"Immersed in Samadhi, he never moved out for 20 long years"
- Jankinath Kaul 'Kamal'
In the middle of the l9th century AD there lived a Brahmin named Shukdev at Chinkral Mohalla, Srinagar. The Brahmin was a Purohit and lived a pious life. Around 1852 AD (1910 Bikrami), a son was born to him. According to his horoscope, it was predicted at his birth that the baby would grow to be a great saint. Nobody could imagine at that time the great spiritual heights that Swami Ramji would attain in his life later.The boy Ramji received instruction as Purohit; in those days modem education on Western lines was in its very infancy in this country. In his youth he came in contact with Shri Lala Joo Kokru, who was well-versed in Kashmir Shaivism through reflective heredity. Since Ramji also had a spiritual bent of mind, to which heredity and environment again must have contributed, he took to the study of Shaiva philosophy under Shri Lala Joo. His intelligence and interest brought to him a clear comprehension of this school of philosophy. As the adage goes, when you deserve the desire in you gets fulfilled by itself. When you really need help, it must come.Later, Ramji met his guru, Sri Manas Ram Monga (or Maneh Kak as he was called) who was a great mystic saint of the time in Kula system of Kashmir Shaivism. He had great spiritual attainments and wanted that philosophy to spread through a line of disciples. Being a Siddha Yogi and eager to transmit the knowledge to a capable person who understood this subtle philosophy, the master found the true disciple in Ramji and transmitted Yoga to him by his divine touch.Ramji devoted himself to the practice of Yoga in right earnest. He did not undergo the formal renunciation as a Vedantin usually does. He continued with his work of Purohit in a professional course and regularly attended Yajman's houses for conducting worship and religious rites for quite some time of his early life.Naveh NaranSwami Ramji had a great devotee in Pandit Narayan Das Raina, a merchant and houseboat owner of Srinagar at that time. In fact, Shri Narayan Das was the first to introduce houseboats in Kashmir. Among Kashmiris he was, therefore, known as 'Naveh Naran'. He was a man of high ideals. His simple habits, loving nature and cheerful behavior had earned a name for him. Swami Ramji is said to have been his family priest. The family honored Swamiji and all his requirements were met with pleasure by Sri Narayan Das.Swami Ramji, with his comprehensive study of Kashmir Shaivism and severe practice of Yoga, got well established in the system. Now he wanted a secluded place. He found a congenial one at a fellow-disciple's home at Safakadal. When a flower is in full bloom, it gives out fragrance. Swami Ramji was now a Siddha Yogi. Discerning people who could recognize his worth came to him. Common people too thronged round him to invoke his blessings. This disturbed the family life of his fellow-disciple. Realizing this, Swami Ramji one evening called on his admirer and worthy Yajman, Sri Narayan Das, at Fatehkadal."Naran Joo: I want to be in seclusion. Will you provide me with a place to -live? " he told his trusted Yajman. The noble Pandit was simply pleased to welcome the sage and offered a small three-storied house, which he owned, just 300 metres from his residence. The second storey of the small house was furnished. In a few days Swami Ramji moved to this room. Here he carried out his spiritual practice (Sadhana) and taught the Shaiva-Agama (Advaita Kashmir Shaivism popularly known as Trika philosophy) to worthy disciples like Swami Mahtab Kak, Swami Vidyadhar and Swami Govind Kaul who had been his personal devotees and received inspiration and his personal guidance to rise to their full stature in their time.Scholarly ExpositionMany more devotees and admirers, mostly householders, were attracted towards him by his scholarly expositions of the Agama and Yogic wonders. He was the greatest Yogi of his time in Kashmir. His mere look or touch was bound to make a person a changed one. He wielded a wonderful Shaktipata. Even Maharaja Pratap Singh, the then ruler of Kashmir and a discerning devotee, is said to have approached him for blessings. In his later years Swami Ramji is said to have sat, with knees to his breast, at his Asana (seat) and did not move out for 20 long years. Here the saint-philosopher imparted Yogic instructions to deserving disciples and delivered discourses on Trika philosophy for hours together to his listeners who were spell-bound to see him immersed in undisturbed Samadhi.(To enlighten his own disciples he (Swami Ramji) openly displayed, even while in body, his own Shaivahood, by remaining in Samadhi continuously for four hours daily).Stories about his Siddhis are still current in the valley The separate house where Swami Ramji lived is now the famous Shri Rama-Trika- Shaivashrama. Devotees and admirers are heard chanting devotional hymns and recitations from Shaiv-Agamas up to this time.ShaivashramaShri Narayan Das and his wife, Srimati Arnyamali, were greatly devoted to Swami Ramji, who from the* family priest had now evolved to be their spiritual Guru. They had been serving him and looking to all his needs and convenience with great love and devotion. On May 9, 1907 (about 1964 Bikrami), the couple was blessed with a son. When the news of the birth of this baby was instantly conveyed to Swami Ramji, it is reported that he got up to dance and uttered:"I am Rama and the child be named Lakshmana."(Even in his old age, Swami Ramji lost his body- consciousness out of divine joy at the auspicious birth of my Master (Shri Lakshman Joo), singing 'I am Rama and he (the new born) be named Lakshman' and danced in joy).Divine BeingHe believed that a divine being had taken birth in the form of the child. Truly so, the child, who was named Lakshman, showed signs of abnormality as he grew up. Swami Ramji encouraged the anxious parents and conferred blessings on this divine child. He had recognized divine features in the child who would often go into fits. Once when the parents approached Swami Ramji to express their anxiety about the child he sent them back with a remark."..What happens to him, may be graced unto me." Thus the child, Lakshman, entered boyhood under the spiritual care of this great sage, who later initiated him into Gayatri Mantra, Pranayama and certain Yogic practices.(There lived the renowned saint, his Holiness Swami Ramji, the Shaiva teacher of my Master - Swami Lakshman Joo).Knowing that he would not be in the mortal coil L till the divine boy attained maturity, the sage L entrusted his future initiation into the-Shaiva order to his chief disciple, Swami Mahtab Kak.Entrusting his craving disciples and the seven- year old Shri Lakshmana to the charge of Swami Mehtab Kak, his principal disciple, he (Swami Ramji) entered the real abode of Shiva by giving up his body).After a few years, Swami Ramji left the body in 1915 AD (1971 Bikrami Magha Krishnapaksha Chaturdashi) to merge in the Divine Universal Self of which he had been an embodiment.Divine RaptureSwami Ramji was sometimes heard by his close disciples uttering in divine rapture his experiences of Supreme-Consciousness and here is given a verse (Shloka) from his pen:(On accepting the Truth from the mouth of the Master, whose word is the sacred text, all my ignorance got dispelled. The mind (Chitta) dived deep in the ocean of consciousness eager to taste the loving nectar of equality. The web of thought calmed down in the state of unqualified meditation. Thus theÂ Supreme-Consciousness inexpressible is revealed to me in its perfectness.)Source: Koshur Samachar