The Path of the Almighty Father, the Path of the Ancient Rishi’s…- Shree
Shree Swami Samarth Maharaj is considered the fourth Incarnation of Lord Dattatreya. It is said that He performed severe Tapa (Austerities) and Sadhana for more than 300
years in the Shri Shailam forest in southern India. After completing His Sadhana, He travelled to the various holy places in India. Finally He appeared in the town of Akkalkot in the year 1856.
Swamiji throughout His stay in Akkalkot had been leading disciples towards the most esoteric and ancient path of finding inner peace and happiness.
Swamiji set up a Guru Peetham (Lineage) for the revival of this ancient wisdom.
This Guru-Peetham has the distinction of enjoying the tradition of Lord Dattatreyas lineage of great Masters - beginning with Lord Dattatreya himself, followed by Shree Shripad Shreevallabh, Shree Narsimha Saraswati and Shree Swami Samarth. As a mark of his arrival in Akkalkot Shree Swami Samarth established a Seat of Dharma.
The purpose of the Guru Peetham was to convey to the world the true essence of wisdom and Dharma lost over time.
Swamiji before, taking Samadhi, choose His closest disciple, Balappa Maharaj, as His Spiritual Heir. He gave Diksha (initiation) of the Mahamool Mantra, along with all His personal belongings and asked Balappa Maharaj to take the message of the Dharma to the world.
Shree Balappa Maharaj set up a monastery to house all the consecrated belongings of Swamiji like His Charan Paduka (Sandals), Rudraksha, etc and create a place where the devotees could come to take Darshan and Prasadam. This monastery was later renamed as the Guru Mandir by Shree and today is the place of the Guru Peetham.
Shree Balappa Maharaj and after Him, Shree Gangadhar Maharaj, who succeeded Him, travelled
all over the country and spread the message of Bhakti (devotion) and Dharma far and wide.
Shree moved to the Guru Mandir monastery, at the age of six. Shree had shown a strong inclination towards the spiritual life from a very early age. He would routinely get up at four am and start His day by taking a dip in the river that flowed close by. He would then sit in meditation and recitation for hours. He would then clean the entire monastery. Then he would go from house to house asking for alms. When enough food would gather in His bag, he would take it to the river and dip it in water to rid it of any taste. This was done in the Yogic traditions to avoid any attachments to food. The food would then be taken to His Guru first to seek His blessings and then eaten.
He continued this rigorous routine for many years and lived the life of a monk. He spent His childhood in the vicinity of great Spiritual masters. He learnt the teachings of many learned scholars along with the teachings of the Vedas. Shree would do severe penances and meditate for almost 18-20 hrs every day.
At the age of 20, on 11th March 1938, He was chosen as the spiritual heir of the tradition of Guru’s, initiated by Shree Swami Samartha Maharaj. He was made Head of the Guru Mandir
monastery. The holy symbols of the Math, the golden Seal-ring on which were engraved the words
‘Shree Swami Samarth’ was put on Shree’s finger, the holy ‘Ek Mukhi Rudraksha’ bead garland was put on his neck. The ‘staff’ and ‘Chati’( Holy Cloth) too were handed over to him.
This done, the Mala or Rosary was put in Shree’s hand and three times, Shree Gangadhar Maharaj
uttered in Shree’s right ear the traditionally received sacred ‘Mahamool Mantra’.
Since then Shree took charge of the activities of the Peetham and followed strict Tapa and continued
to live an austere life.