple Hanuman are worshipped with great devotion. The alms and charities towards Brahmins is also organized. Seminars, discussions and other literary debates are organized on this day to commemorate Tulsidas’s works, the greatest being Ramacharitmanas, which is one of the most significant, books in the entire world.
Devotees visit the Lord Rama, Hanuman and Tulsidas temples and shrines on this day. Symposiums and seminars on Tulsidas’s life and his teachings are held. The Ramcharitmanas and the sankatmmochan stotra, praising Hanuman which was also composed by Tulsidas are read on this auspicious occasion.