Sri Hanuman Ji in Samartha Ramdas Sampradaya in Maharashtra

Categories : Spirituality

Sant Ramdas belongs to one of the illustrious groups of saints. He was born in a village near Nasik on the banks of the Godavari and became a Ram Bhakta from childhood. It is said that Hanuman Ji was his Guru who guided him throughout his life.

“Adinarayanam Vishnum

Brahmanam Cha Vashishtakam

Sri Ramam Marutim Vande

Ram Dasam Jagad Gurum”

Sri Ramdas (1608-1681 CE) was more or less contemporary to Shahjahan and Aurangzeb (1628-1707 CE) and he was instrumental in fighting the tyrannical rule, of the Muslim governors under Aurangzeb’s empire. He travelled widely mostly on foot from the Himalayas to Kanyakumari and saw the pathetic conditions of Hindus throughout the country. He established Hanuman Mandirs at several places including the Hanuman temple of “Connaught Place” in Delhi and “Hanuman Ghat” in Varanasi. However, his main work was in Maharashtra. He organised the Hindus in Maharashtra and encouraged them to preserve Hinduism by constructing Hanuman temples in every village of Maharashtra. It was due to the efforts of Ramdas that every village of Maharashtra has a Hanuman Mandir and Hanuman is the lord of the masses. Forceful conversion to Islam had to be resisted at all costs by constructing Hanuman temples at vital places and making arrangements for wrestling and physical exercises at such places.

A similar trend became visible during British rule when Bal Gangadhar Tilak and others popularized Ganpati Puja in Maharashtra during the freedom movement. Ramdas was the spiritual Guru of Chhatrapati Shivaji who fought against Aurangzeb’s cruel empire. Since Ramdas was able to organise the Marathas with the blessings of Hanuman Ji, he was called Samartha (capable) Ramdas. He established eleven Hanuman temples in the Satara district of Maharashtra which constitute a chain for Pilgrimage by Marathi Masses. Shivaji had granted eleven acres of land to each of the temples for their upkeep and maintenance. The eleven temples are located at the following places.

  • Sri Maruti – Shahapur
  • Sri Maruti – Masur
  • Sri Pratap Maruti – Chaphal
  • Sri Das Maruti – Chaphal
  • Sri Maruti – Umbraj
  • Sri Maruti – Shirale
  • Sri Maruti – Manpadle
  • Sri Maruti – Pargaon
  • Sri Maruti – Majhagaon
  • Sri Maruti – Singadabadi
  • Sri Maruti – Bahe-Borgaon

Samartha Ramdas Sampradaya is a big Sampradaya and for them, their main Guru is lord Hanuman himself. The idols installed by Ramdas are of two types. In one type Dasya Bhava (Servant attitude) is prominent while in another ruling instinct (Pratap Bhava) is apparent. In the ‘Pratap Bhava’ images, Hanuman is seen smashing the body of a demon with his foot. Hanuman Tabeez was recommended for wearing either on the arm or in the neck for Hindus. Special mantras were created for the empowerment of Tabeej. His “Abhangs” (Doha) in Marathi for Hanuman are very popular in Maharashtra.

We can say that Samartha Ramdas was able to inculcate a feeling of Rashtra dharma and a necessity for adhering to Hindu dharma through the medium of Hanumanji about 400 years ago. The freedom movement had still not begun.


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