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Origin and Appearance of Shri Swami Samarth - two stories
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Origin and Appearance of Shri Swami Samarth in Kardalivan
 
Shri Swami Samarth (also called Shree Akkalkot Swami Samarth) is the third Avatar (incarnation) of Lord Shri Dattatreya in the Kali Yuga. The first Kali Yuga Avatar of Lord Shri Dattatreya is Shripad Shri Vallabha (1320-1352) and the second being Shrimad Narasimha Saraswati (1378-1458)
 
Swami samartha narasimha saraswati dattatreya incarnation trinity brahma vishnu shiva 
Three Avatars of Shri Lord Dattatreya - the Divine Trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh-Shiva)

Two stories of Swami Samartha's manifestation or appearance (arrival on the earth)
 
There are two known stories or versions of Swami Samarth's appearance in this world. Both versions are about his "appearance" rather than a normal birth from mother's womb. According to one story he appeared mysteriously as an eight year old boy at Chele town near Hastinapur in north India. In another Shri Narasimha Saraswati went to Badri Forest where he stayed in the Samadhi for about 350 years and he was woken up by a woodcutter.

There may be two known versions about the place and the year of Swami's appearance, but all the authors agree on the day of his appearance which was the second day of Chaitra month or the day after the Gudi Padwa. Gudi Padwa is the newyear day in the Shalivahan Shaka. It is the Tithi of Chaitra Shuddha Dwtiya (चैत्र शुद्ध द्वितीया). There is no disagreement on this.

Read Marathi story of Swami Samarth Prakat-din (day of appearance)
चैत्र शुद्ध द्वितीया, अनंतकोटी ब्रह्मांडनायक राजाधिराज योगीराज परब्रह्म श्री स्वामी समर्थ यांचा हा प्रगटदिन
.
 
Story 1: Swami Samarth manifested as an eight year old boy at Chele town near Hastinapur

According to Swamisut, whom Swami Samarth considered as his son, Swami Samarth first appeared in the village of Chelikheda about 24 miles from Hastinapur (Hastinapur is about 100 km north-east of Delhi on the banks of the River Ganga) on the second day of Chaitra month or the day after the Gudi Padwa as an eight year old boy who appeared after breaking of the ground. This is mentioned in the scripture/manuscript written by Swami-sut (Haribhau Tawade) and named as "Swami-Prakat-kand" (story of Swami's appearance). ry of Swami's appearance).

This is also according to the horoscope prepared by Mr.Nana Rekhi from Ahamadnagar who was a Swami Bhakta and an expert Pingala-Jotyshi (astrologer). This horoscope was approved by Swami Samarth himself. Chaitra Shuddha Dwtiya is celebrated as “Prakatdin” i.e. day of manifestation, at the Swamisut Math in Chembur Mumbai. Some of Swami's devotees like Mr Hanmante, author of “A Glimpse of Divinity: Shri Swami Samarth of Akkalkot”, Nana Gadre and Shakatai Agate have confirmed that Swami Samarth manifested as an eight year old boy near Hastinapur on Chaitra Shuddha Dwitiya. According to Shri Anandnath Maharaj Swami Samarth manifested near Himalayas under a banyan tree on this day.

So this appears to be the version of Swami accepted by many of the Swami Samartha's followers.

Swami Samarth appeared as an eight year old boy at Chele town near Hastinapur by breaking ground 
Swami Samarth appeared as an eight year old boy at Chele town near Hastinapur by breaking ground

Story 2: Swami Samarth went to Kardalivan and to Badri Forest and appeared from an anthill

It is mentioned in the holy book of Shri Gurucharitra that Shri Narasimha Saraswati (the 2nd Avatar of Lord Shri Dattatreya) went to Kardalivan located at the foot of Shreeshail Mountain in 1458.

Later he is said to have left Kardalivan and went north to Badri Forest where advanced Yogis go for meditation. He spent several years there and entered into Mahasamadhi. In the course of time his body was completely covered by anthills. Anthills are common in forests and since it is believed that they are the abodes of snakes people generally do not go near them or disturb them. Thus Shri Narasimha Saraswati was left undisturbed.
 
Shree Swami Samarth appeared from anthill at Badri Forest 
Shree Swami Samarth appeared from anthill at Badri Forest

He stayed in the Samadhi for about 350 years. Once a woodcutter reached to cut a tree though while doing this his axe hit Shreeguru’s thigh and blood overflowing disturbed the spell of meditation and at once he stood up. He was more than seven feet tall with long hands reaching well below his knees (Ajanubahu – one with very long hands). That panicked the woodcutter, however Shreeguru pardoned him and revealed himself as Shree Swami Samarth. The axe mark did form a spot on the thigh of Shree Swami Samarth. This reappearance of Shri Narasimha Saraswati in a new personality is considered to be consistent with the legend that Swami Samarth was not born through the womb.

---
Here is the reference that supports the above version of the story. This is said to have happened when Swami Samarth was living at Akkalkot between 1856 to 1878

Once, a British barrister and a Parsi gentleman came to Akkalkot to meet Swami Samarth. Though they had wanted to ask many questions to Swami Samarth they were so much impressed by the effulgence exuded by him that they asked only one question, “Where do you come from?” Swami Samarth’s reply was, “I first left Kardali forest and visited cities like Calcutta. After wandering in Bengal I visited Goddess Kali. Then, wandering along the banks of Ganges I visited thousands of places of pilgrimage like Hardwar, Kedareshwar, Gangotri, Badrinath, Dwaraka and Ayodhya and came to the banks of river Godavari. I stayed for many years in Hyderabad and Mangalwedhe. Then I went to Pandharpur, Begampur and Mohol and after staying there for some time I came to Akkalkot and am here since then. Swami Samarth often said his name was Nrisimhabhan.
 
Swami Samarth's Travel all over India after his manifestation or appearance (arrival on the earth)

Most of the Swami Charitra authors agree with this part of Swami's journey after his appearance.

After his initial appearance, Shree Swami Samarth reappeared at Gangotri away from Northern side of River Bhagirathi. Gangotri is a place of pilgrimage in Uttar Pradesh. He then reached Devalgram where he installed his Paduka to soon leave from there too. His next place of appearance was Rajur in Marathwada in Maharashtra. Rajur later on became a place of sacred Muth that Swami Samarth set up a new, where the then Muslim King donated the land for the Muth. Shree Swami Samarth even left Rajur and reached the holy places Udupi in Karnataka and further in Maharashtra at Pandharpur. His next destination was Mangalvedha in Maharashtra.

During Shree Swami’s travel, he became popular by various names at various places. Thus at one place he was known as Chanchal Bharati and at another place he would be called Digambar Swami.

As he traveled and stayed at various places, he performed several miracles and became the Guru (preceptor) of many great souls like Shree Ramkrishna Paramahansa, Shree Saibaba of Shirdi, Shree Shankar Maharaj, and Shree Gajajan Maharaj of Shegaon etc. The places he visited later on became pilgrimage locations.
 
This is a rare original photo where Swami is seen standing. The picture was taken in 1875. Swami was almost 7 ft tall. He was Ajanubahu (whose arms reach the knees). While entering the Math his head used to touch the 7 ft tall doorway. This photo clearly shows his long hands touching the knees. Around that time Swami was seen in cap in most of the photos. 

This is a rare original photo where Swami is seen standing. The picture was taken in 1875. Swami was almost 7 ft tall. He was Ajanubahu (whose arms reach the knees). While entering the Math his head used to touch the 7 ft tall doorway. This photo clearly shows his long hands touching the knees.
 
Swami Samartha's stay at Akkalkot
 
In Mangalvedha Swami Samarth did spend much of his time later visiting Mohol, Solapur, Ganagapur all over Maharashtra and then finally reached Akkalkot in 1855-56. Shri Swami Samarth lived at Akkalkot for over two decades (22 years), mainly at the residence of his disciple Cholappa, where his Samadhi and shrine are now located. The shrine complex, The Vatavruksha Mandir, which also encloses the banyan tree beneath which the Swami would preach his message, is the hub of devotions for his followers.

Shree Swami Samarth was an epitome of wisdom and knowledge and is considered an Avadhoot: Maha-Yogi possessing great spiritual powers.

Swami samarth sitting under banyan tree, Akkalkot 
Shri Swami Samarth sitting under banyan tree, Akkalkot



He was always muttering mystic 'Mantras' or words that very few could understand. He performed numerous miracles, cured several people from deceases, and showed visions, in different divine forms, to many of his disciples. He expressed oneness with all the creation. The splendor of Shree Swami Samarth and his glorious mission became more fully manifest, after his arrival in Akkalkot in Maharashtra.

Gurumandir Swami samrtha temple, Akkalkot 
Gurumandir of Swami Samarta, Akkalkot

Shree Swami stayed in Akkalkot, for 22 years till his Mahasamadhi, showing the common man the path to the God.
 
चैत्र शुद्ध द्वितीया, अनंतकोटी ब्रह्मांडनायक राजाधिराज योगीराज परब्रह्म श्री स्वामी समर्थ यांचा हा प्रगटदिन
 
आज श्रीस्वामी समर्थ प्रकटदिन ! सर्वांना स्वामी प्रकटदिनाच्या मनःपूर्वक शुभेच्छा !! स्वामी प्रकटदिना निमित्त हा विशेष लेख सादर करत आहेत, तरी सर्वांनी आवर्जून वाचा व अधिकाधिक शेअर करा.

आज चैत्र शुद्ध द्वितीया. अनंतकोटी ब्रह्मांडनायक राजाधिराज योगीराज परब्रह्म श्री स्वामी समर्थ यांचा हा प्रगटदिन. समस्त स्वामीभक्तांसाठी अत्यंत महत्वाचा दिवस.

श्री स्वामींना आमचे कोटी कोटी प्रणाम आणि आपणा सर्वांना स्वामी जयंतीच्या शुभेच्छा.

श्री स्वामी समर्थ हे प्रत्यक्ष परब्रह्म आहेत. त्यांनीच या विश्वाची निर्मिती केली आहे. खरोखरच अनंत कोटी ब्रह्मांडाचे ते खरेखुरे नायक आहे. त्यांच्या हाती असलेली गोटी हि ब्रह्मांडावर असलेल्या त्यांच्या निर्विवाद सत्तेचीच आठवण करून देते. आज म्हणजे चैत्र शुद्ध द्वितीया हा स्वामींचा प्रगटदिन. पण स्वामी कसे प्रगट झाले, कुठल्या साली प्रगट झाले याबद्दल मात्र स्वामी चरित्रकरांमध्ये एकवाक्यता नाही परंतु हे सर्वच जण चैत्र शुद्ध द्वितीया हाच स्वामींचा प्रगटदिन आहे असे मानतात. "चैत्र शुद्ध द्वितीया" या तिथीबाबत कुठलेही मतभेद नाहीत याची सर्वांनी नोंद घ्यावी.

श्रीस्वामी ज्यांना आपला पुत्र मानीत असे हरिभाऊ उर्फ स्वामीसूत सांगतात शालिवाहन शके १०७१ चैत्र शु. द्वितीया (इ.स.११४९) या शुभ दिवशी स्वामी महाराज अष्टवर्षीय (आठ वर्षाच्या) बालक स्वरूपात उत्तर भारतात हस्तिनापूरजवळील छेले या खेडेगांवी धरणी दुभंगून प्रकट झाले. श्रीस्वामीसुतांनी रचलेल्या श्रीस्वामी प्रकटकांड या पोथीत हा प्रसंग सविस्तर वर्णिलेला आहे. श्रीस्वामीसुतांनी श्री स्वामींचा जन्मोत्सव अक्कलकोटमध्ये प्रत्यक्ष श्रीस्वामींसमक्षच साजरा केला होता. अहमदनगरचे स्वामी भक्त नाना रेखी जे स्वतः पिंगला जोतिष्य विद्येत पारंगत होते त्यांनी याच तिथी व सालानुसार स्वामींसमोरच प्रत्यक्ष ब्रह्मांडनायक स्वामी महाराजांची पत्रिका बनवली व स्वामींनीही त्या पत्रिकेस दुजोरा दिला असल्याचे स्वामी चरित्रातून उमगते. यावरून स्वामीसूतांनी सांगितलेल्या स्वामींच्या या प्रगटकथेला व वर्षाला (शके १०७१) स्वामींनीच एकाअर्थी पुष्टी दिल्याचे स्पष्टपणे जाणवते.

श्री आनंदनाथ महाराज हे असेच स्वामींचे अत्यंत जवळचे स्वामी कृपांकीत शिष्य होते. प्रसिद्धीपासून दूर राहण्याचा त्यांचा स्वभाव असल्याने फारशा कमी स्वामीभक्तांना त्यांचे चरित्र ज्ञात आहे. म्हणून सर्वांना इथे मुद्दाम सांगू इच्छितो श्री आनंदनाथ महाराज स्वामींच्या सहवासात तब्बल ६ वर्षे होते व स्वामींवर त्यांनी अनेक अभंग, काव्ये, कवने, स्तोत्रे, आरत्या इ. लिहिले. स्वामींची संपूर्ण कृपा त्यांच्यावर होती. स्वामी संप्रदायात त्यांचा अधिकार फार मोठा आहे,

श्रीस्वामींच्या प्रकटीकरणाबद्दल ते म्हणतात -

शालिवाहन शके तीनशे चाळीस ।

शुद्ध पक्ष पूर्ण चैत्र मास ।

अवतार घेतला द्वितीयेस ।

वटछायेसी दिंगबरु ॥


श्री आनंदनाथ महाराज यांच्या म्हणण्यानुसार शालिवाहन शके ३४० चैत्र शु. द्वितीया या दिनी उत्तरेत हिमालयाच्या आसपास वटवृक्षाच्या छायेखाली स्वामी प्रगट झाले. स्वामींनी त्यांना दिलेल्या दृष्टांतानुसार त्यांनी हे शके आणि कथा सांगितली आहे.

त्याव्यतिरिक्त स्वामी कर्दळीवनात वारुळातून प्रगट झाले हि कथा सुद्धा खूप प्रचीलीत आहे (आणि हल्ली वेगवेगळ्या कारणांनी याच कथेचा पर्यायाने कर्दळीवनाचा खूपच जोरदार प्रचार केला जाताना दिसतो) पण या कथेला सांप्रदायिक आधार नसून अनेक अधिकारी स्वामीभक्त व तसेच चरित्रकार या कथेला कपोलकल्पितच मानतात. ( त्याबद्दल पुन्हा कधीतरी नक्कीच सविस्तर लिहूच ) पण सध्यातरी हीच कथा स्वामीभक्तांमध्ये जास्त प्रचीलीत व लोकप्रिय आहे हि गोष्ट नाकारता येत नाही.

असे जरी असले तरी स्वामींबद्दल आपण प्रेमाने म्हणतो, "नाही जन्म, नाही नाम, नाही कुणी माता पिता, प्रगटला अद्भूतसा, ब्रह्मांडाचा हाच पिता" ! अगदी खरंच आहे ते. स्वामींना तशा अर्थाने जन्म नाही. ते तर प्रगट झाले. अशा कित्येकवेळा ते प्रगट झाले असतील. स्वामींनी समाधी घेतल्यानंतर निलेगांव नावाच्या एका गावात स्वामी प्रगट झाले होते हे स्वामीभक्तांना ठाऊक असेलच. त्यामुळे आजच्या दिवशी ते कसे प्रगट झाले आणि नेमके कधी प्रगट झाले याच्या फार खोलात आपण न शिरता स्वामीभक्तांमध्ये सर्वमान्य असलेल्या "चैत्र शुद्ध द्वितीया" या तिथीलाच (आज) आपण सर्वांनी श्रीस्वामी प्रगटदिन म्हणून सर्वांनी संपूर्ण श्रद्धेने, भक्तिभावाने, मोठ्या उत्साहाने साजरा करूया. स्वामींना शरण जाऊया आणि त्यांनी आपल्या सुकोमल चरणी ठाव द्यावा हेच साकडे आपण त्यांना घालूया.

स्वामी समर्था माझे आई । मजला ठाव द्यावा पायी ॥

ब्रह्मांडनायक श्री स्वामी समर्थ यांना पुन्हा एकदा त्रिवार वंदन आणि श्री स्वामी समर्थांची अखंड कृपा आपल्या सर्वांवर राहो हीच श्रीस्वामीचरणी प्रार्थना.


प्रथमेश लोके

[Credit: The above Swami Samarth apperance story was published in Facebook page of 'Shree Swami Samarth Bhakt Parivar' on April-09-2016.

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