Vrindavan 2016.08.11 (VT): The day of Tulsidas Jayanti celebrates the birth anniversary of Goswami Tulsidas, who was a great Hindu saint and poet. He was also the acclaimed author of the great Hindu epic Ramcharitmanas. Tulsidas Jayanti is observed on the saptami (7th day) of the Krishna Paksha (the dark fortnight of moon) during the month of Shravana (Sawan) in the traditional Hindu calendar, which was yesterday.
Ramayana was written originally by Valmiki in Sanskrit and understanding it was only within the reach of scholars. However when Tulsidas’s Ramcharitmanas came into being, the greatness of the famous epic was popularized among the masses. It was written in Awadhi, which is a dialect of Hindi. The day of Tulsidas Jayanti is therefore dedicated in honour of this great poet and his work.
Tulsidas was one of highly much-admired and knowledgeable poet of his times. Besides rendering incredible work of literature he was also a saintly figure who was known for his good deeds. Moreover his life was noted for various miracles, one of which incorporates his meeting with Lord Krishna who came in the form of Lord Ram later after Tulsidas insisted on it. This incident happened in Vrindavan around 445 years back, at the place where the Tulsidas temple was constructed by devotees later on.
When Sant Tulsidas was visited Vrindavan, he saw everyone speaking “Radhe Radhe” instead of “Ram Ram”, which was generally used at other places for greeting. Hearing that, he thought that the people here don’t believe in Ram and so they are Radha and Krishna devotees. Thinking this, he thought of going to a temple to meet Radha Krishna.
When he began bowing down to the idol of Krishna, the Mahant of the temple named Parshuram decided to test Tulsidas. He told Tulsidas that whoever bows down to any deity except their Ishta Devata (cherished form of divinity) is a fool, as Tulsidas’ Ishta Devata was Rama. In response, Tulsidas recited the following extemporaneously composed couplet:
kāha kahau̐ chabi ājuki bhale bane ho nātha ।
tulasī mastaka taba navai dharo dhanuṣa śara hātha ॥
When Tulsidas recited this couplet, the murti of Krishna, which was holding a flute and stick in hands, took the form of Rama holding a bow and arrows in his hands. The temple is still there in Gyan Gudri, Vrindavan, after 445 years of incident and in popularly known as “Tulsidas Temple”.
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