CALL OF THE DEVOTEE: This book picks up the thread of narrative of Swami Ramdas' travels from In the Vision of God and covers his travels in India in 1936, 1937, 1938 and 1949, each tour undertaken in response to the call of the devotees. Available in English and Telugu.
Swami Ramdas (1884-1963) is one of the rarest flowers of Indian spirituality. His picturesque and chequered earlier life, his enterprising and reckless later life of Nivritti and his sublime and joyous state afterwards, are all proofs positive of the declarations of the great scriptures like the Upanishads and the Gita.
After receiving initiation of the Ram mantra from his father, Vittal Rao (as he was known then), renounced the worldly life at the age of 38 and wandered as a mendicant Sadhu from far South to the Himalayas with God as his only refuge and guide. Having attained God-realization, Swami Ramdas (endearingly called by devotees as Papa) shared his universal vision with everyone around.
One may ask why the present book goes by the name "Call of the Devotee". The name just fits in for the tour of 1936, occasioned by the call of Pestonji Pirojsha of Bombay, who was so eager to see Ramdas, but was unable to come to the Ashram owing to illness. Then, again, the second and third tours became possible by the ardent request of the devotees of Sholapur, Bombay, Karachi, UP, Bengal, Kashmir and other places. The 1949 tour was the result of a pathetic call of the ailing prince Pratapsinh of Limbdi who had come to Bangalore for a change. Until Ramdas left Anandashram on these tours, he had hardly any idea about leaving the Ashram. He used to say that God did not will that he should move out of the Ashram. These calls came to him almost suddenly, without any previous notice. Ramdas could not resist them; he had simply to bow to the will of God, who commanded him to respond immediately.
The devotee's call is as good as God's call. In Ramdas' divinized and all-comprehensive vision, God and His devotee are one. It is God who controls Ramdas' life. Every little or great action of his is actuated by God, who dwells within him and everywhere.
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