|Gajanan Maharaj Shegaon|
Since ancient times, the holy land of India has been sanctified by the presence of spiritual powerhouses. Since the early 1800s, a galaxy of spiritual luminaries has been manifesting on earth, preparing us as if for the advent of the Divine in human form.
Lord Gajanan Maharaj
Though the basis of religion is faith however the acceptance of people is essential. Indian religion and the Indian economy both advocate duty and sacrifice. These two ideals are applied to our country, institute, trust, and family. We achieve harmony and prosperity by executing our duties and by sacrificing what we have whenever it required to other we adhere by good thoughts.
Feelings, customs and faith are elements of religion that are very close to the heart and hence it is possible to achieve selfless service. Opposite to this, trade and commerce are relying on intellectual capacity which involves selfish motives. If trade and commerce do not go hand in hand with religion, then the intellect dominates and self-centered behavior comes to the fore. Hence Indian philosophy propagates a perfect balance between commerce and religion thereby inspiring a man to follow the path of righteousness.
Shri Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan
The Shri Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan, Shegaon persist to Indian philosophy and follows Shri Gajanan Maharaj’s sermon. It is an officially registered body that is committed to social development programs, medical, educational, religious, philosophical thoughts. The real wealth is considered to be devotion, faith, and service. The money that Sansthan gets from donations is spent on the development activities. Sansthan does not reap wealth. The money received is used for almost 42 different types of development programs. Each and every penny is spent on a worthy cause. The object in my mind decided to call big daddy and mom from the village and reach the station for Shegaon at four in the morning. It was early in the morning, I woke the airmen, told them, I will not be on duty tomorrow, my vacation! I am going to Shegaon! I was on my way home, I saw an auto-rickshaw on the way, coincidentally I had invoiced it some time ago. Will he come home at four in the morning? So asked. Asked for money too. Said to take fifty bucks. Hand in pocket money. The note was only fifty rupees.ive of the Sansthan is “सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः” sarve bhavantu sukinah, sarve santu niramayah and believe in “Service to mankind is service to God”.
I have visited many temples but the feelings and vibration of Shri Gajanan Maharaj temple in Shegaon is beyond speech. Once you reach the Samadhi sthal of Shri Gajanan Maharaj, and see his idol a great obeisance comes deep inside your body and mind. The second thing that appeals to me is the cleanliness and discipline in and around the temple. The ever-smiling and humble Sevadharis are always at the disposal of you to help your any need.
It amazes to see the crowd management done flawlessly in Shegaon where none from Shri Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan has undergone formal training in Management. I salute the devotion and discipline observed
in the Shri Gajanan Maharaj Temple in Shegaon.
When man devours with worries, problems, and vices, a saintly figure is required to show him the path of Truth to lead him to light. A saint usually guides such a man to become a devotee of God and to lead a life of righteousness. One such saint took his first appearance in Shegaon in Maharashtra on 23rd February 1878. He was called Shri Gajanan Maharaj.
Why Gajanan Maharaj
Shining in this constellation of spiritual lights was Sri Gajanan Maharaj of Shegaon. The account of Gajanan Maharaj’s birth is as mysterious as the many miraculous acts of the saint. While different theories have been postulated to explain the origins of Sri Maharaj.
It is noteworthy to mention that Gajanan Maharaj was a contemporary of over fifteen powerful saints and there isn’t much information available about the origin of all of these saints. Some well-known divinities of the time include Shirdi Sai Baba, Narsing Maharaj, Tajjuddin Baba, Madhavnath Maharaj, Anant Maharaj, Tembe Swami, etc.
In stark resemblance to the life of Shirdi Sai Baba, Gajanan Maharaj too was discovered by a blessed devotee.
A moneylender by the name of Bankatlal Agarwal discovered Maharaj while the saint was finding food from a heap of leftover paträvalis (leaf plates used in olden days). The saint’s act was a practical lesson to illustrate the importance of respecting food.
Believers claim that Gajanan Maharaj was at the ashram of Akkalkot Swami Samartha (incarnation of Dattatreya) for some time. It is said that when the young lad was still on his way to Akkalkot, the incumbent Maharaj said, “Ganapati aala re aala” (Ganapati has come). After the initial meeting, Gajanan Maharaj was asked to seek training from Yashwant Deo Mamlatdar in Nasik. In Nasik, Gajanan Maharaj came in contact with the brightest of saints and spiritual scholars. He also came in contact with Narsing Baba of Akot.
While the Maharaj was performing sädhanä (spiritual austerities), Balshastri Gadge of Laad was impressed by the young boy and waited to invite him to Lad Karanja in Vidhabha, a prayer that the young saint gracefully acceded to.
Gajanan Maharaj then spent a few years with Narsing Baba, a saint that fearlessly wandered in forests that were inhabited by wild animals. It is said that even the wildest of animals would become meek and loving in the presence of Narsing Baba. In his company, the Maharaj’s yogic powers were fully awakened and he could perform many divine feats. Once, the Maharaj used his yogic powers to raise the water level of a well. Gajanan Maharaj soon moved to Shegaon.
Once, Bankatlal invited the Maharaj to his farm to eat corn stalk. Many devotees had assembled there to bask in a divine company. A fire was soon lit to roast the corn. In the merriment that ensued, none (except Gajanan Maharaj) noticed that the fumes were reaching a beehive on the tree. Disturbed by the heat, hundreds of bees started swarming out. The devotees were panic-struck and ran for safety. Sri, however, was unruffled and did not move from his seat. The bees soon settled on his body and stung him in hundreds of places. This disturbed the devotees who were observing their beloved deity sitting undisturbed even in pain. As Bankatlal rushed to aid his lord, Maharaj ordered the bees as follows: “You go back to your own place. My dear devotee Bankatlal should suffer no pain.” The bees obeyed.
All the devotees returned to their seat but were terrified at the sight of the Maharaj’s body, for millions of stings, had covered the saint’s beautiful form. In consideration of their devotion, Gajanan Maharaj took a deep breath and the wonder of wonders, all the stings fell out of his body.
Once, a group of [false] sages, in the pretense of earning money, were discoursing on the Bhagavad Gita. The group leader started his discourse by explaining that neither weapons could destroy the soul, nor could fire burn it. It was the [futile] intention of the band to divert the devotees of Gajanan Maharaj. While the lecture was in progress, a strange miracle happened. The Maharaj’s bed suddenly erupted into flames. As the flames were rising, devotees started making rescue arrangements. Gajanan Maharaj dissuaded these attempts, however, and sat unruffled in the midst of the flames.
Addressing the group leader who was apparently enjoying the sight, the Maharaj said, “Since you have been telling people for the last one hour that neither weapon can destroy nor fire can burn the soul, please come and prove it by sitting on fire.” The leader ignored this order, so Maharaj asked some of his disciples to bring him by force. By now, the fake sädhu‘s ego was completely shattered and he sincerely repented for his behavior. Maharaj not only forgave him but also gave him spiritual instructions. The fire extinguished as mysteriously as it appeared.
Sri Gajanan Maharaj shed his mortal coil in 1910. Two years before this, he had warned his devotees of the samädhi. Before giving up the physical form, however, he consoled the grieving devotees with the following words: “Don’t think I am gone. I will always be there whenever you think of me. I will rest here.” These were not hollow words. Even today, many devotees experience continued presence and protection of the Maharaj.
It is worth mentioning here that Sri Sai Baba of Shirdi always held Gajanan Maharaj in high esteem. When the Maharaj took samädhi, Baba told his followers “Aaj mazaa Gaja gela” (my Gaja left today). There were incidences where Baba and Gajanan Maharaj fondly addressed each other as spiritual brothers. In reality, they were the same divinity functioning in two different forms. A leelä only they would understand.
Jai Gajanan Shree Gajanan