Saturday, March 29, 2008

Reminiscences of Sri Brahmachaithanya Maharaj

Love of Senses May Lurk Under Even a Good Intent.

Once four disciples of the well-known Saint Gulabrao visited Sri Maharaj to pay their respects. Accompanying them was a man who had no sight. One of them said to Sri Maharaj. “ You are said to have brought a dead body to life on the Manikarnika ghat”(one of the ghats on the ganga). This gentleman with us is totally blind. His sole wish, if he were to regain his sight, is to read the sacred Jnaneshwari. We request you to bless him with the sense of sight.” Thereupon Sri Maharaj replied,” It is incorrect to say that I brought a dead body to life on the Manikarnika ghat. If I had that power, none from my village, Gondavale, need to die. Yet people do die there as a matter of course. When that particular body came back to life, it was ordained that it be so: besides, it was the rare event of Kapilashasti ( a day marked by combination of six astronomical specialities). Sri Rama wished to bestow life on it. He only made me an instrument, and the dead body came to life. I cannot in the least be credited with doer ship of the deed. You now wish me to bestow sight on this blind man. Assuming I were to do so, can you guarantee that he will not look at any other object whatever?. Obviously you cannot do so. Please do not think that I have given a lawyer’s reply only to silence you. Your guru was blind from birth. Yet he used to place his hand on the Jnyaneshwari and was able to read it. Let this blind person develop a similar yearning by ardently worshipping his guru. If he does so, I guarantee that he will be able to read the Jnyaneshwari merely by placing his hand on it, like your guru.”

(From the book Reminiscences of Sri Sadguru Brahmachaithanya Maharaj,by Shri L.G. Marathe, and translated by Dr.A.G.Damle and Shri M.D.Sawai.

Sri Brahmachaithanya Maharaja's Mandirs

Sri Rama Mandirs established by Sri Brahmachaithanya Maharaj and by his disciples:
1. Big Rama Mandir at Gondavale...1892
2. Small Rama Mandir at Gondavale.1895
3.Rama Mandir at Beladadhi........1896
4.Ananda Rama Mandir,Jalna,Anandavadi..1896
5.Tilwankar RamaMandir,Varanasi..1897/98
6.Pattabhi Rama Mandir,Harada.....1900
7.Rajaadhiraja Rama Mandir,Maandape.1901
8.Rama Mandir at Giravi...........1901
9.Rama Mandir at Sorati,Ujjain....1901
10.Rama Mandir at Yavagal.........1901
11.Rama Mandir at Kagavada........1902
12.Rama Mandir at Gomewadi........1903
13.Rama Mandir at Mhasoorne.......1903
14.Rama Mandir at Vita............1903
15.Rama Mandir at Manjarde........1905-06
16.Bhadagavkar Rama Mandir,Pandarapur.1908
17.Janaki Jeevana Rama Mandir,Morgiri.1908
18.Vitho Anna Daphthardar Rama Murthi,Patna..1909
19.Javalgekar Rama Mandir,Solapur..1909
20.chidambara nayakara Rama Mandira,Hubballi.1909
21.Kurthakoti Rama Mandir,Kurthakoti.1909
22.Atapadi Rama Mandir,Atapadi.....1909
23.Kannhad Rama Mandir....... 1911
25.Dahavadi Rama mandir............1912
26.Haradasi Rama Mandir,Sangli.....1912-13
27.Kukkadavada Rama Mandir,........1912-13
28.Likthe Rama Mandir,Pune.........1914
29.kherdi Rama Mandir, konkan......1914
30.Ashwathapur Rama Mandir,karnataka.1915
31.Emmikeri Rama Mandir, Dharawada.1915-17.
32.Line Bazar Rama Mandir,Dharwada.1915-17
33.Sri Vishwanatha Seetha Rama chandra Mandira,Gajendraghada-1916
34.Kaanchi Samudram Rama Mandir,A.P.1923
35.Sri Shendurani Ghat Rama Mandir..1923
36.ShivaRama Mandira, Kurundavada...1929
37.Rama Mandir at Viduraashwatha....1930
38.Rama Mandira at Indoor...........1931
39.Brahmachaithanya Rama Mandira,Mandaleshwara...1932
40.Rama Mandira,Gowdigalli,Hubballi..1945
41.Sri Brahmachaithanya sri Rama Mandira,Chintamani,karnataka.1949
42.Rama Mandira,Kudoor,karnataka.....1969
43.Sri Brahmachaithanya Ashrama & Rama Mandira,Parvathi Payaatha.1976
44.Rama Mandira,Hadonahalli..........1983
45.Sri Rama Mandira,Samartha Kuti Bedi,Udavah..1994
46.Rama Mandira, Vudagyav,Pune.......1995
47.Rama Mandira,Maardi...............1997
Sri Datta Mandiras established by Sri Brahmachaithanya Maharaj
48.Datta Mandira, Aatavaadi..........1892
49.Datta Mandira, Yavagal............1901
50.Datta Mandira,Satara..............1908
51.Datta Mandira,Gondavale...........1911
Vitthala Mandirs Established by Sri Brahmachaithanya Maharaj
52.Vitthala Mandira,Khathavala.......1909
53.Vitthala Mandira,ViKhaleh.........1909
54.Vitthala Mandira Uksaan...........1909
Other Mandirs Established by Sri Brahmachaithanya Maharaj
55.Hanuman Mandir, Kaagavaada........1909
56.Shani Mandir, Gondavali...........1911
Mandirs Renovated By Sri Brahmananda Maharaj On The Instructions Of Sri Brahmachaithanya Maharaj.
57.Vitthala Mandir, Naragunda........1909
58.Venkatesha Mandira,Venkatapura....1909
59.Venugopala Mandira,Bidarahalli....1909
Maharaja's Paduka Mandirs
60.Rendaalkar Paduka Mandir,Kolhapur.1920
61.Brahmachaithanya Mutt,Malhad......1929
62.Brahmachaithanya Mutt & Hanuman Mandir,Mandasour.1947
63 Sri Brahmachaithanya Mandir,
# 1692, 5th Cross
16th MainRoad
B.S.K. 1st Stage 2nd Block
Banglore-50 Hanumantha nagar,Bangalore..........1972
64.Paaduka Mandir, Londa.............1982
65.Paaduka Mandir, Hebballi..........1984
66.Paaduka Mandir, Halenagara,Bhadravathi.1988

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sri Rama Jai Rama Jai Jai Rama

"Sri Rama Jai Rama Jai Jai Rama", is the sacred tharaka manthra chanted by saints for the realisation of God. The saints not only chanted the manthra, for their benefit, but initiated it to their disciples in the larger interest to benefit the mankind.


Sri Brahmachaithanya Maharaj was a great saint who lived in Gondavale, Sathara Dist.Maharashtra. He was born on Wednesday,february 10, 1844. He was named Ganapathi. His parents were Raoji Panth and Geetha Bai. Even from very early days Ganapathi showed high intelligence and good memory power. He realised that without the guidance and grace of a Guru , one cannot see God. At the age of 12, he left home in search of a Guru. He met a large number of mystics. He possessed the capacity to judge the spiritual worth of any person,even at that tender age. "This power", he said later, "I had quite early and I got it through the chanting of the Divine name".

After travelling much, and meeting many saints and Yogis, he was directed to Sri Thukaram Chaithanya of Yelegaon. Ganapathi came to the village in the morning. Sri Thukaram had gone out. No one knew when he would return. The young sadhaka, after taking bath in the nearby river, waited for the Guru's Darshan with an empty stomach. He sat outside the house immersed in japam. In the evening, Sri Thukaram returned. Some body had told him that an young boy was waiting for him. He came home shouting, "where is that boy? where is that thief?",

Ganapathi stood up and at the first sight of his Guru was overpowered with emotion. He could not move. He simply stood before his Guru, with holded hands and tearful eyes. The Guru roared: "Come on, I am going to murder your self".The lad humbly replied, " O Guruji! I surrender myself to you." with these words he fell on Sri Thukaram's feet. With this began a deep relationship between two great souls, which was divine in all its aspects.

Sri Thukaram was more than a mother to the young lad. He tested him severely. But, the young Ganapathi obeyed his Guru's orders implicitly. During his stay at Yelegaon, Ganapathi became an expert in meditation. On a Sri Rama Navami Day, after a bath in the river,sitting under a Banyan tree, the Guru said, "My child! You have been with me for nine months. I have put you to a very severe test. But you have passed it. You are now more than fit for Divine Grace. I Give you today what the great Vashishtha gave Sri Rama, What my Guru has given me. Receive it with all thy heart." Sri Thukaram whispered the Manthram, "Sri Rama Jaya Rama Jaya Jaya Rama". in the young diciple's ear and placed his right hand on Ganapathi's head. Ganapathi(here after addressed here as Maharaj) immediately lost himself into deep Samadhi. When he returned to normal consciousness, he was rapt into the supreme joy of the Divine Being. He came to know God by himself becoming the Divine. He thus became a true saint. The attainment of saintship was almost a new birth of the soul. The guru, therefore gave a new name,"Brahma Chaithanya", to the disciple. He became known as Sadguru Sri Brahmachaithanya Maharaj.

After the attainment of sainthood , Maharaj left yelegaon, and went towards north. On the way, he passed through dense forests near Ujjain. He stayed in Samadhi for two months in the forest. And then he went to Himalayas. After residing in the holy regions of the mountains for some time, Maharaj felt that he should take upon himself the work of spiritual awakening among the people. So, after visiting many holy places, and leaving behind many followers, wherever he visited, he returned to Gondavali in the month of March 1866. At the insistence of his mother, he brought his wife Saraswathi from her parent’s house. (He was married to Saraswathi,when he was under 12 years by their parents, at the insistence of his grand- father Sri Lingopanth Kulakarni).
Residing in Gondavali, he turned the small village, into a place of pilgrimage. Many people, all over the country, visited him for his teachings. He constructed Rama Mandirs at many places, and made Ram nam reverberate everywhere. He breathed his last uttering, “Sri Rama” at 5.50 a.m. on Monday, 22nd December,1913.

I have not gone away:-
Sri Bhau Saheb Ketkar felt very sorry when Maharaj was no more. He could not bear the Maharaj’s separation and felt an aversion for food and drink.
One night, Sri Maharaj appeared and said to him, “Bhau Saheb! I am not gone. I am here as before. I will meet you whenever you desire to meet me”. In 1918, the whole taluk, including Gondavali was affected by Influenza. The villagers came to Sri Ketkar for medicine. He was worried as to what could be done. The Master appeared and said, “Well there is no cause for worry. Prepare ginger curry, put holy water into it and give it to the patients”. Sri Ketkar acted accordingly and all his patients got well.
For more details read: "The Saint Of Gondavali" by Prof. K.V. Belsare.