||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (April 2009)|
|Shri Swāmi Samarth Mahāraj|
|Prominent Disciple(s)||Shree Dev Mamledar,
Shree Balappa Maharaj,
Shree Cholappa Maharaj,
Shree Nrusimha Saraswati Maharaj of Alandi,
Shree Ramanand Beedkar Maharaj of Pune
|Quotation||"Fear not, I am always with you" (Marathi: भिऊ नकोस मी तुझ्या पाठीशी आहे)|
Swāmi Samarth Mahāraj (also known as Akkalkot Swāmi Mahāraj) of Akkalkot (died in 1878) was an Bharatiya (Indian) Guru of the Dattatreya tradition (sampradaya), widely respected in 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.He is often accounted one of three successive reincarnations of Guru Dattatreya. The 'Gurucharitra' gives lot of information about Him.
The holy book of Shree Gurucharitra mentions that the second Datta incarnation Shri Narasimha Saraswati entered into mahasamadhi in Kardalivana in 1458. After over 300 years he emerged from the samadhi when a woodcutter accidentally cut through a tree and hit Shri Narasimha Saraswati. That divine personality who was awakened there from came to be known as Shri Swami Samarth. 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. Like all other Datta avatars, his parentage, name, native place, etc., remain obscure to this day. There was an incident when a devotee posed him a question about his life and Shri Swami Samarth indicated that he is the origin of the Banyan tree (Vata- Vriksha) whose prop roots represent other saints, his disciples and other Datta incarnations. On another occasion, Swami said that his name was Nrusimha Bhan and that he was from Kardalivan near Srisailam confirming that he was Nrusimha Saraswati.
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Swami himself said that He came from the Kardali forest. Occasionally He said He is a Shukla Yajurvedi kanva shakha Brahmin. 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 at the invitation of Chintopant Tol and stayed there 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.
It is popularly believed by all devotees of Lord Dattatreya and his incarnations that his predecessor Shri Narasimha Swami went to Kardali and entered samadhi. He remained entranced for three hundred years: an anthill grew over him. One day accidentally a woodcutter cleared the anthill and found the yogi in meditation who resumed his teaching as Swami Samarth.
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 up 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 ear-lobes 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 ear-rings inset with gems.
Following are some of the points based on statements made by Shri Swami Samartha on different occasions
- Once having met a supreme master, the seeker should continuously meditate upon his Master, serve him with devotion and pay utmost attention to His spiritual advice, as if every word coming from His lips were a Mantra.
- Have firm belief that it is God alone exists in every seen and unseen thing in this universe.
- Earn your livelihood through sincere efforts.
- Whenever you come across an able guide on the spiritual path try to gain as much knowledge and advice from him as possible. No master will share the knowledge on his own, as no farm will yield crops on its own.
- While following spiritual practice if you gain spiritual powers then do not fall prey to the lure of using them to show miracles.
- Conduct of the people treading the spiritual path should be pure and righteous.
- Since the final goal of all religious faiths and sects preaching Divine knowledge is one and the same all sects and faiths are birds of the same feather.
- Vedic scriptures composed by seers should be read and repeated.
- Try to purify your mind too as you try to maintain external sanctity of the body.
- Do actions without expecting any rewards.
- Bookish knowledge alone will not lead you to self-realization. Try to put the acquired knowledge in to practice.
- The mantra of this tradition is; Digambara Digambara shripad vallabh Digambara (Marathi: दिगंबरा दिगंबरा श्रीपाद वल्लभ दिगंबरा)
- The Siddha Mantra of Shri Swami Samarth is: SHRI SWAMI SAMARTH JAI JAI SWAMI SAMARTH (Marathi: श्री स्वामी समर्थ जय जय स्वामी समर्थ)
- The biography of Shrivallabh is in the in Shripada Shrivallabha Charitramrut
- The biography of Nrusimha Saraswati is in the Gurucharitra.
- The biography of Shri Swami Samarth is in the Guruleelamrut.
In the month of Chaitra (April–May) in 1878, the thirteenth day of the dark-half of the lunar month, Shri Swami died. His body was taken on a procession all around Akkalkot. The Swami Maharaj lived mainly at the residence of his disciple Cholappa, where his samadhi and shrine are now located.
- "Shree Swami Samarth Maharaj - Profile". Archived from the original on 13 Aug 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- "About Shri Swami Samarth Maharaj". Swami Samarth Swadhyay, USA. Archived from the original on 20 May 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- Shripad Shrivallabha Charitra
- Hanumante, Mukund M. (1999). A Glimpse of Divinity: Shri Swami Samarth Maharaj of Akkalkot. Kenner, USA: Akkalkot Swami Samarth Foundation ISBN 978-0-9669943-0-8
|This article lacks ISBNs for the books listed in it. (April 2009)|
- The Supreme Master (Swami Samartha's Comprehensive Biography).
- Shri Dattatreya Dnyankosh by Dr. P. N. Joshi (Shri Dattateya Dnyankosh Prakashan, Pune, 2000).
- Datta-Sampradyacha Itihas (History of Datta Sampradaya) by Dr. R. C. Dhere (Padmagnadha Prakashan, Pune).
- Shri GuruCharitra (Sri Gurucharitra) (new, abbreviated version)
- Shri Akkalkotniwasi Swami Maharaj yanche Charitra by G. V. Mulekar
- Shri Akkalkot Swami Maharaj Charitra by R. S. Sahasrabuddhe
- Pesum Deivam - Akkalkot maharaj Arulaatchi - Tamil Version by Swami Sudan - J.S.Saikumar +919994700917
- Additional publications
- Hanumante, Mukund M. (1999, 2000). A Glimpse of Divinity: Shri Swami Samarth Maharaj of Akkalkot, ISBN 978-0-9669943-0-8
- Kulkarni, Shriram A. (2001). Shri Swami Samarth Maharaj of Akkalkot: Ashttotarshat Namavali: Vicharmanthan Sar (Marathi)
- Kulkarni, Shriram A. (2000). Shri Swami Samarth Maharaj of Akkalkot: Bhagwat Chaitanyache Shalaka Darshan(Marathi)
- Oza, Kaushik (2007). Shri Swami Samarth Maharaj of Akkalkot: Bhagwat Chaitanyache Shalaka Darshan (Gujrati)
- Patil,Rajgouda (2012) Shri Swami Samarth Maharaj of Akkalkot: Bhagwat Chaitanyada Kshana Darshan (Kannada)
- Kulkarni, Shriram A. "Amrutachi Wonzali" (Marathi)
- Joshi, Vasant G. (2006). Sulabh Shri Dnyaneshwari(Marathi) (Financial Sponsorship)
- Kulkarni, Shriram A. (2007). Sarth Shrimat Gurucharitra: Sulabh Marathi Bhavarthasaha(Financial Sponsorship)
- Shri Gurucharitra, 14th Chapter in English & Marathi, 2009.
- Swami Tava Charanam Sharanam, Audio CD of Melodious Divine Songs, 2009.
- Hanumante, Mukund M. (2010). Eternal Friend: Shri Swami Samarth Maharaj of Akkalkot
- Ekkirala Bharadwaja
- Kaliyugi Shri Swami Samarth Charitra Tatva Rahasya (Marathi Granth)
- A short biography of Akkalkot Niwasi Shree Swami Samarth Maharaj by Shree Vitthalrao Joshi Charities Trust