NASHIK: On the occasion of ‘Das Navami’ or the death anniversary of Samarth Ramdas Swami on Monday, his followers met for an annual gathering at the city’s Takli area.

Samarth Ramdas Swami, a prominent saint belonging to the 17th century, had stayed in Takali for 12 years and wrote entire the ‘Valmiki Ramanaya’ in Sanskrit. Devotees paid tribute to him at the Gomaya Maruti temple, which he had established in 1632.

This was the first Das Navami occasion since the digitised copy of Valmiki Ramayana, in the saint’s handwriting was made available in the temple for the devotees. Hundreds visited the special reading room which is equipped with a computer to take a look at the digitised document.

“It was fascinating to see the handwriting of Samarth Ramdas Swami. We are feeling blessed as the manuscripts written by him are now available in digitised form,” said Shrikant Pathak, a devotee.

The original copy of the manuscript was preserved at the Vagdevata temple in Dhule all these years. Temple authorities have been digitising the manuscript for the last 2 years. The first digitised copy was donated to the Takli temple in December last year.

“Takali temple is looking forward to print the photocopies of the digitised ‘Ramayana’ and made it available for the common people and researchers for study. During this year’s Das Navami event, hundreds of devotees had a first look at the digitized copy,” said Sudhir Shirwadkar, a trustee of Takli temple.

The annual celebrations also included musical events, devotional lectures and a feast. “Well-known singer Charudatta Dixit and his group sang devotional songs, while singer Vijaya Bhad and her group as well as Mrunal Joshi presented musical events on Monday. Young artist Rutuja Nashikkar presented a kirtan on Samarth Ramdas Swami’s life, while S K Kulkarni and Pramod Datta Kene delivered lectures on the saint’s philosophy and thoughts,” Shirwadkar said.

According to the historical references, Samarth Ramdas resided in Takali between 1621 and 1633 and performed 12 years of penance. The saint wrote the Valmiki Ramayana in Sanskrit during this stay.

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