The fearless daughter of Hada Rajput, named Rani Hada was married to Rao Ratan Singh of Salumber, Mewar. Rao was mesmerized by the beauty of her wife and in his infatuation ignored his call of duty. In around 1653-1680 a battle was fought between Maharaja of Mewar and Aurangzeb. Being a part of the Rajput fraternity and helping to save their province, Maharana Raj Singh called Rao Ratan along with his army. When called by Maharana Raj Singh to join the battle against Aurangzeb, he sent his army but refused to come along because of his newly married wife. Rani Hada was disturbed due to his husband’s cowardly attitude and held herself and her beauty responsible for it.
Rani Hada had grown up hearing the tales of bravery of Rajput kings and queens and thus she finally convinced his husband to follow his ‘Kshatriya dharma’. Rao was finally prepared to leave for the battle and requested his wife to offer him a memento that reminds him of her.
Rani Hada requested her daasi to bring a box and sword and instructed her to handover the box to Rao ji. Daasi shouted in shock as Rani Hada chopped off her head with the sword. Abiding by the orders, she kept Rani Hada’s head in the box and ran to Rao ji.
Looking at her wife’s head Rao ji was broken and also proud of his brave Rani. She sacrificed her own self to make her husband follow his Rajputana dharma. Determined to pay homage to her wife’s sacrifice he bravely fought with the army of Aurangzeb and won over them. After winning over Aurangzeb he got on his keens and cut his neck because he had lost the desire to live anymore.
Even today the palace of Salumber has the statue of Rao Ratan Singh with Rani Hada’s head and she is remembered as an epitome of valour. Rani Hada was indeed a true Rajputani and kept her morals higher than anything else. Her sacrifice is immortal and will be remembered till time immemorial.
One day during the evening dark and dense clouds were overcast on Shirdi. The wind was blowing and the clouds were roaring and sparkling with thunder. Torrential rain began and the water was evident everywhere. All the animals, birds and residents of Shirdi, became frightened and started to gather in the mosque. In spite of seeking help from all the other Gurus in Shirdi, none could come for help. Therefore, everybody requested Baba to do something and save them from the havoc of nature.
To allay the problem of devotees Sai Baba came out and looked towards the roaring clouds. He said them to calm down by pointing towards the clouds. After sometime the rain became slow and the storm calmed down. The moon was visible in the sky and all the people were happy to see the miracle of Baba. The faith of devotees in Sai baba grew stronger and they understood that He is the incarnation of God. One who bowed down and come to his shelter he will surely bless him. The sight of Sai Baba can grant all the wishes and consequently help them to become desire less.
Rathe vaamanam drishtva! It is said, those who welcome the Lord Jagannath by seeing him or greeting him, he becomes free from all sins”
The festival of carts or Ratha Yatra is celebrated every year in Jagannath Puri, Odisha whereby the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna manifests his most merciful form for the degraded people of Kaliyuga. Rath Yatra is the chief attraction festival of Jagannath Puri whereby lakhs of devotees come to celebrate the Lord’s festival and get his blessings. It is celebrated every year in the month of Aashadha, the second day of bright fortnight on pushya nakshatra.
The three presiding deities, Sri Baladeva, Sri Subhadra and Sri Jagannath travel from the premises of Sri Mandir and travel to Gundicha Mandir located a few kilometers away at the sea shore, where the Lord made his appearance in the Satyuga of Swayambhu Manu, the first Manu of Lord Brahma’s day.
By Vedic calculations one can determine when the Jagannatha Temple was first built, when the Temple was inaugurated and when the Deities were installed (on their simhasana). According to the authority of Skanda Purana, this period is fifteen crores and thirty-four lakhs (more than 150 million) years ago. From this it is clear that Ratha-yatra began in the time of Svarochisa Manu, the second Manu from the day of Lord Brahma.
The deities of Sri Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra were installed by Lord Brahma himself, who is a great devotee of Lord Sri Krishna. The Lordships have very strange form and this accounts to a wonderful story about why the lord has these forms.
When Lord Krishna was in Dwaraka, he kept on remembering his cowherd friends and the gopis of Vrindavan who had no other means of survival other than Krishna himself. Once the Lord became too anxious to hear about their well-being and went away with Balaram. Meanwhile, the 16,000 queens of Sri Krishna asked Mother Rohini, the mother of Balaram about the anxiety of Krishna. She told them about the Vrindavan past times of the lord and they all became very eager to hear them. But, Rohini devi was afraid, if Krishna hears these past times, he would run to Vrindavan immediately. So, she locked all the doors and windows and asked Krishna’s sister, Subhadra to stand at the door and don’t allow Krishna and Balaram to enter and she started narrating the incidents. Meanwhile, Krishna and Balaram came and asked Subhadra to allow them to enter. When she refused to do so, Krishna by his mystic power opened one of the windows to hear and as soon as he could hear and remember the past times, all three of them manifested the symptoms of eight fold ecstasy. Their hands shrunk, their eyes widened and legs melted. This is the form of Jagannath, Lord Krishna is feeling separation from his dear devotees. When the story was over, Narada Muni came to see the lord’s form but couldn’t see the same. He asked the lord about this peculiar form, to which Sri Krishna replied that this form is especially meant for people of Kaliyuga whereby they can easily attain the supreme perfection of spiritual life.
Thefestival started to mark the pulling of Krishna’s chariot by the Brajwasis from Kurukshetra to take him back to Vrindavan. They let go the horses and themselves pulled the rope of the chariot. The chariots are made from wood without using any iron nail to join pieces together. Three magnificent chariots are prepared which take the lord from Sri Mandir to Gundicha Mandir, where the deity of the lord was prepared i.e. the place where lord appeared. The lord stays there for about a week and then returns back to the temple again. A day before the Rath yatra, the gundicha temple is thoroughly cleaned and washed, which was initiated by Sriman Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. People come in huge numbers, just to pull the carts.
Simply by pulling the carts and dancing before the lord makes the person free from all the sinful reactions and makes them very joyful. Lord, being most merciful personally comes out to see his devotees and the people of the world so as to shower his unprecedented mercy on them.
Here is some of the information about the Rathas of the Lordship
- Sri Jagannath
Name of Ratha: Nandi Ghosh Ratha
No. of wheels: 16
- Sri Baladeva
Name of Ratha: Taal Dhvaja Ratha
No. of wheels: 14
- Sri Subhadra
Name of Ratha: Dev Dalan Ratha
No. of wheels: 12
After the recent incident where the Bihar board topper ‘Ruby Rai’ could not write about Tulsidas ji. She just wrote ‘Tulsidas ji, pranam’ and left the entire nation shocked. This incident evoked Shubhpuja to make the oblivious youth aware about the ancient sage ‘Goswami Tusidas’ and his revering work.
Goswami Tulsidas ji was born to Atamaram Dube and Hulsi in Rajpur, Uttar Pradesh in 1532 AD. Since birth he has been an unusual being who was born with all the teeth taking almost a year in his mother’s womb. It was said that he was born during the asterism mula (मूल नक्षत्र), which is considered unlucky for the parents. The solution was to either leave the child or not to look at him for eight years.
His mother died after few days of his birth and the father was helpless to support his own son, thus the father abandoned the child. The boy was referred as ‘Rambola’ since his first word after birth was ‘Rama’. A lady named Chuniya, who was the mother-in-law of the midwife who had helped during the birth of the child, took care of him. Yet this could not last for long and she died after 5 years. Now Rambola was left alone and there was no one to take care of him. He became helpless for food and had to beg from door to door.
Later Narharidas, known to be the descendant of Ramanand took Rambola to Ayodhya, where he stayed for about 10 months and then he shifted to Varanasi. He received his spiritual learning at an early age and got the knowledge of Sanskrit grammar, Hindu literature and philosophy, four Vedas, six Vedangas, Jyotisha from his guru Shesha Sanatana at the Panchaganga Ghat in Varanasi. Throughout these years his master and gurus used to narrate him the Ramayana and it became a part of his daily diet.
After coming back to his home town he married Ratnavali in 1583 and had a son named Tarak. Rambola (Tulsidas) was attached to his family and showered his complete love and care upon them. Seeing the intensity of his care once his wife told him that he should shower this love on God and not only on them. Love for God can help him to fulfill the purpose of his life. Soon after hearing such statements from her wife, Tulsidas left his home and went to Prayag after renouncing his grihstha life.
As the destiny had already decided Tulsidas fate; Lord Hanuman had predicted that a saint named Tulsi will recite the Ramayana in Hanuman’s words. Situations were created and as per the similar planetary positions (the day when Shri Rama was born) on Ram Navami, Tulsidas ji began writing the immortal verse- Ramcharitramanas. Tulsidas expressed his own divine feelings and love for his lord using the lyrical poetry. He completed the holy book in 2 years, 7 months and 26 days, on the anniversary of Rama and Sita ji.
Apart from it, Tulsidas ji wrote many other books like Dohavali (573 miscellaneous Doha and Sortha in Braja and Awadhi), Kavitavali (kavittas in Braja), Gitavali (328 Braja songs divided into seven books), Krishnavali (61 Braja songs for Lord Krishna), and many more.
Tusidas was in direct communication with Lord Rama due to his devotion and bhakti for Hanuman ji. Once Tulsidas expressed his ardent desire to have the pratyaksh darshan of Lord rama. Hanuman assured him that someday Lord will come to bless him in person. One day when Tulsidas ji was sitting on the stairs of river Chitrakoot, after taking bath and preparing sandal paste to apply on his forehead, he found two self illuminated people and a lady coming to him and asked him to apply tilak on his forehead. While he was performing the task Lord Hanuman murmured in his ears-
“Chitrkut ke ghaat par bhayee santan ki bhid, Tulsi daas chandan ghise tilak kare raghubir”
Then it dawned on Tulsidas that the person before him is Lord Rama with Lakshman and Sita ji. He immediately feel on their feet and seek their blessings.
It is said that his end was highly painful and he suffered from boils on his arms. At that time Tulsidas ji wrote Hanuman Bahuk. It is a series to portray the strength, devotion and virtues of Hanuman followed by his humble prayers to cure his problem by seeking His blessings.
Tulsidas ji is an epitome of perfection for the human beings and his love for Lord Rama is beyond expression. His life is an inspiration for today’s man and his teachings help us to get closer to the supreme reality. He said, “Sri Ram is Brahman itself. He is unknowable, unperceivable, beginningless, nonpareil, devoid of transformation, and indivisible. He is that which the Vedas have been describing as ‘neti-neti, not this, not this”. Tulsidas ji taught us the language of love leaving aside all the other barriers and his literary works are a silver lining for the deteriorating society.
The devotees may forget the Lord but the Lord never forgets them. Similarly Sai baba used to remind his devotees of His presence and offered them blessings. Once Babasaheb Tarkhad, who was a ‘prarthana samaji’ earlier was a humble devotee of Sai baba. His wife and son were also surrendered in the worship of Baba and adored Him judiciously.
Once in summers Babasaheb Tarkhad suggested his wife and son to pay a visit to Shirdi for seeking Sai baba’s blessings. The son was doubtful and didn’t agree to leave Bandra as he was afraid that the worship of Baba will not be performed properly in his absence. As his father was ‘Prarthana Samaji’, it is possible that he would not be able to pay complete attention. After receiving assurance from his father, finally the mother and son went to Shirdi.
According to his promise Babasaheb got up early morning and after taking bath, he prayed to Sai baba and told him- “O Baba! I will worship you exactly the same way as my son has been worshipping you, but please do not limit it up only to bodily labour”. After worshipping Sai Baba, he offered the oblation of ‘mishri’ and then distributed the Prasad. He judiciously worshipped Sai baba for another few days but one day he found that there was no Prasad in the plate and his cook forgot to offer it.
He got perturbed and immediately bowed in front of Sai baba idol and asked his apology. He wrote the entire incident in detail to his son and requested to place the letter in the feet of Baba and ask him to forgive.
This incident happened in Bandra almost during the noon and at the same time when noon arti was going to begin in Shirdi, baba told Shrimati Tarkhad- “Mother I went to your house at Bandra to eat the Prasad but I could not find anything. So I returned hungry.” She could not comprehend the context of Baba’s words but his son understood everything. He wanted permission of Sai baba for returning to Bandra but Baba told him to worship in Shirdi for few days. The son also wrote a letter to his father to explain the incident in Shirdi and requested his father to be careful in future. Both the letters reached next day and the son and father became careful in adoring Sai baba from then.
Once upon a time an orphan boy lived with his grandmother in the village. The boy wanted to study so he requested his grandmother to send him to school. The only hurdle for going to school was the 5 km thick forest that he had to cross every day. The little boy was afraid to go to school as crossing the dense forest, full of wild animals, was a tough task for him.
His grandmother suggested him an easy solution. She told him that for good boys like him Gopal is a great friend and as soon as he reached the forest area he should call out for Gopal. Gopal will be with him throughout the forest journey and make him cross the forest. The boy obeyed his grandmother’s order and followed it wisely.
Every day he cried out ‘Gopal Aao’ (Come Gopal) when he reached the forest area, both back and forth. The moment he called for Gopal, an 11 year old boy appeared wearing a peacock hat, to hold his hand and made him travel across the forest safely. This continued for many days and the little boy felt secured and guarded.
When his grandmother asked him about his journey across the forest, he smiled and said, “I follow your advice daily and Gopal drops me safely”. According to him Gopal accompanied him to school and then back to his home. His grandmother thought he just imagines someone walking along with him and there is no one in reality but she was happy for his courage.
After few days a wicked shopkeeper in the village asked the little boy, “Aren’t you afraid to travel across the jungle alone?” The boy again answered in his innocence that he does not travel alone. As soon as he enters forest Gopal joins him till end of the forest, both ways. The shopkeeper didn’t believe him and thought it to be an imaginary tale. To verify the truth of his story, the shopkeeper asked the boy that can he show him Gopal. The boy replied, “You can hide behind the trees and see Gopal accompany me”.
One morning the shopkeeper went along with the boy to verify his tale. As soon as the boy said, “Gopal Aao”, Gopal came and holded his hand. But when Gopal turned around to see the shopkeeper, he fell unconscious. Gopal told the little boy to keep his presence as a secret and he will always be by his side.
This tale clearly portrays that God is always with his children and he is standing by our side in every thick and thin. Just like an innocent child we have to seek for his help and He will be there to support us.
Once at the time of Deepawali Sai Baba was sitting near the ‘Dhuni’ (a sacred site represented as a cleft in the ground). Sai baba was warming himself by putting the wood into the dhuni. High flames were coming out from the dhuni and warmness was spread around it. After a while instead of putting wood, Sai baba put his hand inside it. His hand was severely burnt and his disciple Madhav and Madhav Rao Deshpande were shocked to see the sight. They immediately pulled Baba back and became worried for his hand.
They started asking Baba- “Deva, why did you do so?” Baba became attentive and told his disciples that at some distance from Shirdi a lady iron-smith was airing the oven. The lady forgot that her child was tied to her waist and she overheard her husband’s sound. Unfortunately the child slipped and fell into the oven.
Sai baba said that I put my hand into the oven and immediately saved the child from burning. He said that he is not concerned about burning of his own hand instead he is contented that he saved the life of an infant.
After the incident Madhav Rao Desphpande immediately went to call the famous doctor Shri Parmanand along with medicines and bandages. Baba did not let the doctor examine his hand, instead he said that God is the healer of his wound and he will get well by the love of his disciples.