Ramarajyachi Sphurtikendre
 

Chapter 1

Ram as the Supreme Deity

In Maharashtra, Ram is inseparably associated with the saint-poet Samartha Ramdas (literally, Ramdas means ‘servant of Ram’). His chant “Jaya Jaya Raghuvir Samartha” in praise of Ram is well-known. Hence the prefix ‘Samartha’ (meaning competent) was attached to him. Actually he adopted the nick-name of Ramadas to denote his servitude towards Ram.

He ran away from Jamb, his native village, at the age of thirteen, just moments before he was to be married, and reached Nasik eleven days later.Taking up the family tradition of Ram- worship, he spent twelve years in penance and meditation. He composed many devotional verses in praise of Ram in his spiritually elevated state of mind. For getting the divine support, he started pilgrimage.

During his pilgrimage all over India, he observed the hapless plight of Hindu masses under Islamic invasion and rule. Ramdas, moved by this experience, determined to use the inspiration provided by Lord Ram – the epitome of philosopher-king - to arouse the spirit of resistance amongst Hindus and induce them to active, aggressive resistors.

He wrote inspiring narratives of Ram, in which the Muslim invaders  were likened to the demons in the mythological times. He viewed Goddess Laxmi in the form of the ‘warrior’ Bhavani of Tulajapur. He hailed the rise of Shivaji as a blessing from Ram for neutralizing Islamic religious persecution.

He was not merely a passive devotee, but a visionary. Perceiving the plight of the people under Islamic regimes, he drew an outline of the ideal state. He had detailed and envisaged a land of abundance and happiness under the caring eye of a pious king.

In order to bring about such a transformation, however, plans must be well conceived, described and executed in real life. The net work of people and institutions supporting the same ideals was required. Thus he initiated the revolution from a small step of founding a temple at Chaphal.

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