Goswami Tulsidas was a great poet and a perfect saint. He had done a serious study of Vedas, Puranas, etc. His nature was public welfare. He had all the qualities of a great poet. Tulsidas is also considered a humanitarian poet. Through his creations, he has made a successful attempt to present the developed form of humanity to the general public. That’s why Dr. Grierson has called him the best poet of Asia.
Early Life of Tulsidas
Tulsidas’s father’s name was Atmaram Dubey and his mother’s name was Hulsi. He was a brave brahmin. His family lived in Etah, Uttar Pradesh. Some scholars also consider Tulsi’s birthplace Rajapur, Banda, Uttar Pradesh. As the place of birth, there are differences of opinion regarding the date of birth of Tulsi. Nevertheless, he is believed to have been born roughly in Vikram Samvat 1554 i.e. 1497 on the Saptami of the Shukla Paksha of Sawan. Some people also consider Tulsi’s birth time as Samvat 1580. Some people give other dates.
There is some more interesting thing about the birth of Tulsi Das. It is definitely believed that like ordinary children, Tulsidas did not cry as soon as he was born. The word “Ram” came out of his mouth. That’s why people started calling him “Rambola”. It is also said that at the time of birth Tulsidas had 32 teeth in his mouth. His body was also bigger than that of an ordinary child. So the people of the house got scared seeing him.
On hearing the birth of such a strange child, the people of the neighborhood gathered. Astrologers were called and other learned people were consulted. In the end, everyone was of the opinion that this child would not survive. And if it survives, then he will become a very big man, will show a new path to the society, and will be a devotee of God himself. But it can also lead to the death of other family members. Some even advised to wait for three days before taking any further action.
Tulsidas roamed like an orphan
Mother Hulsi was not satisfied with these things. She was falling in love with his son. She was afraid that considering this child as a bad omen, these people should not throw them anywhere. With this thought, she fell ill. Hulsi called his maid, Muniya, and handed over all her ornaments and the child as well and asked her to take it to her mother-in-law at Haripur. Nurture it well there. After this Hulsi passed away from this world. Muniya took the child to her kind mother-in-law Chuniya.
Chuniya brought up Tulsidas with great pampering. She would try everything to keep the child happy. But here too Chuniya passed away after five years. She was bitten by a snake. After the death of Chuniya and Hulsi, Tuslidas’s father refused to adopt him. After being abandoned like this by his father, Tulsidas started wandering from door to door. This was his condition for two years.
Tulsidas went to Ayodhya
During this wandering, Tulsidas met Narhari. With them, he went to Ayodhya. Narahari performed five rites of the child. They also had a naming ceremony. Narhari changed his name from Rambola to Tulsidas. Then Tulsidas started reading and writing while staying there. Bright of intellect, Tulsidas was a great devotee of Guru. He was diligently engaged in the service of his Guru. After a few days, Tulsidas reached Soron with his Guru. There the Guru told him the story of Rama, the king of Ayodhya. Child Tulsi did not fully understand the story of Rama. Tulsidas himself has accepted this in his Ramcharitmanas.
After staying in Soron for five years, he then went to Kashi from Ayodhya and stayed at Panchganga Ghat. At the same time, he met another Mahatma Shesh Sanatan. Tulsidas read the Vedas and Puranas from them. Due to this, the personality of Tulsidas improved and he got the power, which inspired him to awaken the Hindu masses. From Shesh Sanatan, Tulsidas had not only acquired bookish knowledge but also worldly and social knowledge. So, forgetting all the bitter experiences of childhood, he went to Soron.
Tulsidas married Ratnwali
There he came to know that his whole family was finished. Then he performed Shradh for his father. At the request of the villagers, Tulsidas started living there and he started narrating the Story of Ram to the people. One day Dinbandhu Pathak, a Brahmin from a neighboring village, came to listen to the story. His family members were also with him. They were all greatly influenced by Tulsidas. He married his daughter Ratnavali to Tulsidas.
Ratnavali was beautiful and gentle. Tulsidas left the whole world and his wife became crazy in love. In this way, almost 5 years passed. One day Tulsidas had gone to Barkhasan village for some work. Then Ratnavali went to her maternal home with her brother. When Tulsidas returned and saw the house deserted, he was very sad. Knowing from the maid that Ratnavali had gone home, she left for his in-law’s house at the same time. It is said that Tulsidas crossed the river by swimming in the night and then met Ratnavali.
Ratnavali felt very ashamed after seeing her husband coming behind her. She cursed Tulsidas very much and said that the love you have for my flesh body, even half of it would with Shri Ram, then you would not have to fear the world. These words changed the course of Tulsidas’s life in an instant. Now instead of Ratnavali in his heart, the idol of Ram had been seated. Without stopping for a moment, he reached Prayag straight away. There he took the sage. Then the sadhus joined the Jamaat and reached Kashi.
Tulsidas became engrossed in Lord Rama
Tulsidas started telling Ram Katha in Kashi. That is what inspired him to go to Chitrakoot. Tulsidas had only one sadhana, one longing, and only one technique – Darshan of Ram. Whether he had a vision of Rama or not can be a matter of dispute. But on the basis of his self-realization in various incidents and compositions of his life, it can be said that he had an indirect vision of Rama. In Samvat 1631, on the day of Ram Navami, Tulsidas started composing Shri Ramcharitmanas.
On that day, there were usually the same ascendant planets, etc., which were at the time of Rama’s birth. It took 2 years seven months 26 days to complete this book. Ramcharitmanas is the only book that made Tulsidas a world poet. The number of copies that have been printed so far, probably no other book in the world. When Mahamana Malaviya went to England for the Round Table Conference, he was asked that- Just as the Bible and the Quran represent their religion among Christians and Muslims, in the same way. Is there any one of the Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads, etc. of Hinduism? Then Malaviya Ji’s answer was Tulsikrit Shri Ramcharitmanas.
Taking inspiration from Tulsidas’ Ramcharitmanas, Mahatma Gandhi conceived of Ramraj. Tulsidas died on 5 July 1623. According to Samvat, it can be considered as 1680. Apart from Shri Ramcharitmanas, Tulsidas has written the following texts.
- Vinay Patrika
- Krishna Geetavali
- Barve Ramayana, etc.