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Celebrating Tulsidas Jayanti: The Hindu Poet-saint, Reformer and Philosopher

Tulsidas is the composer of Hanuman Chalisa, a devotional hymn dedicated to Lord Hanuman

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Tulsidas. Image source: blog.onlineprasad.com
  • Tulsidas was attached to his wife Buddhimati until the day she told him to develop love for Lord Rama more than he has for her.He then abandoned home and became an ascetic
  • Tulsidas wrote 12 books, the most famous being the Hindi Ramayan called, Ramcharitmanasa”
  • It is believed that Lord Rama revealed Himself before Goswami Tulsidas 

Everyone in India is well versed with Hindu festivals such as Diwali and Holi. However, only a handful of people is aware of the birth anniversary of the great Hindu saint-poet, who was also a philosopher and a reformer.

Observed on August 10, Tulsidas Jayanti celebrates the birth anniversary of an author called Sri Goswami Tulsidas. He gave birth to the most widely read Hindi adaptation to the Ramayan called the Ramcharitmanas.

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Born to Hulsi and Atmaram Shukla Dube in Rajpur, Uttar Pradesh, India in 1532, he was a Sarayuparina Brahmin by birth. Apart from that, he is considered to be an incarnation of Sage Valmiki, the author of the Sanskrit Ramayana. It is believed that, during the time of his birth,Sri Goswami Tulsidas did not cry and was born with all 32 teeth intact. He was known as Tulsiram or Ram Bola in his childhood.

  • About Sri Goswami: Valmiki’s Ramayana’s reach was limited to scholars and other sages. It was Sri Goswami Tulsidas version of Ramayana called Tulsidas’s Ramcharitmanas that paved it’s way into the hearts of a common man and popularized the story of Ram and Sita, therefore evoking a feeling of Ram Bhakti, particularly in North India. The dialect of the book was Awadhi, an Indo-Aryan language spoken primarily in Uttar Pradesh.

A lesser-known fact, Goswami Tulsidas is also considered to be the composer of Hanuman Chalisa, a devotional hymn dedicated to Lord Hanuman.

Gosvami Tulsidas. Image Source: Wikimedia common
Gosvami Tulsidas. Image Source: Wikimedia commons
  • Date and Day: Tulsidas Jayanti is observed on ‘Saptami’, in other words, the day 7 of the dark fortnight of the moon during the month of ‘Shravana’ which according to the Gregorian calendar falls in the month of August this year.
  • Rituals: There are a few things that one witnesses on this auspicious occasion of Tulsidas Jayanti such as the recital of Ram-Charit Manas that takes place in all the temples along with the worshipping of Lord Rama, his wife Sita and devotee Hanuman with great religious zest. Adding to that, the devotees visit temples of Lord Rama and Hanuman and feed the Brahmins. North of India witnesses a lot of symposiums, seminars, and lectures all based on the teachings of Sri Goswami Tulsidas.

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  • Significance: Tulsidas Jayanti, a day that gives the common mass a reason to express their gratitude towards a great writer; a writer that got the story of Lord Rama, a Supreme Being, into the lives of an ordinary man.Sri Goswami Tulsidas gave a popular form to Brahman’s and his work emphasized on bhakti.
Rama breaking the bow to win Sita as wife. Wikimedia Commons
Rama breaking the bow to win Sita as a wife. Wikimedia Commons

‘The Supreme Self who is the embodiment of joy and ocean of Bliss, from which a small droplet fills the three worlds with happiness, He is ‘Rama’, the very home of bliss and the comforter of all the three worlds.’ -Sri Goswami Tulsidas mentioned in Ramacharitamanas.

Lastly, the teachings that he attempted to impart through his twelve outstanding works will forever be remembered and celebrated every year in the name of ‘Tulsidas Jayanti festival.’

At the age of 91, Tulsi entered the Abode of Immortality and Eternal Bliss and left his mortal body and in 1623 A.D. In the holy city of Varanasi (then Benaras), he was cremated at Asi Ghat near the river Ganga.

– by Karishma Vanjani, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @BladesnBoots

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India Aborts Launch of Spacecraft Intended to Land on Far Side of Moon

The Chandrayaan-2 mission was called off when a “technical snag” was observed in the 640-ton, 14-story rocket launcher

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India, Spacecraft, Moon
A spectator holds an Indian flag after a mission of Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-2, with the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle on board was called back because of a technical snag in Sriharikota, India, July 15, 2019. VOA

India aborted the launch Monday of a spacecraft intended to land on the far side of the moon less than an hour before liftoff.

The Chandrayaan-2 mission was called off when a “technical snag” was observed in the 640-ton, 14-story rocket launcher, Indian Space Research Organization spokesman B.R. Guruprasad said.

The countdown abruptly stopped at T-56 minutes, 24 seconds, and Guruprasad said that the agency would announce a revised launch date soon.

Chandrayaan, the word for “moon craft” in Sanskrit, is designed for a soft landing on the lunar south pole and to send a rover to explore water deposits confirmed by a previous Indian space mission.

India, Spacecraft, Moon
FILE – Indian space scientist and Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization Kailasavadivoo Sivan speaks during a press conference at the ISRO headquarters Antariksh Bhavan, in Bangalore, June 12, 2019. VOA

With nuclear-armed India poised to become the world’s fifth-largest economy, the ardently nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is eager to show off the country’s prowess in security and technology. If India did manage the soft landing, it would be only the fourth to do so after the U.S., Russia and China.

Dr. K. Sivan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, said at a news conference last week that the estimated $140 million Chandrayaan-2 mission was the nation’s “most prestigious” to date, in part because of the technical complexities of soft landing on the lunar surface, an event he described as “15 terrifying minutes.”

After countdown commenced Sunday, Sivan visited two Hindu shrines to pray for the mission’s success.

Criticized program pays off

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Practically since its inception in 1962, India’s space program has been criticized as inappropriate for an overpopulated, developing nation.

But decades of space research have allowed India to develop satellite communications and remote sensing technologies that are helping solve everyday problems at home, from forecasting fish migration to predicting storms and floods.

With the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission this month, the world’s biggest space agencies are returning their gaze to the moon, seen as ideal testing grounds for technologies required for deep space exploration, and, with the confirmed discovery of water, as a possible pit stop along the way.

“The moon is sort of our backyard for training to go to Mars,” said Adam Steltzner, NASA’s chief engineer responsible for its 2020 mission to Mars.

India, Spacecraft, Moon
India aborted the launch Monday of a spacecraft intended to land on the far side of the moon less than an hour before liftoff. Pixabay

Seeking water on the moon

Because of repeated delays, India missed the chance to achieve the first soft landing near the lunar south pole. China’s Chang’e 4 mission landed a lander and rover there last January.

India’s Chandrayaan-1 mission orbited the moon in 2008 and helped confirm the presence of water. The Indian Space Research Organization wants its new mission’s rover to further probe the far side of the moon, where scientists believe a basin contains water-ice that could help humans do more than plant flags on future manned missions.

The U.S. is working to send a manned spacecraft to the moon’s south pole by 2024.

Also Read- Around 53% People Interested in Travelling to Space: Survey

Modi has set a deadline of 2022 for India’s first manned spaceflight. (VOA)