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Believed to be the incarnation of Shri Valmiki, the author of Ramayana, Tulsidas retold the story of Ram in the book Ramcharitmanas. Also known as Goswami Tulsi Das, he was a Hindu saint-poet and an author. He was born on Saptami tithi during the Shukla Paksha (the bright phase) of the Shravana month. This year on 15 August 2021, we shall be celebrating the 524th birth anniversary of Tulsidas, who has made unparalleled contributions to Hindi and Sanskrit literature and played an important role in the Bhakti movement.
Major Contributions By Tulsidas
Besides the Ramcharitmanas, he has also authored Hanuman Chalisa, the most popular collection of chants dedicated to Lord Hanuman. In fact, the famous Sankatmochan temple, dedicated to Lord Hanuman was also founded by him. It is said that Lord Hanuman himself had appeared before Tulsidas, at the place where the temple is situated today. Besides these, the folk theatre of the Ramlila plays was also started by Tulsidas.
Strange Things About The Birth Of Tulsi Das
For the most part of Tulsidas' life, he had lived in Varanasi at a place near the banks of the river Ganges which was named after him and is today known as Tulsi Ghat. He was born in Sookar Kshetra village of Kasganj district in Uttar Pradesh. As per a story about his birth, he was born after staying for twelve months in the mother's womb. Born already having thirty teeth, he did not cry after birth and looked like a five-year-old boy, they say. Moreover, it was also said by the astrologers that he was born under Abhuktamula Nakshatra (constellation), which astrologically meant that he was going to be inauspicious for his father.
Tulsi Das Abandoned By Parents
Because of all these strange things, he was abandoned by his parents just on the fourth day of his birth. They gave the child away to a woman named Chunia. The woman nurtured her for around five years after which she died. Child Tulsidas wandered begging for alms. Another miraculous thing said about him is that, after the death of Chunia, Goddess Parvati herself came to feed him every evening.
Narharidas Narrated The Ramayana To Tulsi Das
Tulsi Das was initially named Rambola, because he uttered the name of Ram soon after his birth, and he himself has stated it in Vinay Patrika. The name Tulsiads was given to him by his teacher Narharidas, the fourth disciple of Ramananda. Narharidas adopted him after few months of Chunia's death. He took Tulsi Das to Ayodhya and narrated the whole Ramayana to him.
In one of his quotes, Tulsidas states that, when his teacher had narrated the Ramayana to him, he could not infer the meaning, but now when he has grown up, he is alert enough to understand the teachings of the book.
Tulsidas And His Wife Ratnavali
There is a very popular story about the marriage of Tulsidas and his renunciation of life. According to the story, he was married to Ratnavali, the daughter of a Brahmin. Once when he had gone to a Hanuman temple, his wife went to her hometown with her brother. During the night he went to meet her there. When she opened the door, she chided him saying that if his devotion to God had been even half of what it was for her body and flesh, he would have been redeemed by God. Those words of the woman left a deep impact on his mind, after which he left the materialistic world and went to the city of Prayag taking complete renunciation from the life of a householder.
Though, another story about his life says that he was a saint since childhood and remained a bachelor throughout his life. However, having become a saint, he is acclaimed to have had the sight of Lord Rama and Lord Hanuman.
Tulsidas Jayanti 2021
On his birth anniversary, homage is paid to him in the temples, especially those of Lord Ram. While pujas and yagna are held in some places, the priests are offered food in others. The recitation of chants from Ramcharitmanas is also undertaken. This year, on his birthday, 15 August, the Saptami Tithi will begin on 11:50 AM, Aug 14, 2021, and Saptami Tithi will end on - 09:51 AM on Aug 15, 2021.