Goswami Tulsidas (August 2007)

Goswami Tulsidas was an Awadhi poet and philosopher. He was born in Rajapur, India in 1532 A.D. during the reign of Akbar. Tulsidas wrote twelve books and is considered the greatest and most famous of Hindi poets. He is regarded as an incarnation of Valmiki, the author of Ramayana written in Sanskrit. The most famous book is his Ramayana in Hindi. That means “The Lake of the Deeds of Rama”. He wrote this book under the directions of Hanuman. This Ramayan is read and worshipped with great reverence in every Hindu home in Northern India. It is an inspiring book that contains sweet couplets in beautiful rhyme.

Besides the Ram-charit-manas, Tulsidas was the author of five longer and six shorter works, most of them dealing with the theme of Rama, his
doings, and devotion to him. The former are –

* the Doha-vali, consisting of, 573 miscellaneous doha and sortha verses
* the Kabitta Ramayan or Kavita-vali, which is a history of Rama and is devoted to setting forth the majestic side of Rama’s character
* the Gita-vali, aiming at the illustration of the tender aspect of the Lord’s life
* the Krishna-vali or Krishna gita-vali, a collection of 61 songs in honor of Krishna
* the Vinaya Patrika, or Book of petitions, a series of hymns and prayers

Tulsidas’s most famous and read piece of literature apart from the Ramayana is the “Hanuman Chalisa”, a poem primarily praising the god
Hanuman. Although it is not one of his best poems, it has gained popularity among the modern-day Hindus. Many of them recite it as a prayer every week.

Tulsi left his mortal coil and entered the Abode of Immortality and Eternal Bliss in 1623 A.D. at the age of ninety-one at Asighat in Varanasi.

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