04/05/17 0 Comment
Introduction Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian leader, a spiritual teacher, and an ambassador of peace. His vision of a stress-free, violence-free society has…
Swami Samarth Maharaj more commonly Shri Swami Samarth Maharaj (also known as Akkalkot Swāmi Mahāraj) of Akkalkot (left the physical body in 1878). He was also lovingly referred to as Swami Samartha or Akkalkot Maharaj by his devotees. was an Indian Guru of the Dattatreya tradition (sampradaya), widely respected in Indian states of Maharashtra, as well as in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh with Shripad Shri Vallabha and Narasimha Saraswati. His existence in physical form is dated in the nineteenth century AD.
Shri Swami Samarth traveled all over the country and eventually set his abode at Akkalkot village in Maharashtra, India. Maharaj first appeared at Akkalkot on a Wednesday around the September–October period in the year 1856 AD near Khandoba Mandir. He stayed in Akkalkot for close to twenty-two years. His parentage & native place details remain obscure to this day. Once when a devotee posed him a question about his life Shri Swami Samarth indicated that he is the origin of the Banyan tree. On another occasion, Swami said that his name was Nrusimha Bhan and that he was from Kardalivan near Srisailam.
Swami himself said that he came from the Kardali forest. He repeatedly visited places like Puri, Banaras (Kashi), Haridwar, Girnar, Kathiawad, and Rameswaram as well as China, Tibet, and Nepal and stayed at Mangalvedha, a town near Pandharpur in Solapur district before settling down in Akkalkot. He came to Akkalkot in 1856 on the invitation of Chintopant Tol and stayed on the outskirts of the town for 22 years. He stayed at Ganagapura, Karnataka for a long time where he delivered the Nirguna Padukas to his disciples and devotees before leaving for the Kardali forest.
He treated Muslims, Christians, and Parsees all alike. His Kindness was always bestowed on the poor, needy and the people at the lowest rung of the society. Both Hindus and Muslim festivals like Dussehra and Moharram etc. used to be celebrated by Him. As in Shirdi, Thursday became a special day of celebration at Akkalkot. Like Shirdi Sai Baba, Swami Samarth of Akkalkot was fond of mass feeding. Once, on his visit to a place called Rampur, a devotee named Rawaji, to celebrate his visit, cooked food for 50 people. However, hearing the news of Swami Samarth’s arrival hundreds of people from the neighboring villages started rushing to the village. Seeing such a large number of people at his doorstep Rawaji became visibly panicky. Moved by his plight, Swami Samarth asked Rawaji to get some empty baskets. When the baskets were brought from the market, idols of all the deities like Khandoba, Annapurna, etc were put in them and food materials like chapatis (bread) etc. were piled over them. Bawaji and his wife were asked to carry these baskets and take three rounds around the Tulsi plant. After that, they were asked to serve food from these baskets to the guest without looking into them. When food was being served, Rawaji and his wife were amazed to see that the baskets never exhausted even after a few hundred people had been served. After all the people who had come finished their meal, Swami Samarth took his meal. This is known as ‘Annapurna Siddhi’.
The description of Shri Swami Samarth’s appearance has been based on the vivid descriptions given by close devotees. Though he was seen at an advanced age, his skin was not wrinkled. He was very tall and his hands were long, extending down to his knees. His belly was protruding and he had broad shoulders. His complexion was fair and pinkish. He had big ears with thin and long earlobes which shook with the slightest movement of his body. He had long feet. He adorned a sacred mark (thilakam) on his forehead. He always wore a codpiece (kaupina). He had a fine set of teeth and a big and deep navel. He always wore a Tulasi-rosary (which is very different from Rudraksha) and a crystal (sphatika). He had earrings inset with gems.
For the devotees of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba, it would be inspiring to learn about the life and deeds of ‘Swami Samarth’. A comparative picturization of the lives of these two great Saints, i.e. Swami Samarth and Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi would establish a surprising amount of commonness in their lives and deeds which include their methods of teaching, the universality of their approach and the miracles they performed. Even a critical approach by a non-conformist would ultimately lead to the assertion that the overall role of these two spiritual masters during the second half of the nineteenth century was similar, if not same. One, who is capable of making finer spiritual analysis, would be faced with a bewildering reality.
Following are some of the points based on statements made by Shri Swami Samartha on different occasions:
In the month of Chaitra (April–May) in 1878, the thirteenth day of the dark half of the lunar month. Swami Maharaj lived mainly at the residence of his disciple Cholappa, where his shrine is now located.
As such Swami can not undergo death like ordinary people. It is believed that he is in existence before the beginning of the universe and will exist after the destruction of the universe. Swami can not disappear suddenly in front of people and he performed a rite known as Samadhi, which has a death like an effect but not an actual death. Swami is for perpetuity.