#10 | The final day
Following the Master | Maharashtra Adventure 2020
20 January 2020
On Day 10 of our journey through Maharashtra with Guruji, we first visited the samadhi of Sri Siddheshwar Maharaj, who was considered to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva.
He was born in 1733 on Ram Navami at 12 noon (the same day and time as Lord Rama). At only five years old, he had his naming ceremony and was given his holy thread, and at only seven, travelled to Varanasi. Within 15 days he became self-realised and decided to stay there for another two years to do his tapasya there to assimilate what he had received. He stayed in the jungle for 12 years and miracles happened all around him. By age 20, he joined his mother and went to his native place, where the King Chattrapati Shahu became his disciple.
We were greeted at this site by his 8th-generation descendant. The family feels Siddheshwar Maharaj's presence to this day.
Next, we visited the Vishwa Pandhari temple, where the main deities were Vitthala Rukmini, Ganesha and Maha-Lakshmi. There was also a Shiva Meditation lounge with relics. It was a nice, peaceful mandir which was very well kept. The trustees of the mandir showed Guruji Madhavnath Maharaj's bedroom in which they had preserved many items, including his glasses, footwear and incense. Guruji was very impressed by how well the temple was maintained.
After lunch, the main group went to visit the samadhi of Chile Maharaj and his guru. The devotees there welcomed all of us very warmly and we also received a relic from Chile Maharaj. His samadhi temple was built in an unusual way: in the shape of a tortoise. Local devotees explained to us that it is a symbol of peace.
Separately, Guruji and a small group visited the temple of Panth Maharaj by crossing over the state to Karnattaka. After enduring a long, bumpy road, the group reached a small village and were greeted by Dutta Maharaj, 88 years old, who dedicates his time to his guru.
He shared a story of how Panth Maharaj would tell his disciples he loved everyone with no favourites, but very few believed him as they thought he favoured his nephew. One day, they were walking and saw a house on fire. Panth Maharaj instructed his disciples to save the cow and calf which were inside, but only his nephew risked his life and, taking his guru's name, came back with the animals without a single burn.
Dutta Maharaj has looked after Panth Maharaj's clothes all these years, and he gave a piece of his shirt to Guruji. Guruji gave a personal blessing to him and his daughter after which he was quite overwhelmed and grateful. He was an example of someone who has very few things, yet finds it within his heart to share what he has with all.
The day ended with a beautiful last evening with Guruji as everyone shared their experiences from the last 10 days.