Shreedhar Swami Maharaj
From Spiritual Note
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|Shreedhar Swami Maharaj|
Shreedhar Swami Maharaj
|Date of Birth:||7-12-1908|
|Date of Death:||19-4-1973|
Swamiji's father Narayanrao Deglurkar (Patki) and mother Mrs. Kamalabai Deglurkar were from Deglur, a taluka place in Maharashtra. To get rid of a curse that was affecting the life of the children in his family Narayanrao along with his wife went to Ganagapur (a holy place of lord Dattatraya) and started worshipping Dattatraya. After many days of worship one morning Shri Dattaguru appeared in-front of Narayanrao and Kamalabai and blessed them. He gave them a coconut and asked them to eat it. Due to the blessings of Dattatraya Kamalabai got pregnant and gave birth to a boy on 1908. The child was baptised on the 12th day of his birth and was named as 'Shreedhar'. But in the house everyone used to call him as 'Raja' (King) with love.
At the age of 3, Shreedhar lost his father. While Shreedhar was a child he suffered from a strange illness and because of this he could not attend his school regularly. He feared that he might fail in the exams as he was not prepared for the exams. But his mother told him to constantly chant the name of lord 'Ram' and by doing so he will secure good number of marks. Shreedhar started doing this with full concentration, he in-fact stopped studying and fully concentrated on the chanting of 'Ram'. On the examination day he went without any preparation but was able to answer all the questions and when the results came he had secured the 1st rank in the school. This thing gave confidence to Shreedhar that anything in this world can be achieved by chanting the name of lord Ram.
After Shreedhar realized the strength of chanting the name of god Ram (Ram naam jaap), he started doing it with full devotion. Soon after this one by one he lost all his family members. While on death bed and death approaching, she called Shreedhar by her side and asked him to treat all women in the world as his mother to uplift the state of womanhood she said this had to be done by some one to set an example in front of the world. She said that if you follow my wish our clan would end; but I am purposefully asking for it as I know; only you can do it. This is my last wish and I am sure you will not let me down. Shreedhar was just 11 years old at that time.
 Sadhana at Sajjangad
After the death of his mother, with the help of his Aunt Shreedhar went to Puna to continue his education. There he got into a orphanage house. There he continued his Ram naam jaap, he used to help every one and take care of all. Because of this people started calling him as Swami. There he met a person Mr. Palnitkar who was religious and helpful. He guided Shreedhar and asked him to go to Sajjangad where Shree Ramdas Swami (Shree Samarth) had spent his whole life. Before leaving for Sajjangad Shreedhar wrote a letter with the following contents on it:
I * will remain a bachelor to the core till death. * will not touch money, even if given forcefully to poor or for a good cause * will not become the head priest anywhere * will keep my needs to bare minimum * will not differentiate between men and women * will consider every woman as my mother * will spend my life for the benefit of society by all means * will try my best to revive the religion to make the world happy * For this I am hereby submitting my body to the God, now he is responsible to pull me out of the wrong track and put me on the right one, if it so happens. I am submitting this document to the sacred fire to reproduce it if the need be. -SHREEDHAR
Then he put his paper in sacred fire in-front of god. The decision was made here. After this he started his journey to Sajjangad by walk. After few days Shreedhar reached Sajjangad. Even though no one is allowed to stay more than 3 days in Sajjangad, looking at the dedication of Shreedhar (now onwards referred as Swamiji) the people at Sajjangad allowed Swamiji on a condition that he will do all the work that pleases Shree Samarth. Swamiji accepted this condition gladly.
Swamiji used to getup even before the dawn, sweep clean the complete the Samadhi temple premises, wash the clothes of Samarth, clean the utensils, go to the mountain and collect the flowers for the Samadhi pooja, getting the water required for Samadhi pooja and cooking. Sometimes he used to get engrossed with his work that he used to forget taking his lunch. Also he used to take very little food so that he is not a burden on the math (temple). After some time he took the responsibility of cooking also along with his usual work. He used to work with full enthusiasm and devotion. During all this the Ram naam jaap continued without any disturbance. Everyone in the Samadhi temple used to like Swamiji. But after sometime the management staff of the Samadhi temple changed and the people in the management did not like Swamiji. They started troubling Swamiji and wanted to send Swamiji out of Sajjangad. They even tried to trouble Swamiji using black magic but could not succeed. Finally they have to leave Sajjangad after their intentions came to light.
After a year and half of seva from Swamiji, on one day while Swamiji was meditating Shree Samarth appeared in a human form and blessed him. Shree Samarth named Swamiji as Shreemat Paramhans Parivrajakacharya Shreedhar Swami and asked Swamiji to travel towards south as people there needed him. Without any delay Swamiji followed his Guru's order and started his journey very next morning. He took a copy of Dasbodh and a pair of cloths of Samarth as his blessings. Now he was ready for his journey to help the mankind.
 Journey to South India
Swamiji started his journey towards the south by walk. After many days of journey he reached Kolhapur. There he went to Goddess Mahalakshmi Temple. He took bath in the nearby lake and went inside the temple. Standing in front of the idol of Goddess Mahalakshmi he spent a long time. There was no exchange of words but there was a long conversation between mother and son. After some time Swamiji asked permission to continue his journey. With the permission and blessings from Goddess Mahalakshmi Swamji continued his journey.
During the journey he stayed at many places, blessed many needed people, cleared the doubts of many people. Swamiji reached Gokarn, there one day he met a disciple of Shree Shivanda Swami of Shigehalli. From Gokarn Swamiji went to Shigehalli along with the disciple of Shree Shivananda. When Swamiji and Shree Shivananda saw each other they felt very happy. Swamji stayed at Shigehalli for some days and again started his journey.
He continued his journey and reached the abode of Godess Renuka. He prayed there and continued his journey. During his journey he got the fever of malaria, but Swamiji never cared for such problems. He continued his journey day and night and reached a place where Shri Ram and Lakshman had stayed during their vanvas (stay in forest). Many people saw swamiji and they were impressed by his devotion and they asked Swamiji to explain the effect of chanting the name of God Ram (Ram naam jaap). Swamiji happily did accepted it and explained the greatness of Ram naam jaap. All then hailed Bhagwan Ram.
Swamiji again started on his journey and reached Sagar near Shimogga in Karnataka.There he stayed at a Dattatraya temple. He was on high fever but he did not care and started doing meditation. After about 3 hours he asked for some water, the priest of the temple did not paid any attention but a man came from nowhere and gave water to Swamiji. Also, he took Swamiji to a room in the temple and gave some medicine, but Swamiji refused to take medicine saying that 'who cares for the mortal body?'. By this many people understud the autority of Swamiji they asked may questions to which Swamiji answered. Listening to these answers a man by name Krishnamoorthy in the next room came to Swamiji's room and he also asked many questions from Bible and some of the hindu books. Swamiji answered to all the questions promptly, Krishnamoorthy was satisfied with the answers. Krishnamoorthy was a great devotee of Shri Raghavendra Swami of Mantralaya, that night Shri Raghavendra Swami came in his dream and told to serve Swamji as he and Swamiji are same. From that day Krishnamoorthy and his wife served Swamiji for about 45 days during which Swamiji stayed only by drinking water. His sadhana was never interrupted by the any of the problems that he was facing physically because of the fever.
After that Swamiji went to Venkatagiriappa's place who was a deciple of Shree Shivananda Swami. Swamji identified the true devotion of Venkatagiriappa towards his guru and decided to stay with him for sometime. Swamiji spent about four months at Venkatagiriappa's place and then decided to leave. From there Swamiji reached a place called Chitramool. Here swamiji did his sadhana for several months in a cave which is said to be used by many great saints for doing sadhana in the yesteryear.
After some time Swamiji went to Shigehalli after he got an urgent message from Shri Shivananda Swami. Shri Shivananda was planning to take samadhi and hence he wanted Swamji to be threre with him. But Shri Shivananda's Guru Shri Paramanand Swamji stopped him from doing that. Swamiji stayed in Shigehalli for some time, during this period Shri Shivananda told Swamiji about Sahaj Samadhi Yoga. After listening to the details of sahaj samadhi yoga Swamiji started his sadhana for it. Because of his rigorous sadhana he developed peptic ulcer. But he never cared for it and continued his Sadhana.
That year Swamiji wanted to attend the Ramnavami and Dasnavami celebration so he asked Shivananda to permit him to go there. With sadness Shri Shivananda gave permission. After a long journey Swamiji reached Sajjanagad. During the festival no one recognized Swamiji but after the celebration people of Sajjangad recognized and they were very happy that Swamiji had comeback. Swamiji stayed at Sajjangad for some time and during this time he got the blessings from Shri Samarth. He also wrote some books during his stay. During this period Shr Shivanand at Shigehalli took samadhi but assured his disciples that one day Swamiji will comeback to Shigehalli to guide them.
Swamiji started getting messages from Shigehalli to comeback. But Swamiji wanted to stay at Sajjangad. After somedays Shri Samarth told him to go to Shigehalli in order to help and guide the people. Swamiji readily agreed and went back to Shigehalli. As soon as he returned to Shigehalli first thing he did was to complete the construction of Shri Shivananda samadhi math. He continued his writing work and completed some books which include 'Swatm Nirupan' and 'Bhaktisar' and 'Vivekoday'. Swamiji wanted to leave from Shigehalli as it was almost four months since he had come from Sajjangad. But people at Shigehalli requested Swamiji not to leave the place, he was kind harted and agreed to their request.
During his stay Swamiji started many schools for teaching Vedanta and Sanskrit. He also renovated many temples which were in bad condition due to poor maintainace.
Swamiji never used to care for his physical condition and used to always engrossed in his sadhana or in helping the people, because of this he became so weak that he was not even able to move and in this condition it was difficult for the people to take Swamiji to a place where better medication could be provided. So they arrange a spacious bungalow near Shigehalli and they arranged all the required facilities which were required to take care of Swamiji. Swamiji stayed in that place for two months and during this period his health improved. While Swamiji was here he got the message from his guru Shree Samarth to become a Sanyasi. Immediately Swamiji asked the people of Shigehalli to make preparation for this ceremony. This happened in 1942.
Thousands of people came from many parts of the country to attend this ceremony. The ceremony took place as per the orders of Shree Samarth and Swamiji was named as Shreemat Paramhans Parivrajakacharya Bhagwan Shreedhar Swami. In indian languages Bhagavan means God.
- SadguruBhagwanShreedharSwamiMaharaj.com - A good site dedicated to Sant shridhar Swami Maharaj.
- Geocities.com/ssv000/ - A site with summarized information about Shreedhar Swami
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