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The death anniversary of Samarth Ramdas is celebrated as Ramdas Navami. Sri Ramdas Jayanti, also known as Sant Samarth Ramdas Navami is celebrated on the death anniversary of Samarth Ramdas, who was originally named, Narayan Suryajipant Kulkarni Thosar. A Marathi poet-saint of the 17th century, he was born in 1606 on Sri Ram Navami.
On Krishna Paksha Navami in Magh Month as per Marathi Calendar in the year 1682, Swami Ramdas breathed his last. In the year 2021, Sri Ramdas Navami falls on Sunday, 06 March.
On this day, people get together with great zeal and recite his poems. Speeches are given by delicates from all over the world. Processions are carried out and tribute is paid to this great saint.
Considered one of the greatest Hindu saints of Indian history and a contemporary of another Hindu saint, Tukaram, Sri Ramdas was a devotee of Lord Hanuman and Lord Rama. He constructed mutts or monasteries where carvings of Hanuman can be seen. One of the most popular Hindu leaders, Shivaji, had him as his spiritual guru.
He was born to Suryaji Panth and Renuka Bai in Jamb, Maharashtra. It was the auspicious day of Ram Navami. Ramdas’s older brother was a Brahmin and as a young boy, Ramdas was attracted to the teachings of his brother. While growing up, he had often seen his brother initiate people in a ceremony, this made him curious and the result of this curiosity led him to inquire and examine the Hindu scriptures. This helped him understand the tenets. This was when he isolated himself in prayer. Once his mother found him in a deep state of meditation, this made his mother inquire about the same when he told her that he was praying for the sufferings of all the people in this world. This is when his mother encouraged his meditations.
However, his family still urged him to remain secularly inclined, afraid that he would become an ascetic, so preoccupied as he was with religious study at an early age.
His contributions to society are immense. He had many important works, however, he is remembered mostly for the Dasbodh. Dasbodh is a guide to organizing one's spiritual and worldly livelihood. Dasbodh has in it instructions for the establishment of many ‘mathas’ or monastic schools throughout the Indian subcontinent. His school of thought is unique and it reflects his dynamic personality and efficient method of organization. He is fondly remembered for popularising the devotional chant of "Sri Rama Jaya Rama Jaya Jaya Rama’.
Ramdas meditated in the forest and was mostly found in the forest. While living his last days, he dedicated partly his time to literary activities and also partly to the systematic building of his mutts. His influence is seen both in the North and in the South. Dasabodh, Manache Shlok, Karunashtakas (hymns to God), and Ramayana which describes only the conquest of Lanka by Sri Rama and the defeating of Ravana are some of his most important literary works. In 1682 at Sajjangad, near Satara, this great Guru of Maharashtra breathed his last.