Hindu Saint Jailed for 12 years!!

ramadasu

By London Swaminathan
Post No.965 Date 8th April 2014

Lord Rama spent fourteen years in the forest. Pandava brothers spent thirteen years in the forest. Hindu saint Bhadrachalam Ramadasa (1620- 1680 AD) spent 12 years in jail. The story of Ramadasa is full of interesting anecdotes. Lord Rama appeared before a Muslim king and asked him to release Ramadasa by paying the dues he owed.

That God rushes to the rescue of his devotees has been proved beyond doubt in many instances. We have two such interventions in the life of Bhadrachalam Ramadasa.

Ramadas was a revenue official in Bhadrachalam under Tani Shah (1674-99 AD), the Muslim ruler of Hyderabad. He had abiding faith in Lord Rama’s dispensation. His deep devotion to Rama developed when he saw saint Kabirdas in his dream. He advised him to hold on to lord Rama’s feet.

Once, when Ramadas and his wife were attending on the guests, their child slipped from their midst and fell into a cauldron full of hot porridge and died. The mother remained calm till the guests left after lunch and burst into tears. Ramadas came to know about the tragedy. Both placed the body at the feet of of Rama’s idol and wept. God answered their prayers. The child came alive as if it just woke from sleep.

Like the great Tamil saint Manikkavasagar, Ramadas also used the government money for building temples and supporting religious services. He rebuilt the temple of Rama in Bhadrachalam and spent all the revenue collections to buy jewels for the god. When Tani Shah came to know about the embezzlement he sent him to jail for twelve years.

bhadrachalam-sree-rama-temple-andhrapradesh

Though Ramadasa’s intention was good, he violated the law of the land. God never asks anyone to go out of the way to propitiate him. He says in the Bhagavad Gita that even leaves or flowers or water is enough for him to bless a devotee. But yet lord Rama answered Ramadasa’s intense prayers after twelve years! He and Lakshmana dressed as guards of a revenue officer went to the king and paid the big amount that was due. Both of them asked the king to release Ramadasa and disappeared. When Ramadasa came to know about it he told the king that he did not send anyone with the money. Tani Shah was happy that he had the darshan of Lord Rama. Those were the days when Hindus and Muslims lived supporting one another. Tani Sha’s ministers were Brahmins.

Ramadasa was very sad that Lord Rama and Lakshmana appeared before the Muslim king but did not give ‘Darshan’ to him. He sang in Telugu naming the Muslim king Tani shah in one of his compositions. Later he also had ‘darshan’ of Lord Rama.

Dhanyudai tani shah nivu
Nannu kannayya padamula kanula kannavu

The life of saint Ramadasa stands as an example for others. Earlier in his life he spent all his wealth in alleviating the sufferings of the poor by giving them food. When he had nothing more left he firmly believed that the lord would come to his help. When his wife reminded him that he should also put some efforts to get god’s help he approached the king through his relatives for a job. He got the job of a revenue collector.
Ramadasa’s father Linganna was an orthodox Vaishnava Brahmin. Ramadasa married Kamalamma and spent his early life in Golkonda. His relative Akkanna and Madanna were ministers to Tani Shah. Through them he got the revenue officer’s job.

Hundreds of Ramadasa’s Telugu compositions are very popular in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Ramadasa’s boyhood name was Kancherla Gopanna. It is believed that Saint Kabir, when initiated him into the realms of spirituality, gave him the name Ramadasa. Since Kabir lived a few centuries before Ramadasa, scholars believe that the initiation happened in a dream.

girls singing

O Rama nee naama memi ruchira!

One of his compositions O,Rama Ninamamu Emi Ruchira ,Enta Ruchira? ( O Rama How tasty your name?) is very popular. Here is the composition:
O Rama nee naama memi ruchira
O Rama, how tasty your name is
Sri Rama nee naama mentha ruchira
Sri Rama, how delicious your name is
Madhu rasamula kante dadhi ghruthamula kante adhikamou
It is sweeter than nectar and sweeter than yoghurt or ghee
nee namam emi ruchira
Your name is so tasty
Draksha phalamula kanna ikshu rasamula kanna
It is tastier than grapes and tastier than sugar cane juice
Pakshi vahana nee namam emi ruchira
O lord who rides on an eagle (Garuda), you name is so tasty
Anjana thanaya hruth kanja dalamulandu ranjillu
O Rama, your name resides in the petals of a lotus flower which is the heart of Lord Hanuman who is the son of Anjani
nee namam emi ruchira
Your name is so tasty
Sada sividu madi sada bhajinchedi Sadanamdamagu
Lord Shiva chants your name all the time, chanting your name gives happiness all the time
namam emi ruchira
Your name is so tasty
Saramuleni samsaramunaku Shanthakaramagu
To this flavourless life, your name gives peace
namam emi ruchira
Your name is very tasty
Sarananna janamula saraguna rakshimchu
You come straight away to protect people who ask for your help
Birudu kaligina namam emi ruchira
That is what your title is and your name is so tasty
Kari raja Prahlada Dharanija Vibhishanula kachina
Kari raja (Gajendra), Prahlada and Goddess Sita who is the daughter of goddess earth were saved by saying your name
nee namam emi ruchira
your name is very tasty
Kadali Kharjura phala rasamula kadhikamu
Your name is tastier than the fruit juices of banana and dates
pathitha pavana nee namam emi ruchira
You save people who are unfortunate (or unlucky). Your name is very tasty.
Thumburu Naradulu dambu meeraga
Sages like Thumburu and Narada very proudly
ganambu chesedi nee namam emi ruchira
sing your name(or sing your stories). Your name is very tasty.
Araya Bhdrachala Sri Ramadasuni prema nelina
O Rama, you looked after Bhadrachala Ramadasu with affection
namam emi ruchira
Your name is very tasty.

This song is available on You Tube in the voice of famous musicians.

Contact swami_48@yahoo.com

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