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Swami Samarth Maharaj, was a Guru of the Dattatreya tradition and is highly revered in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. With Shripad, Shri Vallabha and Narshima Saraswati, he is often accounted as one of the three successive reincarnations of Guru Dattatreya.
Origin of Swami Samarth
Before the advent of Swami Samarth, Shri Narshima Saraswat is believed to be the earlier incarnation of Shri Dattatreya. As per the popular belief, Shri Narshima Saraswati after uplifiting, a large number of devotees went away to the Himalayas for penance, and there went into "Samadhi".
In this state he remained there for 300 years. With the passage of time, a huge ant hill had grown over the Samadhi. One day, accidentally a wood cutter’s axe fell on the bushes grown around the ant hill. The wood cutter was shocked to find blood on his axe, he cleared the ant hill and found a,Yogi in meditation.
The Yogi opened his eyes, and told the wood cutter that it was the will of God, for him to resume his mission. This Yogi, in his new role was Swami Samarth. Swami Samarth, was a Kanva Shaka Brahmin, and he visited many holy places like Varanasi, Puri, Haridwar, Girwar, Kathiawad and Rameshwaram, before settling in Akkalkot in 1856.
Before leaving for meditation in the Kardali forest, he delivered the “Nirguna Padukas”, to his disciples. The mantra of this tradition is “Digambara Digambara Shripad Vallabh”.
The biography of Shri Swami Samarth, is in the “Guruleelamrut”. The Siddha mantra of Shri Swami Samrath is Shri Swami Samarth jai! Jai! Swami Samarth.
When he shed his mortal coil in 1878, he asked his followers not to weep for him because he told them,” I shall always be present at all places and I shall respond to every call of the devotees”. Shri Swami Samarth did many miracles during his lifetime,notable among them being,curing his servant’s Choloppa’s wife of a scorpion bite, bringing back the life of Ravana, who had died of a snake bite and healing Bhonsle’s wife of deep wounds on her legs.
There are many temples dedicated to him and his devotees sing great praises to the Swami. Swami Samarth is the “purna avatar”, of Dattatreya as per” Shripad Shrivallabha Charitra”.
The daily programs at the math are namely - in the morning, there is the daily aarti offered from 7 am to 7.30 am. From the afternoon from 12 pm to 12.30 pm, puja of Naivedya ( food Offering ) is offered to the Swami, and in the evening from 7 pm to 7.30 pm the puja of Dhuparti ( incense offering ) is offered to the idol.
There is a beautiful temple in Akkalkot, built for Swami Samarth. The Akkalkot temple, does a lot of charitable work. The temple provides free meals, offers free eye checkups and spectacles and conducts blood camps. Although many decades have passed away, but still the aura of Swami Samarth, holds sway over his devotees. Still his followers experience the miracles of his visible and invisible help even till now.