Sri Narayanan the second son of couple Sri Suryaji Panth and Ranubai in the Jampa kshetra later came to be known as Sri Samarth Ramdas preached universal love and greatness of Sri Ramanama. Kindly read the short biography of this saint in the ‘Sri Hanumath Devotees’ section.
Sri Narayan’s mother Ranubai wanted her son to get married, who was reluctant for the proposal. When mother pleaded with her son that she would like to hear ‘mangalashtakam’ [a ritual connected with the marriage], he reluctantly agreed. On the prescribed day in the year 1620 when the marriage was arranged and whole of the village of Jampa was decked for the occasion. Sri Narayanan was dressed up with the attire for the occasion.
Mangalashtakam [eight] slokas were recited and at the end of each sloka ‘Sulakne savadhana’ was pronounced. Up to seventh sloka things went as usual, but when the eighth Sloka of Mangalashtakam was recited and the screen was lifted, to the surprise of the people gathered around Bridegroom Sri Narayanan was not be found. He had left the venue without anybody noticing, climbed the tree outside the venue and jumped into the stream flowing. Swam along the river and after few miles started taking the route as directed by his mind.
Sri Gangadhar elder brother of Sri Narayanan was pacifying their mother Ranubai that Sri Narayanan is not an ordinary human being and he is meant to be ‘Mahapurush’ therefore not worry about him. Moreover since she wanted to hear Mangalashtakam he had agreed for that and not for the marriage etc.
In the meanwhile Sri Narayanan had travelled from his native place Jampa kshetra; through forest and along the banks of the river and on the twelveth day he reached the place ‘Panchavadi’ in Nasik. On the banks of River Godavari he switched over from the grooms dress to a simple ‘kowpinam’ [loincloth] and a small cloth on the hip. He started his day with Suryanamaskaram, then japam [meditation], then Sri Ramanama sangeerthan. People passing by were attracted towards his nama sangeerthan and he came to be known as Sri Ramadas. The place where Sri Rama himself had lived happily-revived in his memory and he wandered around the place with full joy and revelled in the joy the memory of Sri Rama had brought. Every day in the morning he will take bath in the River Godavari and then visit Sri Kale ram Mandir, offer his prayer to Sri Rama, Sri Sita and Sri Lakshman and then go to his chosen place for meditation.
He was just thirteen, during this course of his routine, he came across the place where a Rivulet by name Nandini confluence with River Godavari. The place is named Takli and was considered sacred by many and he could see many sadhus spread over the place. On a sukla saptami [radha saptami] of Magh month of Hindu lunar calendar of year 1621, he started his meditation on Sri Rama in this holy place.
Sri Narayanan by now known as Sri Ramadas was a simple kowpeena dari with a kamandalam and a joli hanging on his shoulder. He adored nothing and people use to revere him, his eyes which are full of compassion use to look at nothing in particular and would be seen revelling in joy. He had almost the same routine for the day, after his morning bath and Suryanamaskaram he would stand in the river up to chest deep water and start his meditation on Sri Rama. He would then come out of the water in the afternoon for Vedic discussion with the sadhus. In the evening he would listen to the lectures on Srimath Ramayana in the Sri Ram mandir. During night there used to be ‘akhanda nama-parayanam’ in which he normally participated. This continued for twelve years and by then he had completed thirteen crores Sri Rama japam in this holy place.
Sri Ramdas after taking bath in the River Godavari was stepping on the banks, when a lady by name Annapurni fell at his feet. She had fallen at the Guru’s feet since she had lost her husband and accompanying the body of the husband. But Sri Ramdas blessed the woman who fell at his feet thus: “astaputhra sowbahgyavati bhava:” When it was told that the lady had lost her husband, Sri Ramdas said “I had not uttered those words it was the will of Sri Rama.” He took water from his kamandalam and sprinkled on the body of the man. After few moments the man Giridhara Bhanda Kulkarni who is supposed to be dead sprung to life as if waking up from the sleep. Then the Kulkarni family gave their first son to Sri Ramdas. Sri Ramdas received the boy in his joli as a biksha. He named him Sri Uddava Goswami.
Takli is the place Sri Ramdas had established the first mutt. He made Sri Uddava Goswami as the principle head of this establishment. He had also established the first Sri Anjaneya murti made of gomaye [cow dung] during his stay here. Today Sri Maruti known as ‘Takli-gomay-Maruti’ and is worshiped by the descendants of first disciple of Sri Ramdas.
The ashram built in the confluence of two rivers is a scenic beauty. Today course of river Godavari is slightly off, but the river Nandini is still flowing adjacent to the ashram. The river Nandini is known as Nasardi River today. A long east-west building adjacent to the river houses the office, rest room for pilgrims etc. Parallel to this there is another building measuring about 25 X 15 feet forming the main temple, in front of this temple is a big hall with asbestos sheet roof measuring nearly 20 X 70 feet of which is used for congregation of devotees to perfom bhajans kirthan etc. There is a board which claims that the mandir had been established by Sri Samarth in the year 1633.
The descriptions given about the complex above are when visited during 2015. But today the complex had been revamped and given a massive facelift. But the main temple had been left untouched and the sanctity of the original places maintained.
The mandir is facing west and Sri Gomay Maruti also facing west is seen walking south. Adjacent to the Maruti sannidhi there is a mandap for the ‘patuka’ used by the great saint, placed for worship. Painting of Sri Samarth Ramdas adorns the wall behind. Adjacent [towards left of guru’s sannidhi] is a mandap in which deity of Sri Rama is placed along with few vigrahas of Sri Maruti.
There is statue of Chatrapati Veera Sivaji taking lessons from his Guru Sri Ramdas
Daily in the morning ‘kakda arthi’ is performed to these deities as well as to the ‘pathukas’ of the Sri Guru Ramdas.
Srimad Valmiki Ramayanam in Saint's handwriting was made available in the temple for the devoteees during this Das Navami. Hundreds visited the special reading room which is equipped with a computer to take a look at the digitised document. The original copy of the manuscript is preserved at the Vagdevata temple in Dhule all these years. Temple authorities have been digitising the manuscript for the last two years. The first digitised copy was donated to the Takli temple in December last year.
Sri Samarth Ramdas’s first established Sri Maruti murti at this kshetra is about nine feet in height. The deity is in standing posture with his left hand on his chest and his right hand in ‘abaya mudra’. This is the only deity of Sri Maruti which is made of Gomay [cow dung] covered with sendur and nearly 380 years old which is worshiped by the principle head of the first disciples of the Sri Guru Ramdas. Today the deity established by Sri Samarth Ramdas at this ashram gives confidence to many of the Devotees and much needed ‘shanthi’ to the devotees.
It should be an endower of the Devotees of the Sri Hanuman to visit this holy place and stay for the night in the ashram and get the blessings of the Sri Guru Ramdas and Sri Gomay Maruti.
Ed [May 2016]
added photo [ Sep 2016]
re revised [June 2020]
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SRI HANUMAN THINKS DIFFERENTLY, THINKS FAST, THINKS AHEAD AND ACTS FOR SURE.
Our salutations to this Hanuman who always brings subham - everything that is good - for His devotees and eliminates the bad and the evil. He removes even the traces of bad thoughts and deeds from His devotees. i.e He makes them pure in words, thought and deed.