Swami Rama Tirtha
A commemorative postage stamp on Swami Ram, an Indian Hindu teacher of Vedanta philosophy :
Issued on Nov 11, 1966
Issued for : The P. & T. Department feels privileged to bring out a special stamp in honour of this great son of India on Dipavali day, the 11th November, 1966.
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Turquoise Blue
Denomination : 15 Paisa
Overall Size : 2.90 X 2.90 cms.
Printing Size : 2.54 X 2.54 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Watermark : Printed on unwatermarked paper
Number Printed : 15,00,000
Number per issue sheet : 112
Printing Process : Photogravure
Designed and Printed at : India Security Press
Name : Ram Tirtha
Born on Oct 22, 1873 at Murariwala, Gujranwala, British India [now in Pakistan]
Died on Oct 17, 1906 at Tehri, Uttarakhand, India
- “The garden of the world has nothing but roses;
Give up thy hallucination, the only thorn;”
- “Pain and unhappiness are your creations;
No such things otherwise exist;”
- “The only reality is the delusion of seeing anything else as real.”
- These are a few of the sublime thoughts of Swami Rama Tirtha which are the quintessence of his teachings of the philosophy of Vedanta a “Practical way of life” which he has left as his richest legacy to posterity. They epitomise his noble idealism, practical sagacity and wisdom. A great social reformer, religious savant and poet, Rama Tirtha, as was his earlier name, was born at Murariwala, a village in Gujranwala district of undivided India on the 22nd October, 1873. He received his High School education at Gujranwala after which he joined the Forman Christian College, Lahore. He showed uncommon precocity and diligence at an early age. As a student he was devoted to the study of mathematics. Soon after passing his M.A. examination he refused nomination to the Provincial Executive Service. He declined the offer by saying “I have not toiled so much for selling my harvest, but for distributing it. I would prefer being a teacher to being an executive officer.“
- In 1896 he joined as Professor of Mathematics in the Forman Christian College. His intellectual life did not, however, interfere with his keen sense of spirituality which became more and more manifest as the years rolled by. As soon as he received his salary or any other remuneration from the University he distributed it among the needy. He began with charity and later developed intense ‘Bhakti‘. His next phase of life was that of a vedantist under the inspiration of the Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Dwarka Matha. He started devoting himself to self-contemplation, prayer and solitude.
- The visit of Swami Vivekananda to Lahore in November 1897 was the turning point in his life. The sight of Vivekanand as a Sanyasi kindled in him a longing to lead a life of renunciation and self-abnegation. He was already prepared for this by his life of non-attachment and generosity. He retired to the wildest regions of the Himalayas for divine contemplation and communion with nature and finally attained ‘Enlightenment‘ on the banks of the holy Ganga at Rishikesh. Then followed a period of intense activity as a preacher and he spread his thoughts and ideas far and wide. As a preacher he held spell-bound vast audiences and was acclaimed as a great savant not only in India but also in Japan and America. Everywhere his lectures received great appreciation as they bore the impress of an original mind and a direct vision of truth. His words had an unusual charm because they conveyed the appeal of universal truth which was not limited by national frontiers, space or time. He worked for more than two years as the spiritual ambassador of our country carrying to the distant corners of the globe the message of India.
- Such a life, so eventful, so disinterested, was, however, cut short at the early age of 33 years. Swami Rama Tirtha left his mortal frame on the 17th October, 1906. An apostle of the life of the spirit, he was the messenger of joy and brought peace and happiness to all humanity. He had come not with a sword to cleave humanity, nor with fire to scorch but with sweet nectar that makes life eternal. Swami Rama Tirtha wrote in prose and poetry. His lectures have been collected and published in eight volumes under the title “In Woods of God – realisation“. He has left a rich collection of parables, poetry and aphorisms. His aphorisms are thoughts beautifully crystallized and are symbolic of the treasures of his mind. They were jotted in his note books in the privacy of his forest retreat. A few of them selected at random give an insight to the great versatility of his mind, his high sense of practical idealism and are expressions of great wisdom, each condensing within itself a whole volume of thought :
- “True religion is not belief in a God, but is a complete trust in the good in man.“
- “To win all we must give all.“
- “As you think so you become.“
- “Men are not influenced by things but by their thoughts about things.“
- “Asking for the things absent means ungratefulness for the blessings which you already enjoy.“