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Marriage And Renunciation

Tularam had attained scholarship in all branches of learning; the teacher Naraharidas himself arranged for his marriage.

Tularam married Ratnavali, a very beautiful and accomplished daughter of a Brahmin by name Deenabandhu Pathak.

Parting from his master who loved him more than a father was very painful to Tularam. Yet bound by the master’s wish and his own duty he became a householder.

Tularam had everything-good looks, youth, education, honour and a good income too. Rich people used to invite him now and then to their houses, honour him and offer him money.

His wife Ratnavali was a beautiful and a virtuous girl. Tulararn loved her very much. They led a happy life. No wonder that, in his state of joy and contentment, he thought less and less about God.

He loved his wife so much that for years he did not send her to her parents’ house at all.

One day Pandit Tularam went to neighboring village to give a discourse.

The some day Ratnavali's brother came to see her. Ratnavali had not as much as glanced at her parents' house ever since her marriage; when she saw her brother she remembered her parent and began to weep.

The brother in fact had come only to take her home. He comforted his sister. He said, "Come, let us go home sister you can stay with us for a few days and come back. Mother is longing to see you". Ratnavali loved her parents’ home so much that for a moment she decided to go. But she hesitated. She said, "My husband is not at home. How can I come without his consent? Besides he cannot bear to be without me event for a short time. Let him come home; you can talk to him about this. I too will request him. Then we can go."

But the brother argued with her and persuaded her. She locked up the house and left the key with the neighbor and said: "Please give this key to my husband when he comes home, and tell him that I am returning the day after tomorrow." She then went with her brother.

It was dark when Pandit Tularam came home. When the neighbor gave him the key and his wife’s message, he became very angry. Without his wife the house looked bleak as a cave. Every hour his boredom grew. He lay down but could not sleep. It was past midnight. He' decided to go to his father-in-law's house. And he started at once.

It was the month of Shravana. The sky was heavily overcast with clouds. It was dark all around. He had just stepped out of his house when there was a heavy downpour of rain accompanied by thunder and lightning.

But Tularam did not change his mind. He walked on getting wet in the rain, and came to the banks of the river Ganga. The river was in full floods. He asked the ferryman to take him across the river.

"What? You wish to cross the flood, in this rain and wind? Impossible," said! the ferryman.

At the sight of the racing walkers of the Ganga in floods, Tularam's heart sank. But the infatuation for his wife drove him on. He gathered courage, tucked up his dhoti firmly and jumped into the river. He swam against the current and reached the other bank.

He did not stop even to wring –his clothes.

He raced to his wife's house and shouted, 'Ratnavali, Ratnavali'.

Ratnavali wondered who could have come in such heavy rain. She opened the door and there stood Tularam! His clothes were all wet and water was dripping. He was shivering with cold.

Ratnavali was amazed. She was also happy to think of his intense love for her. At the same time she pitied his condition. Could he not stay alone for one day? How foolhardy it was to swim across the river in high floods! The thought made her angry.

She said, "What can I say, my lord? Aren't you ashamed of yourself? You have come running after me! If you had the same intense love for Sri Rama, He Himself would have appeared to you. Then you would have been saved from the cycle of births."

These words of his wife struck Tularam like a thunderbolt. Drenched in the rain he was shivering, but now he began to perspire. His mind reeled and his heart was in turmoil. The veil of attachment that had covered his devotion was torn asunder.

He went away without looking back even once.

What happened to Ratnavali after, Tulasidas left her? We do not know. Tulasidas has not mentioned her name anywhere in his books.

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About Tulasidas
The Age Of Tulasidas
Forsaken By His Own Father
The Guru
You are Here! Marriage And Renunciation
The Path Of Bhakti
The Meeting With Anjaneya
Sri Rama And Lakshmana

'Ramacharita- manasa'

A Challenge
The Will Of Maruthi
Krishna And Rama Are One
A Great Man
Immortal Poet
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