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We salute the very dust particles on the Feet of saints. Liberation does not hold any charm to us. Only saints are great. Nothing is greater than them. He is a Bhrahmajnyani, who thinks of saints always. Such a person treats saints as God. He does not think of any other thing.
Saints are gods as it were. Saints are respected all over the world. They are respected in all religions. How do the saints gain this divinity? Saints subdue the inherent enemies viz. lust, anger, greed, ego, hypocrisy and jeal¬ousy. They love all the living creatures in the world. They think of the welfare of all the beings. They are those who have achieved the equilibrium of mind. They always merge in meditation and they meditate on God. They spend their lives for the benefit of all. Just as God sustains every living being, the saints also protect and nourish every living being. Saints thus are in no way less than gods. Saints are a repository of virtues. They can be compared with a wish fulfilling cow or a wish fulfilling tree. They can be compared with a parisa stone which can convert iron into gold. Saints perform good actions and men get their desires fulfilled. Saints burn away the dross in the character of men. Saints can inspire the rich to protect the poor. They inspire the wealth and charities are performed. Wells and tanks are dug out and people can get cool drinking water in the summer. The hungry get food and thus can sustain themselves in drought and famine. The rich erect temples and shelters for the poor and also hospitals and schools. Thus saints themselves can cause a spring to well up. They can turn an infertile land into fertile one. Saints will live in huts but can raise palatial buildings.
A body functions as long as a soul inhabits it. Similarly saints are the souls of the society. A society devoid of saints is bound to destroy itself, may it be anywhere in the world. India abounds in sages. Maharashtra has a galaxy of saints.
Shri Gajanan Maharaj, The saint of Shegaon made his first appearance in Shegaon on 23r February 1878. He was quite young then. He was seen picking up rice particles from a thrown away leaf plate. He drank water along with cattle and went away. Thereafter he appear lying under the standing horse of Shri Govind Maharaj Taklikar, who was giving a musical discourse in a Shiva temple. Shri Govind Maharaj could know the wisdom of Gajanan
Maharaj, from the words uttered by him. Thereafter, Maharaj became known in and near about Shegaon. Gajanan Maharaj was a siddha and was oblivious of his surroundings. He used to lie anywhere, eat anything, wear any piece of cloth or move naked. Once a woman fed him a ball of half a seer chilies which he ate gladly and drank water. He was unaffected. He used to chant” gani gana ganat botey “. That is why he came to be known as Gajanan Maharaj. People used to offer him rich clothes, ornaments, money and eatables. He used to discard these things and move away elsewhere. Devotees often felt peaceful in his presence. They used to feel elevated in his presence. Gajanan Maharaj entered in maha samadhi on 8th of September 1910 at 8 A.M., when large crowds were chanting God’s name. Late Han Kukaji Patil erected a temple on the spot where Gajanan Maharaj left his body. Gajanan Maharaj Institute has been founded and it is conducting various welfare activities. Shri Ramchandra Krishnaji Patil managed the affairs of the institute from 1913 to 1948. His line continues to manage the affairs of the institute. Shri Dasaganu Maharaj has written the biography of Shri Gajanan Maharaj in an ovi meter.
It has 21 chapters.