પિતા જ ધર્મ છે, પિતા જ સ્વર્ગ છે, પિતા જ પરમ તપ છે, પિતૃભક્તિ સર્વે ભક્તિમાં શ્રેષ્ઠ છે. પિતૃભક્તિ સર્વે દેવતાઓને પણ પ્રિય છે. શાસ્ત્ર માં કહેવાયેલા આ વાક્યો નો અર્થ અમારા જીવનનો મર્મ છે. સ્વર્ગની પ્રાપ્તિ ધર્મથી થાય છે, તપથી થાય છે. પરંતુ અમારા માટે અમારી પિતૃભક્તિ જ સર્વે ભક્તિમાં શ્રેષ્ઠ છે.
Biography of Ranchhoddasji Bapu
Shri Ranchoddasji Maharaj,“Gurudev”
Param Pujya Shri Ranchoddasji Maharaj, lovingly called “Gurudev” by his followers was an ardent devotee of Lord Rama as a young boy. Born into the royal priest family of the erstwhile Kingdom of Gwalior, his birth year is estimated as the Shukla Sathurthi (Kartik) in 1513 AD. His birthplace was a small village in Amravati District in Maharashtra considered his ancestral village. Gurudev was named Ramrao by his parents and had a divine inclination to Lord Rama right from his infancy. As a young boy he joined the hermitage of Shri Balkrishnadasji of the Ramanand sect who kept him under his tutelage and initiated him into Virakt Diksha (a high level of ascetic renunciation). He was thus named Ranchoddas after his renunciation.
As Shri Ranchoddasji Maharaj, he traversed the country, across villages, cities, mountains and temples by foot in search of truth and self-realisation. Gurudev spent many years meditating and spreading his teachings. His life became an example of righteousness and of selfless service to the needy. Lakhs of followers gathered to hear Gurudev’s discourses and teachings wherever he went. Gurudev led many who were lost in the mayhem of vices back to the right path of simple and honest living.
Gurudev’s principles and ideology have continued to be a pillar of strength for the distressed and deprived. He taught that there was no greater a religion than service to humanity. To further his spiritual convictions, Shri Ranchoddasji Maharaj along with his followers spearheaded the movement of voluntary service in the early 1950s by organizing free eye camps. This stepped up into large-scale relief work for the grief-stricken families during the natural calamities of 1960s in Central India. To provide a continuum to these welfare services in the remote and backward region of what is today called Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, the work initiated by Gurudev was formalized into the Shri Sadguru Seva Sangh Trust in 1968. The name of the Trust amalgamated the core principle of ‘seva’ (selfless service) and the ideal of righteousness as taught by Gurudev. SSST has since then endeavoured to follow these principles through each of its welfare projects.
Thousands of followers visit the Sadguru Seva Sangh Trust annually from across the world to render volunteer service to the cause and ideology inspired by Shri Ranchoddasji Maharaj. Though Gurudev left for His heavenly abode in 1970, His endearing soul and timeless teachings of ‘mutual respect, equality, selfless service and life of dignity for all’ continue to guide the work of the Trust and provide the value framework on which the Trust stands strong.
PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE
Shri Ranchoddasji Maharaj,“Gurudev” The voluntary movement of selfless service initiated by Shri Ranchoddasji Maharaj crystallized into one of the biggest institutes in Central India, the Shri Sadguru Seva Sangh Trust. SSST draws its value framework from the ideology of Gurudev, which has continued to inspire and guide the Trust’s work. The following ‘pearls of wisdom’ recapture the main ideals of Gurudev’s philosophy:
The ultimate aim of all mankind is to be happy and to live a harmonious and peaceful life.
Life is not for pursuing selfishness and sensualities, it is for experiencing joy by reigning in the senses and rising above selfishness, self-delusion and attachments.
No one’s greed, craving and lust have been satisfied until now, nor will yours ever be.
Bear an ever kind heart, keep the senses under firm control and earn through just and righteous means.
Love your family wholeheartedly and be faithful to them.
Do charity and selfless service commiserating with your body, mind and resources.
Apportion a part of your life in 'Parmartha' (doing good to others) with a high sense of duty.
Make your life an instrument of peace that harms no being or creature.
The immutable law of cause and effect applies to all. It means one reaps what one sows.
To be happy, distribute a portion of your happiness amongst others. There is no other way except to develop large-heartedness and forgiveness.
This human life is a waste if one does not conduct himself well and does not help others.
It is because of God's grace that you are able to perform good acts. You are but an instrument. Understand it well and surrender yourself to God.
The Trust was formed with the objective of welfare and selfless service to the needy and distressed. The initial activities and projects of the Trust were need-driven. The need for healthcare within the community prompted SSST to begin its welfare activities in preventive and curative healthcare. Gradually, with each passing year, the existing activities became consolidated and new projects were added in community development. Today, the Trust runs diversified projects under its social development facets of: