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Ganpati Ravji Ghugardare (Kulkarni)
|Died||22 December 1913|
|Philosophy||Worship of Lord Shri Rama|
|Literary works||Pravachan, Abhang|
Brahmachaitanya (also known as Gondavalekar Maharaj; Feb 1845 - Dec 22, 1913) is a Hindu saint who resided in the taluka of Maan at Gondavale Budruk in Satara District, Maharashtra, India. His pre-sainthood name was Ganapati. Brahmachaitanya was a devotee of the Hindu god Rama and signed his name as 'Brahmachaitanya Ramdasi'.
He left his home in search of a spiritual guru when he was nine years old. He is believed to have visited many spiritual masters and contemporary saints of the time including Shri Manik Prabhu of Manik Nagar, Shri Swami Samarth of Akkalkot and Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. After knowing his whereabouts, his father brought him back from Kolhapur. He married when he was 11 years old, and again left home in search of a guru. He went to Yehalegaon in Nanded district and became a disciple of Tukamai. Tukamai gave him the name Brahmachaitanya. After the death of his first wife, he married a girl who was blind since birth.
"Sri Maharaj" as he was reverently addressed by his disciples, spent his life on teaching the importance of remembrance of lord in every single moment of day-to-day life of laymen. This is in accordance with teachings of Ramadas swami, of whom Sri Maharaj is considered the reincarnate. He spent a lifetime teaching the importance of peace with oneself over the material creature comforts alone. He advocated the continued remembrance of GOD as a means of happiness, contentment and peace. Family life is not incompatible with the attainment of ultimate peace. One does not have to be a sage living outside the social bounds. It is how one leads one's life that will determine the self. Key to the ultimate peace is in the regularity of prayers to Rama without expecting anything in return. With unrestricted love and in total faith should be the way in which one ought to say the revered name.
He showed path of devotion of Rama to thousands of devotees in Maharashtra, Karnataka and parts of North India. Most of the devotees were from the middle-class income group. He discouraged people from bad habits, bad behaviour, etc. He made extensive use of 'Pravachans', 'Bhajans', Vaidik Anushthans etc. for encouraging people to follow the path of devotion. He taught people to achieve perfect balance between prapancha and paramartha by doing extensive nama japa. He taught people the Mantra ' Shri Ram Jay Ram Jay Jay Ram' (श्रीराम जय राम जय जय राम). This Mantra has 13 letters (Alphabets). Each letter has its own meaning and he wrote 13 different 'Abhangas' on each of this letter. (श्रीराम म्हणा मुखी राम म्हणा मुखी। तेणे सर्वसुखी होशील तू॥) He says that this mantra was given by Rama to Sita and that it implies that Ram is their master and is in their hearts and takes care of all. He believed that each and everything that happens in life is according to the will of Rama.
He helped the poor, those suffering from drought. He taught Gorakshan (protection of Cows), Anna-Daan (food donation), Nama Japa (chanting name of God), Bhajans (devotional songs), Teertha yatras (spiritual tour).
- Belsare, Prof.K. V. The Saint of Gondawale.