Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bhagat Namdev Ji

Date of Birth : October 26, 1270.
Father's Name : Dama Seth
Mother's Name : Gonai
Born into a tailor-cum-calico printer family by profession.

A large number of biographies are available in Marathi, Punjabi, Hindi and English as far as the life of Namdev Ji is concerned. The tough part is that the contents of most of these are conflicting. They do not match with each other.

The most accepted and agreeable biography of Namdev Ji has been written by R.J.Ajgaonkar in 1927. Most of the modern biographers and scholars aree with Ajgaonkar's view.

Namdev's birth place is considered to be village Narsi Bamni or Pandarpur. From the very childhood he was inclined towards religion.

As the story goes. His father, Dama Seth, used to offer milk to the idol of Vitthal daily. One day he asked his son to do the offering in his absence. Namdev was a five year old child at the time so he thought that the idol every day drank the milk offered by his father. So after placing the milk in front of the idol he thought that the idol would drink it. When the milk remained untouched by the idol. He thought there must be some 'failing in himself' that's the reason for not accepting his offering.

He shed tears and felt guilty. He made up his mind that he would not move out unless the Lord would drink his milk. It is said, at last, the idol was moved by the child's intense devotion and drank the milk offered to it.

When he grew older, he was married to Rajai. His wife was not religious at all and often complained about the meager earnings of Namdev Ji.

Namdev Ji was extremely kind and soft hearted. He was very sensitive to the pain of others. Once his mother was suffering from cough and the physician prescribed the medicine that was to be prepared from the bark of a tree. Namdev ji went out to take the bark. When he plunged the knife into the trunk of tree, he saw drops of liquid coming out of the bark. He couldn't bear the scene and returned home without the bark.

Namdev once in the temple of Nagnath. when he entered the temple he was amazed to see an old man lying with his feet on an image of Shiva. Namdev was shocked and asked the old man to take off his feet of the idol. Man said that he was too weak to do so and requested Namdev ji to lift his feet and place where God is not present.

This incident left a deep impact over Namdev's mind and he soon realized that God was omnipresent and not limited to an idol.The man is believed to be Visoba Khechar, a spiritual adept. He's known for opposing idol worship. Earlier Namdev believed in all sorts of rituals like bathing in holy tanks, pilgrimage etc but Visoba Khechar transformed him. He then said, "God, made of stone, never speaks? How can it heal the sorrows? Now I believe God is everywhere but not alone in the places of worship."

He realized God in every living creature. His poem Sant Namdev Ki Hindi Padavali,poem 22 also gives a hint to a story which goes as:
Once Namdev was travelling somewhere and on the way he sat down to take his lunch, which he carried with him. He kept the chappatis (bread) alongside and started taking out butter to apply over it. Mean while a dog came and ran away with the chappatis. Namdev Ji ran after him saying, "Don't eat dry chappatis. Let me apply butter on them."

Namdev is believed to had lived his last years in Punjab in the present Gurdaspur district. A large number of his disciples live there. His place of death is not confirmed and is believed to be either at Ghuman a village in Gurdaspur where he lived 18 years of his life. Some also believe he left his body at the famous Visoba temple.

His bani in SGGS.

One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru:
Aasaa, The Word Of The Reverend Naam Dayv Jee:
In the one and in the many, He is pervading and permeating; wherever I look, there He is.
The marvellous image of Maya is so fascinating; how few understand this. ||1||
God is everything, God is everything. Without God, there is nothing at all.
As one thread holds hundreds and thousands of beads, He is woven into His creation. ||1||Pause||
The waves of the water, the foam and bubbles, are not distinct from the water.
This manifested world is the playful game of the Supreme Lord God; reflecting upon it, we find that it is not different from Him. ||2||
False doubts and dream objects - man believes them to be true.
The Guru has instructed me to try to do good deeds, and my awakened mind has accepted this. ||3||
Says Naam Dayv, see the Creation of the Lord, and reflect upon it in your heart.
In each and every heart, and deep within the very nucleus of all, is the One Lord. ||4||1||

His bani appears 19 times in SGGS Ji.

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