राम नाम मनिदीप धरु जीह देहरीं द्वार |
तुलसी भीतर बाहेरहुँ जौं चाहसि उजिआर ||
Goswami Tulsidas was a saint and poet of Ramanandi Vaishnava, renowned for his devotion to the god of Rama. He has written many famous works in Sanskrit and Awadhi, though Goswami Tulsidasji was best known as the author of the epic Ramcharitmanas, a Sanskrit Ramayana retelling based on the life of Rama in the vernacular Awadhi.
The birth anniversary of Goswami Tulsidas is celebrated as Tulsidas Jayanti which is basically observed during the Shravan’s month on the Saptami or Shukla paksha 7th day. This year Tulsidas Jayanti 2020 will be celebrated on the 27th of July.
A brief story of Goswami Tulsidas
Tulsidas was born on Saptami, Shukla paksha ‘s seventh day, the bright half of Shraavana ‘s lunar Hindu calendar month (July – August). The birth year of Tulsidas is in Vikarmi samvat 1554. His parents were Hulsi and Atmaram Dubey.
As per the Legend, it is said that Tulsidas was born after staying 12 months in the womb, and at the time of his he had all the thirty-two teeth’s in his mouth and the health of Tulsidas Ji was similar to a 5-year child. He did not cry at the time of born but instead, he uttered Rama. According to the Mula Gosain Charita, he was born under the star Abhuktamūla, which according to Jyotisha (Hindu astrology) brings immediate danger to the father’s life. He was deserted by his parents on the fourth night because of the inauspicious events at the time of his birth, sent away with Chuniya (some accounts name her Muniya), a female servant of Hulsi. Therefore, as Tulsidas himself states in Vinaya Patrika, he was called Rambola (literally, he who spoke Rama).
Tulsidas spent his time in Varanasi, Prayag, Ayodhya, and Chitrakuta after renunciation, but he visited many other places far and near. He traveled to many places across India, studied different people, meeting Saints and Sadhus, and meditated. In Varanasi on the Prahlada Ghat Tulsidas began writing poetry in Sanskrit. Tradition holds that in the night, all the verses he wrote during the day will get lost. For eight days, it happened twice. On the eighth evening Shiva – whose revered Kashi Vishwanath Temple is in Varanasi – has, it is believed, ordered Tulsidas to render poetry in the vernacular rather than in Sanskrit in his dream. Tulsidas woke up and saw the two blessers of Shiva and Parvati. Shiva instructed Tulsidas to go to Ayodhya to write Awadhi poetry. Through his Ramcharitmanas he indicates the Darshan of Shiva and Parvati are in sleep as well as are in a wakeful state. Tulsidas also predicts that the poetry of Tulsidas will evolve like the Sama Veda.
Tulsidas began writing the Ramcharitmanas at Ayodhya in samvat 1631 (1575 CE) on Tuesday, Ramnavami day (ninth day of the bright half of the Chaitra month, which is Rama ‘s birthday). He wrote the epic Ramcharitramanas for two years, seven months and twenty-six days, and completed the work in Vikram 1633 (1577 CE) on the day of Vivaha Panchami (fifth day of the bright half of the month of Margashirsha beginning the marriage of Rama and his wife Sita).
In the Shravan (July – August) month of the year Vikram 1670 (1623 CE), Tulsidas left his body at Assi Ghat on the bank of the Ganga River. Traditional accounts and biographers, including the year he was born, do not agree on the exact date of his death. Different sources give the date as the bright half of the third day, the bright half of the seventh day, or the dark half of the third.
Ramayana was originally written by Valmiki in Sanskrit and is one of the major epics of ancient India. The Ramayana was available to scholars only. As Tulsidas wrote Ramcharitmanas in Awadhi which is a Hindi dialect, he took it to the people.
Celebration of Tulsidas Jayanti
Every year Tulsidas Jayanti is celebrated in many ways including the reciting of Shri Ramcharitramans in Hanuman and Ram temple. Besides that, they also conduct numerous presentations and seminars focused on Tulsidas teachings, and on this day the practice of feeding Brahmins is performed in many locations.
Goswami Tulsidas Jayanti highlights the work of Tulsidas who wrote the epic Ramcharitramanas and also popularize it in the whole country by which a common man can understand bout Lord Rama. The works of Tulsidas on the Indian art, culture, and society are widespread, but he is well remembered for retelling Sanskrit Ramayana in the Awadhi.