A tribute of love unto H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj,
the inspiration of Sanatan Sanstha on the occasion of His
Birth centenary celebration year by His disciple Dr. Jayant Athavale
Obeisance a million times at the Holy feet of H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj in commemoration of His birth centenary year (2020)
1. Yogiraj (king of yogis) from the three
worlds (trailokya) descends onto the earth !
In one of His bhajans (devotional songs) H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj (fondly called Baba) has sung ‘त्रैलोक्याचे योगीराज हे अवतरले भूवरी ।’ meaning ‘the king of all yogis from the three worlds has descended onto the earth’ with reference to His Guru. Since H.H. Bhakataraj Maharaj (Baba) was a yogiraj despite being a householder, this bhajan is applicable to Him as well. Baba assumed a birth for the upliftment of seekers and devotees on July 7, 1920. I offer obeisance a million times at His Holy feet for being blessed with an opportunity to praise Him in commemoration of His birth centenary year.
2. Service unto the Guru with intense yearning
rendered by H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj as a disciple
Baba’s entire life can be summarised in two words ‘Guru’ when He was a disciple and ‘devotee’ after He became a Guru. As a disciple, when His Guru went out without wearing footwear, He would run behind Him barefoot, holding the Guru’s slippers in His armpit, He would continue singing bhajans for 8 to 10 hours at a stretch until his Guru told him to stop doing so, He would stand on one foot in front of the Guru and sing bhajans for hours, at night He would press the Guru’s feet till the Guru told him to stop, such was His Guruseva, beyond comparison. Through such Guruseva Baba has placed a great ideal of discipleship before us.
3. The three-point programme of
H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj’s Life – bhajan (devotional
songs), bhraman (travel) and bhandara (festival of serving food) !
3 A. Bhajan (Devotional songs)
H.H. Baba would say ‘Bhajan is my life.’ The peculiarity of Baba’s bhajans is that even today several years after they were composed, in every incident, every seeker receives whatever is essential for his spiritual practice from that bhajan. So, these bhajans are a precious treasure. Through bhajans Baba taught not only the Path of Devotion (Bhaktiyoga) but also the Path of Chanting (Namasankirtanyoga), Path of Action (Karmayoga), Path of Knowledge (Dnyanyoga) etc from spiritual practice.
Many seekers have experienced that simply by listening to H.H. Baba’s bhajans; due to the Divine Consciousness (Chaitanya) in them; their negative energy distress decreases and then vanishes.
3 B. Travel
To give devotees benefit of His Holy company (satsang), bliss and spiritual guidance H.H. Baba would travel several kilometres, not bothering about the weather, His health or other factors, to meet devotees Even today when devotees recollect these meetings they get goosebumps out of spiritual emotion.
3 C. Bhandara
Once Baba’s Guru invited everyone to a bhandara at Dinu’s place (Baba’s name before attaining Sainthood was Dinkar so He was fondly called Dinu). Baba thought to Himself ‘I neither have money nor groceries then how will I serve food to them ?’ Yet with faith that the Guru would take care of everything He decided to host the bhandara. His Guru sent invitation to many people for the bhandara. Truly so with the grace of the Guru all supplies required for the cooking became available easily and there was no shortage of food. Baba passed the Guru’s test. Later too despite not having many funds He organised several bhandaras and taught devotees to have immense faith in the Guru and to sacrifice everything unto the Guru and then watch Him showering His grace.
4. H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj merged into His devotees
Generally great Saints and Holy men remain engrossed in chanting, meditation etc. and give only some time for guiding devotees. But Baba was never at rest without devotees, in fact He had merged with them completely.
5. H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj teaching devotees in different ways
Most Saints teach devotees only through guidance but Baba taught His devotees in different ways. Besides guidance He would teach through casual conversation, behaviour, humour sometimes even by losing His temper. If devotees made mistakes then He would even abuse verbally or beat them up. Yet devotees perceived nothing but love in His reprimanding and beating and His yearning for their welfare. That is why even today simply remembering Baba brings tears to the eyes of devotees.
6. The growing mission of Sanatan Sanstha
with the blessings of H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj
I am explaining the mission of Sanatan Sanstha in brief to be able to understand the strength in the blessing from H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj.
6 A. Blessings from H,H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj for the
mission of Sanatan Sanstha and its subsequent growth
According to different Saints and Nadi astrological predictions my Mahamrutyuyog (untimely death) is continuing from 2007. Due to weakness I have not got out of my room. I can hardly walk, in fact even standing is next to impossible. Despite this state of mine the mission which has occurred through Sanatan Sanstha with the blessings of H.H. Baba, is remarkable. I am not mentioning this information out of ego but to show the strength in the blessing of H.H. Baba. The Sanatan Sanstha was founded In 1991 with the blessings of H.H. Baba. In fact the organisation was named by Him. As the foundation of the mission of spread of Spirituality by Sanatan Sanstha lies in Baba’s resolve (sankalp) its mission is growing in leaps and bounds. His blessings to the Sanatan Sanstha and the results of those blessings are being described further.
6 A 1. Bhajans of H.H. Baba
As bhajans of Baba give Divine Consciousness (Chaitanya) which reduces negative energy distress; seekers from all over listen to bhajans. This being favourable for their spiritual practice they are then able to perform seva (service unto the Absolute Truth).
6 A 2. Path of Guru’s Grace (Gurukrupayoga)
I wrote a Holy text on how to perform spiritual practice as taught by H.H. Baba. When I showed the matter to Him and asked what I should name the Holy text He said ‘Namasankirtanyoga (Path of Chanting)’. I retorted ‘But this path is eightfold including personality defect removal, ego removal, chanting, satsang, satseva, evoking of spiritual emotion, sacrifice and spiritual love (priti). Chanting is only one of them. Since all these help in winning the grace of the Guru (gurukrupa) could we name it Gurukrupayoga ?’ He was overjoyed and agreed at once. With this blessing now thousands of seekers are performing spiritual practice along this path.
6 A 3. Individual (vyashti) and for the sake of society (samashti) spiritual practice taught by H.H. Baba
Spiritual practice is of two kinds – for the individual (vyashti) and for the sake of society (samashti) and Sanatan Sanstha teaches both, vyashti spiritual practice for God-realisation of individuals and samashti for spiritual progress of spiritual aspirants in society and for establishment of a Divine kingdom. As part of samashti spiritual practice He told me to preach in different parts of Bharat and America. Seeing thousands of seekers worldwide performing spiritual practice I now realise why He had advised this.
6 A 4. Blessings to write Holy texts
In 1992 H.H. Baba said to me,‘The blessing that my Guru gave me that I will write book upon book, I pass on to you’. As a result till December 2019 78,54,000 copies of 322 Holy texts compiled by Sanatan Sanatan in 11 Bharatiya and 7 foreign languages have been published. These Holy texts are appreciated by society as they give explanations using modern scientific terminology and also answers to questions on ‘how and why’ haunting the mind. Matter for 10000 Holy texts is still available and with the grace of H.H. Baba to continue this mission in several future generations such seekers are being created with His grace.
6 A 5. Blessing for construction of the Ramnathi ashram
Gurupournima of Baba was celebrated at the Shri Ramnath temple in 1993. When He came here pointing to a plot beside the temple Baba had said, ‘This is the land kept for the future Sanatan Sanstha ashram which will become the guiding light of the world’. Truly so the Sanatan Sanstha ashram was constructed here. In this ashram spiritual aspirants and seekers both from Bharat and abroad come for guidance.
6 A 6. Video and Audio Compact Discs
Till date Sanatan Sanstha has produced audio and video compact discs on ‘How to chant Names of different Deities’ in Marathi, Hindi, ‘How to perform religious actions’, ‘different festivals’, ‘How to pay obeisance in the temple’ ‘How to celebrate a birthday’ etc. In fact, some of these compact discs are being screened on various television channels.
6 A 7. Blessings for spread of Spirituality all over Bharat
H.H. Baba blessed me to propagate Spirituality in the states of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka stepwise from 1992 to 1995. Then He said that I should do this all over Bharat. It is only due to His blessings that day-by-day through various campaigns and programmes the mission of spread of Dharma is growing in leaps and bounds. Some examples of this are cited further.
A. With inspiration from H.H. Baba ashrams have been set up in Devad close to Mumbai and Goa followed by Miraj, Karnataka, Kerala and Varanasi. There are sevakendras all over too. Seekers from abroad visit the Ramnathi ashram in Goa.
B. Satsangs are held at different venues all over Bharat. An annual spiritual camp is held to attract spiritual aspirants from society.
C. Every year Gurupournima is being celebrated both in Bharat and abroad. Also, Spirituality is being spread through Kumbhmelas and jatras (fairs) of temple Deities.
D. Dharmasabhas are held in different states of the country.
E. ‘Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Adhiveshan’ a conference for Hindus from all over Bharat and regional Hindu conferences are held every year.
6 A 8. Miraculous spiritual progress of seekers from Sanatan Sanstha
Not a single seeker from Sanatan performs devotion with expectations (sakam bhakti). All have yearning for God-realisation. Seekers from Sanatan with a spiritual level of over 60%, that is beyond the cycle of birth and death, are marching towards Sainthood, some have attained the status of a Saint and some are Sadgurus.
6 A 9. Sanatan Prabhat Periodicals
Sanatan Prabhat is published in four languages – Marathi, Hindi, Kannada and English. Out of the 8 pages from this daily 2 to 3 pertain to Spirituality and spiritual practice.
6 A 10. Different websites
Spread of Spirituality also occurs on a large scale through websites. In November 2019 the total number of visitors to these websites exceeded 5 lakhs.
6 A 11. Many Saints are linked with the mission of Sanatan Sanstha.
6 B. Blessings to carry on the mission abroad
In 1995 H.H. Baba told me to go to USA to spread Spirituality. In response I told Him that I neither have contacts there nor funds to travel. He then said that it was alright as USA would come to me. It is due to this blessing that not just Americans but seekers from all over the world are coming to the Ramnathi ashram to learn Spirituality.
6 B 1. Miraculous spiritual progress of foreigner seekers from SSRF (Spiritual Science Research Foundation)
Some seekers from abroad have become Saints and Sadgurus and seekers with a spiritual level of 60% and more are going towards Sainthood.
6 C. Maharshi Adhyatma Vishwavidyalay
In ancient times Bharat had two big universities – Nalanda and Takshashila. As a saying goes ‘Instead of narrating history create it’, the Maharshi Adhyatma Vishwavidyalay was founded on March 24, 2014.
Research performed by the music section of Maharshi Adhyatma Vishwavidyalay shows that bhajans composed by Baba are charged with a large amount of Divine Consciousness.
Maharshi Adhyatma Vishwavidyalay is carrying out research on different topics. Research papers which were presented at 62 Scientific Conferences, 15 National and 47 International from October 2016 to January 2020 have been appreciated by several researchers. Awards for the best research paper have been received at 4 International Conferences.
1. September 9, 2018 (South Carolina, USA) : Does social service result in spiritual growth ? – Speaker – Mr. Krishna Mandava
2. September 16, 2018 (Puri, Odisha) : True leadership is only possible with advanced spiritual level – Speaker – Mr. Shambhu Gaware
3. September 20, 2019 (Bengaluru) : Creating spiritual purity –a corporate responsibility that has far-reaching positive effects – Speaker – Mrs. Shilpa Magdum
4. November 15, 2019 (Jaipur) : Finding happiness and peace of mind in a stressful world
– Speaker – Dr. Swati Mody
6 D. Blessing for the widespread mission of Sanatan Sanstha
In February 1995 in the presence of a devotee Baba had said that He would be running the Sanatan Sanstha. Those words have come true. Today despite being ridden by different problems the mission of Sanatan Sanstha is growing day-by-day and no shortage of anything has ever been experienced by it.
7. Unique events which are direct
evidence of the grace of H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj
Today though Baba has renounced His body all of us are experiencing His grace.
7 A. Spontaneous changes in the photograph of H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj
A photograph of Baba had been kept in the temple in my room in the Ramnathi ashram in 2006. In 2010 spontaneous changes were noticed in that photograph. The face has become yellowish white and a little hazy indicating that it is going towards the Nirgun (non-materialised) Principle. The aura becoming dense and pink depicts the manifestation of an energy active in the spread of Spirituality.
7 B. The arrival of H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj at the
Ramnathi ashram through His Holy wooden footwear (paduka)
Inspired from within Mrs. Smita Rao from Panaji, Goa handed over the footwear of H.H. Baba which were at her place to the Ramnathi ashram in April 2019. We all believe that Baba has come to the ashram through the medium of these slippers.
All the above incidents are like indicators of H.H. Baba telling us ‘I am keeping a watch over you, do not worry’.
7 C. Seekers from Bharat and abroad get spiritual
experiences with respect to H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj
Spiritual aspirants from Bharat and abroad have never seen Baba yet a glimpse of His photograph evokes spiritual emotion in them and they get spiritual experiences in His regard.
8. Prayer at the Holy feet of Shriguru
Even if I write pages I will never be able to describe the greatness of Shriguru. My prayer at His Holy feet is “May the grace of H.H. Baba on all of us continue in this way and may He always grant us the strength to continue our mission of spread of Spirituality”.’