Akkalkot    

 
Amongst the holy places of various incarnations of Lord Shri Datta Guru, the most praised one now a days is Akkalkot.

It is one of the leading communities with large number of followers of Shri Swami Samartha, of Akkalkot.

Legend

Believed to be an incarnation of Shri Dattatreya the name of this spiritual master, popularly called Swami Samarth, is a household word in Maharashtra and the region around.

As this Perfect Master chose to reside at a place called Akkalkot for 22 years where he took Mahasamadhi (left his mortal body) in 1878, he is also known as the Maharaj of Akkalkot, Akkalkot is situated in district Solapur of Maharashtra state of India.

It is believed that Shri Swami Samartha appeared in Akkalkot in 1857. The temple of Shri Nrisimha Saraswati is of Dattatreya. So swami is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Datta.

His full name was Sripad Shrivallabh. He resided in Akkalkot for around 23 years. Before he came to Akkalkot he was in Mangalvedha. But no one can tell where he came from.

The popular belief is that he came to Mangalvedha during 1838 and stayed there for 13 years. He used to stay in a farm there. From Mangalvedha he stayed at Mohol for five years, then he came to Solapur and finally to Akkalkot.

After he was sure that he had completed his worldly duties and had guided his disciples rightly, he decided to go for Samadhi. His disciple Chollapa accordingly began to make arrangements. Finally he took Samadhi in 1878.

One account put forth by devotees asserts that after traveling in the Himalayas, the Swami sat in Samadhi for three hundred years in a dense forest. He became completely covered by anthills, and a large tree grew beside him. Once a woodcutter came to the forest and chose that particular tree for cutting. Laying his axe first to the anthill, he was surprised to see blood oozing from it. Pulling down the anthill, he discovered the Swami beneath it.

Roused from Samadhi, the Swami declared the incident to be Divinely ordained as it was time for him to go into the world and continue his mission. The Swami is said to have then wandered for a hundred years, performing many miracles, before appearing in Akkalkot.

The Swami was unpredictable, appearing mad to many, and full of miracles. He loved his devotees with a great passion, and like other Adepts of the Crazy Wise style, he was paradoxically full of both human and Divine qualities.

Once, when asked who he was, he replied, "I am this infinite universe; I am everywhere. Yet my favorite resorts are Sakyodri, Girnar, Kasi, Mathapur, Karveer, Panchaleswar, Audumbar, Karanjnagar, Narasimhvadi, and Gangapur."

The Temple
A Temple was erected under the Banyan tree where he used to sit. His footwear have bees kept there. Thousands of his followers visit this place throughout the year.

Around 70 to 80 years after he ended his incarnations his disciples and followers set up Ashrams all over the India. The Samadhi Matha (Monastery), The Matha under the Banyan Tree, Shri Balappa Matha, The Matha of JoshiBua, Raja Rai Rayan Matha are the five famous places connected to Shri Swami Samartha.

Shri Swami Samarth
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