Shri Ramananda Swami Avadhuta
सदा रामध्यानाय गुरूवर्याय नमो नमः ।।
Sadguru Shri Ramananda Swami Avadhuta (formerly Ramachandra Hegde) is one of the living disciples of Sadguru Shri Shridhara Swamiji. He was born to Shri Narayana Hegde and Shrimati Lakshmi Hegde in Thattikai village of North Kanara district of Karnataka. He was born on the auspicious Ratha Saptami day, 7th day of the Shukla Paksha of the Magha month in the Shukla “samvatsar” of the Hindu calendar(1930 CE). He was the elder of the two sons to his parents. Right from the time when he was a baby, Ramachandra would be mesmerized in listening to mythological stories in the lap of his dad who himself was always immersed in godly thoughts. At a very early age Ramachandra lost his mother and brother, Kamalakar, to chicken pox. Even he and his father were also inflicted severely by the disease but were rescued by his grandmother at the last moment. Ramachandra had his early education(1st to 4th standard) at the elementary school at Sarkuli. Even at that age, more than the text books, Ramachandra was interested in reading the Bhagavad Gita, Yogavasishtha etc. and in enacting and pretend-playing roles from Yakshagana, Bhajans and Kirtanas. He completed his 5th and 6th standard at the Kalkuni school. After his thread ceremony when he was 12, Ramachandra learnt all the Mantras of Sandhyavandana and Devapooja with lots of concentration and devotion. The thread ceremony awoke his latent thirst for the Vedic knowledge. So he started the study of the Vedas at Shigehalli where he was studying 6th standard education. Growing under the guidance and influence of his father, he was an embodiment of perfect behavior. His father Narayan Hegde had already taken towards adhyatmik life. The people who used to come to listen to the “Satsangas” of Narayan Hegde used to call him “Gurunath” and they used to observe the interest Ramachandra used to show in the discourses and they used to call him “Ramanath”. In the meanwhile father Narayana Hegde decided to completely turn to ascetic life, he left home and met Sadguru Shri Shridhara Swamiji and soon became known as Shri Sahajananda Swami Avadhuta because he had decided to become a “Digambara”. On Sadguru Shri Shridhara Swamiji’s instructions, he came to Kolagibees in Sirsi Taluk, Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka and established a temple and mutt and became well known as the Avadhuta of Kolagibees and blessed innumerable devotees who visited and followed him. Following his father’s footsteps, Ramanath now fully focused his mind on the study of the Veda Mantras, practicing the vedic life and deep thinking of “Adhyatma”. At the age of 16 Ramanath lived in for some time at Nelemavu, Shigehalli and then at Gokarna and so on. This was the time when Ramanath met Sadguru Shri Shridhara Swamiji. At the age of 22, Shri Sahajananda Avadhuta Swamiji gave Sanyasa Diksha to Ramanath on the Amavasya day of Magha month of Khara Samvatsara and Ramachandra became Sadguru Shri Ramananda Swami Avadhuta. Shri Ramananda Swamiji visited a number of Tirtha Kshetras all over India, along with Sadguru Shri Shridhara Swamiji. Then, Shri Ramananda Swamiji lived in a cave near Gokarna and did his tapasya. Once daily, he used to visit the Mahabaleshwar temple and worship the Maruthi in a pillar there. Based on the instructions of Devi Kannika Parameshwari, leaders from the village of Divagi, near Kumta, came requesting him to come over to Divagi for the betterment of the village. Swamiji would not agree and the devotees had to take the help of Sadguru Shri Shridhara Swamiji. Once Sadguru Shri Shridhara Swamiji asked him to go, he came over to Divagi. When Shri Sahajananda Avadhuta Swamiji attained Moksha, Shri Ramananda Swamiji had to go over to run the Ashram in Kolagibees. Soon he left Kolagibees and came back to Divagi. Then Sadguru Shri Shridhara Swamiji called him over to Varadapura and guided him in taking care of the devotees and in Sanyasa Dharma for over a year. Once Sadguru Shri Shridhara Swamiji attained Moksha, on the request of village leaders of Divagi, Swamiji had to come back to Divagi for the betterment of the village. In Divagi, inspired by a dream, one of the devotees donated land next to the Mallikarjuna temple. There, an Ashram was built and Sadguru Shri Shridhara Swamiji’s Padukas were kept in the altars. Around the year 1973, “Veera Maruthi Mandir” was established there when a devotee brought the idol that he had got while building a bridge in Baggona. Swamiji started a tradition of various poojas, havans and parayans. The Ashram grew stage by stage as more and more devotees started to come and many of them donated their lands and regularly volunteered to build and run the Ashram. Even to this date, on every full moon day, Satyanarayan Vrat, Gana Havan and Sundarkand Parayan are done at the Maruthi Mandir. Swamiji continues to bless the devotees who come from far and wide without regards to their caste or creed or wealth. Innumerable devotees have had miraculous health recoveries and their worldly problems solved after they were blessed by Swamiji. Thus without too much of publicity and fanfare, the following of Swamiji and Divagi Ashram has grown leaps and bounds over the years and Swamiji is like the living god to the thousands of devotees who visit the Ashram regularly.
Jai Jai Raghuveer Samarth!!!