Tulsidas was born Rama Bhola in the mid-sixteenth century, during the reign of Humayun, in a place called Rajpur in India. It is assumed that he was born under an unlucky star, because he was abandoned immediately after birth. Adopted by a wandering sadhu, or ascetic, he roamed the width and breadth of India, visiting many holy places - a story in part supported by passages in his poems. The sadhu renamed him Tulsidas, servant of the sacred tulsi plant, which was used in a ceremony of purification of the infant.
It was from his guru, Narahari Das that he first learnt the story of Ramayana, but since it was in Sanskrit, the language of the Brahmin classes, he only grasped the story after many recitations. The beauty of the sacred epic made him determined to write it in the vernacular for his own benefit and for that of others in his position.
Tulsidas married early, a girl named Ratnavali, by whom he had a son named Taraka, who died at an early age. So lost was he in the devotion of his wife, that for a brief while he deserted his God, Rama. He was recalled firmly back to his path by his wife who reproached him for showing more affection to her than to his Lord. Struck with remorse, Tulsi left her and took to an ascetic life.
With his base as Ayodhya, he visited d ...