|Died||25 July 1963(aged 79)|
Swami Ramdas (born Vittal Rao 10 April 1884 – 25 July 1963) was an Indian saint, philosopher, philanthropist, pilgrim. Ramdas became a wandering ascetic at a young age. His story and his teachings have been presented in several different books.
Ramdas was born as Vittal Rao in Kanhangad, in northern Kerala, India on 10 April 1884, to Balakrishna Rao and Lalita Bai. Ramdas worked as a spinning master in a cotton mill, and in 1908 was married. He experienced difficulties, both in his financial pursuits and domestic life, leading him to seek relief from his circumstances. Ramdas began to chant "Ram" – a name used by Hindus to refer to an important deity. Soon afterward, his father instructed him to repeat the mantra Ram Mantra: "Sri Ram jai Ram jai jai Ram". Ramdas then added the "Om" to each repetition: "Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram," and he found the benefit at least threefold.
He became detached from the material world and embarked on a pilgrimage, thereby taking on the name Ramdas, and living on charity (though he never accepted money). His practice was to view the world as forms of Ram – and thus to see everything that might befall him as the will of Ram. His mantra practice also gradually became a round-the-clock practice. Ramdas was known for always referring to himself in the third person, which is a common spiritual practice in Hinduism.
In 1922 he met Ramana Maharshi. As a result of this, he went into his first retreat, living for 21 days in solitude in a cave in Arunachala. Upon leaving this cave he began claiming that, "All was Ram, nothing but Ram"
After continuing to live as an itinerant for many years, his devotees established Anandashram for him in Kanhangad, Kerala in 1931. The ashram worked to improve the living conditions of the local people, and continues till present day to share Ramdas’ teachings.
A list of Ramdas' well-known disciples includes Mataji Krishnabai, Swami Satchidananda, Swami Muktananda and Yogi Ramsuratkumar.
Ramdas died in 1963.
People do not know what the Name of God can do. Those who repeat it constantly alone know its power. It can purify our mind completely... The Name can take us to the summit of spiritual experience.— Swami Ramdas
Place yourself as an instrument in the hands of God who does his own work in his own way.— Swami Ramdas
Just as a flower gives out its fragrance to whomsoever approaches or uses it, so love from within us radiates towards everybody and manifests as spontaneous service.— Swami Ramdas
- page xiii in: Swami Satchidananda (1979). The Gospel of Swami Ramdas. Published for Anandashram by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. OCLC 7173794
- Susunaga Weeraperuma. "The Life of Swami Ramdas" (PDF). Retrieved 16 April 2020.
-  The Mountain Path
- Ramdas, Swami. The Essential Swami Ramdas, World Wisdom, 2005.
- The Tribune, Reflections
- The Times of India, SACRED SPACE: Caring and Sharing