Vervolg op eerdere blogs over de heiligen, die op de muren van de tempel Bhutabhrteshwarnath mandir staan afgebeeld. Aaradhakananda, een bewoner van de ashram, beschrijft regelmatig op zijn Facebook-pagina het leven van een van deze heiligen. Een unieke kans om Vaishnava heiligen en Alvars (heilige poëten) te leren kennen en over de diepe kracht van overgave te lezen.

“Zo krachtig zijn de heiligen, dat als je zelfs maar het stof van hun voeten aanraakt de zaden van al je wensen zullen worden verbrand tot er niets meer van over is.

Dan zal de liefde voor de Naam van God uit eigen beweging in je opkomen en vanaf dat moment zal de vreugde binnenin je voortdurend toenemen

Je keel zal door liefde verstikt worden, tranen zullen langs je wangen stromen. De Vorm van God zal in je hart verschijnen.”

Tukaram zegt ook:
“Hoewel dit heel gemakkelijk klinkt, is het uitzonderlijk dat je in het gezelschap van een heilige bent. Het vergt grote verdienste om er eentje te ontmoeten.”

Sant Tukaram in ‘Sant Charan Raj

Sri Srimad Radharaman Charan Das Deva, popularly known as “Barha Baba“, which means “Baba the great“. He was so called, because he was truly great – great in heart, great in love, great in power to do things, which our men of reason and science would not believe even if they see.
He sincerely followed the teachings of Shri Chaitanya and revived many of the activities or Lila of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, which people had already forgotten by then. He was a living embodiment of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s universal religion of love. He carried Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s message of love from place to place, door to door and person to person, singing and dancing, laughing and weeping in rapturous ecstasies like Mahaprabhu Himself. He told us how all our sufferings could be easily removed and we could attain the highest goal of life-the attainment of the lotus feet of the Lord and his loving service only through Sankirtan or the congregational chanting of His name ‘Bhaja Nitai Gaur Radhe Shyam, Japa Hare Krishna Hare Ram.’ Since we, the jives of kali, would not easily believe him, he mercifully took it upon Himself to demonstrate to us the inconceivable power of the Divine Name by curing diseases, melting stones, making the tree dance and animals behave like devotee Vaishnavas, and even by bringing the dead back to life through the chanting of the Name ‘Bhaja Nitai Gaur Radhe Shyam, Japa Hare Krishna Hare Ram.’
RadhaRaman Dev was an exceptional character amongst the saints. Inspite of possessing all the virtues that are associated traditionally with Sadhus, he had in him something more which made him outstanding. Like a flowing stream his spontaneous love for all living beings, specially the poor, downtrodden, the outcaste, the sinner, the unwanted, and the untouchable knew no bounds. He firmly believed the presence of LORD NITYANANDA in every living being and accordingly poured his love from the core of his heart on them.

Shyama Shastri was the oldest of the Trinity of Carnatic music. He was a contemporary of the other two, Tyagaraja and Muthuswamy Dikshitar, and was a personal friend of the former. Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Shastri were good friends. They often met and spent hours together singing. Shyama Shastri had deep regard for Tyagaraja.When he was eighteen years old, his family moved to Tanjore. There, they got a chance to host a sanyasi (monk), Sangitaswami, a master of dance and music, who was spending some four months in Tanjore. The sanyasi was quick to discover Shyama Shastri’s keen intellect, melodious voice and musical talent and foresaw greatness in him. He obtained the father’s consent and taught Shyama Shastri all aspects of raga, tala and swara prastharaas. The teacher found that the student could absorb even the intricate details very quickly, all in a matter of four months or less. Sangitaswami presented Shyama Shastri with a few rare treatises on music and certified that the student had gained full knowledge on the theoretical aspects of music. He advised his student to seek the friendship of and listen to the music (but not learn anything from) one Paccimiriyam Adiyappayya, a composer of the famous bhairavi ata tala varnam, viriboni, and a court musician in Tanjore. Shyama Shastri duly did as he was advised. The influence of Adiyappayya is reflected in his svarajati kamakshi in Bhairavi raga.
Over the years, Shyama Shastri became a well-known and respected musician, scholar and a composer. He was quite admired and respected by Tyagaraja and it appears that the two of them often held scholarly and lengthy discussions on their latest compositions.
He frequently accompanied his father to the temple. Gradually his faith in the Goddess grew.Shyama Shastri, like his father was the archaka (priest) in the Bangaru Kamakshi Temple in Tanjore. He was a very pious and genuine devotee of Goddess Kamakshi. He is believed to have lost consciousness of the outside world on several occasions as he prayed to the Goddess. On such occasions, he would sing his kriti-s extemporaneously.

Muthuswami Dikshitar, distinguished classical singer was one of the three Trinities of Carnatic Music in South India. He was born on March 24, 1774 to a musician family in Tamil Nadu. He started training under his father Ramaswami Dikshitar, who was an eminent scholar and creator of Hamsadhwani, the famous raga in Indian Music.
His father taught him ancient shastras, music and different Indian languages. Muthuswami Dikshitar was the most dedicated saint of the Bhakti Movement. The other two trinities of Carnatic music of that period were Shyama Shastry and Tyagaraja.
Muthuswami Dikshitar was brought under the guidance of his father’s guru, Chidambaram Yogi in Varanasi at the age of 24. Here he learnt Sanskrit literature, philosophy, grammar, Tantric Yoga and music in Dhrupad style for six years. The themes of Sanskrit Literature, Yoga, Purana, Veda, Jyotisha, Mantra and the similar concepts ruminate his musical composition.
Muthuswami Dikshitar composed a distinct number of kritis. He started composing kritis after visualizing Lord Subramanya. Some of his best compositions include the Vara kritis, Manipravala kritis, Kanjadalayatakshi, Navavarana kritis and Annapoorna. He was a scholar of many Indian languages and traveled to most parts of India. Thus we find the rich essence of Hindustani ragas in some of his best compositions. Among them, Jambupathe mam pahi kirtan is one of his famous kirtanas based on Hindustani raga. His compositions reflect the richness of Sanskrit literature combined with creativity and beauty of raga. He was popularly known as Guruguha by his followers. He breathed his last in the year 1835.

Ramadasu was born Kancherla Goparaju. He discharged his official duties earnestly and collected revenues due to the Sultan – while continuing his unswerving service to Lord Rama by chanting his name and feeding the poor.
One day, he visited Bhadrachalam for a fair and was disturbed by the dilapidated state of the temple there. Bhadrachalam was significant to devotees of Rama for many reasons. Lord Rama is said to have stayed near the Parnasala there with Sita and Lakshmana during his exile and also to have visited Sabari near Badrachalam. Pothana is believed to have been given direction by Rama to translate the Bhagavata Purana into Telugu here. In spite of its significance, the temple was utterly neglected. So, Ramadasu started to raise funds for the renovation and reconstruction of the temple. After he emptied his coffers and could raise no more money, the villagers appealed him to spend his revenue collections for the reconstruction and promised to repay the amount after harvesting crops. As such, Ramadas finished the reconstruction of the temple with six hundred thousand rupees collected from land revenues – without the permission of the Abul Hasan Qutb Shah.
As the temple was nearing completion, he was perplexed one night about fixing the Sudarshana Chakra at the crest of the main temple. On the same night, it is believed that he saw Rama in his dream and asked him to have a holy dip in the Godavari River. When Gopanna did so the next day, he found the holy Sudarshana Chakra in the river very easily. The sultan brought him to jail. After 12 years of imprisonment, Lord Rama decided that his devotee’s suffering had reached its pre-ordained ending (because of a certain transgression his soul had committed in a previous birth). Lord Rama and Lakshmana, disguised as two young warriors, entered the bed-chambers of the Sultan Tana Shah in the middle of the night. They presented themselves as Ramoji and Lakshmoji and gave the king six lakh gold coins imprinted with Rama’s own seal and freed their devotee from imprisonment, the sultan was convinced later that it was a mitacle of Lord Rama.

Shri Gopala Bhatta Goswami (the son of a Vyenkata Bhatta, a Shri Vaishnava brahmana) appeared in Shri Rangam, South India. Lord Chaitanya once stayed four months in his home. A mere boy at this time, Gopala personally served the Lord. Shri Chaitanya treated him affectionately giving His remnants and blessings to’ become an acharya.After receiving initiation from Shri Prabodhananda Saraswati, Gopala Bhatta came to Vrindavana and became a dear friend of Shri Rupa and Sanatana Goswamis. He did bhajana in Vrindavana for forty-five years, mostly at Radha-Kunda.
On pilgrimage he obtained twelve Shalagrama shilas. Later the Damodara shila manifested Himself as the beautiful Radha Ramana Deity. Since 1542, Radha Ramanaji has been worshiped with pure devotion following precise sastric rituals.
Lord Chaitanya ordered Gopala Bhatta to write a book to check the spread of pseudo-loving rasas and negligence to vaidhi bhakti. In corroboration with Shri Sanatana Goswami he compiled the Hari-bhakti-vilasa, the authorized book explaining the ritual and devotional practices of the Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya. He also wrote Sat-kriya-dipika and the outline for Shri Jiva Goswami’s Sat Sandarbhas.
His samadhi is within Radha Ramanaji’s Temple compound behind the appearance place of the Deity. Shri Gopala Bhatta Goswami initiated Gopinatha (Pujari Goswami), a lifelong brahmachari who served Radha Ramanaji for his whole life. Gopala Bhatta Goswami initiated Shrinivasa Acharya and many other stalwart Vaishnavas.

Born in a dynasty of Vaishnavas, Raghunatha Dasa Goswami was the only son of a wealthy land owner. As a boy, he received Haridasa Thakura’s association and blessings. At fifteen he met Lord Chaitanya. By the mercy of Lord Nityananda he renounced a beautiful wife and an opulent family. He ran to Jagannatha Puri to intimately serve Shri Gaura Raya and his siksha guru Svarupa Damodara Goswami for sixteen years. Lord Gauranga gave His personal Govardhana Shila and gunja mala to Raghunatha Dasa Goswami. Raghunatha Dasa couldn’t live after Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu left this world. So, he came to Vrindavana to end his life by jumping off Govardhana Hill. Shri Rupa and Sanatana Goswamis affectionately received him. They convinced him to live on and enlighten all the Vrajavasi Vaishnavas with Shriman Mahaprabhu’s Puri pastimes. For three hours a day on the banks of Radha-kunda he spoke about Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.Shri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami’s daily bhajana included: chanting 64 rounds japa (1,00,000 Holy Names); doing manasi-seva in his spiritual body; worshiping Govardhana Shila; bathing thrice in Radha-kunda; offering one-thousand obeisances to Krishna; offering two-thousand to Vaishnavas and embracing them; resting ninety minutes, and some days not at all; Keep in mind however, when an eternal associate of the Lord externally rests, internally he continues serving. He ate only one leaf cup (100 grams) of buttermilk daily. “My life is worthless. I will give it up without receiving Your mercy. Living in Radha-kunda and Vrindavana is meaningless to me. To say nothing of Vrindavana, even Krishna Himself is useless to me without You. 0 Shrimati Radharani, You are the only object of my life. Please be merciful to me. Crying profusely in great lamentation, I hold Your lotus feet to my heart and beg for Your loving service. May this Vilapa-kusumanjali bring even the slightest satisfaction to You.”

Sadguru Sant Shri Balumama was a shepherd belonging the Kuruba Gowda/Dhangar community. He is considered a saint and has many millions of followers in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. A shepherd, by the very nature of his job, has to come in contact usually with people who are at the very low status of society, whose life is sunk in vices and bad habits.
A shepherd cannot remain unaffected by them. Not so Balumama, who was not an ordinary shepherd. It was these men of vices and bad habits, who could not remain unaffected by him, their life was completely changed almost beyond recognition by him. He was a practical guide and counsel to them. Their wretched and immoral life was transformed into a civilized and spiritual one. They could not thank God sufficiently for their good fortune to have such a spiritual guide.
Saint Balumama was born in 1892, in a village called Akkol in Chikkodi taluka of Belgaum district in Karnataka.While shepherding his sheep, he was known to have performed several miracles and help lots of poor and downtrodden people. It is written in his biography after meeting several people who have actually seen the Balumama and his miracles. He used to travel long distances with his sheep including parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka. He was fluent in both Kannada and Marathi. Whatever he said came to pass without fail. So had a huge disciple group among the rural poor, who began to worship him as a saint. The seep which Balumama had were considered as holy as well. If the herd of Balumama’s sheep stayed or passed through a person field, he was bound to have had happiness, health and wealth.