About Sri Jalaram Bapa - A Brief Note

Bhakta's full name was Jalaram Pradhan Thakkar. He was born in in Samvant 1856 (A.D. 1800) town of Virpur near Rajkot, Gujarat, India.

His father's name was Pradhan Thakkar, mother was Rajbai Thakkar. Pradhan Thakkar and Valji Thakkar were two brothers actively and honestly engaged in business earning their livelihood. It is said that Rajbai was a religious lady who was very inclined to serve sadhus' and sants'. A mother of three sons and three daughters, she was content in her family life and used to find free time to do her religious duties to sadhus' and sants'.

Once she was told by saint Raghuvirdasji, that her second son Jalaram would be a famous advocate of duty and become a preacher of love and peace. Jalaram got his early education from his mother. From her he learnt respect, patience, self respect, duty, and grace. There was a remarkable incident in early life of this saint person, when he was a child, a saint came to the house and requested to see Jalaram; when they came face to face with each other, Jalaram at once greeted the saint with respectful "Namaskar" and it appeared that Jalaram had recollected his previous life, he realized who he was, he was reminded of his goal in life. It is argued that this visiting saint was probably a heavenly messenger. From that day onwards the young Jalaram never stopped chanting "Sita Ram" and he began to live life in a different way and wanted to devote his life to God.

Bhagat Jalaram got married when he was only sixteen to Virbai. Virbai was the daughter of Thakar Pragji Somaiya. Although Jalaram was reluctant, Virbai proved to be an asset to Jalaram in his work. Virbai always helped Jalaram and supported and encouraged him. Without Virbai's support Jalaram would have found many difficulties in his path.

In the beginning Jalaram worked with his father in the business, and then he joined his uncle's business but was criticized by both for his extreme generosity to sadhus and to the poor. He desired to devote himself to God without the ties of the family. Therefore he set out on a pilgrimage with his wife.

At the age of 18 he accepted Bhojalram, Jalaram along with his guru had started 'Sadavrat' a place where all people, sadhus and poor could go for food anytime and nobody was let out without food. Later Jalaram and his wife worked in fields to grow their own grain.

He was 20 years when his saintliness acquired a great fame. There are stories of how he was put to tests for his qualities of patience, endurance and love towards others. He was stead fast in his thinking. He did not change under any pressure. He came out of all those tests successfully. His fame spread and he was regarded and accepted as a saint. People started worshipping him. They came to him for guidance in difficulties, for blessings in real distress and discomfort. It is said that once he was called out to see an ailing child struck with serious disease. Parents of this child believed that the cure was solely due to Jalaram Bapa's blessings. Jalaram was since called Allah. In another instance a person who was threatened to be imprisoned went to Jalaram for his blessings. This man was not only saved from such imprisonment but he decided to lead a normal honest life then onwards. Jalaram was then onwards addressed as Bapa - Father of all. There are numerous such instances that can be quoted from his books but fact is that his feeding place was open and is still open today in Virpur where people go and are fed. People go to Jalaram Bapa's places for prayers to him and seek his blessings for their personal grief's, shortcomings and failures and many acquire relief and satisfaction.

Jalaram bapa and Virbai then opened a charity house and used the grain to provide food for passing pilgrims. At times when the grain ran out Virbai was willingly ready to give away her jewellery which she had received at the time of her marriage.

It is said that once Lord Rama dressed as an old man in the guise of a sadhu came before Jalaram bapa. Jalaram invited him in for a meal. The old man complained that he was old and informed that he needed someone to look after him. Jalaram sent his wife along the old man. She went willingly. The pair of travelers eventually came near 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 Jalaram bapa at his home, saying that it was Lord Rama himself who had came to see if he was as good as the people said. He had proved he was sincere and could now fetch his wife. The stick and the bag are still on display at Jalaram bapa ashram in Virpur.

People believe that food given by Jalaram bapa to the sadhus and other pilgrims will reach the doors of heaven. For that reason even today the Jalaram bapa 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. Not only the ashram of Virpur but all the Dhams of Jalaram bapa are blessed by Himself that thousands of people take their food in these Dhams.

Jalaram bapa's life he devoted to the charity and duty towards human being and praying. In 1934 during terrible famine Jalaram Bapa worked very hard to feed those who were suffering. In 1935 Virbaima died and 1937 Jalaram Bapa died while in prayers.

Jai Jalaram!
*Content courtesy: Different Sri Jalaram web sites


Family Tree