SANT SHRI MORARI BAPUJI
In the year 1946 on September 25, on the holy land of India in the state of Gujarat, village Talgajarda near Mahuva, Morari Bapu was born. His father Prabhudas Bapu Haryani and mother Savitri Ben Hariyani and his family included six brothers and two sisters. Morari Bapu began learning the Ramayana from his grandfather Tribhovandasji, his grandfather was a devotee of Sri Ram and made Morari Bapu to memorize five verses of the Ramacharitamanas every day after coming from school. Not only did his grandfather made him to memorize it but also explained him the meaning of the verses through out the day. His Grandmother Amrita Ma use to tell him various Mythological stories and folk tales of traditional India. Morari Bapu’s grandparents were the guiding force behind his upbringing and the people who influenced his mind the most in his early childhood period. From the very beginning Morari bapu showed the signs of brilliancy and deep knowledge of Spirituality. The study of the Ramcharitamanas would take place today which is known as Chitrakut Dham in Talgajarda and has become a place of pilgrimage for thousands of people. Morari Bapu’s teachers at school remember him as an introvert child who was intelligent, a quick learner and had great wisdom. He was rooted to cultural and traditional values.
While passing through the 2km journey from school to home reciting the Ramcharitmans to the trees, plants nearby. Morari Bapu recollecting those times says that singing them with whole heart made him understand the depths of the Ramcharitmanas. Even now Morari Bapu walks the path where a proper road is built. He joins with the village folk talks with them about the issues concerning the village. At a young age, Bapu was also encouraged through letters from his paternal grandfather’s brother, Mahamandleshwar Vishnudevanand Giriji Maharaj, an ascetic of the Kailas Ashram in Rishikesh, to be proficient in the Bhagvat Gita and the Vedas.
At the age of 12 Morari Bapu could recite the Ramcharitmans by heart with a lot of devotion. Morari Bapu made a small platform out of mud and placed a portrait of Lord Ram and began to recite the Ramcharitmans to few villagers who had come to quench their thirst in the evening. The shrine today is commemorated in Talgajarda with a temple of Hanumanji Maharaj and named Ram Vaadi.
After that many elders from the Village would not only listen to devotional verses but also question him and test him about his knowledge of the meaning and the depth the words carried. Every time Morari Bapu would surprise them and stunned them with his deep insight about the meaning and easily make their heart mind understand the true essence of the verses. Elders in the village were surprised that a young boy of his age had so much Spiritual knowledge. After his Secondary school completed Morari Bapu did teachers training course at Shahapur College in Junagarh. Morari Bapu would continuously be in his bhakti which gave him peace, happiness everything. He loved to read scriptures Vedas and increase his knowledge about ancient spiritual Philosophy. He also started to sing Ramcharitmanas with music.
After completing the course Morari Bapu became a teacher at the J.Parekh High School teaching various subjects including English. Morari Bapu worked as teacher for 10 years and in the course met some of India's most revered spiritual leaders, among them are Vinobha Bhave, Dongreji Maharaj, Punit Maharaj and Krishna Murti. Then his interest in poetry and Indian Literature grew.
Morari bapu’s heart was filled with divinity and purity and the quest for reading out Ram katha was immense. He would sit in the Ram Vadi in Talgajarda singing the Ramcharitamanas and interpreting their meanings to the villagers. Bapu's extraordinary command and oratory style quickly gathered huge crowds and the first ever Ramcharitamanas Maas Parayan ( a month long discourse on the Ram Charit Maanas) was organized at the Ram Temple in Talgajarda in the Chaitra Month of 1960. Huge crowds gathered and filled the whole temple area in a glimpse to see Morari Bapu and hear the Ram katha which was loved by all. The whole atmosphere filled with divine fragrance and purified the soul. Subsequently led to a number of month long discourses. The first Navaan Parayan (nine day discourse) was held in Gaandilaa in Gujarat in the presence of Pujya Ramfardasji Maharaj (a respected and revered saint from Gujarat) in May 1966.
This was just the beginning of a reawakening of large numbers, in particular, of young men and women listening to Ram Katha When he was merely 30 he went to Kenya, Nairobi on the year 1976 and gave his first ever recital outside India. Many Indians who lived outside India got a chance to relive the values they attached from long and feel the fragrance of Indian culture value system and Ram Katha by Morari Bapu brought divinity. The pride for ones religion and the tolerance of other faiths is what came out.
Morari Bapu has been giving 9 day-long sermons (kathas) in both Gujarati and Hindi all over the world since the mid-1970's. To date, he has conducted over 600 kathas, most of them based on the Ramcharitmanas of Tulsidas and other such works about Rama as well as Gopigeet which has the gopis of Vrindavan singing of the glory of Krishna.
From 9th August to 19th August 1997, Pujya Bapu recited from the Ram Charit Manas in the most sacred of abodes at Mansarovar "Lake of the Mind" at the foot of Mount Kailas in the Himalayas.
Shree Sitaram Seva Trust (UK) under the auspices of Hanumanji Maharaj was graced with organizing the Setubandh Ram Katha on board the Cunard Princess, a Mediterranean flagship, to enable the sea world with the opportunity to listen to a Ram Katha. This benevolent Katha was to mark the beginning of Pujya Bapu's long-standing inner wish for peace in the universe. In 1992, an International katha was staged in New York to mark Bapu's thirty years of recitations with a variety of exhibitions and partaking events. This was followed by Pujya Bapu circumambulating (Parikramaa) the United Nations Building in New York and The White House in Washington praying for World Peace. In July 1994 Pujya Bapu's "Sambhav" Ram Katha brought religious leaders from various faiths on one platform in London and the entire Katha was televised live on satellite T.V.
In 1994, a Parikrama (circumambulation) of the world with the Ram Charit Maanas on the "Pushpak Ram Katha" was organized by the Shree Sadguru Seva Foundation USA For the very first time a Ram Katha with 250 people on board a specially refitted plane was recited at the height of 37,000 feet in different time zones crossing international boundaries, during the day or night and overwhelming all aviation and immigration regulations. The Pushpak (Plane) took off from New York with overnight stops in Los Angeles (USA), Honolulu (stopover), Nadi (Fiji), Auckland (New Zealand), Singapore, Mumbai (India), Nairobi (Kenya), London (England), and Toronto (Canada).
Morari Bapu loves to be among the common man, he listen to their problem, discusses and shows them the right path they should follow. He helps through his preaching’s to devoid harshness and accepts purity peace with positive outlook. Following the Dharma and doing the Karma with a pure heart, mind & soul. Morari Bapu is an inspiration to the people be it any caste, creed, gender or race. Be it rich or poor Morari Bapu enlightens the soul with his katha, his pravachans and preaching’s brings the feeling that God resides in every human being. He shows a way of uniting not just one nation, but the whole of human race, while, at the same time preserving their individual fragrances.
Morari Bapu with his extraordinary vision and insight, divine love and actions makes the essence of Bhakti, worship & life principle understood so easily by his Kathas and words. Morari Bapu with his divinity erases the sorrow and brings a peaceful aura around and among the many that come to listen to him. Without words as well by his mere presence many people have felt the divinity touching them and taking away the sorrow they carried in their heart.
In Bapu’s words, the summary of righteousness (dharma) is threefold: truth (satya), love (prem) and compassion (karuna). Bapu believes in flowing traditions (pravahi parampara) that evolve with the times.
Morari Bapu says his Ram Katha is nothing but prem yagna where people gather in the name of love and expressly calls out to humanity for love and respect for each other. In his own way Morari Bapu had made a huge impact in bringing unity in the heart of the people not only of this nation but the world at large.