The book provides an informative account of the centers of Ram- devotion founded by the saint-poet Ramadas. It metaphorically compares the welfare state founded by Shivaji with the traditional Indian ideal of ‘Ramarajya’ or the regime of Lord Ram. The author hints at the administration under the Shivaji as a historical realization of the ‘utopian’ state. He traces three objects of devotion, namely Ram, Hanuman and Goddess of Tulajapur. Tulajapur, is a place hallowed by centuries of devotion and an important site of Goddess worship in Maharashtra. Samartha Ramadas was a devotee of Ram, a popular Vaishnavaite deity and Hanuman, the monkey god. Hanuman is as much revered for his ardent, faithful and uncompromising devotion to Ram as his intellect and might. The author aims at the masses as a reader who is not aware of the historic tradition. He does so in a lucid and eloquent manner.
The book is divided into five chapters.
- Ram as the Supreme Deity :
- Chaphal : Founding the temple of Ramat Chaphal.
- Hanuman as a deity and his importance in the life of Saint Ramadas.
- Eleven temples of Hanuman, founded and maintained by Ramdas.
- Goddess Bhavani of Tulajapur and Pratapgad.
Though the book is generally meant for the lay reader ( who may choose not to pursue the subject any further) an appended list of references might benefit the student.
Elucidating the purpose of the book, the author states that the ideal state had been all but realized in Maharashtra when Shivaji laid its foundations on the corner stone of spirituality through devotion to ideals exemplified in Ram, Hanuman and Goddess Bhavani. These deities embody the virtues which when inculcated in the state machinery, result in benevolent governance. Ram represents the highest ideal of truthfulness in character. He personifies fidelity in family life and precision in the operation. Emulation of Hanuman’s devotion and servitude by society is the backbone of any stable institution poised for prosperity.
According to the author, any society with aspirations of a benevolent state should adapt those values as their ideals and act accordingly. Thus one of the aims of the book is to make an everlasting impact of these values in the formative mind of the common man.