ALANDI – SAMADHI OF SANT DNYANESHWAR
Alandi, a small city in the district of Pune of Maharashtra state of India is around 25 km way from the city of Pune. The Marathi word Alandi is a corruption of the Sanskrit Alankapuri. The place is popularly known for the Samadhi Mandir of Saint Dnyaneshwar.
Since ancient times, the village has been a shrine of Shiva as Siddheshwar, Lord of Spiritual Attainment. Today, the Alandi Dnyaneshwar temple is a major pilgrimage center, drawing hundreds of thousands of devotees on festival days.
Alandi is hallowed by the presence of Sant Dnyaneshwar here in the 13th century. Sant Dnyaneshwar was born in 1275. He was the disciple of Swami Ramanand. Sant Dnyaneshwar is the author of ‘Dnyaneshwari’, a commentary on the holy Bhagavad Gita. He believed that the chanting of the name of the Lord is the best way to reach Him. Sant Dnyaneshwar had performed the miracle of making a buffalo recite the Vedas. Dnyaneshwar remains one of India’s most beloved saints and his Samadhi Shrine in Alandi (in which he was voluntarily entombed in Nirvikalpa Samadhi while alive) is visited by thousands of people every year. He is widely revered as an incarnation of Krishna. Centuries later, Sant Eknath entered the tomb and saw a radiant youth seated in meditation. Dnyaneshwar is still believed to be alive, anchoring his light body as a crystal of enlightened energy radiating from Alandi to the entire world.
Maharashtra State, like many others in India, has a rich tradition of saints. These saints in Maharashtra were not just the sages and seers staying as recluse and preaching renunciation; but were rather visionary reformists. The first among them was Saint Dnyaneshwar who founded the Bhagwat Sect in the Hindu religion in an attempt to eradicate all sorts of discriminations in society. The Bhagwat Sect is best known as the sect of the devotees of Lord Pandurang in Pandharpur in Maharashtra.
The most significant work of Saint Dnyaneshwar is ‘Bhavarthdeepika’ also known as ‘Dnyaneshwari’ which is a Marathi criticism of the Bhagavadgita in Sanskrit. The work is also considered to be an excellent piece of Marathi poetry. Saint Dynaneshwar is said to have stayed in Alandi for some time of his 21 year short life. He took Samadhi here at the age of 21 and ended his life. A beautiful temple has been constructed around the Dnyaneshwar Samadhi on the banks of River Indrayani. The temple has been the spiritual powerhouse for thousands of followers of Saint Dnyaneshwar for centuries together. There is also a temple of Vithoba-Rakhumai in this sacred place.
The most significant work of Saint Dnyaneshwar is ‘Bhavarthdeepika’ also known as ‘Dnyaneshwari’ which is a Marathi criticism of the Bhagavadgita in Sanskrit. The work is also considered to be an excellent piece of Marathi poetry. Saint Dynaneshwar is said to have stayed in Alandi for some time of his 21 year short life. He took Samadhi here at the age of 21 and ended his life. A beautiful temple has been constructed around the Dnyaneshwar Samadhi on the banks of River Indrayani. The temple has been the spiritual powerhouse for thousands of followers of Saint Dnyaneshwar for centuries together. There is also a temple of Vithoba-Rakhumai in this sacred place. Apart from the temple, the place is blessed with awesome natural beauty. The temple is surrounded by thick greenery that adds to the solemnity and serenity of the place. The ghat that serves as a beautiful backdrop to the temple adds to the grandeur of the place. Two melas are held here annually: on Ashadh and Kartiki Ekadashi, the eleventh days of Ashadh and Kartik (Hindu months). During the Pandharpur Pilgrimage every year which is colloquially known as “Vari”, Alandi is crowded as lakhs of devotees flock here for Palkhi Festival in the Marathi month of Ashadh. Pune is well coaardentrdentnnected from all major cities of India by Road, Rail and Air.
SHIRDI – SAI TEMPLE
Shirdi Sai temple is a beautiful shrine that was built over the Samadhi of Shri Sai Baba
Shirdi is located approximately 296 Kilometers from Mumbai (Bombay) City in India.
Shirdi is famous temple of Shri Sai Baba. It was established in 1922 to carry out the services of Shri Sai Baba.
At age of 16 yrs Shri Saibaba arrived at the village of Shirdi in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra and remained their till his death. Saibaba found shelter in Khandoba temple, where a villager Mahalsapathi in the temple addressed him as Sai or Saint Sai baba.
Shri Saibaba of Shirdi lived between 1838 and 1918, whose real name, birthplace and date of birth are not known. An Indian spiritual guru and a fakir, Shri Saibaba in Shirdi was regarded with great reverence by both Hindu and Muslim followers. Lord Sai lived in a mosque and after death his body was cremated in a temple.
Sri Shirdi Sai philosophy ingrained ‘Shraddha’ meaning faith and ‘Saburi’ meaning compassion. According to god Sai, Shraddha and Saburi were the supreme attributes to reach the state of godliness.
Sai Baba :
Long time ago, at the beginning of eighteenth century a young bearded man ( Shirdi Sai baba) with sparkling eyes took shelter in a mosque, in Shirdi Village (of Maharshtra State, In India) . Nobody knew from where this stranger had come who hardly spoke a word and stayed there.
Gradually the curious villagers started offering food to the man, but he never asked anything from them. Sometimes he shared his food with the animals. Soon the young fakir, as he was started to be addressed, started expressing his view points with few elderly villagers. His simple language of expresssion and his special power of solving the problems of poor needy and destitutes soon made this less known fakir, to be known as Shri Sai Baba. As the days passed, devotees started streaming into Shirdi in ever growing numbers. The village was fast becoming a centre of pilgrimage. As gifts and presentations flowed in, the pomp and ceremony of Sai worship were evolving. Everyday Sai Baba would be a pauper having distributed all among the needy and the poor. But Sai Baba’s life of a Fakir remained calm, undisturbed, unaltered and therein is the saint’s Spiritual glory.
People also realised that this “Baba” was no ordinary person but a person with extraordinary godly powers. Such powers are not known or present in normal human beings. Baba preached his principle of love and faith in humanity to all his disciples. He always felt anguished over the fact that all those who came to him were more for their own personal problems and not for attaining the ultimate goal of reaching God which he felt could be attained only by true servicing of humanity.
Shri Shaneshwar Devasthan Shanishingnapur’s legend in Taluk Naivasa of District Ahmednagar is famous, far and wide, as the shrine of countless devotees. The number of its unbelievable miracles finds its place of pride in The Guinness book of World Records. Ahmednagar’s population is known popularly as the place of saints. God Shani occupies a place of fear in the minds of most people in India. There is needless terror about God Shani in the minds of people. Unlike other Gods in the pantheon, why are you scared of God Shani? Although he is your friend, and not your enemy? In our day to day life, there is a great place of importance for strength and mercy in our lives.
Our bodies are constituted of five great elements. Therefore, these elements have a profound influence on us. These planets thus control us continuously. God Shani occupies the seventh place in the constellation of the nine ‘grahas’ which control the world. God Shani exerts more power than the power of gravity itself. Therefore, when we think good or bad thoughts and make plans, they reach God Shani by the strength of his power. Thus, good results in good. And bad begets bad results soon.
Among the people of Maharashtra and India itself, the greatness and grandeur of Shanishingnapur if spread far and wide. But the fame of God Shani has reached far and wide, even beyond the seven seas. After the ‘darshan’ of this world famous Devasthan and God Shani, this information based on social, religious, scientific, ‘Sanskritic’, geographical and familial experiences is being made available to all devotees.