|Sages,Rushis & Saints
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to Holy Places
Ramadas wanted to go round the whole country and study the conditions of the people. What
is the meaning of going round the whole country? Should he visit every nook and corner of
it? No, it is enough if one visits the holy places, which represent the entire country and
An interesting thing happened in Paithan. That was the reason, people say, why Ramadas was
begun to be called "Samartha Ramadas."
By then well known for his impressive discourses and Keertans, (singing of hymns, one day
Ramadas was walking on the banks of Godavari. He was carrying a bow in one hand and some
Brahmins saw it.
One of them asked, 'Do you know the use of the bow?"
"Yes," he replied.
"Then aim at the bird there," said some of them, pointing to a bird flying high
in the sky.
One shot of Ramadas brought the bird down to the earth.
"You are a sadhu, you say. Should you kill an innocent bird? What a sinful act you
have committed!" the Brahmins commented.
"You asked me to kill it!"
"Can you commit a sin because some one asks you to do so?"
"Yes, true, one should not," said Ramadas.
"You must repent for the sin of killing the bird. Otherwise you will have to suffer
for it," warned the Brahmins.
Ramadas accepted to repent, and performed some sacrifice. Then he-asked the Brahmins,
"Am I now free from the sin?"
Brahmins said, "You are free."
"Then how is it that the bird is still dead?"
"But how can a dead bird come back to life?"
"If the bird cannot come to life, then how am I to be sure that I got rid of the
sin?" Ramadas asked them.
Ramadas took the bird in his hands, prayed with great devotion to Lord Sri Ramachandra.
The bird began breathing. Lo, it fluttered and flew away! From that day onwards people
began to address Ramadas as Samartha Ramadas. Thus goes the story.
Then Ramadas traveled to Kashi in the North. On the way he would take rest in villages and
fill his stomach by begging for food. Ramadas keenly observed the prevailing conditions,
customs and manners of people, during his journey throughout the length and breadth of the
In one of his poems, Ramadas has given the following picturesque description of the
conditions that existed then in the country.
"Subjected to foreign. Invasions, the villages are deserted, lands are left
uncultivated. Even in places where people managed to live, they appeared to be living as
if faced with an impending deluge. High prices of day to day necessities of life have made
their lite most miserable. Many have put an end to their lite by taking poison. People are
disgusted with life.
He was heartbroken by the sight. "Is there no salvation for these people?" He
In this frame of mind Ramadas entered the temple of Lord Vishwanatha at Kashi (Banaras).
Kashi is a holy place, a great pilgrimage center. People flock there in
thousands from all parts of Bharat.
One day Ramadas was taking rest outside the temple after the darshan of Lord Vishwanatha.
His imposing personality attracted the attention of the devotees visiting the temple. He
entered into conversation with them. An important aspect of life he came to realize from
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