Was Ram Bhagwan Ji sighted in recent times ? I mean some reliable story of darshan etc. I have read a lot on the internet but want to see what people have to say.
Darshana (vision) of one's Ishta Devata (favorite deity) is possible by Mantra Purascharana. One of the signs of Mantra Siddhi (that is achieved through Purascharana) is Devata Darshana (See this answer)
From the introduction of Swami Shivananda's book "JAPA YOGA -- A COMPREHENSIVE TREATISE ON MANTRA-SASTRA"
In this Kali Yuga (iron age) Japa alone is the easy way to the realisation of God. The famous author of a commentary on the Gita and of the Advaita Siddhi, Swami Madhusudana Saraswati, had direct Darsan of Lord Krishna through Japa of the Mantra of Lord Krishna. The reputed Swami Vidyaranya, the author of the Panchadasi had direct Darsan of Mother Gayatri through Japa of Gayatri Mantra.
More passages from the same book:
Japa checks the force of the thought-current moving towards objects. It forces the mind to move toward God, toward the attainment of eternal bliss. It eventually helps to have Darsana of God. The Mantra Chaitanya is hidden in every Mantra, Whenever the Sadhaka or spiritual aspirant shows lack of vigour in his Sadhana, the Mantra-Sakti or power of the Mantra reinforces the Sadhana-Sakti of the Sadhaka. Constant and prolonged repetition for some months cuts new grooves in the mind and the brain.
But to successfully complete Purascharana is difficult. And, many times multiple Purascharanas are required before vision of deity is received.
Only Yoga-Bhrashtas and pure-minded persons can have Darsana of Gayatri by doing only one Purascharana. As the minds of the vast majority of persons in this Kali Yuga are filled with various sorts of impurities, one has to do more than one Purascharana according to the degree of impurity of the mind. The more the impurities, the greater is the number of Purascharanas. The famous Swami Madhusudana Saraswati did Seventeen Purascharanas of Krishna-Mantra. He did not get Darsana of the Lord Sri Krishna, on account of the sins committed in killing 17 Brahmins in his previous births. But he had Darsana of the Lord when he was on the half way of the eighteenth Purascharana. The same rule applies to Gayatri-Purascharana also.
Now, coming to the main question, Samartha Ramdas is one such saint (from history), who after successfully completing Purascharana of a Rama Mantra, did obtain the vision of Sri Rama.
Quoting from an article by Swami Shivananda:
For twelve years Ramdas stayed at Nasik on the banks of the Godavari. He used to get up very early in the morning, go into the Godavari river, and with his body half-immersed in water, recite the sacred Gayatri Mantra till about noon. Then he would go round for alms. He first offered the collected food to his Deity Sri Rama and then took it as Prasad. After resting a while, he used to attend religious discourses in the various temples of Nasik and Panchavati. Ramdas also studied Sanskrit and copied in his own hand the Ramayana of Valmiki. This manuscript is still preserved in the collection of Sri S.S. Dev of Dhubliah.
Ramdas did Purascharana of the Rama Mantra of thirteen letters Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram thirteen lakhs of times at Tafali, near Nasik, on the banks of the Godavari. After the Purascharana was over, once again Ramdas had Darshan of Lord Rama. It is said that Ramachandra ordered Ramdas to visit holy places such as Nasik, Haridwar, Kasi, etc.
Ramdas sprinkled over a dead body holy water uttering the name of Rama and the dead body was restored to life. Ramdas had to do this, because he had blessed a woman who had just lost her husband.
Yes he was. Tulsidas, the author of Shriramcharitmanas did get chances to meet Rama. His accounts of meeting with Haunuman and Rama are mentioned in Bhaktirasbodhini by Priyadas.
Tulsidas used to visit the woods outside Varanasi for his morning ablutions with a water pot. On his way back, he used to offer the remaining water to a certain tree. This quenched the thirst of a Preta, who appeared to Tulsidas and offered him a boon. Tulsidas asked for seeking Darshan of Rama which could not be granted by the Preta but the Preta did tell Tulsidas the way to reach Hanuman who would guide him to Rama later on.
So, with the hints the Preta provided, Tulsidas managed to meet Hanuman at the spot where today stands the Sankat Mochan Temple. Hanuman asked him to visit Chitrakoota where he would get the Darshan of Lord Rama. Tulsidas obeyed and headed for Chitrkoota. One day, while doing Parikrama around the Kamadgiri mountain, he saw two prices , one dark and the other fair, dressed in green robes pass by mounted on horsebacks. Tulsidas was enraptured at the sight, however he could not recognise them and took his eyes off them. Later Hanuman asked Tulsidas if he saw Rama and his brother Lakshmana on horses. Tulsidas was disappointed and repentful. Hanuman assured Tulsidas that he would have the sight of Rama once again the following morning. Tulsidas recalls this incident in a song of the Gitavali and laments how "his eyes turned his own enemies" by staying fixed to the ground and how everything happened in a trice. On the next morning, Wednesday, the new-moon day of Magha, Vikram 1607 (1551 CE) or 1620 (1564 CE) as per some sources, Rama again appeared to Tulsidas, this time as a child. Tulsidas was making sandalwood paste when a child came and asked for a sandalwood Tilaka. This time Hanuman gave a hint to Tulsidas and he had a full view of Rama. Tulsidas was so charmed that he forgot about the sandalwood. Rama took the sandalwood paste and put a Tilaka himself on his forehead and Tulsidas's forehead before disappearing. This famous incident is described in the verse:
चित्रकूट के घाट पर हुई संतन की भीर तुलसीदास चन्दन घिसे तिलक देते रघुबीर।
In a verse in the Vinayapatrika, Tulsidas alludes to a certain "miracle at Chitrakoota", and thanks Rama for what he did for him at Chitrakoota.
This was one story. With sincere devotion towards God anyone can get a glimpse of Him and even merge into Him (Parmatma) i.e. gain Moksha. In Kaliyuga there are two ways to gain Moksha:
- Jaap of God's name with sincere devotion.
- Donating and improving lives of the underprivileged.