Goswami Tulsidas was a Hindu saint as well as a poet. Goswami Tulsidas lived his whole life as well as died in the city of Benares in India. Goswami Tulsidas was born at the 7th day in the month of Shraavana (July or August), in the bright half of the lunar. His birth place is identified at the Rajapur (also known as the Chitrakuta) at the banks of the Yamuna river in UP. The name of his parents is Hulsi and Atmaram Dubey. According to the biographers, various opinions are there regarding the birth year of Tulsidas. Many of them say according to the Vikrami Samvat that he took birth in 1554 and other say it was 1532. He lived his life around 126 years. The famous Tulsi Ghat on the Ganges River in Varanasi is named after him. The famous Sankat mochan Temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman is believed to be founded by Goswami Tulsidas.
Goswami Tulsidas is considered to be an incarnation of the Rishi Valmiki, the original author of the Ramayana. According to the Hindu scripture Bhavishyottar Purana, Lord Shiva had described to his wife Parvati that how Sage Valmiki will incarnate in the Kal Yuga.
वाल्मीकिस्तुलसीदासः कलौ देवि भविष्यति ।
रामचन्द्रकथामेतां भाषाबद्धां करिष्यति ॥
vālmīkistulasīdāsaḥ kalau devi bhaviṣyati ।
rāmacandrakathāmetāṃ bhāṣābaddhāṃ kariṣyati ॥
[-Bhavishyottar Purana, Pratisarga Parva, 4.20.]
“O Goddess [Parvati]! Valmiki will become Tulsidas in the Kali age, and will compose this narrative of Rama in the vernacular language.”
Goswami Tulsidas was One of the greatest Hindu scripture poet and has written 12 Books. He is the composer of the Hanuman Chalisa too, a popular devotional hymn in Awadhi dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The original Valmiki Ramayana in Sanskrit was only understood by scholars and it was Tulisdas’s Ram-charit-manas in Hindi that popularized the epic in Hindi heartland in India. Ramcharitmanas was written by Tulsidas in Awadhi, a dialect of Hindi.
The life of Tulsidas is noted for numerous miracles, which includes his meeting with Lord Hanuman and the subsequent darshan of Lord Ram with the help of Hanumana. It is widely believed that Lord Hanuman helped Tulsidas in composing the Ramcharitmanas.
Today, Ramayan of Tulsidas is read daily and worshipped with great reverence by Hindus in North India. Ramcharitmanas is not a literal translation of Valimiki Ramayana. Keeping the main incidents in the life of Lord Ram intact, Tulsidas has made vital changes and there is an emphasis on bhakti in Tulsi Ramayana.
Tulsidas hints at several places in his works, that he had met face to face with Hanuman and Rama. The detailed account of his meetings with Hanuman and Rama are given in the Bhaktirasbodhini of Priyadas. According to Priyadas’ account, Tulsidas used to visit the woods outside Varanasi for his morning ablutions with a water pot. On his return to the city, he used to offer the remaining water to a certain tree. This quenched the thirst of a Preta (a type of ghost believed to be ever thirsty for water), who appeared to Tulsidas and offered him a boon. Tulsidas said he wished to see Rama with his eyes, to which the Preta responded that it was beyond him. However, the Preta said that he could guide Tulsidas to Hanuman, who could grant the boon Tulsidas asked for. The Preta told Tulsidas that Hanuman comes everyday disguised in the mean attire of a leper to listen to his Katha, he is the first to arrive and last to leave.
That evening Tulsidas noted that the first listener to arrive at his discourse was an old leper, who sat at the end of the gathering. After the Katha was over, Tulsidas quietly followed the leper to the woods. In the woods, at the spot where the Sankat Mochan Temple stands today, Tulsidas firmly fell at the leper’s feet, shouting “I know who you are” and “You cannot escape me”. At first the leper feigned ignorance but Tulsidas did not relent. Then the leper revealed his original form of Hanuman and blessed Tulsidas. When granted a boon, Tulsidas told Hanuman he wanted to see Rama face to face. Hanuman told him to go to Chitrakuta where he would see Rama with his own eyes.
At the beginning of the Ramcharitmanas, Tulsidas bows down to a particular Preta and asks for his grace (Ramcharitmanas, Doha 1.7). According to Rambhadracharya, this is the same Preta which led Tulsidas to Hanuman.
Goswami Tulsidas ji died on the river bank of Ganges at the Assi Ghat, Benaras (Varanasi today) in the month of Shraavan (July or August) in 1623.
ॐ ~ψ~ || हरि अनंत हरि कथा अनंता || The exploits of Lord Shri Ram are infinite and his stories are also infinite || ~ψ~ ॐ
Jai Shri Ram !
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