Nothing ever happiness in this universe without the Divine will. Man is merely an instrument and can never achieve success in any task whatsoever it is small or big without the Divine Grace. It is the Divine will that Prevails.
Sri Swami Samarth the great spiritual master is the ever-existing divinity responding readily to the call of the earnest and yearning seekers. He is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. It is extremely difficult for the human intellect to be able to comprehend and grasp the true glory of Sri Swami Samarth.
This sacred biography of the divine master will awaken interest in the readers to a large extent about the divine mystery of Sri Swami Samarth. Reading of this interactive account will enable the readers to follow the teachings and Preachings of Swami Maharaj and get guidance and enlightenment. The book will acquaint the readers with the Master and if they cultivate yearning and aspiration to seek him further the master will surely reveal himself as he has been doing to many till today. It also contains many authentic anecdotes by the devotes of Sri Swami Samarth about his spiritual superhuman and divine powers.
By whose command the wind blows
The fire burns the clouds rain
And without whose will not even a
Blade of grass can move
In this cosmos nothing ever happens without Divine will. Man is but a mere instrument and unless Divine Grace be there, he will Motivator; he is the Giver of Strength; it is he who steers things through. But man in his ignorance and egoism does not always comprehend this. Fact however remains that unless Divine Grace be there man can never achieve any measure of success in any undertaking whatsoever whether it be small or big. Man is but a mere tool in the working of the Divine Scheme of things. It is the Divine Will that prevails. And when Divine Grace is there as it is rightly said.
(Mukam Karoti wachalam Pangum langhayate
girim-the dumb will begin to speak and
the cripple will be able to scale mountains
it is thus his Grace that made me, who is hardly competent at all to compile this sacred biography of the Great Master of Masters Dattavatara Mahapurush Sri Swami Samarth Akkalkot Maharaj.
It was at the instance of two devotes of Sri Swami Samarth from Bombay namely Dr. M. L. Joshi (of Dadar) and Shri P.B. Paranjpe (of Chembur) that I visited my place some time back and broached the topic with me I was rather taken aback wondering. Me to write the biography of this Super master, for I knew my deficiencies and limitations very well for undertaking such a mighty and ponderous task. Although I had earlier written some books in Marathi: biographies of saints religious thinkers patrious and revolutionaries besides translating from English into a couple of booklets in English viz Yogi Aurobindo and the biography of Dilip Kumar Roy yet I do not have that proficiently in English to write the Biography of an Avatari Mahapurush like Sri Swami Samarth Maharaj. I frankly expressed my lack of competence and my diffidence to undertake this mighty task but they were insistent they said it was an Adesh (a mystic command) from Sri Swami Samarth Maharaj himself. I had to yield and I said, "If that be so putting all my faith in him I shall try and if he wills it, it will be perhaps done.
Reminiscing and looking back I recapitulate how I used to visit the holy places of Audambar and Narsinhwadi quite often sometimes trekking all the way by foot when I used to stay at Sangli during my boyhood. Later in life I had the good fortune to read the holy Guru Charitra quite a number of times and I also visited Ganagapur Mahurgadh Ginar and Akkalkot. My wife happens to be a devotee of Sri Swami Samarth Maharaj from her very childhood -it was the spiritual legacy she inherited from her parents and brothers. In my family too, my father had the good luck to receive initiation of Nama Mantra from the great saint Brahma Chaitanya Gondavalekar Samarth, who attained Realization through the grace of Sri Swami Samarth Akkalkot Maharaj. This background further re-inforced my confidence to some extent to set out on this venture. As a prelude to taking up the writing of the book however, I visited Akkalkot worshipped the padukas at Balappa Muth Vat Vriksha Muth and Samadhi Muth and gained additional Courage and strength.
Yes I could feel the required grace working. Without great difficulty, I could secure all the biographies of Sri Swami Samarth published in Marathi, and several devotees furnished me with a wealth of information and facts about the life of Sri Swami Samarth. He was making the task simple and easy for me it looked.
But to write the biography of a divine master like Sri Swami Samarth Maharaj is all the same like trying to measure the depth of the depthless ocean. Who can describe the indescribable? If at all it is only the events from the outward life of Sri Samarth a very superficial account and portrayal of him that I could have perhaps succeeded in Presenting in this book. It is hoped that this might at least serve to give a flickering and fleeting glimpse of the glory and prowesses of the Mighty Master to the interested readers especially those who have not known mainly for those who are not Marathi-knowing but can read English. For the former a good number of books is available on the life of this great saint in the Marathi language. If the present book can awaken interest in readers to any extent what the divine mystery Sri Swami Samarth was I am sure that he himself would help and guide them further. He is the ever-existing divinity responding readily to the call of the earnest and yearning seekers. Swami Vivekananda used to say Religion is Realization; it is not mere intellectual knowledge of the Truth, but it is Intuitive experiencing of the Truth Intellectual knowledge however being the first step of acquainting the reader with the master and if the reader will cultivate the yearning and aspiration to seek him further the master will surely reveal himself as he has been doing to many till today. The hearts of all beings. The master is not far off. He his in one's own heart he is dwelling in the hearts of all beings. He is the Transendental as well as the Immanent Reality of this Universe. May his Grace be showered on all
Lives of Great man all remind us
We can make our lives sublime
Man has been in continuous process of evolution from the very beginning of creation. But he has not yet attained the state of perfection which is the ultimate goal, on attaining which he will be able to cognise the all-pervading Divinity the source the Substratum of all this creation and the inhering Reality in the Multiplicity of names and forms or phantasmagoria constituting this Cosmos.
In the entire creation however man occupies the supreme position having been gifted with intellect the power of discrimination and reasoning which faculty has been denied to the other species of sentient beings. God has thus put man at the apex at the top rung of the ladder in creation. God is said to have creation man in his own image. Man is an aspect of god Himself in essence. Utilizing the faculty of discrimination man has to discover and become aware of his inner divinity; he has to manifest it in his thought into a superman and into the image of god himself. In essence as the scriptures proclaim.
(Jivo brahmaiva naparaha- The jiva is not different from Brahman)
For this spiritual evolution man should strive hard. Where there is an earnest effort divine grace would be spontaneously forthcoming to lead and guide man toward the fulfillment of his life-mission. The divine grace usually comes in the from of a Guru-Gu means 'darkness' and 'ru' means 'dispeller'. Thus 'Guru' means 'dispeller' of darkens. Guru brings enlightenment in the heart of the disciple and helps him to attain the vision of truth.
Human birth is the most precious and sacred opportunity for spiritual evolution and self-realization. One should realize this and try to put his span of life to the best use possible and release himself from the cycle of birth and death forever and get merged in god and attain the state if eternal Bliss and Beatitude. This attainment is called Moksha, Mukti Kaivalya and by many other names. This is the sole aspiration if the jiva. If we miss this opportunity in this human birth? We might possibly slide down and be born as sub-human species in the next birth and may be for ever doomed to the unending misery of repeated birth and deaths.
Man had first to rid himself of the animal traits which he has inherited form his previous births. He has to cultivate and foster human and higher values, with his vision fixed on the Goal. He was to cleanse his heart by taking to Karma Yoga, i.e., discharging all the duties that fall to his lot whatever they be in a spirit if dedication and altruism without a sense of ego and without clinging to the desire for the fruits of his actions. Cleaning his mind and heart cultivating devotion of God and love for is fellow beings he should seek Satsanga (company of the Good and the pious). Satsanga works out a spiritual alchemy. It accelerates man's march on his Godward path. It brings God himself whom he is seeking nearer to him. That is the power of Satsanga the power of association with the pious and especially with pious and especially with a Sadguru who makes the impossible possible. He holds the mirror if Jnana before the disciple and reveals God to him. Sadguru brings in a complete metamorphosis in the disciple transforms him into the like of himself rather into God Himself just as an alchemist is said to transform a base metal into a precious metal into gold itself. Sadguru is not different from God, and without the Grace of God man will not be able to find the Satguru either.
Pray for and attain a Sadguru your duty is half over. He will come and hold by your hand and lead you onwards and upwards. You have only to surrender totally unto him. He is the mother father teacher and God and all for you. You are blessed indeed when you find the Sadguru.
Gurubrahmu Guruvishnu Gururdeo
Maheshwara Guru sakshat Parabrahma
Tasmai Shree Gurave Namaha-Guru
Is Braham Guru is Vishnu Guru is Maheshwara
Guru verily is the Parabrahma, I bow down unto that Guru
Such unreserved and whole hearted surrender earns the grace of the Guru. Once Guru's grace is earned blessed indeed is the life of that man! Nothing will ever be wanting for him his life will have found its fulfilment. As Tukaram Maharaj sings.
(Apana Sarikhe Kariti Tatkal nahi kala
vela taya lagi-Guru leads the disciple
from untruth to truth form darkness to light
from death to immortality
India is the most blessed land indeed. It is Punya Bhumi (the chosen land) of the lord. The Lord has taken several incarnations here from time to time. In every age almost, he has incarnated in this land. Besides the divine incarnations, there has always been a continuous and unbroken line of saints and Mahapuruhas (God men) in this holy land to keep the spiritual torch continuously alight. Countless indeed are the spiritual luminaries in the history of the Indian firmament who have been an eternal inspiration and have been illumining the minds and of men. In Indian tradition the saint is not different and apart from God; God man and God are.
Braham vid Brahmaiv bhavati -The one
Who has intuited Brahma Himself.
India is thus fortunate indeed to have always either God or God -men manifest to guide its people on the spiritual path. God himself has been manifest as Guru a number of times. It is the unique legacy of India. It is a fact of history that once God incarnated him. Outside India as Lord Jesus Chirst but people there failed to recognize him. Instead of rejoicing and welcoming him into their fold they executed him on the Cross-. But fortunately in India it has ever been different. People readily recognize God and God-men and honour and worship them. Indians are blessed with a vision of faith that has sustained the Indian culture over the ages maintained its vitality till today whereas several other cultures in the other parts of the world tumbled down with the onslaughts of time and were obliterated forever leaving no trance whatsoever. This basic spiritual fibre is the strength of Indian culture and it will never wear out. Spiritual light will ever continue to shine and glow illumining the heart of man in this homeland of god.
In India God is worshiped in many forms. The objects of worship range stones trees rivers mountains sun and the skies to idols men (God-men), deities with from and the formless Brahman. All these have their votaries and all of them receive devout worship. There are several sects in the Hindu fold. Various names and forms are attributed to their Gods. But there is nothing to be baffled about by this diversity of faiths and worship, because all of them have the one common basis the Vedic teaching
(Isavasyamidam saravam -all this is by God). He inheres in all in stone, plant reptile animal man and in all beings and in every bit of the creation. He is the inner reality in all these. He is all-pervading Cultivating of this vision is the sole objective of Hindu Philosophy and religion. To attain this vision one has to begin by cultivating and establishing kinship with all creation. A Hindu therefore worships a tulsi Plant- it is for the purpose of establishing kinship with all plant life; he worships a cow it is for purpose of establishing kinship with all animal life -and so on. His endeavour is to break down the prison barriers of his egoistic individuality expand himself in love and attain a cosmic vision of being one with all the creation.
The other Vedic teaching which is the under current of Indian religious philosophy is-
(Ekam sat tadvipra bahudha vadanti-Truth is one the Realised Ones call it by many names.)
No two leaves in a plant are alike. What then about man? Each man is different from the other in his temperament aptitude like and dislikes each one is at a stage of intellectual and spiritual evolution different and distinct form that of others. For this reason the same spiritual doctrine and path may not suit all. Does the same coat fit everyone no. So also in spiritual evolution and Sadhana each may have special evolution and Sadhana each may have to choose his own path his special object and method of worship, and proceed at his own pace but all will reach the same Truth ultimately. All mountain-paths finally lead to the same pinnacle; all rivers flow into the same ocean and all religious and faiths ultimately lead unto one and the same God. This is the basis of Hindu religious philosophy. It is its unshakable foundation and Strength. It is its eternal vitality. It is its supreme grandeur. And its sum and substance in practice, is: -
(Adveshta sarve Bhutanam maitrah karunamevacha- Malice towards none and compassion for all.
That is why in Hindu religious history doctrinaire bigotry sectarian fanaticism religious persecutions etc. have hardly ever been known. Love and live your mother-faith while respecting all other faiths. This catholic outlook is needed the core of Indian thought. If this id understood one will not be perplexed about the multiplicity of Gods that Hindus worships the Several saints they extol and adore as God Himself. According to the Bhagawad Gita God responds to any one as per his faith through the name and from he had chosen to worship because all worship ultimately reaches unto that one All Pervading God alone, the one without a second who in inhering also in the object of worship which one will have chosen as per his liking and aptitude. All forms and names are the different facets of the same Supreme Being. What is needed us purity of heart and devotion. The formless absolute Godhead will respond and manifest as per the Bhavana of the devotee. That is why various Sampradayas flourish in Hindu society. This is not to be understood as polytheism. It is pure monotheism- the form one has chosen for his worship is symbolic for him of the one Absolute God-Head only. As the devotee progresses spiritually, his devotion fructifies into Jnana, he raises into the advatic State the distinction between the worshipper and the object with the Supreme. Being. That is the stature Dnyaneshwar Maharaj, Tukaram Maharaj Eknath Maharaj Ramdas and all other great saints attainted through the worship of the Idol of Vihal of Pandharpur. Ultimaterly they all become one with that Parabrahman which the Idol symbolized for them from Mondotheism to Monism (Non-dualism)-that is the final state the acme of spiritual evolution.
Various spiritual cults have evolved in india over the ages within the fold of the vedic religion of Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma-the Eternal Code of Truth) centering around a particular Incarnation of God head manifest in a particular age or around a Mahapurush (a great spiritual master) of a particular time. There is no discord between the different Sampradayas. Instead there is a basic harmony among all these sects although each one of them has its own and special features and each one is rich has its own and special features and each one is rich in itself. While Vaishnava Sampradaya and Shaiva Sampradaya around Tirthankara (jina); likewise so many other Sampradayas have arisen and continue to flourish in India having large followings. The latter two Sampradayas were of course born outside the Vedic fold. Man drive confidence strength and solace from the Sampradaya he belongs and owes his allegiance to. In the turmoil of life amidst the jolts blows and shocks that he will be subjected to it is Faith that sustains him helps him to bear through -it is his armour and protection. When his Faith is secure in the God of his choice (Ishta Devata) nothing will ever shake him up.
Dattatreya Sampradaya is one of the important Sampradayas in India. All faiths are harmonized in Datta Sampradaya. Votaries for Both Vishnu and Shiva equally revere Datta Sampradaya. Karma Yoga Bhakti Yoga Raja and Janna Yoga-all these four spiritual disciplines are wholesomely and harmoniously blended and integrated in this Sampradaya. This Sampradaya is really timeless having its origin with Dattavatar (the Avatar of Lord Dattatreya- the Trinity of God-head -Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara in one form) To revitalize the Sampradaya there have been manifestation of sri Dattatreya Bhagawan as the incarnation of Shripad Sri Vallabha Narasimha Saraswati Sri Manik Prabhu and Sri Akkalkot Maharaj Swami Samarth. The belief is also current that Sri Akkalkot Maharaj Swami Samarth is the same Sri Narasimha Saraswati reappearing after a lapse of three centuries or more because such Mahapurushas are deathless indeed. They are immortal.
An iceberg may be as massive and huge is mountain but only a tiny portion of it will be discernible above the ocean waters the rest being submerged. Lives of saints and Mahapurushas are similar to icebergs on this respect. They live on a plane of consciousness entirelhy different from ours. We live on a earthly plane of consciousness. While thay live in a divine and transcendental state of consciousness. Behind their outer worldly life there is a vast fathomless and rich inner life on which they live and which is beyond ordinary man's comprehension. The apparent life of the saint may often be misleading too: Sri Rishabadeva the Adinath of Jain Tirthankaras used to roam about like a lunatic.
Like an iceberg only a tiny portion of Sri Swami Samarth 's life is known and the major part of his life is unknown to us. But what little of his life is known itself astounding and makes and epic indeed. To try to describe his glory on paper is like attempting to grasp the sky in one's palm. Even so what little has been grasped will be thrilling inspiring and illuminating. Reader it or even listening to it purifies and sanctifies our lives like a bath in the holy Ganges. TO fathom and truly understood the glory of Sri Swami Akkalkot Maharaj as said earlier is an impossible task. It is all the more so, because his ways sometimes appeared to be strange and eccentric and not at all in keeping with accepted human norms. His ways were as queer as those of Lord Shiva manifests? But he is All Auspiciousness; all Compassion and all Wisdom. In his Shiva Mahima Stotra Pushpanata Gandharava rightly acclaims.
Atitah panthanam tavacha Mahima vanmanasayo ratadwaviritya yam chakitambhidhattes shrutirapi as kasya stotavya Kativisha gunah kasya vishayah pade tvarwachine patati na manah kasya na vachan mahimanstravah -oh Shiva you glory is beyond all comprehension and description, beyond the reach of mind and it defies description by words. Who can describe the indescribable? Oh in your compassion you the formless have taken a from. Amy we fix our minds in pure devotion on thy glorious images.
This Stotra is as much applicable to Sri Swami Samarth Maharaj as to Lord Shiva
This biography may have captured even an infinitesimal fraction of Sri Swami Samarth 's true Glory; but it is hoped that even this little bit, like the drops of nectar or the holy Tirtha might prove to be sufficiently rewarding and beneficial to the readers.
Great master come not only for setting right the moral order but also to guide and lead man on the Godward path: for the Spiritual upliftment of man. All great masters have the spiritual welfare of the people as their main mission in life.
In Yoga Vasishta as Sage Vasishta just concludes his spiritual teachings to Rama the letter instantly goes into a trance and is lost in silence, completely absorbed in Samadhi. Then Vasistha shakes and wakes him up and tells him "The present is not the time for rest nor is this world a rest house. The physical body needs rest. Rama ! you are not a physical body you have come on earth donning a physical body to make people happy and share your bliss. You have come for this purpose. You will have to fulfill it "Thus all great masters who have come on earth were solicitous that others too should share their spiritual experience and attain divine bliss. They have no distinction of caste creed community nationality etc. all are equal in their vision all belong to them and they belong to all.
Sri Swami Samarth Maharaj was one such great spiritual master even in his own time and even till today there are among his devotes men from all communities and religious faiths Hindus Muslims Parsees christens etc. and also people from the different states of India. All English published last year written by Bharadwaj. It is hoped that for the non Marathi speaking people the present book will give a fairly detailed account of his life and deeds and will be a spiritual inspiration for them. Although in Maharashtra especially the name of Sri Swami Samarth Akkalkot Maharaj is almost a household word outside Maharashtra However saints of india. This book it is hoped will spread his light in the non Marathi knowing States and parts of India. Further with the increasing interest the west is looking up to India for spiritual inspiration and guidance this book it is hoped may serve to carry and spread the Master's light among the people of the west also. Sri Swami Samarth is not a mythological figure. He was of recent times who left his body just a century ago his spiritual presence is felt by many, many people even today. As will be seen later there are many authentic and recorded anecdotes of his spiritual superhuman and divine powers.
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