Ganapatrao Maharaj Kannur

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Sadguru Ganapatrao Maharaj Kannur
Sri Ganapatrao Maharaj.JPG
Ganapatrao Shivrampant Kannur

(1909-09-18)18 September 1909
Died20 September 2004(2004-09-20) (aged 95)
Senior posting
GuruSri Siddharameshwar Maharaj
Love everyone & Live in Happiness.

Shri Samartha Sadaguru Ganapatrao Maharaj Kannur (1909–2004) was an Indian guru in the Inchegeri Sampradaya.


Early years[edit]

Kannur was born on 18 September 1909 on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi (Bhadrapad Shukla Chaturthi), in a Deshastha Brahmin[1] family of Smt Saraswatibai & Shrimant Shivrampant Kannur, in the small village Kannur,[2] located in the Bijapur district of Karnataka, India.

He had his primary and high-school education in Bijapur. He graduated in 1932, earning a B.Sc. (mathematics and physics) degree from Fergusson College, Pune.[citation needed]

Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj[edit]

Since his early childhood days, Kannur had a great inclination towards spirituality. At the age of 13 he was blessed and initiated by Sri S.S. Siddharameshwar Maharaj, who also accepted him as his disciple and guided him to the path of self attainment.

Maharaj had given stringent directives to few of his selfless disciples: to wear ochre robes, to be devoted towards sadhana and make it the sole objective of life, not to touch money, and live with only bare minimum necessities. The disciples chose the bank of river Krishna at Audumbar[3] and carried out tapas (penance) for a year, strictly as instructed.

Further study[edit]

Even being a graduate he decided not to take any service or job and wowed for the bow of celibacy throughout his life as not to get entangled in materialistic life. Maharaj died in 1936. After his death, Shri Ganapatrao Maharaj became firmly rooted in his doctrines, and studied the Shrimad Dasbodh, Bhagavata, Bhagavad-Gita Upanishads and other holy texts to attain the highest goal of his life - self liberation and self attainment.

Teaching others[edit]

He carried on the mantle passed to him by his Sadguru, and strived for the uplifting of common people for 60 years. To carry forward his spiritual work he founded the Shanti Kuteer Ashram.[4] At the age of 95, on Monday 20 September 2004, he died in Kannur House, Bijapur.


The motto of his life was to propagate the principles of Advaita and preach the importance of gaining liberation - mukti in this birth itself and showing the path of self-realization (atmanubhuti) to all who came to him. He was an individual with high intellect, with a very simple lifestyle, and the immense ability of loving all eternal humans without any differentiation of religion, caste or creed. People were instantly attracted by his loving, peaceful nature and enlightening discourses those who all came in his contact were very much impressed with his simplicity, selfless state & divine aura, which earned him the reverence as "Shanti Bramha".


Maharaj preached the principle of advaita, the importance of self-satisfaction, and the way to lead a happy and content life in eternal peace. His teaching, in a nut shell, was Aham brahmāsmi, "I am Bramha", Atma is supreme - Bramha.

He focused on how an individual who has conquered his ego can be eternally free in his birth itself. The supreme eminence of his teaching was that he explained this systematically in a simple language, so as even a common man could understand and follow it easily.

Some key topics which Maharaj elucidated were:

  • The importance of this birth as a human being.
  • The atma is supreme it is satchitanand meaning it is the ultimate truth, it is ever existent never to be destroyed and it is in the form of happiness.
  • An individual is not what he seems to be – neither the body neither the mind nor the self. He is the ultimate atma (soul) – the ultimate supreme: therefore every being is full of anand (bliss) in his basic state, which should be experienced.
  • The attainment of self enlightenment can be achieved by loving all and incinerating hatred towards others.
  • The importance of evicting self-centered lifestyle and relinquishing ego.
  • To be always content in self happiness and see all as self and love all.
  • The need to take up spiritual path of the fourfold sadhanas.
  • The importance of listening to discourses cogitation of what is heard and bringing it into practice.
  • Liberation from sufferings, hatred, selfish ego and achieving the supreme happiness means salvation.

Social setup[edit]

Maharaj was very much concerned about the changing lifestyles and diluting principles and human values. To counter these aspects, and implement the principles of adhyatma in day-to-day life, he founded a social organization called Bharatiya Surajya Samstha in 1993.

A spiritual aspirant (sadhaka) of the highest order certainly has at least a tinge of materialism in him, likewise the most worldly-minded person is sure to have at least a tinge of spiritual awareness in him. The goal of every man is to achieve a balance of these two facets. Every worldly-minded person should adopt spiritual values in his life. Every spiritually-minded person should develop the awareness that the world is present in the background. Maharaj preached this beautiful state of equanimity.

There are eight principles which are preached through Bhartiya Surajya Samstha (BSS):

  1. I will never take part in habit-forming activities like drinking, smoking and others.
  2. I will not engage myself in unethical acts like adultery, viewing lewd shows and others.
  3. I will practice the edict of "high thinking and simple living" in my daily life.
  4. I will buy and use only the outputs of our own country-men.
  5. I will observe the creed of non-violence and lead my life in harmony with everyone.
  6. I will go to a needy village or to my own place one day in a week and perform voluntary service.
  7. I will never take or give bribes.
  8. I will earmark two hours every day for spiritual practice of those Sadhanas which lead to the highest goal in life.

To preach and to spread the message of BSS the disciples of Maharaj carry walkathons in rural and urban areas every year known as BSS "Neeti Bhakti Dindi Yatra".

The BSS is also actively involved to give quality education in villages and helping them improve in every possible. This scheme called "School Adoption" was started by the Government of Karnataka. Eleven schools have been adopted under Maharaj's direction and received help in every possible way. "Liberation in life and value considerations should not be restricted but it should extend to the society and the nation and the world over" is the great message that has been given to civilization by the Samstha. He was also the originator of a bi-weekly publication known as Surajya Path and was a regular writer till his last days.

Every Sadhaka should lead life for the good of his own, his society and the nation. It is no exaggeration to say the nation has been uplifted because of the presence of such great Mahatmas and more so by our Sadguru.

Shanti Kuteer Ashram[edit]

Shanti Kuteer Ashram

Shanti Kuteer is a hermitage founded by Maharaj.[5] It is located near the village of Kannur, 25 km from Bijapur. This ashram was set up in 1951 and has gradually grown to consist of over 100 rooms for accommodation of the disciples. A temple of Lord Shree Dattatreya is located on the premises.[3]

Maharaj built small cottage on his ancestral land named it Shanti Kuteer. Starting with a small cottage in 1951, Shanti Kuteer expanded into a concrete structure in 1961. It became the centre for all his spiritual activities and soon gained the status of Teertha Kshetra. In a span of 60 years it has grown into a big spiritual centre with over 100 well maintained rooms, a huge auditorium where discourses are given and the Saptahs (spiritual fests) are celebrated, a dining hall that can seat thousands of devotees and other amenities. At Shanti Kuteer, no distinction is made on the basis of caste, creed, color, age, language or any other criteria. All those with sincere spiritual aspirations are welcome.

A temple of Lord Dattatraya is the main attraction and adjacent to which is the sanctum sanctorum - Samadhi Mandir where the holy ashes of Maharaj have been preserved and a beautiful marble Shivalinga has been placed on it. The room where Maharaj lived is the most sanctified place where mere visiting alienates one from worldly obsessions. The ashram has a book library as well as book store. There is a separate prayer hall where daily "prayers and aarti" are offered. The natural surroundings of a lake and a stream add to the overall atmosphere to make it a perfect destination for a dnyana seeker.

The day at Shanti Kuteer starts at 5 o'clock in the morning with dawn prayers, followed by dhyan for 30 minutes. At 8.30 am, the disciples perform the puja at the Samadhi Mandir of S S Maharaj. At 12 noon, chapters from Srimad Dasbodh are read and afternoon prayers and aarti are offered. This is followed by lunch. In the evening at 5.30 pm, chapters from Sulabh Atmadnyan are read and evening prayers and aarti are offered. At 8.30 pm, chapters from Srimad Dasbodh are read and night prayers and aarti are offered, followed by dinner.

Events and saptah[edit]

Various saptahs (spiritual fests) are held at Shanti Kuteer Kannur in a calendar year.

  • Chaitra Saptah (from Chaitra Shuddha Pratipada - Gudi padwa to Ramnavami) was started in 1974 and is for nine days.
  • Shravan - Ganesh Chaturthi Saptah (celebrated from Shravan Vadya Trayodashi to Ganesh Chaturthi) is celebrated at Shanti Kuteer for the past 34 years[when?].
  • Datta Jayanti (from Margashirshya Shuddha Trayodashi till Datta Jayanti) was started after the Shri Dattatraya temple was constructed at Shanti Kuteer in 1984 and is for three days.


Shri Samartha Sadaguru Bhausaheb Maharaj
Shri Samartha Sadaguru Siddharameshwar Maharaj
Sri Samartha Sadaguru Ganapatrao Maharaj Kannur


Maharaj traces his sampradaya to the Navanath Sampraday.[6] It was started by Adiguru Shri Dattatreya, and was further carried by the Navanaths, the Holy Nine Gurus.[7]

One of those Navnaths was Adiguru Sri Revanatah, who initiated Kaadasiddheshwar Swami Maharaj. Kaadasiddheshwar founded the Kaneri Ashram in the 13th century, which became a Dnyan Peeth. Many solace seekers were initiated for centuries.

Nimbargi sampraday[edit]

In the mid-19th century, the then Shri Kaadasiddheshwar Swami Maharaj initiated Shri Gurulingajangam Maharaj, also known as "Nimbarji Maharaj". He founded the Nimbargi sampraday and initiated Shri Raghunathpriya Sadhu Maharaj.

Shri Raghunathpriya Sadhu Maharaj initiated Shri Samartha Sadaguru Bhausaheb Maharaj Deshpande, who was an ardent follower and a devoted disciple of Shri Gurulingajangam Maharaj.[8]

Inchegeri sampraday[edit]

Shri Bhausaheb Maharaj established the Inchegeri Sampradaya. He preached the principle of non-dualness, advait tatva, and used to give discourses on Srimad Dasbodh.

Sri Bhausaheb Maharaj had many followers, many of which further rose to the state of Gurupad, and practised and preached the Principles of Vedant and Advait throughout India.

Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj was his disciple and ardent follower. Siddharameshwar professed the knowledge and basics of self-realization to the masses and became one of the most followed Guru of Inchegeri sampraday. Shri Maharaj was blessed and initiated by Siddharameshwar at the age of thirteen.


Maharaji's words came from the depth of his own experience. The acceptance of one being supreme and being one with the universe was the core of his discourses. Maharaj was ever vigilant about the welfare of his disciples, specifically about their spiritual progress. Hence he wrote a number of texts on the different aspects of spirituality. He also founded the publication Adhyatma Bhandar and all the books are published by it. Amongst them are:

  • Atmadnyanachi Gurukilli
  • Srimad Dasbodh – Kannada translation
  • Atmadnyanand Rasaduta / Atmadnyananachi Panchapakwanne
  • Adhyatmada Anagayinelli / Adhyatmacha Deepstambha
  • Anubhava Jnana
  • Yashashvi Jeevan Darshan
  • Sulabh Atmajnana (Easy steps to self-realisation).
  • Shantikuteer Sandesh

Shantikuteer Sandesh is a quarterly periodical published by Shantikuteer Trust. The periodical is available in the Kannada and Marathi languages.



  • Dabade, K.B. (1998), Sociology of Religion: A Case Study of Nimbargi Sampradaya, Mangala Publications

External links[edit]