Shree Jalaram Bapa

Full name: Jalaram Pradhan Thakar

Birth: Jalarambapa was born in the town of Virpur near Rajkot, Gujarat State on 14th November 1799

Education: Early education was from his mother Rajbai Thakkar who was very religious and was told by Saint Raghuvirdasji , who greatly admired her piety, that her second son (Jalaram) would be a famous advocate of duty, devotion and good deeds. From Rajbai he learn respect, patience, self-sacrifice , duty and grace. When he was very young a visit from a saint was recognized as from a previous life and young Jalaram was divinely inspired and began to constantly chant 'Sita Ram' and to devote his life to God.

Marriage: This took place when Jalaram was sixteen and to Virbai, daughter of Thakker Pragji Somaija. Although Jalaram was reluctant, Virbai proved to be an asset to Jalaram in his work among the poor and without her support, encouragement and hard work Jalaram would have found many more difficulties in his path.

Achievements: Jalaram worked first for his father's and later his uncle's business but was criticized by both for his extreme generosity to Sadhus and to the poor. Jalaram's desire was to devote himself to God without the ties of family , business or material possessions. With the approval of his family he therefore set out on a holy pilgrimage with his wife. When he was eighteen had accepted Bhojalaram as his Guru he started 'Sadavrat' a place where Sadhus and the poor could go for food at any time. No-one was ever turned away without food.

Later Jalarambapa and his wife Virbai worked in the fields neighboring Virpur to grow their own grain. Rather than sell the grain they harvest for monetary gain, Jalarambapa and Virbai opened a charity house and used the grain to provide food for passing pilgrims.

Virbai was devoted as Jalarambapa to the work of God. When the grain that they grown ran out Virgai was happy to give up the gold jewelery that she had received from her parents at the time of her marriage in order to provide food to visitors to the ashram.

One day, Lord Rama dressed as an old man in the guise of a sadhu appeared before Jalarambapa. Jalarambapa invited him in for a meal. The old man complained that he was old and infirm and he need someone to look after him. Jalarambapa therefore sent his wife with the old man on his journey. She went willingly. The pair of travelers eventually came to a river . The old man gave Virbai his stick and a bag to hold. He then disappeared. At the same time a voice came to Jalarambapa at his home, saying that it was Lord Rama himself who had came to see if he was a good as people has said. He had proved that he was and could now fetch his wife. The stick and the bag are still on display at Jalarambapa Ashram in Virpur.

Many people believe that food given by Jalarambapa to the sadhu's and other pilgrims will reach the doors of heaven.

For that reason , even today the Jalarambapa Ashram in Virpur continues to deed thousands of pilgrims at a time, and the kitchen never runs out of food, no matter how many people are there!

Death: On February 23, 1881 while praying



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