Shri Avantinath Dave, the grandson of Shri Revashankar Dave (who had come in contact with Swami Vivekananda) here describes what he had heard from his grandfather about Swami Vivekananda.

When Swami Vivekananda visited Shri Shanker Pandurang Pandit as a guest in Porbandar, Acharyaji was a student. He was studying with the Panditji’s sons and that is how he came in contact with Swamiji.

Swamiji requested Shastriji Shri Harihar to send four students from the Government school who could recite the four Vedas to the Bhojeshwar bungalow where he was staying. Acharyaji was chosen to recite the Yajurveda everyday in the morning for about an hour.

The students used to discuss many religion related issues. One of them asked why we do Tulsi Vivah. Swamiji explained that the Shaligram stands for Vishnu. It is inert. Tulsi is a plant. It is alive. It is a symbol of their union; the union of animate with inanimate.

Another student asked-of all the birds and animals, why does the cock crow the earliest? Swamiji explained that of all the birds, only the cock and the peacock have a ‘Kalgi’. The cock is totally male and his kalgi is very sensitive skin. So the cool air of sunrise affects it first and it awakens before anyone else.

I had asked my grandfather that when you recited the Yajurveda, what was Swamiji’s emotional reaction? He said that they sat on four wooden seats without any cushions or carpets. First they did ‘dandavat’ to Swamiji and then sat on their asanas. After the recital, Swamiji used to feed us milk lovingly.

Swamiji asked the Mahant of Shingada, who was a student there, to recite the ‘kandikas’ of the Rigveda. He would then listen to them with his eyes closed, in a Samadhi like state. After that, it was my turn to recite from the Yajurveda. Then turn by turn, he would listen to the Samveda and Atharvaveda. This continued for many days.

Once a student was absent for a few days. When he returned, Swamiji asked him the reason for his absence. The student replied that he had been ill with ‘karela’. Swamiji laughed and corrected him- ‘You had Cholera, not Karela!’

In his way, Swamiji kept the jnana-ganga flowing as long as he stayed in Porbandar.

Raj Acharya Shri Revashankar Anoopram Dave

Raj Acharya Shri Revashankar Anoopram was born on 9-12-1875 in Porbandar. His mother passed away when he was only one and a half year old. His father passed away when he was 13 years old. So, the total responsibility of bringing him up was on his uncle (his father’s brother) named Lajjaram Jaishankar Dave.

He did his Primary education in Porbandar Taluka School and government school. He studied grammar and literature from Pujya Shastriji Harihar Kalidas. At that time, the Government school was situated near Shri Sudamaji’s temple. There is a temple on the bend of the road named Shri Ramjharokha temple. Temple’s first floor was reserved exclusively to teach Sanskrit.

He got his Vedic education from his uncle Lajjaram Dave and Nagar Brahmin, Prabhushankar Narsinhram Pathak. He studied Shatpath under Jamnagar’s Srimali Brahmin named Pujya Vediya Gaga Dave, who happened to be blind.

In addition to these people, there were others who contributed to the character formation of this young man. They were Shri Lilaram Ambaram Dave, Porbandar’s famous Rajvaidya, Pushkar Brahmin, Shri Narayan Gordhan Sharma, Googdi Brahmin-Shri Keshavji Ghela Vayda, Modh Brahmin Trivedi Kalyanji Devchand. The learned Pushkar Brahmin Shri Jadavji Trikamji was his close friend.

Around 1892-93 A.D., the world renowned Swamiji, Shri Vivekanandaji was a guest of the Porbandar State Administrator, Shri Shanker Pandurangji Panditji. His sons were the classmates of Acharya Dave. That is how they became friends and that is how he came to meet Swamiji. He would spend a lot of his time with Swamiji.

After getting permission from Swamiji and Shashtriji Kalidas, he went to the Bhojeshwar Bungalow to recite the Yajurveda Samhita.

He taught many students free of charge at his home. He taught Vedas, Karmakand, Puranas and Grammar to them. To make a living, he would accept a fee to conduct yajnas. He was the Acharya for most yajnas and related ceremonies conducted in Porbandar State. There was a Ramachandra temple near the present Somnath temple. He had done the pran-pratishtha for it. He also did the pran-prathistha and vastu pujan for Sheth Shri Chaturbhuj Shivaji Sanskrit Pathshala, Manikbhai Vedic Pathshala, Shri Bhaveshwar Mahadev Mandir, Dahyabhai’s Ramchandra Temple, Laxminarayan temple in the Birla Sagar Colony, and Sudama Mandir.

Apart from this, he had done Rajyabhishek for Maharanasaheb Shri Bhavsinhji Bapu and Maharajasaheb Shri Natwarsinhji Bapu. He also conducted the Yuvrajabhishek for Yuvraj Shri Madhavsinhji and Shri Udaybhansinh. He also conducted the Pattabhishek for the mahants of Shingdagam and Bibheswargam. He worked as a purohit for Porbandar’s Googli and Pushkarna Brahmins and as an astrologer for the Nagar caste.

In 1860, he was awarded the Shatpath Martand by Dwarka Sharda Pithadheeshwar Param Pujya Shankaracharyaji – Shri Abhinav Satchidananda Teertji Maharaj. He was in touch with the Porbandar Vaishnav Sampraday Haveli’s Goswami Maharaj.

In 1976-77, the Gujarat Government’s respected Governor, Shri K. K. Vishwanathan, awarded him with the Yajurveda Praveen award for his contribution and knowledge of the Sanskrit language.

He was a friend of Sir Prabhashankar Patni’s son, Batukrai. Together they did anushthans, purushcharan, japas and mantra shakti. He also did regular pranayam, gayatri mantra, stotras and kavachas. He guided people as to how to lead a satvic life. He also read authors like Tolstoy, G.B.Shaw, Maharshi Arvind Ghosh and Swami Ramtirth.

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