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Offline JR

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EDITORIAL
« on: February 24, 2007, 12:36:41 AM »
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  • Yogiraj Vasudevananda Saraswati

    In this issue we are publishing the last article of the biography of the great saint Yogiraj Shri Vasudevananda Saraswati, who was also known as Tembe Swarni Though he is known among the Marathi speaking people, because of his works and because he spent many days of his life at Wadi, he is not known to the people who are not conversant with the Marathi language. It is, therefore, hoped that this biography is liked by our readers and that they have found it very interesting.

    Shri Vasudevananda Saraswati was born at Mangaon in the former Sawantwadi State in Maharashtra on Shravan Vadya 5th in Shaka 1776. From his childhood only he was never addicted to this worldly life. He had great mastery over Mantras. He was giving suitable Mantras to so many devotees and was himself using them whenever necessary. The examples of this mastery are numerous in the life of Shri Tembe Swami and our readers will be able to remember them Control over spirits was his another achievement. Several examples of the people oppressed, possessed or troubled by ghosts and spirits have been cited in his- life aNd all got relief after observing the rituals as per his instructions. Here also his power of Mantras was seen in a number of instances.

    Miracles seemed to be a play thing for him. Like Shri Sai Baba he had not only had the control over reptiles, but he had control over the elements of nature like the rain. Instances of having rain whenever wanted and wherever needed, as well as stopping the rain and not allowing it to fall at a particular place are also very common occurances in his life. Even the rivers were under his control and were not rising beyond a certain limit when requested by him. A number of instances, where the persons who were declared as dead, for all practical purposes and who were brought to life can he quoted from Shri Tembe Swami's life. Dreaded epidemics like Cholera were also easily brought under control by him.
    The most important thing  that should be remembered   here is that   Swamiji   never did   al!   these miracles  for   achieving any publicity or collecting devotees and disciples around him.    As we see from the   life of   Shri   Sai   Baba that the   miracle of lighting the lamps in   Dwarakarnai with   water or the   miracle of driving the   Cholera   out of   Shirdi by   grinding the   corn or   asking   the rain and storm to stop,   these were his   mere "Leelas"   which he did not do purposefully.    They occured   during the course of his routine life.    Similarly we also find from the life of Swamiji that these miracles were not performed by him for publicity, but they occured   naturally as a   part of   his life.    In   this  connection we might   remember that before a few years one Hatyogi had publi¬cised his feat of walking on water very widely in Bombay.    Ulti¬mately he failed to achieve it; but the fact remains that he wanted .  to make a capital out of that feat,   which appeared to be unique and   which would   have   proved   the supernatural   powers  of   its performer.    The   speciality of the   saints   like Shri Sai Baba and Shri   Vasudevananda   Saraswati is this that they are neither con¬scious that they are performing a miracle  nor are they expecting any publicity or gain out of it.

    Shri Sai Baba and Shri Vasudevananda Saraswati were con¬temporaries. After coming to Shirdi, Shri Sai Baba never moved out; but that was not the case with Swamiji. He moved prac¬tically all over India and preached the devotion to Lord Datta; but as providence willed it, Swamiji had never come to Shirdi. Still it appears that they knew each other. In this connection we might refer to the incident of the cocoanut forwarded to Shri Sai Baba by Shri Vasudevananda Saraswati, related at length in chapter no. 50 of Shri Sai Satcharitra (English). This incident shows how saints love each other with fraternal affection.
    Though Shri Vasudevananda Saraswati was a devotee of Lord Datta, though he used to have a dialogue with him in human form and though he used to preach devotion to Lord Datta, still he had equal respect for all other deities, who are being worshipped by others. In fact he was also advising so many people to perform "Laghu Rudra", "Maha Rudra" etc. Similarly Shri Sai Baba also was having respect for all the gods that the people used to worship. In fact he told everyone not to discontinue the worship and prayer of the god he was already doing. Shri Vasudevananda Saraswati was a Sanskrit scholar and he used to compose stotras on the spur of the moment. At the time of his visit to so many holy places, he had composed instantly stotras praising the particular deity or place or the river. All these stotras are lucid in style and the use of words therein is so appropriate that they describe the object of the stotra in proper perspective.

    In addition to Sanskrit books and commentaries Shri Vasudevananda Sarawsati had also written a number of commentaries on Sanskrit books in Marathi. Shri Gulavani Maharaj of Pune, who was the disciple of Shii Vasudevananda Saraswati, has published all the literature of his Guru which runs into about six thousand printed pages. Apart from the Sanskrit and Marathi languages it appears that Shri Vasudevananda Saraswati also knew Persian and Arabic. There are a few instances where the Muslims, who approached him for relief from certain ailments, were given by him "Mantras" from the Qoran. It therefore appears that the study of religion of this sage was not onesided. He had also studied other religious books in addition to those of the Hindu religion.

    It will thus be seen that Yogiraj Shri Vasudevananda Saraswati was resembling Shri Sai Baba in many respects. The last, but not the least, is the fact that like Shri Sai Baba, Shri Vasudevananda Saraswati also is believed to be an incarnation (Avatar) of God Datta. In the last article published in this issue, the account of the Maha Samadhi of this saint is given in full details from which it will be seen that Swamiji took Samadhi at Garudeshwar, on the bank of the rive" Narmada on the night of Jeshtha Vadya 30 in Shaka 1836 (July 1914 A. D.) where his Samadhi Mandir and Datta Mandir are built by his devotees.
    While going through the biography of this great sage for the last two years or so we were living in the company of Swamiji and travelling with him all over India. It was really a great pleasure to worship God Datta along with Swamiji. We are sure our readers will be missing this interesting series from the next month, but we are pleased to assure our readers that we hope to start a series of articles from the next month, which though perhaps not more enchanting, will be at least on par with the one that is ending.
    Fiftythree years of publication.

    With this issue we will be completing 53 years of our pub¬lication. For a magazine of this type, it is really an achievement to have continued the publication so long; but apart from the sympathy and support of the Sai devotees, we feel that the dyna¬mic force behind the publication of this magazine is Shri Sai Baba, who has steered us safely through thick and thin.

    At the time of the first gathering of the writers and poets contributing their articles to Shri Sai Leela, held at Shirdi on the 18th and 19th of January 1975, a report of which was published in the issue for the month of February 1975 of this magazine, it was made clear that inspite of advice from the Court and the Charity Commissioner, the publication of this magazine is per-sistantly continued with a subsidy of over twenty thousand rup¬ees every year, because the magazine is dedicated to the noble cause of spreading the mission and the teachings of the great sage of Shirdi, Shri Sai Baba, among the devotees and among the public. We hope to continue this mission in the years to come.
    सबका मालिक एक - Sabka Malik Ek

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