Friday, December 31, 2010
Ramdevra is a village situated about 12 km to the north of Pokhran in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan in India. The village is named after Baba Ramdevji, a Tanwar Rajput and a saint who took Samādhi in 1384 CE, at the age of 33 years. Bhagvan Ramdevji Maharaj took samadhi (conscious exit from the mortal body.) in 1459 AD. Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner constructed a temple around the samadhi in 1931 AD.
Near the village, there is a tank known as Ramsar tank which is believed to have been constructed by Baba Ramdev himself. A large step well, the Parcha Baori is also situated nearby.
A large fair known as Ramdevera Fair is held here from Bhado Sudi 2 to Bhadon Sudi 11 (Aug - Sept). It is attended by a large number of devotees who come in large groups from far and wide. Irrespective of their caste, creed or religious affiliations, these devotees throng the shrine dedicated to the saint. These groups organize night long singing of bhajans and kirtans to pay homage to Baba.
Baba Ramdevji ( V.S. 1409 - 1442 ) ( 1352 - 1385 AD) is a folk–deity of Rajasthan in India. He was a saint of the fourteenth century who devoted his life for the upliftment of downtrodden and poor people of the society, which were marginalized by Invaders. A temple was built around Ramdevji's final resting place by Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner in 1931 AD. Ramdevji was a Tanwar Rajput however there is question mark on this identity, raised by many followers. While Hindus regard him as an incarnation of Lord Krishna (was himself an incarnation of Lord Vishnu), Muslims venerate him as Ramshah Pir or Ramapir or Hindwapir. He is said to have had miraculous powers, and his fame reached far and wide and was confirmed by Peers of Mecca.
The story, as derived from folklore, is thus. King Ajmal Tanwar was the king of Pokharan. His wife, Rani Mainade, was the daughter of the king of Jaisalmer. After becoming King of Pokhran, King Ajmalji had only three daughters, Lasa, Laxmi and Sugana. Once day the king was on a tour of his kingdom. It was monsoon, yet the kingdom had not received any rainfall. On his tour, the king met a few farmers who were on their way to their farms to sow seeds. On seeing the king, they began to return back to their homes. Surprised at this act, the king asked farmers the reason for their behaviour. When assured that no harm would come to them if they told the truth, the farmers told the king that they believed that seeing a barren king's face while on their way to their fields may cause their crops to fail, and therefore they wanted to return to their homes. King Ajmal was very sad on hearing this. Being a devotee of Shri Krishna, the king decided to go to the Lord's palace in Dwarika.
King Ajmal arrived at Dwarika and prayed for many days. Ultimately, in sheer disappointment, he asked Krishna's idol the reason for deserving such sorrow. The idol did not respond to the king's repeated queries. Angered and raged at this, the king threw a dried laddu at the head of the idol. The priest of the temple, considering the king to be mad, asked the king to go to the mystic Dwarika to speak to the Lord. The mystic Dwarika swallowed by the sea many centuries ago, lay at the bed of the Arabian sea. The fearless king dived into the sea to meet the Lord. Pleased at the king's dedication and faith, the Lord granted him a boon. The king asked for Lord Krishna to be born as his son. The Lord promised to take birth in the king's house. Soon thereafter, the royal couple began to have children.
Baba Ramdevji is considered to be an incarnation of Lord Krishna (who himself was incarnation of Lord Vishnu) .
As mentioned above, King Ajamal (Ajaishinh) married Queen Minaldevi, the daughter of Pamji Bhati of Chhahan Baru village. The childless king went to Dwarika and pled with the Lord about his wish to have child like him. They had two sons, Viramdev and the younger Ramdev. Baba Ramdev was born on Bhadava Shukla dooj in V.S. 1409 at a place called Pokharan. Ramdevji was a Tanwar (kardiya Rajput). He is considered to be the 72nd descendant of the Pandav King Arjun.
Muslims venerate Baba Ramdevji as 'Ramshah Pir'. He was said to have had miraculous powers, and his fame reached far and wide. Legend has it that five Pirs (saints) from Mecca came to test Ramdevji's powers. After being convinced of his abilities, they paid their homage to him. Since then he is venerated by Muslims also as Ram Shah Pir or Rama Peer.
In Rajasthan Meghwal community's chief deity is Baba Ramdevji who is worshiped during the vedwa punam (August - September). Meghwal religious leader Swami Gokuldas claims that Ramdev was himself a Meghwal in his 1982 book Meghwal Itehas, which constructs a history of the Meghwal community. However, it is a solitary claim made by the Meghwal community themselves and has no one else to back their claim. Mostly, all sources & Hindu community believes Ramdevji to have born in Tanwar Rajput Community.
Baba Ramdevji believed in the equality of all human beings, be they high or low, rich or poor. He helped the down-trodden by granting them their wishes. Baba Ramdev is often depicted on horseback. His worship crosses the Hindu-Muslim divide as well as the distinctions of caste. His followers include caste Hindus and the Meghwals in modern-day Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, Mumbai, Delhi and also in Sindh in Pakistan. Several Rajasthani fairs are held to commemorate him.
Baba Ramdevji took Samadhi on Bhadrapada Shukla Ekadashi in V.S. 1442 at the age of 33 years. Dalibai, his ardent follower from Meghwal community, is also buried near his grave.
One day, young Baba Ramdevji wanted to play with a toy horse. His father asked a toy maker to make one wooden horse, and for the purpose, gave him sandalwood and new cloth. The toy maker, however, stole most of the new cloth for his wife, and made the wodden horse from a piece of old cloth, with only a cover from new cloth. When Baba Ramdev sat on the horse it began to fly and disappeared into the sky along with the child. Baba Ramdev’s parents got angry with the toy maker and imprisoned him. Shortly afterward, Ramdev came back along with the horse and accused the toy maker of cheating. The toy maker confessed his crime and begged for forgiveness. Baba Ramdevji forgave him and accepted the horse. Wooden toy horses covered with cloth are among the most popular offerings at the temple dedicated to him.
“24 Banis” are considered as famous literature composed by Ramdevji. Many poets and followers like Harji Bhati, Raja Mansinh, Likhmauji Mali, Vijoji Sani, Hiranand Mali, Devshi Mali and Rani Rupande had composed Falk lores on Baba Ramdevji which are still sung by his followers.
Apart from Rajasthan, Baba Ramdevji or Ram Dev Pir has a strong Hindu following in Kathiawar, Gujarat. There are many temples dedicated to him. People from all stages of society worship him. A mystical festival, called Mandap, is also held in villages across Kathiawar to worship him. The whole affair is funded by the villagers. The highlight of the festival is an event in which a long (almost 60 feet or more in height) wooden log, called the Sthambh, is decorated and laid on the ground with a loose base, with eight ropes tied to it from eight directions. Several rites and rituals are performed for about a month. At a certain time and date, the Sthambh stands up. Very mysteriously and strangely, the Sthambh stands up on its own, without any support. The eight ropes are loosely tied in eight nails that are driven in the ground. Lacks of devotees flock this mandap to have a darshan of the event. The Sthambh stand erect for exactly a day, and returns back to its position 24 hours later in the same fashion. It is believed that RamDev Pir himself appears in the Sthambh.
Ramdev Pir Jayanti i.e. the Birth date of Baba Ramdevji is celebrated every year all over India by devotees of Ramdevji with zeal & festivities. It falls on Beej (2nd Day) of Shukla paksha of Bhadrapada month of Hindu calendar. In Rajasthan, this day is observed as a public holiday and a fair is held at Ramdevra temple, where lakhs of devotees both Hindu & Muslim take part and pay their homage to Samadhi at main temple.
Ramdevji is believed to be born on above day in Vikram Samvant 1409 ( i.e. 1352 AD) and taken Samadhi on 11th day (Ekadashi) of Shukla paksha of Bhadrapada month of Hindu calendar of Vikram Samvant 1442 (i.e. 1385 AD)