Shree Swami Samarth- Shree Swami’s History
India is holy place; birth place of the sages and saints! A sacred home for penance of the accomplished ascetics! This is land of philosophers, and ‘karmayogi’ [One who practice a karma process to unite one’s self with the divine]
Indian believes that saints as God. Saint is generally one to whom has been attributed (and who has generally demonstrated) a high level of holiness and sanctity. A saint is capable of interceding for people on earth.
Shree Swami Samarth was also one of the saints. He was incarnation of Lord Dattatreya. Nrusimha Saraswati and Shre Swami Samarth are nothing but same. About Shree Swami Samarth’s birth there is no uniform information. According to Shree’s devotee shree HariBhau [also known as SwamiSut], Swami was expressed in form of eight year old boy at Chelikheda gao of middle India on 1971 A.D.
Chitrakar have different opinion about Swami’s birth. It is mentioned in the holy book ‘Gurucharitra’ [biography of Shrimad Nrusimha Saraswati] that, divinely transformed personality of Shree Nrusimha Saraswati is Shree Swami Samarth. Shri Narasimha Swami, after helping and spiritually uplifting a large number of people over a few decades, went away to the Himalayas for penance and went into Samadhi. In the Samadhi state he remained for about three hundred years. With the passage of time a huge anthill grew over him and he was lost to the outside world. One day accidentally a woodcutter’s axe fell on the bushes grown around the ant hill and this awakened him from the prolonged Samadhi. After disturbance in meditative trance, Shree NruShimha means Shree Swami Samarth went to ‘Kashi’ [holy place of Uttar Pradesh]. After that he stayed at ‘Gangotri’, another holy place of Uttar Pradesh, India. Then he went to Devalgram. There he installed his ‘Padukas’ [an impression of the lotus feet] and left the place. According to the Devalgram residents, all our sins would be washed away by just looking at the ‘Padukas’. From there, he went to Rajur in Marathawada, Maharashtra. At Rajur Shree Swami Samarth installed a muth (Hermitage). He managed to get an estate of eight villages as a gift to the muth (Hermitage) from the Mughal king. His supreme devotee Shree Chanulala Diwan helped him in this work. Later, Shree Swami Samarth left Rajur, leaving behind everything there for his devotees.
From Rajur Maharaj went to AmbeJogai. A big mountain is in AbmeJogai. Inside the mountain there was lair, named ‘Datta-Pahad’. Maharaj stayed in the lair for quite some time without having food and water. That lair is in forest and is lonely. People started visiting that place when they came to know that some yogi is staying in the lair. But at that time Swami didn’t want to appear in public. During this period he became popularly known as ‘Chanchal Bharati’. After that Maharaj went to ‘Rameshwara’. From there went to the holy places ‘Udupi’ in Karnataka and ‘Pandharpur’ in Maharashtra. From there in ‘Mangalvedha’ he appeared in the public. In ‘Mangalvedha’ people called him ‘Digambar Swami’. Shree Swami Samarth spent some time at many holy places and villages and then during the year 1855 he came to Akkalkot. His devotees have clearly seen the axe scar on his thigh. It is also noted that, he was about 400 to 500 old.
The 'active' manifestation of Shree Swami Samarth was for around 40 years (A.D 1760 to A.D. 1800). Out of that he stayed at Akkalkot for 21 years. He himself has told his journey from KadaliVan (A Banana-grove) to Akkalkot. Once a Persian gentleman asked Swami, “Where do you come from?” Shree Swami Maharaj replied, “First I started from Kadalivan at Shree Shail Mountain. While wandering about, I visited a City like Kolkata. While wandering in west Bengal I got the blessings of Kali Mata. Again while wandering on the banks of Gangamata, I have visited innumerable holy places like Haridwar, Kedarnath, and then I reached the banks of Godavari River. After staying there for long time, I was in Mangalvedha for a number of years. Then after visiting Pandharpur, Begampur, I reached Mohol village. After a few days, I came to Solapur and then to Akkalkot. Now I have settled in Akkalkot”.
Now you can understand that, this ascetic has travelled whole India. He has travelled in mountains of ‘Himalaya’, stayed at many holy places. At some place he was know as ‘Chanchal bharati’ and at another by name ‘Nru Simha Saraswati’. At Mangalvedha he was known by name ‘Digambar Buwa’. But when he came to Akkalkot he was famous by name ‘Akkalkot Maharaj’.
Swami was as glorious as sun like Shree Ram. He had 6 ft height, broad chest. His eyebrows were gray. He was whitefish complexioned. Such luster of divine brilliance was being emitted from his eyes, that none could look at him directly. He also looked like a fierce lion. Brave personality like Vishwasrao mane had said that, ‘If time comes, we can face tiger but I don’t have courage to stand in front on Samarth.”
Shree Swami Samarth had long ears. Ear lobules were thin and hence while talking used to move. Swamiji laughs uncontrollably. Shree Swamiji was temperate in speech. Occasionally he liked to adopt silence. At times he would repeat some words or smaller sentences three to four times. He would speak in Marathi and Hindi. His body was tender as rose patels such that his feet feel boneless. There was always a ‘Tilak’ on His forehead and his Body would be smeared with sandal paste. He wore ‘Tulsi Mala’ (necklace). His devotees used to wear him kaufin [dress], brocade hood and shawl. But no one guess at which moment Shree Maharaj will be angry.
While roaming he used to talk and laugh as a free child. While walking he used to mood of having hukka (A device used to smoke tobacco). In between he used to ask question to any plant or rock, “What do you want?” He used sinf shlokas, dohas. Shree Samarth read secret questions of devotees and used to give answers of the same. Shree Swami Samartha was omniscient.
If Samarth casually went for walking every body used to follow him. People used to bring umbrella, horses, cows, musical instruments, tents, chamare, palkhi etc. His devotees, followers used to come. Also sweet seller, flower seller used to accompany Maharaj. If Maharaj went to forest, all these people used to accompany him. But everybody in that group used to complete their work on time. People feel the Swamiji’s presence like heaven. Then it can be in forest or else where. Due to Maharaj people used to visit any place even though it is very lonely. And people used to sing in praise of Samarth, ‘Shree Swami Samarth Maharaj ki jai.’
Foot Prints of Great soul
Swami Samarth has told his background in very mysterious manner as “Main person, Banyan tree, Datta Nagar, main, main”. Not only his background but also his whole life seems to be mysterious. It is difficult to understand and find his background, his native place, from where did he came, and his parent’s information. Many of his closed devotees tried to find it out.
Swami Samarth was staying at Chintopant Tol’s house. At that time, while chitchatting Chintopant causally asked Maharaj, “Were you family person? Maharaj spontaneously answered, “My cast is chambhar. My mother is of mahar community and my father also.” And then he started laughing. After that gentle man named Karve asked same question. Then Maharaj said, ““I am a Yajurvedi Brahmin. My name is Nrushimhabhan. I belong to the Kashyap Gotra, and my Zodiac sign is Meen (Pisces). If you ask me again, you will get shoe beating.
Astrologer Nana Rekhi had prepared the horoscope of Shree Swami Samarth. Shree Swami Samarth had approved this. According to the horoscope, ‘Nrushimhabhan’ was given as his nick name. In the horoscope, the sign of the Zodiac is shown as Mesha (Aries) and Meen (spices) as lagna rashi. When Swami stated his zodiac as ‘Meena’(Pisces), it is highly possible that Shree Swamiji wanted to state the Meena Rashi (Pisces sign) itself as the Lagna Rashi. In the horoscope Yajurvedi Brahmin and Kashyap Gotra is also mentioned. After seeing horoscope Shree Samarth said,” Play music.” Shree Swamiji placed his hand on the right hand of Rekhi and displayed the Vishnupad in blue color on his palm. This mark remained on his palm until the end. Shree Swamiji then said, “I have given you my Atmalinga.”
Shree Swami is incarnation of Lard Datta. Lord Datta’s incarnations are Shree Datta, Shree Vallabh Swami, Shree NruSimhaSaraswati and then Shree Swami Samarth. All his devotees worship him considering incarnation of Lord Datta. Shree NruSimhasaraswati’s place is Gandgapaur. Many Datta devotees visit that place. But since when Swami Maharaj arrived in Akkalkot many devotees have started visiting Akkalkot. A Brahmin from western Maharashtra had made a promise to Shreeguru, Narasinha Saraswati, that if is blessed by baby son then he would perform his thread ceremony at Ganagapur. By the kind grace of Sriguru, the Brahmin got a son. To fulfill his promise he started to go to Ganagapur. On the way to Ganagapur, when he reached Akkalkot he realized that he had spent all his money and there was nothing left to go ahead. Therefore, at Akkalkot he approached Shree Swami Samarth and prayed to him “Now going to Ganagapur to fulfill my promise is beyond my reach. You are the incarnation of Lord Dattatrey. Kindly allow me to fulfill my promise here itself”. Shree Swami accepted his request and the Brahmin performed his Son’s thread ceremony in Akkalkot itself.
Maharaj was surrounded by three types of people. Some people were selfless devotees. Some people were offering services to him without selfishness. And some were used to come to pass their time. Many people used to visit him. Shree Swami Maharaj treated his devotees according to their spiritual aptitude and their motto. Swami treated everybody according to the nature of devotee. For intellectual people he treated intelligently and to stupid’ stupidly.
No one has seen Samarth as sleeping. But he used to cover himself in blanket. From 2:00 Am he used to sing ‘abhangas’, ‘shlokas’(Verses). Hence people came to know that Maharaj has waked up. That time people used to ask him their queries. Maharaj used answer all their questions till dawn. In the morning when people started coming he used to start his normal routine. Then there is no guarantee that everybody will get correct answer. Many times answer would be irrelevant.
Regarding his final journey Sri Swamiji would give indications in advance. Once in Sagar village, in the morning he said to his devotee Balappa, “I want to go higher and far away. Are you ready to provide service to me?” He went and sat in the Jangam Muth of Akkalkot. That time Thakudas buwa was singing kirtan[God’s song]. Bawdekar Puranik was also present there. Large idol of Lord Shiva of Jangam belonging to the Lingayat community is in the muth. He told the Muth’s attendant to bring dry cowdung cakes and create a sacred fire on the ‘Shivalinga’. Seeing this act of Sri Swamiji Lingayat devotees became furious and started shouting in anger but kept silent seeing the divine form of Sri Swamiji. The sacred fire was very intense. The intense heat scorched the stone walls. However, on the next day as per the instructions of Shree Swamiji when the Shivalinga was cleansed it had become exceedingly bright and luminous than it was before. This way Maharaj started giving indications. But people did not understand the meaning behind it. But people came to know that Swamiji is giving bad indications and something bad is going to happen.
Final Journey and MahaSamadhi
On chiatra Shudha Pounima of 1800 A.D. when one of his follower was about to set his bed Maharaj said, “I do not want to sleep on bed.” At night he had slight fever and in the morning he suffered from dysentery. From that time he gave up food. People didn’t get that Swamiji was suffering from illness. Topmost allopathic and Aayurvedic doctors were called from Akkalkot and Solapur. They started looking after Maharaj’s health. His devotees like Mr. DevMamledar, judge Narayan Barve distributed goods through Maharaj.
Chaitra Krishna Trayodashi day of Hindu year 1800 (Year 1878 as per English calendar), none of the devotees could sense the bad incident coming on there way. At 1:00 Pm Swami ordered his devotees to bring his pets (cows, horses, bullocks). Hearing this, devotees were totally depressed. But still they bought all pets in front of the Maharaj. He offered all Prasad (material substance eg. food that is first offered to a deity and then consumed) and his cloths to the pets. Pets’ eyes started shedding tears. Maharaj touched then with love and he was sat on a bed. Swamiji told his devotee to bring cushion for support. By extending cushion’s physical support Shree Swamiji sat in lotus position and got himself absorbed in supreme self. Doctor stared checking him. But he could not sense his breathing. Devotees and disciples started bewailing.
And then Swamiji opened his eyes. People felt little bit unburdened. Swamiji told everybody to keep quite. Everybody was staring Swamiji. Then Sri Swamiji repeated one verse from Bhagvad-Gita
“Ananyas Chintaye mam, Ye janah paryupasate!
Tesham nityabhiyuktanam, Yoga-kshemam vahamyaham! !”.
Meaning of the verse is:
But those who always worship me, with exclusive devotion, meditating on my transcendental form, to them, I carry what they lack and I preserve what they have.
He gave blessing to everybody and then again closed his eyes. Everybody felt that moment as dream. Again devotees and disciples started bewailing. Sri Swamiji had departed making his devotees orphan. People didn’t think that this incarnation is going to end. They started crying. It appeared as though children had lost their mother and calves had lost their mother-cow. It appeared as though mother Guru had turned away his face from his devotees. Who can describe the devotee’s pain of separation from their Guru? This news spread everywhere like wind. Devotees from every village rushed to Akkalkot. Shree Swamiji’s face still reflected divine splendor and seemed as lustrous as usual. Looking at is bright face people thought that he is still alive and will definitely make some movement. But “Yoga-kshemam vahamyaham” were his last words.
His devotee Rama Sutar with help of others created aeroplace of flowers for the final journey of Shree Swamiji. His devotees dressed him with cloths and ornaments. Flowers were showered down on Shree Swamiji. The entire resources of Akkalkot State including elephants, horses, along with the insignia of royalty were kept ready for the final journey of Sri Swamiji. Entire mass of people started moving ahead continuously singing devotional songs to take the final darshan of their God, Shree Swamiji. Cholappa had kept a place ready in his house (in budhwar peth) for Sri Swamiji’s Samadhi. People bought Swamiji there and laid Swamiji’s body into the Samadhi. Samadhi has place for keeping padukas and people sang devotional song and samadhi’s door was closed.
On that day not only Akkalkt but world had became orphan. People, animals, birds even whole atmosphere became unhappy. The news spread everywhere through letter, speed post. Some devotees left food; some left everything and went to holy places. Some devotees waited to see whether Swamiji gives any indication. Shree Swami Samartha granted incessant supreme divine joy depending on the devotion of his devotees. Shree Swami Samarth Maharaj, the incarnation of Lord Dattatrey, had manifested himself in a human form and carried out miraculous works for wellbeing of common man. Even though Sri Swami Samarth is no longer in bodily manifestation, he still guides his true devotees on the spiritual path. Such devotees lead a great life and find true meaning of it.