Rang Avadhoot was born as Pandurang Vithal Valame on November 21, 1898 in Godhra, Gujarat, India. His mother’s name was Rukmamba. He passed away on November 19, 1968 at Hardhwar, Uttar Pradesh, India.
- He graduated in Sanskrit from Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahemedabad, India.
- He was scholar and a great thinker.
- He had great sense of humor and presence of mind.
- He was intelligent and sharp.
- He was bold and polite.
- He was self-dependent and self-respecting individual. To elaborate his self-dependency and self-respecting individuality, I would like to quote one incident where he refuses to eat vegetables given by the neighbor as help and asked his mother not to accept any kind of help from anybody.
From the early years of his education thru the process of achieving eternal peace, he went thru various stages of physical, emotional, and spiritual evolution. He described all these experiences thru letters to his friends (Ambalal Vyas and Amrutlal Modi). His collection of these letters was later published in the form of a book called “Patra Manjusha”. He also wrote Bhajans, Stotras and much more which describes his philosophy on God, Humanity and Life. All these literature has been collected and compiled in various books. It provides very useful guidance to all who wants to achieve eternal peace, real happiness or experience the existence of god. Most popular and widely read books are Avadhooti Anand, Rang Hradyam and Shree Gurulilamrut. Once requested by his follower to chant a mantra or a strotra for the relief of his wife’s discomfort/stress, he wrote DattaBavani which later became very popular and helped millions of people in relieving their discomfort/stress and achieve peace and happiness. He strongly believed in the existence of one god. According to him, god can be worshipped in different forms, may be known by different names at different places by different people. His philosophy of life and objectives of his mission can be explained by following slogans given by him.
(1) ”Guru Kare te kharu” means surrender your self totally at the feet of your guru and live as per his wish. “
Jay jay gurumaharaj guru, jay jay parabrham sadguru, Jivan dori tujne sopi nischit jagma faru”. From very earlier period of his life, he had given up all his wishes and desires and decided to carry on his life as per his guru’s wish.
To elaborate this I would like to quote the incident of his last day of paying tuition fees for college. He could not arrange for it till last day. Finally he told his friends not to worry about this. If my Guru wishes that I attend college he will make some arrangement and if he does not wish me to go to college, no arrangement will take place. To the surprise of all, suddenly an old relative came to him and returned money which was landed to them by his father in the past. For all of us, if we can make our lives free from all desires or at least have minimum desires, we can gradually achieve eternal peace or happiness.
(2) ”Shwashe shwashe Dattanam Smaratmanam” means keep chanting god (datta)’s name along with rhythmic breathing. By doing this one keeps himself away from ill or evil thoughts, which in turn leads to better, peaceful and happy life. “Manchhod de kapat hari pad bhajre, kalimal tarak, bhava bhay harak, swas swas man yehi ratre”.
(3) ”Paraspar devo bhava” means treat each other as god. To elaborate on this I would like to quote an incident of a poor and illiterate follower who innocently offered a quarter to him. Earlier in his life, Pandurang had decided not to accept money or rice from anybody and if someone offers it, he will observe fast on that day. When the poor follower offered a quarter, all other followers became angry and scolded him. The poor fellow did not understand why every one is angry at him. Finally when he realized that Pandurnag will not eat, he felt so sad and declared that he will also join Pandurang and will not eat. Pandurang saw his innocence and ragged clothes. He stopped everybody. Gave the poor fellow new clothes and said that you are totally innocent. You have done nothing wrong and just for your satisfaction I will break my rule and eat. Pandurang treated the poor fellow as a human being and showed sympathy towards him “Jena dilma dinni daaz nathi eva durijannu ahi kam nathi”, By practicing this in our day to day life, the friction and grudges between two will be reduced, one will be liberal and open in understanding other’s opinion and gradually both can achieve happiness and peace in their lives.
(4) ”Serve mankind as best as you can” During his lifetime in Nareshwar he inspired to organize surgical camps and many relief camps for victims of flood or other calamities/disaster, distributed clothes and food to poor. He also encouraged many students to go for higher education in various fields.
“Nek kamai Karle bhai isme subkuchh aai”
(5) ”Live simple life” He had very few belongings for him (practically nothing except few clothes, paduka and dand). He did not store or keep anything with him for personal use. “Wah fakiri kaun amiri, dasi tere charnome”.
By living simple life, serving mankind as best as he can, treating every one as god, chanting Datta’s name with each and every breath and living in a desire less world, he was able to achieve real happiness, eternal peace and experience the existence of God. One, who reaches this stage where he can feel the existence of god, feels real happiness and experiences real peace is known as Avadhoot and Pandurang became Rang Avadhoot.
A very learned follower of Rang Avadhoot has described the spiritual condition of Rang Avadhoot in the following shloka in Sanskrit.
Shantam, Yogindravaryam, Dwijkultilakam, Shrotrium, Bhramnishtham, Dattatrayam smarantam, Janhit niratam, Sachhidanandmagnam. Sidhdham revatastham, Nijper rahitam, Nityamattavadhootam, Santam, Nareshwarastham, Mathitkalimalam, Pandurangam Namami.
Let us take a look at the meaning of this and realize who Rang Avadhoot was?
Shantam means quiet – Undisturbed. Nothing in the universe can disturb him. He is above all.
Yogindravaryam means the top-notch among all yogis. Yogis are engaged in achieving knowledge to unite with or emerge in supreme soul or god.
Dwijkultilakam means the shining star among all dwijs. Dwij means to bourn twice. First one is natural birth and the second is when one achieves the highest knowledge to know the supreme soul or god. Dwij is one who achieves the highest knowledge to reach god.
Shrotrium means who has digested all Vedas and Upanishads and acquired complete knowledge about god.
Bhramanishtham means one who after acquiring the knowledge is totally or completely indulged in the existence of supreme soul or god and feels his existence all the time every where.
Dattatreyam smarantam janhit niratam means chanting god’s (Datta’s) name all the time for the welfare of mankind.
Sachhidananad magnam means one who is always drowned in real, true and lively happiness. This can be enjoyed only when you know or experience supreme soul or god.
Sidhdham means who has mastered the art of achieving god.
Revatastham means who has made bank of river Reva (Narmada) his home.
Nij per rahitam means who is completely free from feelings of me or mine as well as you or yours. This can be only achieved when you see god in every one.
Nityamatta means one who remains madly in love with god for ever.
Avadhoot means who has no desire for any worldly things.
Santam Nareshwarstham means a saint residing at Nareshwar.
Mathitakalimalam means one who has engaged himself constantly in overcoming the evil effects of present time (Kaliyug) like lying, stealing, violence, adultery, cheating, exploitation of others etc.
Pandurangam Namami means Oh, Pandurang I bow to you.
Thus we can see that Rang Avadhoot had experienced the existence and presence of god every where all the time.
In support of this I would like to quote his favorite shloka “Je Je sthale AA man jay maru Te Te sthale sadguru rup taru, Jya jya muku mastak hu guru he tya tya pad dwand taraj sohe.”
At this junction, I believe and dare to say that “One who sees and feels the existence of god every where is nothing but god”.
We all say that “God is almighty”. If we look thru the experiences described by hundreds of his follower, we can say without any doubt, that Rang Avadhoot is almighty and is God.
Like the guru, our beloved Bapuji/Premdada has also chosen the same path and decided to carry on his mission further and far.
He is calm, loving and very simple. With the blessings of his guru, he works long hours every day, travels long distances at home and abroad round the year and continues to inspire people to do good things for living better life. He meets men and women, young and elderly, in groups and individually. He listens to their concerns and guides every one to be a better human being. Like his guru he does not accept money. All the presents and gifts offered to him are distributed among other devotees. He does not keep anything for him. Like his guru he is constantly involved in helping poor and victims of calamities. He inspires others to distribute food, clothes and medicines to the needy. While doing this work he feels and sees god in them. We all have seen his special affection towards young kids. He loves them very dearly and wants them to live better, worthy humanly life. For this very reason he has visualized the need of translating DattaBavani, Usha Prathrna, Sayam Prarthna, Avadhooti Anand, and Shree Guru Lilamrut etc in English. He has taken up this big task and started working on it since last 3-4 years. The outcome of this is not unknown to us. Our kids started taking active part towards making their lives happy, peaceful and humanly. At the same time the English version will be helpful to the people of other cultural back ground.
Spending most of his life with his guru and practicing his philosophy thru his whole life Bapuji/Prem dada also have reached to the highest spiritual level like his guru and became Prem Avadhoot.
In words of Great Scholar late Shree Krishnashanker Shashtri “Prem Avadhoot is not different from Rang Avadhoot.” Many of us will definitely agree that indeed Prem Avadhoot is not different from Rang Avadhoot.
As per Bapuji, He does not agree with above statement. He always considers himself as a humble disciple of his master Rang Avadhoot to whom he has surrendered his life completely.
Bapuji, you are completing 75th year today. From the bottom of our hearts we all wish you Happy Birthday and pray to God to bless you for more years to come and continue your mission.
September 13, 2006
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