History of Gajanan Maharaj

Gajanan Maharaj from Shegaon (Buldhana District), Maharashtra, India was a Saint from India. "Sant Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan" is the largest temple trust in the Vidarbha region.

The early life history of Gajanan Maharaj is obscure, his birthdate being unknown. His devotees believe him as incarnation of Lord Ganesha and Lord Dattatreya. Biruduraju Ramaraju has tried to establish in his collection of books called "Andhra Yogulu" that he was a Telangana Brahmin. However, in a recently published Marathi book entitled, "Shri Gajanan Maharaj Charitra Kosh" by Shri Dasabhargav (who himself hails from Shegaon) some interesting facts have been revealed. This author met Shri Swami Shivanand Saraswati, who was 129 years old at Nashik. Shri Swami told the author that he was Telangi brahmin who had met Shri Sadguru Gajanan Maharaj in 1887 in Nashik, which is a pilgrimage centre. He also clearly told that after Shri Gajanan Maharaj appeared in Shegaon and remained there, he had visited Maharaj 25-30 times. During these visits Shivanand Swami declared that he used visit Shri Dadasaheb Khaparde in Amravati and stay with Khaparde family. Thus, Shri Shivanand Swami is none other than the Telangi brahmin whose mention has been made in the foreward of "Shri Gajanan Vijay" on his own admission. Later Shivanand Saraswati left to perform penance in Himalaya and was never spotted again (refer pages 362-365 of the above book for the detailed conversation of the author and Shri Shivanand Swami along with their photograph). Thus, it is quite clear that Shri Gajanan Maharaj was not Telangi brahmin as some speculate. Some speculate that he might have in fact hailed from Sajjanghad, (which was the place where Sant Samartha had lived). Das Ganu Maharaj has written a 21 chapter biography, "Shri Gajanan Vijay," of Gajanan Maharaj in Marathi. Contemporaries of Gajanan Maharaj identified him by several names like Gin Gine Buwa, Ganpat Buwa, and Awaliya Baba.

There is no proper past history of Gajanan Maharaj of Shegaon but in "Shree Gajanan Vijay" Dasganu Maharaj has mentioned that Gajanan Maharaj was calling some people as His brothers. They are as follows: Shree Narasingji, Shree Vasudevanand Saraswati (Tembhe Swami Maharaj), Sai Baba and such great saints of the time. This indicate that Gajanan Maharaj was Pure incarnation of the supreme power. In the holy book (Shree Gajanana Vijay) it is also mentioned that Shree Gajanan appeared in the form of Shree Hari Vitthal (Pandurang) in Pandharapur) for his one devotee named Bapuna Kale. Shree Gajanan Maharaj was able to do this because he was none other than the supreme (or fully awake part of the Supreme), who resides in every (Alive and non-alive) body.

Some people believe that Shree Gajanan Maharaj was student (Shishya) of Shree Swami Samarth, however it is not acceptable as most of devotee or Students (Shishyas) prefer to chant Shree Swami Samarth however Shree Gajanan Maharaj had alway chant "Gan Gan Ganaat Bote" or "Chandan Chawal Bel ki patiya...."

There are lot of similarities between Shree Swami Samarth and Shree Gajanan Maharaj, Both were Paramahans Sanyasi, Both were AjanBahu and many others. Thus many people also believe that Shree Gajanan is none other than Shree Swami Samarth.

Maharaj accepting a human body is a mere pastime (Leela) as he is Brahmadnyani; that is why thousands of the devotees flock to Shegaon for his blessings. How he functions and transforms people from vile, wicked ways to great devotees is really unknown. None in his earthly days ever saw him chanting any special mantra holding japamala etc. But he is a supreme saint, whose blessings everyone must have.

According to a legend, a money lender named Bankat Lal Agarwal first saw Gajanan Maharaj in a "superconscious state" on February 23, 1878 on a street. Sensing him to be a saint, Bankat took him home and asked him to stay with him. Legends say that in his lifetime, he performed many miracles such as giving a fresh lease on life to one Janrao Deshmukh, lighting the clay-pipe without fire, filling a dry well with water, drawing sugar cane juice by twisting canes with his hands, and curing leprosy of a woman. He took samadhi on 8 September 1910. A temple in his name is built on his Samadhi at Shegaon.

Head of the Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan-Shivshankarbhau Patil is the head of the trust and well known in India for his administration and management of the temple,bhojan kaksha,engineering and management college, Anand Sagar project and many other institution run by the trust located at Shegaon managed by shri gajanan maharaj sansthan shegaon affiliated to Amravati university. This college is one of the best institutes for engineering education. The Anand Sagar project is also developed by the trust over 650 acres for tourist with all facilities at nominal rates. The temple is famous in Maharashtra for its clean, neat, tidy environment and polite and respectful behaviour of the sevaks of gajanan maharaj trust who works there just for seva.

It is said by Gajanan Maharaj that he will appear again in Domak village (revealed in pothi) of Maharashtra (near Morshi) and his words proved to be true. He again reappeared in Domak village and giving darshan to the devotees since 13 years. Domak Gajanan maharaj looks same as Shegoan Gajanan Maharaj and has performed a lot of miracles in these 13 years. Devotees who seek for his darshan are growing day by day.

The Gajanan Maharaj Temples were built to honor Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj, a late-nineteenth–, early-twentieth-century Indian holy man known to many people in Maharashtra, India. His birthdate is unknown; he lived most of his life at Shegaon, near Akola district in Maharashtra, where he died on 8 September 1910. Although Shegaon has special significance for Maharaj and his devotees and hosts a magnificent temple, in every city of Maharashtra one will find a Gajanan Maharaj temple.

Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj Temple in Shegaon

Shegaon has gained renown as a pilgrimage center, since Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj lived (and died) there. Hindus consider Gajanan Maharaj a saint, with miraculous powers. His origins are unknown. Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj Temple is built at his place of death. Sant Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan is the largest temple trust in the Vidarbha region and is known as the "Pandharpur of Vidarbha". It attracts pilgrims from all over Maharashtra.

The Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan (Institution) Temple Trust coordinates the day-to-day affairs of the temple; it is headed by the Managing Trustees, who normally come from the Patil family. The Trust coordinates services in the spiritual, religious, medical and educational fields; most notably, it runs Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj College of Engineering (SSGMCE), a well-known engineering college in the Vidarbha region. It is on Central Railway

Shri Sant Gajanan Maharaj and Navi Temples in Mumbai

Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) has a number of temples: Bandra East (Government Colony, near Y Quarters), Vile Parle East on Tejpal Scheme Road No. 3, Mahim Kapad Bazar, Goregaon West, Siddharth Nagar (this temple has a remarkable statue), Unnat Nagar, Borivali East, Ghatkopar, D. Y. Patil College in Nerul, Vashi and Dadar West.

As of 2011, a new temple is under construction near Manor in Bhopoli (on the way to Ahmedabad). Another temple of Gajanan Maharaj is located at Titwala East in Maanda (which is also known for Maha Ganapati Mandir); it was established by the late Shri Gurunath Mhetre. There are also temples in Dombivali, Ratnagiri, Palghar, Indore, Belgaum and Dahanu (outside Mumbai). A new temple is under construction in Madgaon, Goa.