Shree Swami Samarth Maharaj
श्री स्वामी समर्थ महाराज
|Title||Shree Swami Samarth Maharaj of Akkalkot|
Swami Samarth (also known as Akkalkot Swami) of Akkalkot, 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 to the nineteenth century AD.
Sri 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(as like much of the holy saints and incarnations of this tradition like Saibaba of Shirdi and Gajanan Maharaj of Shegaon).Once, when a devotee posed him a question about his life, Sri Swami Samarth indicated that he originated from the Banyan tree (Vata-Vriksha). On another occasion Swami Samarth said that his name was Nrusimha Bhan and that he was from Kardalivan near Srisailam.
Sri Swami Samarth is considered as the fourth(in actual considering only body, it is third) incarnation of Shree Dattatreya. The popular and accepted belief is that he is the reincarnation of Shree Narasimha Saraswati..
Swami Samarth himself preached that he came from the Kardali Forest. While moving in the Himalayan region has been known to have visited China, Tibet and Nepal. He has also traveled to places such as Puri, Banaras (Kashi), Haridwar, Girnar, Kathiawad and Rameswaram and stayed at Mangalvedha, a town near Pandharpur in Solapur district, Maharashtra, before settling down in Akkalkot.
Shri Swami Samarth is also believed to have visited Shri Manik Prabhu, a Datta Avatari saint at Manik Nagar before settling at Akkalkot.. According to Shri Manik Prabhu Charitra, Swami Maharaj stayed at Maniknagar for Six long months. Shri Manik Prabhu and Shri Swami Samarth used to sit under the holy Audumbar tree and interact on matters of deep spiritual wisdom. Eyewitness accounts suggest that Shri Swami Samarth used to regard Shri Manik Prabhu as his brother.
Swami Samarth came to Akkalkot in 1856 on the invitation of Chintopant Tol and stayed on the outskirts of the town for 22 years. He lived mainly at the residence of his disciple Cholappa, where his shrine is now located.
The Mantra of Sri Swami Samarth is “Om Abhayadata Shree Swamisamarthaya Namaha” while his biography is the “Sri Guruleelamrut”, authored by Sant Vamanbhau Maharaj.
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