Archive for March, 2015

Justajoo proved lucky for Karan Lukha

Hes only 11-years-old, but Karan Lukha can recite lengthy dialogues with finesse. This Yogi Nagar resident has earned fame and recognition after his performance in a Gujarati play Have To Leela Le Che with popular Gujarati actors Muni Jha and Surbhi Jhaveri. The play propelled him into the limelight and has made him one of the most-sought after child artistes.

Excerpts from the interview:

How did you start acting?

I was a really shy kid. So my mother put me in an acting class so that I could gain some confidence. She enrolled me in Kamlesh Davdas acting classes. I must admit that the classes helped me shed my inhibitions and showcase my histrionics. Later I started participating in drama competitions and won many awards. Looking at my enthusiasm, Kamlesh sir suggested my name to TV serial directors.

How did you get your first break?

One day Kamlesh sir asked me to recite a lengthy dialogue in front of many people. They liked my dialogue delivery and selected me for a Gujarati serial Jeevan Rang on Alpha Gujarati. Although I had only a small role in the serial, my work was noticed and I started to get many offers.

So how did you bag a role in Justajoo on Zee TV?

My mother got to know that Ajai Sinha is auditioning children for Justajoo. So I went for the audition and got the role. Although it was only for one episode it made me very popular among my friends and people started recognising me as a Justajoo kid.

You have also acted in Khichdi on Star Plus. How was it working in a comedy serial?

After Justajoo, I started getting many offers but I didnt like any. Since I have to balance my studies and theatre, I dont take on a lot of work. But when Jamnadas Majithia, producer of Khichdi, called me for a role I couldnt refuse it. Its fun to act in a comedy serial.

What was your experience while working with popular Gujarati actor Muni Jha?

Im lucky to work with actors like Muni Jha and Surbhi at the beginning of my career. Earlier I was in awe of Muni Jha. He guided me and explained how to work on certain scenes. While doing an emotional scene I started giggling, but instead of losing his temper Muni Jha taught me how to control my emotions on stage.

What are your future projects?

Right now I am doing Gujarati theatre and since I have to travel a lot for my shows I havent taken any offers because I cannot give bulk dates to any producers.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 2, 2015 at 11:33 am

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Madhuri Dixit: Gets the Padma Shri

Madhuri Dixit: Gets the Padma Shri

Madhuri Dixit, Bollywood’s original dhak-dhak girl got the Padma Shri for her contribution to Indian cinema. She came to receive it on May 10 from Florida with husband Dr Sriram Nene.

The couple’s children didn’t accompany them. Which is a pity, because May 15 is Madhuri’s birthday, and there will be a dinner with family and close friends.

Madhuri is delighted with this double celebration.

Talking from Florida, where she has settled down, she said excitedly, “Everyone works hard and to be acknowledged for it is a huge thing. I am honoured. As a young girl, I thought the Padma Shri was accorded only to scientists. Awards are important, but I never aspired for any, I just put my best foot forward.”

Madhuri’s comeback film last November, Aaja Nachle, bombed at the box office, but that did nothing to dent her image in Bollywood or diminish her considerable fan following.

In fact M F Husain, her greatest admirer, while expressing disappointment over the film blamed its failure on filmmaker Yash Chopra.

Madhuri defended the film, “Husain saab must have expected more from it, but I don’t believe in blame games.

Everyone worked hard on the film and I had fun doing it. You win some and lose some. Filmmaking is unpredictable business.” Was it true that the Barjatyas are planning a sequel to that delightful entertainer, Hum Aapke Hai Kaun, in which Madhuri and Salman Khan will be shown 15 years older?

“If the news is true, this too will be so much fun,” replied the Padma Shri actress enthusiastically.

Madhuri Dixit (born as Madhuri Shankar Dixit to a Marathi family on May 15, 1967) is a five-time Filmfare Awards winning Indian Bollywood actress. She is a native of Mumbai, India.

Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, she dominated Hindi cinema as a leading actress, appearing in many hit films. She is considered to be an icon of the Bollywood film industry.

Madhuri, born to Shankar and Snehlata Dixit, married an Indian-American, UCLA trained cardiovascular surgeon who practices in Denver, Dr. Sriram Madhav Nene, in 1999, also from a Marathi Koknastha Brahmin family.

She has two sons, Arin (born in March 2003 in Colorado) and Ryan (born on March 8, 2005 in Colorado).She has two elder sisters, Rupa and Bharati, and an elder brother, Ajit. Madhuri now lives with Dr. Nene and her two children in Denver, Colorado, USA.

Dixit attended Parle College and wanted to be a micro-biologist.She is trained as a Kathak dancer, in the Indian classical tradition. She made her acting debut in “Abodh” (1984). After a few minor and supporting roles her first major role was in “Tezaab” (1988) which launched her career.

She then went on to star in the hit films “Dayavan” (1988), “Ram Lakhan” (1989), “Dil” (1990), “Saajan” (1991), “Beta” (1992),
“Khalnayak” (1993), and the Bollywood blockbuster “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun”. (1994).

After three years of little success, she appeared as Pooja in the successful “Dil To Pagal Hai” (1997) for which she won her fourth Filmfare Best Actress Award.She is considered to be the most popular and powerful actress ever in Bollywood, known for her beauty, acting talents, and dancing skills.

Her dance sequence in the many songs, such as, Ek Do Teen (Film Tezaab), Bada Dukh Dina (Film Ram Lakhan), Dhak Dhak (Film Beta), Chane Ke Kheth Mein (Film Anjaam), Choli Ke Peechche (Film Khalnayak), Akhiyan Milau (Film Raja), Piya Ghar Aya (Film Yaarana), Key Sera (Film Pukar), Mardala (Film Devdas) etc., received critical acclaim.

Her dancing skills, facial grimaces and expressive eyes in the songs has haunted the hearts of millions of viewers ever since.In 2001, Dixit was awarded the National Citizens Award to recognize various activities that effect everyday life.

In 2002, she starred in “Devdas”, with actor Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai. Madhuri Dixit was applauded for her acting in the film. The film attracted worldwide attention and was featured at the Cannes Film Festival.

Since then she has not appeared in any films.On February 25, 2006 she performed on stage for the first time in six years at the Filmfare Awards to music from her last movie “Devdas”. Her performance was choreographed by Saroj Khan and was very well received.

Madhuri Dixit has been the muse for the famous Indian painter M.F. Hussain who considers her the epitome of the Indian woman. She also appeared in his film “Gaja Gamini”(2000). “Gaja Gamini” was intended as a tribute to Dixit’s talent and beauty.

On December 7, 2006, Dixit returned to Mumbai along with her husband and sons in order to start to film her new movie titled “Aaja Nachle”, to be produced by Yash Chopra and directed by Anil Mehta.

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Actress Sonali Bendre was seen celebrating her birthday quietly with her husband Goldie Behl on the 1st of January 2012, as the New Year begun.

Actress Sonali Bendre was seen celebrating her birthday quietly with her husband Goldie Behl on the 1st of January 2012, as the New Year begun.

Sonali-Bendre-Birthday-Bash-images Sonali-Bendre-Birthday-Bash-photos

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Padmini Kolhapure signs Marathi flick

Padmini Kolhapure signs Marathi flick

Padmini Kolhapure, the tragedy Queen of the ’80s (Prem Rog, Ahista Ahista), has signed a Marathi film titled Manthan, opposite Sachin Khedekar. “Manthan is a story based on the relationship between a man and his wife. I play the wife.

It’s about how she gets a job as a radio jockey and the radio station’s agony aunt, but strangely cannot solve her own problems,” says Padmini, elaborating on her role. “Unlike other Marathi films, this one is going to be produced on a large canvas,” she adds.

At the same time, Kolhapure is also slated to return to the big screen with Eight and Souten, both directed by Karan Razdan. Manthan will be directed by Dr Mrinalini Dayal, and will go on the floors in April. The entire film will be shot in Mumbai.

Kolhapure’s other venture Souten, produced by Naveen Tak, also stars Mahima Chaudhary, Shakti Kapoor, Gulshan Grover, Vikram Singh and Kiran Rathod.

It is being described as a family drama with an undercurrent of eroticism. Eight, which is a supernatural thriller, has Padmini playing a key role opposite bad man Gulshan Grover.

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Interesting Facts about India

Interesting Facts about India

  • India never invaded any country in her last 100000 years of history.
  • When many cultures were only nomadic forest dwellers over 5000 years ago, Indians established Harappan culture in Sindhu Valley (Indus Valley Civilization)
  • The name ‘India’ is derived from the River Indus, the valleys around which were the home of the early settlers. The Aryan worshippers referred to the river Indus as the Sindhu.
  • The Persian invaders converted it into Hindu. The name ‘Hindustan’ combines Sindhu and Hindu and thus refers to the land of the Hindus.
  • Chess was invented in India.
  • Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus are studies, which originated in India.
  • The ‘Place Value System’ and the ‘Decimal System’ were developed in India in 100 B.C.
  • The World’s First Granite Temple is the Brihadeswara Temple at Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu. The shikhara of the temple is made from a single 80-tonne piece of granite. This magnificent temple was built in just five years, (between 1004 AD and 1009 AD) during the reign of Rajaraja Chola.
Brihadeswara Temple at Tanjavur

Brihadeswara Temple at Tanjavur















Brihadeswara Temple at Tanjavur 5 rupees coin
























  • India is the largest democracy in the world, the 7th largest Country in the world, and one of the most ancient civilizations.
  • The game of Snakes & Ladders was created by the 13th century poet saint Gyandev. It was originally called ‘Mokshapat’. The ladders in the game represented virtues and the snakes indicated vices. The game was played with cowrie shells and dices. In time, the game underwent several modifications, but its meaning remained the same, i.e. good deeds take people to heaven and evil to a cycle of re-births.
  • The world’s highest cricket ground is in Chail, Himachal Pradesh. Built in 1893 after leveling a hilltop, this cricket pitch is 2444 meters above sea level.
  • India has the largest number of Post Offices in the world.
  • The largest employer in India is the Indian Railways, employing over a million people.
  • The world’s first university was established in Takshila in 700 BC. More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects. The University of Nalanda built in the 4th century was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.
  • Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to mankind. The Father of Medicine, Charaka, consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago.
  • India was one of the richest countries till the time of British rule in the early 17th Century. Christopher Columbus, attracted by India’s wealth, had come looking for a sea route to India when he discovered America by mistake.
  • The Art of Navigation & Navigating was born in the river Sindh over 6000 years ago. The very word Navigation is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘NAVGATIH’. The word navy is also derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Nou’.
  • Bhaskaracharya rightly calculated the time taken by the earth to orbit the Sun hundreds of years before the astronomer Smart. According to his calculation, the time taken by the Earth to orbit the Sun was 365.258756484 days.
  • The value of “pi” was first calculated by the Indian Mathematician Budhayana, and he explained the concept of what is known as the Pythagorean Theorem. He discovered this in the 6th century, long before the European mathematicians.
  • Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus also originated in India.Quadratic Equations were used by Sridharacharya in the 11th century. The largest numbers the Greeks and the Romans used were 106 whereas Hindus used numbers as big as 10*53 (i.e. 10 to the power of 53) with specific names as early as 5000 B.C.during the Vedic period.Even today, the largest used number is Terra: 10*12(10 to the power of 12).
  • Until 1896, India was the only source of diamonds in the world
    (Source: Gemological Institute of America).
  • The Baily Bridge is the highest bridge in the world. It is located in the Ladakh valley between the Dras and Suru rivers in the Himalayan mountains. It was built by the Indian Army in August 1982.
  • Sushruta is regarded as the Father of Surgery. Over2600 years ago Sushrata & his team conducted complicated surgeries like cataract, artificial limbs, cesareans, fractures, urinary stones, plastic surgery and brain surgeries.
  • Usage of anaesthesia was well known in ancient Indian medicine. Detailed knowledge of anatomy, embryology, digestion, metabolism,physiology, etiology, genetics and immunity is also found in many ancient Indian texts.
  • India exports software to 90 countries.
  • The four religions born in India – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, are followed by 25% of the world’s population.
  • Jainism and Buddhism were founded in India in 600 B.C. and 500 B.C. respectively.
  • Islam is India’s and the world’s second largest religion.
  • There are 300,000 active mosques in India, more than in any other country, including the Muslim world.
  • The oldest European church and synagogue in India are in the city of Cochin. They were built in 1503 and 1568 respectively.
  • Jews and Christians have lived continuously in India since 200 B.C. and 52 A.D. respectively
  • The largest religious building in the world is Angkor Wat, a Hindu Temple in Cambodia built at the end of the 11th century.
  • The Vishnu Temple in the city of Tirupathi built in the 10th century, is the world’s largest religious pilgrimage destination. Larger than either Rome or Mecca, an average of 30,000 visitors donate $6 million (US) to the temple everyday.
  • Sikhism originated in the Holy city of Amritsar in Punjab. Famous for housing the Golden Temple, the city was founded in 1577.
  • Varanasi, also known as Benaras, was called “the Ancient City” when Lord Buddha visited it in 500 B.C., and is the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the world today.
  • India provides safety for more than 300,000 refugees originally from Sri Lanka, Tibet, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who escaped to flee religious and political persecution.
  • His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, runs his government in exile from Dharmashala in northern India.
  • Martial Arts were first created in India, and later spread to Asia by Buddhist missionaries.
  • Yoga has its origins in India and has existed for over 5,000 years.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 1, 2015 at 4:58 pm

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Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) was set up on the 26th day of January, 1975 under the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development. Authority Act 1974, Government of Maharashtra as an apex body for planning and co-ordination of development activities in the Region.

The goal of achieving a balanced development of the Region is attempted by the MMRDA through the following strategies :

*    Preparation of Perspective Plans.
*    Promotion of Alternative Growth Centers.
*    Strengthening of infrastructure facilities.
*    Provision of Development Finance.

In order to implement these strategies, the MMRDA prepares plans, formulates policies and programmes and helps in directing investments in the Region. In particular, it conceives, promotes and monitors the key projects for developing new growth centers and bring about improvement in sectors like transport, housing, water supply and environment in the Region. Moreover, if a project is of particular significance, the MMRDA takes up the responsibility for its implementation.

The following table provides the list of Municipal Corporations and Municipal Councils, within MMR,  along with their population and area during the year 2001.

Name Administrative Status Area in sq. km Total Population(2001)
Mumbai (MCGM) Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai 437.71 11978450
Thane Municipal Corporation 128.23 1262551
Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation 163 704002
Kalyan – Dombivali Municipal Corporation 137.15 1193512
Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation 27.54 473731
Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation 88.75 520388
Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation 28.31 598741
Nalasopara Municipal Council 31.62 184538
Navgarh – Manikpur Municipal Council 17 116723
Vasai Municipal Council 8 49337
Virar Municipal Council 19.58 118928
Ambernath Municipal Council 34.93 203804
Badlapur Municipal Council 48.58 97948
Uran Municipal Council 2.10 23251
Panvel Municipal Council 12.17 104058
Karjat Municipal Council 7.53 25531
Matheran Municipal Council 7.38 5139
Pen Municipal Council 9.82 30201
Alibagh Municipal Council 1.81 19496
Khopoli Municipal Council 30.23 58664

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The Navnath Sampradaya and Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj was part of the Navnath Sampradaya, the lineage of the nine gurus.  Maharaj himself did not stress his lineage with most of his western devotees. However, he does speak about it in I Am That, Page 271 Part II, chapter 97:

Question: I see here picture of several saints and I am told that they are your spiritual ancestors. Who are they and how did it all begin?

Maharaj: We are called collectively the “Nine Masters”. The legend says that our first teacher was the Rishi Dattatreya, the great incarnation of the trinity of Brahman, Vishnu and Shiva. Even the ‘Nine Masters” are mythological.

Question: What is the peculiarity of their teaching?

Maharaj: Its simplicity, both in theory and in practice..

Question: How does one become a Navnath? By initiation or by succession?

Maharaj: Neither. the Nine Masters’ tradition (Navnath Parampara) is like a river—it flows into the ocean of reality and whoever enters it is carried along.

Question: Does it imply acceptance by a living master belonging to the same tradition?

Maharaj: Those who practice the sadhana of focusing their minds on “I am” may feel related to others who have followed the same sadhana and succeeded. they may decided to verbalize their sense of kinship by calling themselves Navnaths, It gives them the pleasure of belonging to an established lineage.

Question: Do they in anyway benefit by joining?

Maharaj: The circle of satsang, the company of saints expands as time passes.

Question: Do they get hold thereby a source of power and grace from which they would have been barred otherwise?

Maharaj: Power and Grace are for all and for the asking. Giving oneself a particular name does not help. Call yourself by any name—as long as you are intensely mindful of yourself, the accumulated obstacles to self-knowledge are bound to be swept away.

Question: If I like your teaching and accept your guidance, can I call myself a Navnath?

Maharaj: Please your word-addicted mind ! The name will not change you. At least it may remind you to behave. There is a succession of gurus and their disciples, who in turn train more disciples and thus the line is maintained. But the continuity of tradition is informal and voluntary. It is like a family name, but here the family is spiritual.

Question: Do you have to realize to join the Sampradaya?

Maharaj: The Navnath Sampradaya is only a tradition, a way of teaching an practice. It does not denote a level of consciousness. If you accept a Navnath Sampradaya teacher as your guru, you join his Sampradaya. Usually you receive a token of his grace—a look, a touch or a word, sometimes a vivid dream or a strong remembrance. Sometimes the only sign of grace is a significant and rapid change in character and behaviour.

Question: I know you now for some years and I meet you regularly. The thought of you is never far from my mind. Does it make me belong to your Sampradaya?

Maharaj: Your belonging is a matter of your own feeling and conviction. After all, it is all verbal and formal. In reality there is neither guru nor disciple, neither theory nor practice, neither ignorance nor realization, It all depends on what you take yourself to be. Know your self correctly, There is no substitute to self-knowledge.

We must take Maharaj’s stance of abiding beyond all manifestations of outer guru, all beliefs in dualisms when we look at his Sampradaya. This abidance in Self knowledge is imperative as we look at events that can only take place in the ephemeral passage of time.


With this as our perspective, we can delve into what the Navnath Sampradaya really is and was. The Navnath Sampradaya refers to the original nine gurus that came from the transmission of Dattatreya. As Maharaj has said, there is a definite mythological quality to these stories and many of them are quite miraculous.

Dattatreya’s parents were both extremely pious and practiced austerities for a long time in the hopes of gaining a boon, the birth of a son. His mother wanted a child who would be the incarnation of Nirguna Parabrahman (the formless infinite). As it is impossible to make the formless take form, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva all agreed to take incarnation as their child. Dattatreya was an Avadhut, one clothed in space, he was perceived as a naked ascetic. Dattatreya did not claim to have a traditional guru , he claimed to have twenty four gurus, such as water, the seas, an arrow maker, etc. He learned different kinds of virtues such as “Forbearance from the Earth, Luminosity from the fire, Unfathomableness from the Ocean, Seclusion from a forest, and so on until he ultimately synthesizes all these different virtues in his own unique life, (XI. 7 Srimad Bhagavata as quoted by R.D. Ranade in Mysticism in India: Poet-Saints of Maharashtra 1983:p. 9). He could find spiritual instruction in these and other naturally occurring phenomena. Dattatreya is considered the epitome of the renunciate. His Avadhut Gita considered so essential that sannyasins who have thrown everything else away are reported to have a copy of his Gita (H.P. Shastri). Yet, Dattatreya’s approach of using every possible thing and experience, for ones meditation is totally appropriate for those who tread the path of the householder. The Avadhut Gita itself is one of the most clear expositions of non-dual truth. Although the entire Avadhut Gita is of value in this study, there is not space enough to share all of it. In Chapter II,( p.1) he says. “ Hold not the immature, the credulous, the foolish, the slow,the layman and the fallen to have nothing good in them. They all teach something. Learn from them. Surely we do not give up a game although we have mastered it?” (Shastri, p.8) In keeping with Dattatreya’s use of all kinds of gurus, we find all these usually derogative are categories given some deference.and value. This theme is carried further in Chapter II, verse 2,” Think not lightly of thy guru should he lack letters and learning. Take the Truth he teaches and ignore the rest. Know well that a boat painted and adorned, will carry you across the river; so also will one that is plain and simple. (p.3).” Neither the guru nor the disciple need be erudite. They only need to be situated in the truth. It is interesting to find this teaching of Dattatreya as it perfectly describes Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj who was a simple and illiterate man, whose transmission was largely based on direct experience, not scriptural reference nor book knowledge.

In Chapter III verse 19 Dattatreya says.” When Atman, the absolute existence alone is and It is I, then where is transcendental Truth, where is bliss, where is knowledge, secular or spiritual?” (Shastri p.13) Truth beyond all dualities is for those who have spent time practicing and have an experiential grasp of what these words truly mean. The Avadhut is definitely encouraging us to go beyond our fondest spiritual concepts. To further stress this he says in Chapter III, verse 21.” Renounce, renounce the world, and also renounce renunciation, and even give up the absence of renunciation. By nature all -pervasive as space, knowledge absolute art thou.(P.13). This takes us beyond any dualism we can image about our station of life,whether that of renunciate or householderdetachment and situates us in the Absolute.

Dattatreya is depicted as an ascetic with the heads of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. He encompasses the designation of god as creator, preserver and destroer. e holds in his six hands various spiritual objects, the japa mala (rosary), the water pot, the damaru (the drum of creation), the trident, the conch, and the discus. The damaru and the trident are always the accessories Shiva’s hands; the conch and the discus are usually Vishnu’s. The water pot is one of the few possessions of an ascetic, as is the japa mala. Dattatreya is also depicted with four dogs who represent the four Vedas.( Although the Navnath Sampradaya begins with a great ascetic sage, Dattatreya, his transmission is transcends any designation, renunciate or householder.

Dattatreya supposedly instructed Patanjali, I found a reference to this on a web site with biographies of non-dual sages, “Regarding the works by him, probably the most controversial is that it is mentioned in the Markandeya purana that he taught the Asthanga yoga to Patanjali, who then wrote the yoga sutras”,(1). Dattatreya is said to have initiated Matseyendra Natha (or Matchindra Nath).

According to my Nisargadatta Maharaj translator, Mr. Suamitra Mullarpattan, the Navnath Sampradaya begins between the 9th century and lasts to the 14th Century. Mr Mullarpattan writes, “They were: “1) Matchindra-Nath (9th Century), who was said to be, initated by one of the three primary Hindu gods (Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma), namely by Shiva, in the science and teaching of Yoga. 2)Gorakha-Natha got initiation from the 1st Nath – Matchindra Nath, Gorakhnath was a very important Nath as he established a definite system of the tradition, picking up the best and ‘purest’ technics [technique, sic]of different other religious sects, prevailing during the period. This Nath was a spiritually powerful and mighty advanced (Realized )saint. The legend says He was responsible to ‘awaken and rescue’ his Guru, (the first Nath) from the clutches of a trap set by a Tantrik-sect, of women followers, having a kingdom ruled by the women only. Through his astral-body, the 1st Nath-Matchindranath, was having an enjoyable life, with the queen of the kingdom. Gorkh-Nath visited the palace of the Queen and recited the ‘awakening mystic-call’ of the Nath sect, synchronizing with the beats of / on a drum. 3) Jalandar-Nath, 4) Kanifanath, 5) Chapati-Nath, 6) Naganath, 7) Barbari-Nath, 8) Revan-Nath, 9) Gaininath..”

Matchindra- Natha appears to have also been called Matseyendrath. Though the lineage apparently started in the Nepal area it seems to have migrated to the western India. Even though Mr. Mullarpattan speaks about Matchindranath/Matyendranath being rescued from the clutches of some Tantric misadventure, I have also found that he is credited to having written some Tantras, among them the Kaulajnananirnaya Tantra. (2)

In fact, I found this, from George Feurerstein. “As the first of the siddhas, the Tibetan sources mention Luhi-pa (Luyi-pada) who is most probably identical with Matsyendranatha, the teacher of the famous Gorakshanatha…The natha-siddhas…deserve to be singled out for separate treatment by virtue of their enormous influence on the development of Yoga – (Textbook of Yoga, Georg Feuerstein,ch 10 (3) This is most interesting because the siddha tradition, being Tantric in orientation has both renunciate aand householderpractitioners, as I have described in my previous chapter, the Overview of Householders in the East. A site dedicated to hatha yoga speaks of Matseyendranath, “Matsyendranatha, the Lord of fish, probably lived in the early part of the tenth century A.D. He is regarded as the first human teacher of Hatha Yoga and may have been the originator of the Yogini branch of the Kaula School and the Nathapanth (sect.). Nath means master or lord and refers to a Yogi who enjoys both, liberation (mukti) and supernatural power (siddhi). Matsyendranatha is considered as one of the eighty-four great adepts (maha-siddhas) and is known also as Minanatha or Luipa. Luipa can be a short form of Lohipada. He is also venerated as the guardian deity of Nepal in the form of the transcendental bodhi sattva Avalokiteshwara”(4). Avalokiteshvara is the Bodhisattva of Compassion, the world protector. As we can see here, there are many perspectives as to who exactly Matchinendranath or Matsyendranath was, but we can see that he was pivotal in Tantra, Yoga, and the Natha traditions. How these practices are viewed depends on the perspective of the commentator. From the perspective of my translator friend, Mr. Mullarpattan, Matsyendranath (Matchindranath), his venture into the world of Tantra needed rescuing, but it seems evident to me, that the transmutational aspect of Tantra was transmitted through the Navnath lineage, even if the sexual aspects were purged.

On a site dedicated to travel in the Mangalore I find mention of Matseyendranath. “…Goddess Mangaladevi who is enshrined in a temple at Bolar built in the tenth century in memory of a famous princess of Kerala who is said to have accompanied Matseyendranath, the protagonist of the Nath cult .” Eventually, this lineage made its way West flourishing in Maharashtra. In Mysticism in Maharashtra, R.D. Ranade ( he himself a member of the Navnath Sampradaya) writes, “When and how Matsyendrantha and Gorkshanatha actually lived and flourished, it is impossible to determine. But it remains clear that they cannot be unhistorical names. behind Matsyendranatha, we have mythology, but after Matsyendra, we have history …” (1983:P. 19). Professor Ranade also makes it clear that the Natha lineage flows right into the ocean of the Maharashtran Saints, like Jnanadev. He writes “ ..It is certain that Nirvritinatha and Jnandeva came from the spiritual line of the great Gahininatha, as more than once authentically evidenced by the writings of both Nivritti and Jnanadeva themselves. That Nivrittinatha was instructed by Gahininatha in spiritual knowledge, that Gahininatha derived his spiritual knowledge from Goraksha and Boraksha from Matsyendra, it is needless to reiterate.” (P19). Mr. Mullarpattan says that the “The 2nd Nath, i.e. Gorakh-Nath, purified the spiritual ‘sadhana’ or practice/technic[ technique], by getting rid of redundant and complicated rituals , and recommended dhyana-yoga/raja-yoga, by which mind is purified, leading to its liquidation, neutalisation which results in abidance in pure-consciousness/beingness (bereft of ego/individuality, and subsequently transcends or subsides into Nirgun-Par-Brahman…”

Of the nine natha gurus, it is the eighth guru which begins the Navnath Sampradaya, Revan-Nath. My correspondence with Mr. Mullarpattan reveals “ Revan-Nath, who as an infant was discovered on the sandbeds of the river Reva.” His established headquarters is on the heights of the Revagiri Mountain. Then came 2) Kad-Siddheshwar Maharaj, 3) Guru Lingam-Jangam Maharaj who was also known as Nimbargi Maharaj (1789/1875),4) Shri Bhausaheb Maharaj (-1914), 5) Siddharameshwar Maharaj (1875-1936), 6)Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897-1981) Mr. Mullarpattan tells me that the first two gurus were not householders, but renunciates. In the Sociology of Religion -The Navnath Sampradaya, there is an account of Revan-nath meeting Dattatreya and Matchindranath, “ One day while engaged in agricultural work he had the vision of Sri Dattatreya and by his grace he attained mahimasiddi (occult power) on the basis of which he had performed several miracles. Therefore he became famous as ‘Revanasiddha’ in that region. After sometime Matchindaranath paid a visit to that region. Owing to the occult power tiger, lion and other such wild animals forgetting their enmities were found to be with Matchinderanath. On seeing this, Revananath was flabbergasted. Revananath realized that his mahimasiddhi was of no help. This could be accomplished by Brahamjnana (realization of God). According to his wish Matchindaranath took Revananath to Sri Dattatraya. Sri Dattatraya initiated Revananath into spiritual life and Revananath spent sometime in penance under the guidance of Sri Dattaraya”( P.50). Although the sequence of events and the flow of time is obviously not that clear, there is a definite spiritual connection with Dattatreya and the Navnath lineage Although it does not make sence to me chronologically, I do know that after Revananath there was Kad-Siddeshwar Maharaj. He was also known as Muppina Muni. K.B. Dabade , in his Sociology of religion: a Case Study of Nimbargi Sampradaya, writes, “The Saint of Nimbargi was born in 1790 in Solapur (Maharashtra) but spent his life in Devar Nimbargi, a village in Bijapur distric (Karnataka). He belonged to a Nellawai sub-caste of Lingayat caste. His surname was Misalkar and Narayana or Nagappa was his horoscopic name. His disciples used to address him as Narayan Rao or Bhasaheb. He was also known as Juangam Mahara which was in fact the name of his Guru 9the spiritual preceptor). But he used this as his ensign, in the songs composed by him” (p.49) . Virasaiva or Lingayat affiliations were and are prevalent in Karnataka and Western India. In the introduction of Sociology of Religion of the Navnath Sampradaya we find an explanation of the Veerasaivist movement, “ Veerasaivism [Virasaivism] is a twelfth century reformist movement in Karnataka led by Basava – a charismatic leader and his followers. The core of Veerasaiva teachings is its refusal to recognize the principal of ritual pollution and purity, basic to Brahminical Hinduism. The biological processes such as birth, death, menstruation, spittle and jati (caste) cause ritual pollution necessitating segregation of persons for a fixed period before purification is effected. Veerasaivism proclaims non-observance of five kinds of pollution. Veerasaivism does not recognize ritual pollution and in practice it is considerably diluted. Veerasaivism refuses to make a distinction between auspicious and inauspicious occasions on the ground that the Linga emblem of Siva knows no pollution “ (Introduction,?: P41 ).

Lingayats wear a lingam on a chain, they need no other external representation of the diety. It is significant that some of the founders of the Navnath Sampradaya are Lingayat or Virasaiva because this was a revolutionary movement, allowing people of all walks of life, and both sexes to find Shiva immanent within themselves. Part of this democratizing movement, I believe, is a reaction of Western India’s contact with Islam, which embraces people of all class, creed and gender. The iconoclasm, which is at the heart of Virasaivism actually comes down to us in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries as something we can easily relate to. The breaking down of taboos, of certain parts of India’s spiritual structure makes it possible for us as modern people to partake of these teachings. We do not even have to be practicing Hindus, in the traditional sense, in order to hear it. This attitude was most evident in the Satsang room of Sri Nisargaddatta Maharaj.

Going back to Nimbargi Maharaj, we return to his history. Once in a dream, Vittal (Vishnu) appeared to Nimabargi Maharaj and told him to go to the town of Siddhagiri (Deshpande,2). He went to the temple where he saw a yogi who gave him a mantra and told him to meditate regularly on it. (Deshpand,p.2.) But he returned home and forgot about it. Realizing the negligence of his chosen disciple, the yogi one day came to the house. The guru was welcomed into the house and he asked for two rupees as an offering. Nimbargi Maharaj had to borrow them as he did not have them himself. The guru returned them and said that he should use one for his family life and one for his spiritual life. Sri Nimbargi Maharaj asked. “ Can the worldly be made happy, by meditation on God?” The Sage replied “Nothing is impossible to the grace of God?” (Suresh Gajendragadkar pg 11). This was the start of Nimbargi Maharaj’s practice in earnest. He was a dyer of cloth but he felt that being a shepherd would be more conducive to his spiritual practice. His practice took thirty-six years, from the age of 31 to 67. His life was apparently uneventful, a normal family life. At the age of sixty seven he became Awakened and turned over his mundane affairs to his son. He initiated people and lived the life of a Jivanmukta until the ripe age of 95. (Despande,p. 3).

During the lifetime of Nimbargi Maharaj it seems that the moral issues which were of greatest concern were, adultery,greed, theft and misuse of yogic powers. Nimbargi Maharaj does address these issues in his book, Bodhe-Sudhe. In Chapter II, verse 9 Women, Wealth and Lands he writes:

All people are caught in the meshes of the three qualities. These are woman, wealth and lands. These three qualities are granted to every one by God. One should be content with these till one’s death You should not treat your possessions with contempt and regard them as non existent. You should not covet these three possessions of others, day and night and long for them. The eyes that gaze will get scorched and burnt. And the mind that lusts for the possessions of others will be charred. These three alone are your enemies. You will perish if you follow their orders. They should not be allowed any liberty.

If the craving of the mind cannot be controlled, then you should pray to God for these. But never should you hanker after the belongings of others. the property, riches and lands of others should be regarded as the worst types of hell and you should be content with whatever has been granted by God.(P38)

Although, this sounds like traditional moral instruction, it is interesting to note his admonishment “You should not treat your possessions with contempt and regard them as non-existent.” Perhaps he is saying that one should not negate what one has, feeling that the other persons possessions are better, yet, there is something profound because many times spiritual people put themselves in a double bind, simultaneously caught in attachment and aversion towards possessions without gaining insight into the nature of manifestation. This is probably attributing more to the statement than the moralizing tone of this chapter would indicate, but maybe there is some of this in it. Some of these moralistic issues do not seem that relevant for this study and must be taken in the context of village life in the eighteenth century.

Sri Nimbargi Maharaj says on page 21 of his Bodhe-Sudhe. “Verse 14 – Hypocrisy means outward show of meditation on the Self (Atman) while inwardly one is engrossed in thought of worldly objects. We should never entertain hypocrisy because God is omniscient and omnipresent, He knows all. Therefore never try to deceive Him by means of hypocrisy”(Deshpande, p.21. He also talks about not being a burden to others and that one should not be a beggar . He says in verse 29, (Desphande) called Do not hold down your hand (like a beggar):

One should never lower one’s hand for the one’s needs. If one takes thus from others, one’s wants would ever remain unsatisfied. The begging hand would be cursed and polluted. Therefore, one should always have one’s hand raised up (for giving).

Priests and Jangams get their hands cursed by their greed for other’s property and by lowering their hands for that purpose. they will therefore never succeed in their undertakings; their poverty will not cease and their wans would remain unsatisfied. Therefore, one should not accept from others anything gratis or in charity. On e should be giving to others with one’s means.

This is obviously a criticism of renunciates who make a big show of their austerity and yet remain attached within. I personally witnessed Sri Nisargadatta’s disgust of a swami, dressed in ocher robes with whom he had shared a podium. After the talk, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj got up, picked up the offerings of money that he had received and placed them before the swami. The next morning Sri Nisargadatta said that the swami only spoke to feed his belly and needed the money more than he did. So one can surmise that this distrust of behaving spiritually onstentiously and the mistrust of certain kinds of renunciates was transmitted from guru to disciple and still pervades the sampradaya. It also makes a point that being a householder with interior renunciation was more virtuous than that of a sannyasin who was not inwardly renounced.

Spiritual practice while living the life of a householder was challenging for Sri Nimbagi Maharaj and demanded internal renunciation . In Verse 16, of his Bodhe-Sudhe, he says, “ Wife, children and grandchildren, involve us in infatuation and that is known as “Maya”, (attachment). We should avoid that trap of i.e. temptations. We should not love our children too much. At the same time, we must not fail to arrange their food and clothing. We should behave with them as though they are the children of others. if we bestow extra care on them out of selfishness, it will harm them. Getting the way they do, we should not involve ourselves into the trap of their maya-attachment and become partners in their joys and sorrows.” The approach that Sri Nimbargi Maharaj took was to remain detached while in the midst of life. From the modern western perspective, his approach may seem insensitive, however, there is truth in his stance toward family life in as much as one tries to be fully participatory and yet vigilant towards attachment. Perhaps this is a warning against spoiling children, a point that strikes me deeply at heart!

His book of teaching contains advice on how to work, its proper attitude, the danger of idleness, the uselessness of anxiety. He writes about meditating while working in chapter 49 titled Meditation while Working with Hands:

On getting initiated by Sadguru in spiritual life, you should continue to work with hands and repeat the name of God in your mind. Work with your hands, meditate on God Hari, like thread in the spider’s web, watch your breath-inhaling and exhaling (i.e. weave name God through every breath, as the spider weaves the web with its thread).

You should live the domestic life like a labourer, who does his work always with an eye on his wages. In the same way you should work sincerely for the wages, that is , earn enough money to maintain your family, but all the time you should meditate on God. The body alone should be engaged in work while the mind and soul should be completely engrossed in Atman. (Sri Nimbargi Maharaj: Life and Teachings,1978: p. 39)

Mantra initiation was, and has been part of the transmission, although the emphasis is not so much on the sound but the mantra itself becoming God. As I observed during my visit to Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, mantra initiation was still a part of initiation that he occasionally used. Sri Nisargadatta did not initiate all who came to him; I do not know the criteria he used in deciding who he would give mantra initiation to. In the introduction to the collection of letters written by Bhausaheb Maharaj, disciple of Sri Nimbargi Maharaj, is an explanation which clarifies the issue of the use of mantras:


“Nama-Yoga” is a word specially coined by us to designate the Spiritual Philosophy and Discipline of Sri Maharaj. He himself called it Jnana-Marga-or Path of self-realisation. We have , however, used “Nama-Yoga” in a double sense. In fact, both the words – Nama and Yoga carry double meaning. Nama means i)Meditation on Divine Name and ii) Divinity in posse. Like many other saints, to Sri Maharaj also, Nama (name) and Rupa (form) of God were identical. the Name itself was God. Yoga means Spiritual union or realisation of god. In the first sense, Nama-Yoga represents the Path, while in the second sense, it represents the Goal, as meditation, on Divine Name, if properly practiced, will lead to the realisation of the vision and bliss of the lord. ( (Sri Bhausaheb Maharaj: Life and Nama Yoga,1978: p. 4)

This quote both explains and surpasses what Nimbargi was referring to in his suggestion to meditate on the name of God. The merger of Jnana-Yoga and Nama-Yoga is passed on down through the lineage, however, in modern times, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj did not always bestow a mantra on those who came him for darshan, he seemed to prefer pure Jnana Marga.

Sri Nimbargi Maharaj, having practiced long and hard as a householder, has lots of advice on how to practice. He feels that one has to keep aware of the Self at all times, which is no easy thing to accomplish, particularly if involved in daily affairs, which tend to require the mind. Although his tone is somewhat moralistic, it is still possible to find applicable advice in verse 51 of his Bode Sude, Relinquishment of forgetfulness and living in constant wakefulness:

Awakening is remembering Atman and forgetfulness is not-remembering Atman. Remembrance of Atman easily renders all work holy and excellent. Impossibles are made possible; while good turns into evil due to forgetfulness and whatever is desired, done communicated , or heard is made null and void. So if you always rememer Atman, se and think of Him unceasingly, every thing will be secured and one will attain Peace -Swa-sthata, ‘Swa’ means ones’s own form i.e. Swarupa and Stha means ‘steadiness’’ i.e. Sthirata. If you become steady in Self, you would be steady everywhere.

If you annihilate forgetfulness, and are steady in remembrance, life in qualityless Absolute, you would suffer from nothing in this world and will attain absolution in your own self. You should therefore, meditate without wasting a single moment, incessantly. the real meaning of life subsists in your own self Atman. All that is done without Atman and without seeing and remembering Him is meaningless, valueless and fruitless. ( (Sri Nimbargi Maharaj: Life and Teachings,1978: p.87)

Sri Nimbargi Maharaj articulates here, some very important points which are equally relevent for the Western aspirant as they were for his disciples two hundred years ago. In saying that”remembrace of Atman easily renders all work holy and excellent” he transforms the daily lives of all who endevour to remain centered in the Absolute and validates the householder path. He re-iterates this by reminding us, “If you become steady in Self, you would be steady eveywhere.” This emphasis comes right through the lineage and can be echoed in the words of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, in a dialogue in Vol I, Chapter 26, September 5th, 1971:

Question:…Since two and a half years I am traveling, restless, seeking. I want to live a good life, a holy life. What am I to do?

Maharaj: Go home, take charge of your father’s business, look after your parents in their old age. Marry the girl who is waiting for you, be loyal, be simple, be humble. Hide your virtue, live silently. The five senses and the three qualities (gunas) are your eight steps in yoga. And ‘I am’ is the Great Reminder (mahamantra). You can learn from them all you need to know. Be attentive, enquire ceaselessly.That is all.

This dialogue has many of the instructions that Sri Nimbargi Maharaj imparted long ago and it is still relevant today. Once again, the Self is the mahamantra and all of life constitutes the steps of yoga. Here, Sri Nisargadatta is passing on this path to a young westerner. By sending us back home to the mundane life we sought to escape we are being instructiedus to transmute the senses and gunas, discovering our own sense of being to be the unceasing mantra. This dialogue is deceptively simple but it contains the complete transmission from Sri Nimbargi down to Sri Nisargadatta.

Continuing historically, we look to Sri Bhausaheb Maharaj, who was born Shri Venkatesh Kanderao Deshpande (1843-1914 ). Sri Bhausaheb met Sri Nimbargi at the age of 14 and was given mantra initiation by Sri Sadhubua at the instance of the saint of Nimbargi. As Sri Bhausaheb was from a Deshastha Brahmin caaste and Sri Nimbargi Maharaj was a Lingaya, Bhausaheb received opposition from within and without hisfamily. But that did not deter him from his enthusiasm to practice and awaken under the tutelage of Sri Nimbargi Maharaj. He awakened and was authorized by Sri Nimbargi to carry on the lineage (Deshpande1978:p2). In the introduction of Sri Bhausaheb Maharaj: Life Sketch and Nama-Yoga, published by the Academy of Comparative Philosophy and Religion, we find more evidence of internal detachment and the use of life in the world as an approach to spiritual practice, “To denounce and renounce worthless things” is his Vairagya [dispassion]. To attain the essential we must eschew the non-essential. Still like Sri Ramadas, the renunciation advocated by Sri Maharaj was internal and not external. Like Sage Vasistha, Sri Maharaj preferred ‘Antastyaga’, mental renunciation. He advised his disciples to perform worldly duties with perfect diligence. But he warned them that they should consider spiritual discipline to be the be-all-and-end-all of life and hat it should claim their highest loyalty. Hence, while they are engaged in the daily work they should not fail to meditate on the Divine Name. “(Deshpandep.5-6). He was a householder and some of his instruction is found in letters written to his sons. He established a Math, [ monastery] in the village of Inchagiri. He had several realized disciples but the Navnath Sampradaya seems to split into two major groups, those of Sri Amburao Maharaj, who was the guru of Professor R.D. Ranade (who made possible most of the existing works about the lineage and also the Maratha Poet Saints), and Sri Siddharameshwar, who was the guru of both Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj and Ranjit Maharaj among others.

Sri Bhausaheb Maharaj wrote to his sons and disciples about different aspects of spiritual life and practice. His letters and teachings have been gathered in a book called Nama-Yoga. As mentioned earlier, the compilers and translators of this book have coined this term Nama-Yoga, even thought, Sri Bhausaheb Maharaj, himself called it Jnana Marga. Even though Nama Yoga seems to have been a component of instruction coming down from Sri Nimbargi Maharaj, both Sri Nimbargi and Sri Bhausaheb vidently intended for it to be a practice of Jnana, which is wisdom, enquiry into truth. Sri Bhausaheb said :

A seeker should live in this world like a lotus-leaf in the lake, untouched by its mud. He should perform meditation while engaged in his worldly affairs. He should , however be very cautious here and should never fall a prey to the attractions of woman and gold belonging to others. He should be satisfied with what God has granted to him and steadily continue his spiritual sadhana. Moreover, he should perform his worldly duties, with utmost care and diligence. He should not shun them through idleness. He should constantly observe and examine his conduct at every step, and should always behave prudently. Imprudence is the source of misery. Still, with all our prudence we must not fail to realize that God’s will alone ultimately prevails. Hence we should be ever ready to abide by His will. When we are overwhelmed with dangers, we should not fail to remember Him and perform our duty. (1978:P11-12)

Sri Bhausaheb Maharaj does put the emphasis in life on one-pointed meditation on God,he does not believe that one has to remove oneself from life’s circumstances but live life with this meditation as its purpose:

A person is required to worship God for success in his worldly business as well. That would form his Worldly Religion, useful for his worldly life. but that is not all in all. That alone will not bring about fulfillment in his life. On the other hand, he should adopt the path of Spiritual Religion and try to identify himself with God through proper devotion. He should learn to adapt himself even to (adverse) places and (trying) circumstances in which he would be called upon to live through the will of God and should never give up meditation on the Divine Name on any account… (18)

Although the moralistic tone of both Sri Nimbargi Maharaj and Sri Bhausaheb Maharaj may be hard to relate to in the twenty-first century, the advice given above would be useful meditation for any modern man or women.

Sri Bhausaheb takes us beyond the duality of spiritual and worldly. Here he sounds like his descendent, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj:

Worldly life and Spiritual life, Duality and Identity, Censure and Praise are pairs of opposites in which, without the help of one we cannot understand the other. Identity can not be understood without duality; in the absence of censure the value of praise would not be realized. Likewise, without the help of worldly life, spiritual life cannot be properly realized. Worldly life is reprehensible no doubt. But its aid is quite necessary for attaining the commendable spiritual life. We must realize all this properly and through the proper practice of meditation attain love and bliss of spiritual life. (Nama-Yoga p.183-184) (29)

One wonders whether Sri Bhausaheb finds Worldly life reprehensible because it is so easy to get enmeshed in all manner of attachment and desire or because it takes up so much of one’s time and attention? He does however stress “its aid is quite necessary for attaining the commendable spiritual life. The worldly life does provide financial sustenance and more than that, it provides opportunities for detachment, for compassion and for seeing the Absolute nature of all apparent manifestation. He even shows us that the illusion we get entangled in, is only God’s Maya:

Man desires that the Lord should not throw him— entangle him, in the meshes of Maya. But it is futile to entertain this desire. Even the Lord Himself incarnates in the Maya, carries on-displays His sport in it. How, then can we be freed from Maya? When we are residing in the domain of Maya, we should develop devotion for the Lord, by remaining unaffected by Maya. Maya then could not affect us. We should learn to participate in the sport of the Lord, in the Maya of the Lord, like the Lord Himself. Never should we forget that Maya belongs to the Lord Himself. then we won’t be troubled by Maya. (p.24) (36)

Sri Bhausaheb Maharaj, also known as the saint of Umadi, had disciples who were Lingayat, Muslim as well as Brahmin. He had a disciple named Sri Shivalingavva who was a poetess saint of Jat. He had both Harijan (untouchable) and Brahmin disciples. One of these Brahmin disciples, Sri Bagewadi Maharaj, was the spiritual teacher of Sri B.D. Jatti – former Chief Minister of Karnataka, Vice President and Acting President of India. This lineage became quite ecumenical as more disciples came into its fold. (Sociology of Religion, Dabadde p. 60)

According to the Sociology of Religion: a Case Study of Nimbargi Sampradaya by K.B. Dabade, “Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj, guru was born in Patri, a village near Solapur in Maharshtra in 1888. Although he had little schooling he earned a name as a clerk under a famous merchant named Narayana Das at Bijapur. He came in contact with the Saint of Umadi through his friend and got initiated. Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj belongs to a Kunbi caste. A Jati called Kunbi is generally ranked below the farmer – military Jatis called Maratha (Mandelbaum 1972:19). He is a widely traveled person in India and has disciples from far off places. He is said to have initiated thousands of people. He knew Marathi, Hindi, Gujarathi, Kannada and was a powerful orator. He is said to have attained a great spiritual height and spread Vedanta as told by the saint of Umadi and left his mortal coil in Bombay in 1936” ( Debadde 1998:P99) In the Preface to Sri Siddharameshwar’s Master Key to Self-Realisation it also affirms that he was a bright young man. “ He did not study much at the school level but he was very intelligent, clever and smart in all his behaviors. He was always very straight forward and spoke with a thoughtful idea. He retorted his answers to every question with a full meaning. At the age of 16 , even though he was premature to work, he took up a job of an accountant (Munim) in a Marwadi firm at Bijapur. he did his work with earnestness and with full responsibility. Thus he was successful as an accountant ( a Munim) and settled down in Bijapur. here he met his Master Shri Bhausaheb Maharaj, who has built a monastery (Math) in the small village called Inchgiri in Karnataka State of India which started in the year 1885.’(1994:Pv)

Sri Nimbargi Maharaj died in 1914 and in 1918. Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj, along with four other disciples of Sri Bhausaheb decided to renounce the world. He joined his brother disciples and went on tour popularizing their guru’s teaching. (Dabade He then got the idea “that one should go beyond meditation, because meditation is an initial stage to Final Reality. Brother disciples disagreed with Shri Siddharameshwar Maharaj saying that their Master Shri Bhausaheb Maharaj has not told them so. He agreed with them, but reiterated, ‘Okay! Can one not go beyond that?” He decided to set on the arduous path on his own and left them and returned to Bijapur at his home. He started his meditation in bijapur on a raised platform like a minaret (upli buruj) sitting over an old gun and he meditated for nine months without a break. Since his Master had taught him only meditation there was no alternative for him to find out he way to attain the Final Reality without meditation. His efforts were finally rewarded and his Master blessed him. He then explained that one can achieve the Final Reality via Vihangam Marg (the bird’s way) which is by thinking.”(vi) This thinking can only be the fine discernment and discrimmination of the real from the unreal,, which will take a sincere aspirant to their true Self-nature. The Sampradaya was evolving again.

Even though within the Sampradaya, all castes and jatis (occupational divisions) were accepted, it was not always that way outside of it. The fact that Sri Siddharmeshwar was a Kunbi (Tukaram was one too, and referred to himself as a Shudra) disturbed some Lingayats. K. B. Dabader reports that, “Shivappa disciple of Siddharameshwar Maharaj, once paid a visit to Siddhagiri muth. He went to Siddhagiri without wearing a ‘Linga’ (phallic) even though he was a Lingayat.The present pontiff asked Shivappa regarding this. Shivappa replied that his spiritual teacher has given him Sukshama Linga and that has to be worn by him internally. On hearing this reply, the present pontiff made an inquiry about Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj and met him at Inchagiri. In the course of argument and discussion with Sri Siddharameshwar all the doubts of the present pontiff were clarified and the present pontiff, a Lingayat Jangam accepted Sri Siddharameshwar- a Kunbi by caste as his spiritual teacher. Once a procession was taken out in which Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj was made to sit in Palaki. A Lingayat Jangam Mathadipati of Siddhagiri’s acceptance of a Kumbi as his spiritual teacher and his procession in Palaki were strongly opposed by some orthodox people. The present pontiff at one stage was prepared to even to quit Kaneri muth and the position of the Mathadhipati. Later, he was able to convince his opponents that in real spiritual world, there was no discrimination in the name of caste, class, sex, age etc.” (1998:P100)

Sri Siddharameshwar believed that the Truth should be transmitted in simple, straightforward language. He used examples from daily life. He went beyond the teachings of his Guru, in order to make it ever more accessible to the common man. From 1935 to 1936 he shared his way with disciples and died in 1936 in Bombay (p.vii) Sri Siddharameshwar encouraged inner renunciation and took a non-dual approach:

This world is like a dream and hence in this dreamworld, whatever is good or bad, Dharma or Adharma, merit or sin, morality — are of no consequence for the awakening of the Self. And therefore renunciation of both auspicious and unauspicious, good and bad, is necessary to get the knowledge of Self. (Master Key, p.9)

In taking Shri Bhausaheb’s teaching, what Sri Siddharameshwar called the Ant’s Path or the slow way, and making it more expedient, into the Bird’s Way, he starts to use forms of enquiry, somewhat akin to Sri Ramana Maharshi’s Self-Inquiry. Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj, in MasterKey to Realization, Chapter II, Investigation of the Four Bodies in Search of the “I” says:

Everyone should begin the search for this “I” at his own centre if he is keen to search it out. This ‘I’ will never be found outside of us. In every human being this ‘I’ or ‘ego’ sense of ‘mine’ and possessions is filled up to the brim. All the action in the world is carried out on the strength of this ‘ego’ and sense of ‘mine’. The theorem is taken for granted by all human beings, but the totality of action can be carried out even without this ‘ego’ or this sense of ‘mineness’… (p.18)

Sri Siddharameshwar goes on to show his disciples how they can carry on their life, take care of their duty without a sense of “I” and “mine”, saying:

…However, if the aspirant understands (intellectually), which is easier than experiencing the self, he raises a question “After the knowledge of the self is attained and the possessive pride of the body and mind is left behind, could the worldly duties be performed?” The Saguru, to console him answers “Dear one, even after realizing the utter uselessness of body and mind, one can establish a household and have children, without bringing in the pride of the body and the mind. these both can be looked after very well. all the relevant duties one did earlier, could be diligently performed.”(p.25)

He then goes on and illustrates how a nurse will lovingly but dispassionately take care of her charge, or a manager the property of which he is responsible (p.25). Household life then can be an opportunity to become ruthlessly selfless and detached.

In the end one can not separate from the Absolute. Sri Siddharameshwar says:

Whatever actions are being done by your gross body, whatever dreams or desires, ideas or doubts have crossed your mind, all these happen for the sake of this God and in order to please Him. If you recognize this much your work is done. All of you are doing something through your body or mind. If you say, “We do not want to do it”, you cannot stop from doing it; but whatever you do, the doer and enjoyer of all your deeds is only Hari. This fact alone must be recognized in every movement. (p.54)

This becomes a practice in itself, without separating from life, without controlling it, but proceeding with the understanding that every dream, action happens in and for the Absolute. By opening to this practice, one does not have to physically renounce to stand in the Absolute. There is no place in mind, or body where the Absolute does not prevail.

When an aspirant has no doubt of any kind left in him and he achieves knowledge of the Self, he becomes free. Though true, as yet he cannot experience the glory of real liberation. Richness is one thing, but the joy of the status after getting rich is another thing. In the same way, unless a feeling of Oneness of all comes to the Dnyani [jnani], his knowledge does not develop or spread out, like a stingy rich man’s wealth, and he cannot get the bliss of Liberation while alive.

Even if one achieves the knowledge of Self, unless one experiences a feeling of oneness with all, fearlessness does not come his way – while “Full bliss” is only “Fearlessness”. In quality, -Fear is a concomitant of Duality. Fear is a very great impediment in the way of bliss arising out of liberation. So after achieving Self Knowledge, the aspirant should worship the Paratman in the way explained above.Thus, dry knowledge gets moistened with devotion. A jalebi (kind of sweet) which has been fried in ghee, becomes juicy and sweet when it is fried and put in the syrup of sugar. In the same way, the Dnayani gets fullness of life through devotion after the knowledge.

Perhaps this is why Sri Nisargadatta continued with his devotional practices, moistening his Wisdom with the sweetness of devotion.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj was born on Hanuman’s birthday, in March 1897, He was given the name, Maruti, in honor of Hanuman. His father worked as a servant and then later bought some land and became small time farmer. After Maruti’s father died, in 1915, Maruti followed his oldest brother to Bombay. In 1924 he married Sumatibai and with her became the parents of three daughters and a son. He started out as a clerk in an office but that did not suit him tempermentally and he soon took to petty trading. He opened a bidi shop (shop for hand rolled coarse cigarettes) and began selling them. He became prosperous. (I Am That, Part I, p.xxvii)

He had a friend named Yashwantrao Bagkar, an intellegent seeker of truth. They would have discussions and one day his friend brought him to meet his Sadguru, Sri Siddharameshwar. Although Maruti was moved by Sri Siddharameshwar, he felt the teaching was beyond him (p.xxvii). Maruti was given a mantra initiation, which is totally in keeping with the Navnath tradition, and instructions on how to meditate. His practice really started to take off between 1933-1936 (p.xxvii).

Sri Siddharameshwar died in 1936 and evoked in Maruti a strong feeling of renunciation which he acted upon. He abandoned his family and bidi businesses and took off for the Himalayas.(pxxviii) Srikant Gogte and P.T. Phadol , in the introduction of I am That say of this, “On his way to the Himalayas, where he was planning to spend the rest of his life, he met a brother-dsciple, who convinced him about the shortcomings of a totally unworldly life and the greater spiritual fruitfulness of dispassion in action..” (p.xxviii) When he returned he found that out of six shops only one remained, but that was enough for the sustenance of his family, Maruti became Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, devoting all his free time to meditation on his guru’s instruction. He actually explained how the name came to him in Consciousness and the Absolute: the final talks of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, edited by Jean Dunn:

Q. How did Maharaj get the name Nisargadatta?

M. At one time I was composing poems. Poems used to flow out of me and, in this flow, I just added Nisargadatta. I was revelling in coposing poems until my Guru cautioned me, “You are enjoying composing these poems too mcuh; give them up!”

What was he driving at? His objective was for me to merge in the Absolute state insteadof revelling in my beingness.

This was the way I realized knowledge, not through mental manipulation. My Guru said, “this is so,” and for me, it was finished! (p.7-8)

So, after a relatively short time he Awoke to the truth. People would line up at the shop to ask spiritual questions and later, his son took over the business and he began to hold Satsang (association with the truth.).

The tranformation begun with Sri Siddharameshwar, of taking a more relative, moralistic path of meditation and making it more direct and piercing transmission was finished by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj’s transmission became a beacon of non-dual liberation the world over and in the few years after I Am That was published, Westerners made a beeline for his house on Ketwadi Lane. Although the most erudite Western people came to see him, he was always the simple but brilliantly illuminated Sage.

Up until I had met Sri Nisargadatta, my concept of a Self-Realized sage was that of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, who was totally removed from worldly life. Meeting Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj on a noisy street in Bombay would shatter most of my concepts about what a realised sage was like or how my life could be utilized to become enlightened. I was completely made welcome and invited to ask questions and discourse with him. I noticed early on that I was not the only woman present. Both Indian women and Western women alike were more than welcome to sit at His feet. There were some very sharp ladies there and I believe that this is also in keeping with the Navnath tradition of inclusiveness.

Sri Nisargadatta reached out with great compassion to the many confused travelers who arrived at his door. He showed great patience and restrait in his dealings with them, or should I say, us. He would explain what the world was like for him, or more precisely that there was no one to experience a non-existent world. He freely gave of his freedom:

Question: Give us at least some insight into the content of your mind while you live your daily life. To eat, to drink, to talk, to sleep—how does it feel at your end?

Maharaj: The common things of life I experience then just as you do.The difference lies in what I do not experience. I do not experience fear or greed, hate or anger. I ask nothing, refuse nothing. In these matters I do not compromise. May be this is the outstanding difference between us. I will not compromise. I am true to myself, while you are afraid of reality.

It is not that being a householder was advocated as a path, but in the context of the Navnath Sampradaya of Sri Nisargadatta, being a householder was not an obstruction, rather it was an opportunity for renunciation in action. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj was not emamored with being a householder, he did not take himself to be any designation whatsoever. On the otherhand, he had no patience for people who had cloked themselves in spiritual imagery, he was ruthless about tearing down all images and attachments. If he was leery of householders it was of the opportunity for attachment and ego involvement that would ensnare them. He felt that householders could discharge their duties with complete dispassion and compassion.:

Maharaj: There is only life. there is nobody who lives a life.

Question: That we understand, yet constantly we make attempts to live our lives instead of just living. Making plans for the future seems to be an inveterate habit with us.

Maharaj: Whether you plan or don’t, life goes on. But in life itself a little whorl arises in the mind which indulges in fantasies and imagines itself dominating and controlling life.

Life itself is desireless. But the false self wants to continue—pleasantly. Therefore it is always engaged in ensuring one’s continuity. Life is unafraid and free. As long as you have the idea of influencing events, liberation is not for you: The very notion of doership, of being a cause, is bondage.
Question: How can we overcome the duality of the doer and done.

Maharaj: Comtemplate life as infinite, undivided, ever present, ever active, until you realise yourself as one with it. It is not even very difficult for you will be returning only to your own natural condition.

Once you realise that all comes from within, that the world in which you live not has been projected onto you but by you, your fear comes to an end. Without this realisation you identify yourself with externals, like body, mind, society, nation, humanity, even God or the Absolute, but these are all escapes from fear. It is only when you fully accept your responsibility for the little world in which you live and watch the process of its creation, preservation and destruction that (p43)

This dialogue illustrates how Maharaj stands beyond all concepts, even spiritual ones in the course of living life. Meditations such as this are the core of the practice of the householder.

Many Westerners came to meet Sri Nisargadatta in India, holding certain preferences for spiritual life in India, over life in the United States and Europe. Sri Nisargadatta would send many home to confront these issues. He felt that one was able to realise and abide as the Self, anywhere , in any circumstance. He would push the Westerner to look deeply within his/her own circumstance:

Question: What is it that brings me again and again to India? It cannot be only the comparative cheapness of life here? Nor the colourfulness and variety of impressions. There must be some more important factor.

Maharaj: There is also the spiritual aspect. The division between the outer and the inner is less in India. It is easier here to express the inner in the outer. Integration is easier. Society is not so oppressive.

Question: Yes, in the west it is all tamas and rajas. In India there is more of sattva, of harmony and balance?

Maharaj: Can’t you go beyond the gunas? Why choose the sattva? Be what you are wherever you are and worry not about gunas.

Question: I have not the strength.

Maharaj: It merely shows that you have gained little in India. What you truly have you cannot lose. Were you well grounded in your self, change of place would not affect it.

Question: In India spiritual life is easy. It is not so in the west. One has to conform to environment to a much greater extent.

Maharaj: Why don’t you create your own environment? The world has only as much power over you as you give it. Rebel. Go beyond duality, make no difference between east and west. (Part I I:p. 104)

He wanted us to understand t hat we could practice and Realise at home. That we did not have to continue these dualisms at all. With such encouragement, Maharaj literally pushed people out his door. He had no desire to have an ashram, his only desire was to show people how to be as they truly Are.

Sri Nisargadatta having been innundated with Western seekers in the 1970’s and 1980’s. He became both affectionate toward them and critical of their approaches. He critiqued our approach and at the same time showed us the way to deal with our particular temperment in this dialogue, :

Question: Am I allowed to smoke in your presence? I know that is is not the custom to smoke before a sage and more so for a woman.

Maharaj: By all means, smoke, nobody will mind. We understand.

Question: I feel the need for cooling down.

Maharaj: It is very often so with Europeans. After a stretch of sadhana they become charged with energy and frantically seek an outlet. They organize communities, become teachers of yoga, marry, write books anything except keeping quite and turning their energies within, to find the source of the inexhaustible energy and learn the art of keeping it under control.

Question: I admit that now I want ot go back and live a very active life, becaue I feel full of energy.

Maharaj: You can do what you like as long as you do not take yourself to be the body and the mind. It is not so much a question of actual giving up the body and all that goes with it, as a clear understaning that you are not the body, a sense of aloofness, of emotional non-involvement.

Question: I know what you mean. I have passed some four years ago, through a period of rejection of the physical; I would not buy myself clothes, would eat the simplest of foods, sleep on bare planks. It is the acceptance of the privations that matters, not the actual discomfort. Now I have realized that welcoming life as it comes and loving all it offers is the best of it. I shall accept whatever comes with a glad heart and make the best of it. If I can do nothing more than give life and true culture to a few children— good enough; though my heart goes out to every child, I cannot reach all.

Maharaj: You are married and a mother only when you are man-woman conscious. When you do not take yourself to be the body, then the family life of the body, however intense and interesting , is seen only as a play on the screen of the mind, with the light of awareness as the only reality.

(PartII: P 233-234)

Maharaj is critical here, and is unerringly accurate in describing how Western spiritual aspirants behave after a dose of intense spiritual practice. He keeps pointing us to complete disidentification. He wants us to go deeper. He does not want us to appear disidentified, he wants us to see and be only That. He is speaking here from his own experience, how he handled being businessman, husband and the father of four.

Sri Nisargadatta also speaks alot about desire and fear. People seem tossed about by desire and fear, even in relation to the Absolute. He encouraged people to directly look at what the Truth is and not fret unneccesarily. This actually is also found in the teaching of Sri Bhausaheb and Sri Siddharmeshwar, as well. As an inordinant amount of life’s energy can be wasted by anxiety and fear:

Question: How do we learn to cut out worries?

Maharaj: You need not worry about your worries. Just be. Do not try to be quiet; do not make ‘being quiet’ into a taks to be performed. Don’t be restless about ‘being quiet’ , miserable about ‘being happy’. Just be aware that your are and remain aware— don’t say ‘yes, I am; what next?’ there is no ‘next’ in ‘I am’. It is the timeless state.

(PartII, p.280)

Sri Nisargadatta has had enough experience to know how easily one can get caught up in endless concerns, both worldly and spiritual. He puts them all to rest.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj communicated his direct experience to all who came to see him. He continued to live his life based on Self-knowledge. He was not enamoured by any aspect of life, he dealt with life as it was necessary, always situated in complete Self-knowledge. This spontaneous dealing with life, in full detachment and wisdom was perfectly in keeping with the transmission down through the ages. Each guru in the Navnath Sampradaya transmitted the Truth in ways that those around him would be able to assimilate, in ways that were in accord with the societal influences of the time. Sri Siddharameshwar made the transmission more direct, a form of Inquiry, of discrimination with , more emphasis on Vedanta. This transmission made an impact on Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Sri Ranjit Maharaj and Sri Bhainath Maharaj, his three enlightened disciples who ived in Bombay. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, seemed to potentiate the transmission, yet carryi on certain traditions, especially for his Indian disciples. He still gave mantra initiation, with the underlying point being that the mantra was more than sound, it was the Absolute Itself which could be reverberated throughout life in all circumstance. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj was somewhat of a departure from the traditional Navnath Sampraday because he came in contact with many European and American seekers. However, the Navnath Sampradaya had always embraced people of differernt castes, classes, genders and even religions.

Maurice Frydman brought Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj to the attention of the world. Although Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj did adapt a different mode of instruction for his Western disciples, through the question and answer format, his transmission was the same for all. The irony of a totally unlettered man being one of the most eloquent exponents of non-duality was not lost on those who came to see him. He was a perfect teacher for those who came to see him because he was accessible in so many ways. He was accessible by being in the midst of the noisiest city on earth. He was accessible in that he had freely given of himself, spiritually, while selling bidis and this free offering of himself continued unabated in his home on Ketwadi Lane. He was available because he had no pretense whatsoever and was intent on unmasking all spiritual fraud. He was available because at the heart of his detachment was unconditional love.

After Sri Nisargadatta became sick in the late 1970’s, his transmission continued but he lost all patience with spiritual imagery and intellectual fencing. His later discourses are piercing and diamond-like in their ability to dismiss the disengenuous and dillitante questioner. Most of all, he truly wanted us to awaken as he had. In Consciousness and the Absolute, edited by Jean Dunn, in one of his last talks, Maharaj said:

I do not want meek and humble disciples, I want them to be powerful as I am. I do not make disciples, I make Gurus. (1994: P100)

These powerful words are a reminder of the true purpose of the Navnath Sampraday. Perhaps, the Navnath Sampraday will take root here in the United States and Europe, amongst those who are quietly inquiring amidst their busy daily lives.

A study of the Navnath Sampradaya
By Cathy Boucher

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History of Fergusson College


With the end of the East India Company’s regime in India and the failure of the first armed uprising in 1857, for India’s freedom, a new era dawned in our country. It was clear that the emancipation of our land and the transformation of the life of our people had to be brought about by peaceful and constitutional means. Indian renaissance had began and it heralded the role which education needed to play to achieve national aspirations. Wood’s Education Despatch  (1854), the Education Commission of 1882 and the Hunter Commission (1891), were all indicative of the concerted efforts, of both the Government and the Indian people, in the enterprise of education. The Founders of the Fergusson College had first started the New English School, Pune in 1880 and later established the Deccan Education Society (DES) in 1884. 

This was followed by the bold step to start the first ever privately managed college in India, on the 2nd January 1885, naming it as the Fergusson College.  The name was given in appreciation of the support of Sir James Fergusson, the then Governor of Bombay Province and also the first Patron of the DES.  Principal William Wordsworth, the grandson of the famous poet, was the master of the ceremonies at the inaugural function of the college.  Thus, the Fergusson College bridged the gulf between the great city of London and Poona, the city of the Peshwas and on this occasion Sir Fergusson wished God’s blessings on this new venture.  The college received affiliation of the University of Bombay and began its onward march in higher education with the opening of the Arts classes, followed in 1892, with the science classes.  

The college held these classes, for almost ten years, in the old Gadre Wada and other locations in Poona.  A plot of about 37 acres (a portion of the present extensive campus) was acquired on a 99 years’ lease in 1891 by the DES. The foundation stone of the Main building of the Fergusson College, was laid in 1892 and the building was completed in 1895. The college started functioning on this campus in 1895. From then onwards, the college has grown from strength to strength and acquired a reputation as a nation-building institution. It has a place of pride in the hearts of the people, as a historical monument and a symbol of the country’s freedom struggle. While the founders Vishnushastri Chiplunkar, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Gopal Ganesh Agarkar, Mahadev Ballal Namjoshi and Vaman Shivram Apte have become legends, in the history of education and the freedom struggle in India, it is a matter of great significance, that the college received active and moral support from academicians and statesmen, such as Principal William Wordsworth, Principal F.  G.  Selby, Lord Rippon, Sir William Wedderburn and Sir James Fergusson.Fergusson College was intended to be, “the seminary of the Indian educational missionaries”. Justice Mahadeo Govind Ranade, the wisest protagonist of liberalism and secular political ethos, emerging in Indian Society, described the opening of Fergusson College as having, “unquestionably a great political importance as well”.  The truth of this statement is evidenced by the fact that the Fergusson College has produced great political leaders, such as the former-Prime Ministers P. V. Narasimhrao and V. P. Singh, former-Chief Minister Babubhai Patel, former-Minister of Information and Broadcasting Barrister V. N. Gadgil; Acharya Kripalani, Veer Savarkar and S. M. Joshi.  Gopal Krishna Gokhale, who was described by Mahatma Gandhi, as his political guru and mentor, gave a distinctive touch to the Fergusson College.  In his address delivered at the time of laying of the corner stone of the New English School and the Fergusson college building, on the 5th March 1885, Sir James Fergusson declared that the opening of the College was more a national than a local undertaking.  He said, “… that this institution has developed is due to the self-denying patriotism, which actuated the teachers of the college. True patriots are they and well worthy of all the praise that can be given to them.” All through its 122 years of a shrine–like existence, the Fergusson college has given to the country, from among its alumni, great patriots, thinkers, philosophers, poets, writers, teachers, social workers, scientists, industrialists, entrepreneurs, researchers, administrators and defense officers.  There is no walk of life that has not basked in the sun of the Fergussonian spirit.In keeping with its eminent standing in the educational field, some of its teachers and students have brought laurels to the college, by being appointed as Vice Chancellors of Pune and other Universities.  Notable amongst these are: 

·         Dr. Wrangler G. S. Mahajani,

·         Dr. D. A. Dabholkar,

·         Dr. Ram Takawale,

·         Dr. M. G. Takawale

The college was thus, a fruit of the Renaissance that swept over the land from the beginning of the cultural and intellectual contact with the West. To quote from the Platinum Jubilee Address of the then President of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad (1960): “The Fergusson College was established at a time when the attitude of the Indian masses towards   higher education of the western type was yet in a formative stage and when facilities for such education for the generality of Indian students were inadequate.  Apart from the colleges sponsored and run by Government and Christian Missions, there were few institutions, imparting higher education, managed by private or non-official bodies. The importance of the Deccan Education Society lay in the fact that a devoted band of workers came forward at such a crucial time with a determination to set up educational institutions to make best of the western education under Indian conditions available to the people of this country.  It was an enterprise, which benefited the Nation without offending or alienating the then rulers of India.  Fergusson College is the foremost fruit of that effort.”  The Fergusson College completed 50 years in January 1935 and  Sir C. V. Raman, the only Indian recipient of the prestigious Nobel Award in science, was the President of the Golden Jubilee function.  He spoke in glowing terms of the place of the Fergusson college, in the history of our land, as quoted in his speech- “ … … Standing here today, I feel that history has been written in Poona- history of self-help, history of self-reliance, history of great and constructive national effort– that history has been written in Poona, has been written on this very spot … … ”. Mahatma Gandhi, in his message to Principal Dr. Mahajani on this occasion, wrote, “Who will fail to be enthused over the noble record of the service rendered by the D. E. Society and the Fergusson College to the cause of education?”  The Diamond Jubilee of the Fergusson college was celebrated in 1945 and Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, the veteran liberal leader of India, graced the occasion as the President of the function.  Our first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, expressed his feelings of  the college in his message on this occasion: “ … … With the ideal of selfless service, they have sent out famous and many other non-famous, but nonetheless good workers for India’s freedom and progress. On this occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of the college, I join with the innumerable other persons to wish you ever larger opportunity of training the youth of India and of preparing true citizens of free India”. 

The Platinum Jubilee (‘Amrut Mahotsav’) was celebrated in 1960 in glittering fashion with Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the then President of India, doing the honors as the President of the function.  This was the second visit of Dr. Rajendra Prasad to Fergusson College, the first one being in 1954.  In his speech, he said that in his first meeting with Mahatma Gandhi in 1917, the Fergusson College was referred to by Gandhiji as a role model for other colleges. The 90th Anniversary of the college was celebrated in 1976 under the presidentship of Shri Y. B. Chavan, the then Minister of External Affairs, Government of India.  In his presidential address, he showered words of praise for the great service rendered by Fergusson College to the country.  In his speech, he said, “I am proud to be Rajaramian, but regret that I am not a Fergussonian”.    The Centenary of the college was celebrated on 1st June 1985.  Shri Rajiv Gandhi, the   then Prime Minister of India, said in his speech on the occasion, “Fergusson College symbolizes India coming into the 20th century, symbolizes a new education system being brought in, into our country. In a way, it has built into a genesis of our freedom struggle”.  He referred to Fergusson College as a pocket of excellence producing individuals who can rise to the levels unheard of and unbelievable.  On this occasion, Shri P. V. Narasimhrao, former Prime Minister of India paid great tributes to the college in the following words: “This college, born like a twin of the Indian National Congress, has always kept abreast of the country’s history.  It has produced political leaders of all hues of the political spectrum including ultras and infras, if I may say so, administrators, eminent scholars, researchers, writers, sportsmen and many other categories of celebrities, which any country can be proud of ” 

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LOCATION:  Bombay (now Karnataka), Dharwar Dist. DYNASTY:  Ghorpade RELIGION:  Hindu

PRESENT RULER:  (Dharwar, Karnataka, India)
PREDECESSORS AND SHORT HISTORY:  Founder of the family was Shri Valabhasinh Cholaraj Ghorpade, the second son of Raja CHOLARAJ GHORPADE of Mudhol. The estate was recognized by the British Government as a saranjam and had been declared by the Bombay High Court in 1868 to be partible, the issue was re-examined in 1891 and the Government passed a Resolution in 1891 stating that “the whole of the Gajendragad estate was a saranjam continuable as hereditary in the fullest sense of the word”. 

  • Shrimant Sardar Bahirojirao Ghorpade Hindurao, Saranjamdar of Gajendragad, married and had issue.
    • Shrimant Sardar Bhujangrao Bahirojirao [Appasaheb] Ghorpade Hindurao (qv)
  • Shrimant Sardar Bhujangrao Bahirojirao [Appasaheb] Ghorpade Hindurao, Saranjamdar of Gajendragad -/1844, recognised by the  British Government as the Saranjamdar of the Gajendragad estate, married and had issue. He died 1844.
    • Shrimant Sardar Daulatrao Bhujangrao Ghorpade Hindurao (qv)
  • Shrimant Sardar Daulatrao I Bhujangrao Ghorpade Hindurao, Saranjamdar of Gajendragad 1844/1864, married and had issue. He died 24th July 1864.
    • Shrimant Sardar Bhujangrao Daulatrao Ghorpade Hindurao (qv)
    • Shrimant Malojirao Daulatrao Ghorpade, he inherited 7 villages as his share of the patrimony; married and had issue.
      • Shrimant Daulatrao III Malojirao Ghorpade, married and had issue.
        • Shrimant Malojirao Daulatrao Ghorpade, married and had issue. He died after 1952.
          • Shrimant Murarrao Malojirao Ghorpade, married and had issue.
            • Shrimant Daulatrao Murarrao Ghorpade, adopted by his uncle (see below).
          • Shrimant Shambhu Malojirao Ghorpade, adopted his nephew, married and had adopted issue.
            • Shrimant Daulatrao Shambu Ghorpade (born as Shrimant Daulatrao Murarrao Ghorpade), adopted by his uncle (see above), married and has issue.
              • Shrimant Shambhusinhrao Daulatrao Ghorpade
          • Shrimant Vijaysinhrao Malojirao Ghorpade, married and had issue.
            • Kumari Sunila Raje Ghorpade, married Shrimant Rane of Sangli.
            • Kumari Harshala Raje Ghorpade
            • Kumari Methila Raje Ghorpade
    • Shrimant Yeshwantrao Daulatrao [alias Annasaheb] Ghorpade, married and had issue.
      • Shrimant Bhujangrao II Yeshwantrao Ghorpade
  • Shrimant Sardar Bhujangrao I Daulatrao Ghorpade Hindurao, Saranjamdar of Gajendragad 1864/1881, married Shrimant Rani Krishnabai, she adopted a relative on 3rd February 1882 who was recognised as the heir in respect of that portion of the estate which lay within the Principality of Kolhapur; the adoption was later recognized by the Bombay Government, regarding  the property in British India, and a resolution was passed on the 26th of April 1882, embodying the  above decision. He died sp 1881.
    • (A) Shrimant Sardar Daulatrao II Bhujangrao Ghorpade Hindurao (qv)
  • Shrimant Sardar Daulatrao II Bhujangrao Ghorpade Hindurao, Saranjamdar of Gajendragad 1881/1931, married and had issue. He died 8th May 1931.
    • Shrimant Sardar Bhujangrao III Daulatrao Ghorpade Hindurao (qv)
    • Shrimant Babasaheb Bahirojirao Daulatrao Ghorpade, married Bai Abayabai, she adopted her nephew, Shrimant Vijaysinhrao Dattajirao on 10th July 1941. He died 14th May 1940.
      • Shrimant Dattajirao Bahirojirao
    • Shrimant Dattajirao Daulatrao Ghorpade, married and had issue.
      • Shrimant Vijaysinhrao Dattajirao Ghorpade, adopted by Bai Abayabai, widow of Shrimant Babasaheb Bahirojirao Ghorpade on 10th July 1941.
  • Shrimant Sardar Bhujangrao III Daulatrao Ghorpade Hindurao, Saranjamdar of Gajendragad 1932/-, he was granted the Saranjam of Gajendragad by order of the Government of Bombay on 7th June 1932. He died after 1952.

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Shreemant Halwai mandal – Ganesh Chaturthi

Pune leads the community

Every year prominent people and celebrities visit the Shreemant Halwai mandal during the 10-day festival and offer gold ornaments. Superstar Amitabh Bachchan and his daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai have been there, as also Sanjay Dutt.

Ganesh Chaturthi is an occasion when the Lord of Wisdom is believed to bestow his presence on earth for his devotees, and his idols are worshipped in every household. While He may come everywhere on the earth, the elephant-headed god loves to make a special appearance in Pune, which has become synonymous with the 10-day Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav (community Ganesha festival), beginning Ganesh Chaturthi and ending on Anant Chaturdashi of the Hindu month of Bhadrapada.

Pune is the socio-cultural capital of Maharashtra and no wonder it was here that the seeds of the Sarvanajik Ganeshotsav were sown by Lokmanya Tilak over a century ago to arouse the masses against the tyrannical British rule.

Beginning with a handful of mandals, there are now 5000 and more which participate in the festivities.
The celebrations have changed over the years but the exuberance has remained the same, drawing huge crowds from all over the state and outside. Pune’s Ganesha mandals are distinguished for their colourful decorations and lighting, unlike Mumbai, which is known for the height of Ganesha idols.

These decorations are based on mythologies as well as on current issues such as Indo-US nuclear deal. In 1998, some mandals had recreated the Pokharan atomic tests. Sensing the tourism potential of the 10-day Ganeshotsav, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) started organising a ‘Pune Festival’ during the same period, inviting guests from abroad.

Tilak was inspired by the massive Ganeshotsav celebrations organised by Sardar Khasgiwale in Gwalior way back in 1892. The very next year, with the help of well-known social figures of those days like Bhau Rangari, Ganpatrao Ghovedkar, Dagadusheth Halwai and others, he made a beginning of the public festival in Pune.
While Tilak’s aim was to educate the masses, the festival took on some unwanted practices in the past few decades with erection of huge pandals, blaring loudspeakers playing vulgar numbers, extortion of money in the name of vargani (donation) and obscene dancing by youth during immersion procession.

In recent years, there has been a reawakening among the people, and the festival is regaining its old charm and values.

The stalwarts
Pune’s Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav is known for its five stalwarts. These are five most revered Ganesha mandals, which are known for their strict adherence to the true festive spirit. They are Kasba Ganapati mandal, which traditionally holds the first place in the immersion procession since 1894, Tambadi Jogeshwari, Guruji Talim, Tulshibaug and Kesariwada.

The last one was established by Tilak himself at the office of his newspaper Kesri, which played a prominent part during the initial years of the freedom movement. Kasba Ganapati is also Pune city’s Gramdaivat (presiding deity).
By far the most famous of all the Ganesha mandals in Pune, however, is Shreemant Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati, established in 1893. Shreemant literally means rich or prosperous and true to its name, this Ganapati and the mandal which organises it are the richest in every sense, from the collection of donations to the golden ornaments adorning the idol.

Year after year prominent people and celebrities visit the mandal during the 10-day festival and offer gold ornaments. Superstar Amitabh Bachchan and his daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai have been there, as also Sanjay Dutt. Almost all chief ministers have made special offerings to the deity.

The mandal was started by Shreemant Dagadusheth Halwai, a local sweetmeat shop owner, who had lost his son the previous year. His spiritual guru asked him to create an idol of Ganesha and worship it as his son. With his contribution and Lokmanya’s blessings, the mandal was established.

Till 1978, the celebrations were simple. The next year, the mandal erected a huge replica of the famous Meenakshi temple. The replica was a grand success and became the highlight of the festival. Since then, the mandal has been erecting replicas of renowned temples and palaces of the country.

This year, the mandal is recreating the replica of famous Akshardhan temple of Delhi (another Akshardham temple is at Gandhinagar, which was the target of terrorist attack in 2003).

The mandal treasurer Shankarrao Suryavanshi said that work on the replica has been going on since past three and half months under the supervision of leading art director M L Kulkarni aided by 40 skilled artists. It will be inaugurated by Maharashtra’s cooperation minister Patangrao Kadam.

The money for such extravagance comes from donations given by devotees at the mandal site itself, as well from the sale of coconuts offered to the deity. In fact, what distinguishes this mandal is the number of coconut offerings. The mandal earns crores out of sale of these coconuts alone.

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