Saints & Gurus #top
She was born to pious parents Smt. Sitabai and Mr. Shantaram Kalyanpurkar of Karwar,Karnataka State,India.Mr. Shantaram had a dream of Goddess Durga informing about her incarnating in his family. Soon thereafter in 1908, Holy Mother was born at the auspicious time on the day of Rushi Panchami in the month of Bhadrapada.She was named Rukmabai.
As she grew she exhibited maturity and patience unusual for her age. She had gracious manners and a very selfless nature.At the age of five she was able to sing bhajans in four different languages - Marathi, Kannada, Hindi, and Gujarati. At the age of seven she met a great Sanyasi [monk] by name " Swami Purnananda Saraswati". She was blessed with his company for many days. He was very much impressed by her profound devotion. At the time of departing ."
He turned to her father and said, " Your child is none other than Divine Incarnate born for spiritual upliftment of masses. She will retire from her family life and shake off all social fetters at a young age of 19. Thus from age seven to fourteen Rukmabai laid down for herself a strong spiritual foundation. At the age of 15 she married Sri Rajgopal Mallapurkar, a police inspector from Kadur in south Arcot district.
On their way back they took a break at Hubli to have the darshan of the great Saint "Sri Siddharudha Swami". The Swami blessed the couple. The Guru at this time gave her the initiation in the mahamantra of 'Om Namah Shivay'. Within the first two months of her husband's death serial tragedies hit her one after other. She lost her father in law and her own dear father in succession. She lived with bare minimum needs. Initially she managed to live on just one sari.
When the Guru came to know about it he gave her a pair of saries. She restricted her food and drinks to the utmost, sometimes she went without food for a week. The Guru was very much pleased with her virtues. This culminated in his honoring her on the day of Dasara in 1928.In the presence of a huge congregation he gave her seat beside him on the Dais. He placed a shawl around her shoulders, gave prasadam to eat and named her 'Kalavati Devi.'
He then asked her to give a spiritual discourse. She promptly responded and spoke on a hymn 'Naam Sankeertan sadhan pai sope' (meaning chanting the holy name and singing the praises of the Lord the easiest way to salvation.) for 2 1/2 hours very authoritatively everybody was spellbound with her blessed discourse.
One day while she was doing bhajans she became very restless and emotional with eyes full of tears longing to see God. She wanted nothing but God otherwise life was worthless to live anymore. The Guru walked into her room and no sooner had he placed his graceful hands on her head, she plunged into a superconcious state (called samadhi).
This was her first mystical experience of absolute union with absolute reality. Very soon the Guru informed her about his decision to give up his body instructed her to do twelve years of Keertan Seva (spread the Gospel) touring different places. At the end of twelve years settle down at Angol, Belgaum. She thus moved from place to place spreading the divine love. In 1942 she concluded her 'Keertan Seva' of 12 years during which time she happened to be in Belgaum for the Ramnavami festival.
At this time the above named person Mr. M Shivrao had a divine appearance in his dream asking him to present a piece of land in Angol Belgaum to Devi. He came looking for her here and told her about it. Though initially she did not accept it, she accepted it when she received similar instructions. On this land she built an Ashram called ' Shri Harimandiram '. She compiled bhajans of different saints in a book called 'Parmartha Marg Pradeep' and taught her devotees to sing in appropriate melodious tunes.
Thus all kind of people, laypersons to intellectuals of both sexes and all ages would attend her discourses in large numbers. The discipline as taught by the holy mother is so commendable that even a gathering of 25,000 people is handled without any commotion or chaos and decorum maintained.She breathed her last uttering the name of 'Krishna ' at an age of 70 years on 8th Feb.1978.
A samadhi according to Hindu religious tradition was constructed at the place of her burial in the prayer hall. It is noteworthy that even during this difficult period of mourning punctuality of the prayers was maintained. This was according to the teachings of holy mother to stick to prayers during all the ordeals in life. Holy mother has written books which serve as excellent guidelines to divine truth.
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