#9 | Saints of Kolhapur
Following the Master | Maharashtra Adventure 2020
19 January 2020
Today we visited the temple of Balumama who was a shepherd of a low-caste family but who had a profound impact on many of his devotees who shared beautiful memories and history with us. The samadhi of Balumama was on Guruji's wish list and, for those who may be unaware, there is a portrait of him on the walls of the Bhutabhrteshwarnath Mandir at Shree Peetha Nilaya.
Guruji commented that there was a great vibration and energy to this temple. All pilgrims received the darshan of his samadhi, and the temple served us lunch and spent time in sharing the stories and miracles that people had heard and/or experienced during their time with Balumama. The stories were spine-tingling and made us appreciate the immense blessings Guruji has graced us with in this life.
Whilst Balumama was known to be very strict with his devotees and shouted at them from time to time, he would remind his devotees that he was removing their karma from past lives. He even said a temple would be erected in his name but at that time very few paid attention to this; today his devotees have seen this sacred temple grow over the years.
We were able to see relics of Balumama as his devotees have preserved most of his clothes and the utensils he used.
In the afternoon, a small team went on to visit an ashram in the mountains where the buses were not able to reach. This ashram was also the dwelling place of a great, well-known saint named Gagangiri Maharaj. Arriving at the place with a stunning view of nature, we were able to speak with a sannyasin who lived with Gagangiri Maharaj for eight years before he took samadhi. He shared with us countless inspiring stories of his gurudev. The cave also had a jula (swing) where Gagangiri used to sit whilst giving darshan.
Yogiraj Sri Gagangiri Maharaj, was born in the village Manadure in the Patan district of South Maharashtra. At the age of seven, he left his home and started his spiritual journey. After a long and joyful life, Maharaj took samadhi on 4 February, 2008, at his Khopoli Ashram, near Mumbai.
Stay tuned for more posts as we ‘Follow the Master’ on an adventure to the Divine!