Saturday, May 22, 2021

Book Review: Shri Swami Samartha Akkalkot Maharaj Chintan Ani Chamatkar

Book Review

श्री स्वामी समर्थ 

अक्कलकोट महाराज 

चिंतन आणि चमत्कार 

I took up this book immediately after completing the study of Dnyanadeva Mahatmya. My father in law has read this book many times and he suggested that I take a look at it. So far, I had not read anything about Shri Swami Samartha or any of his disciples. Therefore, I started studying this book with interest.

The book is written in Marathi language by V. K. Phadake and published by Shyam Dayarnav Kopardekar of Indrayani Sahitya, Pune. The first edition of the book was published in 1986 and has 150 pages.

As the name suggests, the book is about a well known saintly personality Shri Swami Samartha who stayed mostly at Akkalkot which is situated near Solapur in Maharashtra, India. The book has three parts. In the first part, the appearance of Swamiji, his travels, his arrival and stay at Akkalkot, the most notable of his dealings and finally his disappearance (Samadhi) are briefly described. The second part is the core of the book. In this part, 57 different incidences and stories of Shri Swami Samartha are briefly related. With each story, the important take away is also described in a small initial paragraph. For any devotee, this is the most pleasurable part of the book. These stories are not only full of surprise but also full of philosophy and spirituality. In the third part, why the devotees consider Swamiji as one of the incarnations of Lord Dattatretya is briefly pointed out. On the last page, the essential points of his teachings are listed. Finally, the list of reference texts is provided at the end. The unique organization of the text makes this book very simple to understand.

This book gave me a first glimpse in the life and teachings of Shri Swami Samartha. I found that Swamiji always stressed the importance of chanting holy names as the best means to progress in devotional service of Lord. He often quoted verses from Bhagavad Geeta. He performed many miracles to increase the faith of the devotees and also to make the atheists aware of the presence of higher power of the Lord. Thousands of people approached him for finding ways to overcome their spiritual and material difficulties. From this book, we can easily understand that Swamiji was a spiritually perfect, self realized person. Instead of engaging in philosophical discourses, he always preferred teaching by simple and practical examples.

As most of us are busy in enjoyment using our body and mind, it is very difficult for us to recognize the self realized personalities who are always on spiritual platform. Also, we seldom recognize the need of a genuine spiritual teacher who can show the method for making some tangible spiritual progress in our limited lifetime. I feel that this book can help in understanding how to approach and serve such a Guru with humility and achieve spiritual happiness. Many times we are facing different difficulties in our lives. I feel that reading of this book in difficult times can provide some satisfaction to our souls.

The title page of the book.

A passage from the second part of the book.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Book Review: Dnyanadeva Mahatmya

 Book Review 


Dnyanadeva Mahatmya 

I consider myself very fortunate to have come across this book. An old copy of this book was first shown to me by my father in law. This copy originally belonged to his mother who has passed away. The book is published in 1978 and I am not sure if it is still available for sale.  Still, I am inspired to write about it due to the importance of the topics and personalities mentioned inside and also due to the pleasure I felt after studying it.

The author and publisher of this books is Govind Ramachandra Moghe. The books is composed in Marathi poetic verse form commonly known as Ovi. The main text is divided into 8 chapters having total 1380 verses. The book has 52 pages.

As the title suggests, the book is about the life and works of one of the greatest saintly personalities in India i.e. Dnyaneshwar also known as Dnyanadeva. After the preface, the author takes us 3 generations back before the appearance of Dnyanadeva. Author has dedicated first five chapters of the book for the detailed descriptions of lives of Dnyanadeva's grandparents and parents who all were people dedicated to spiritual realization and devotional service to Lord Krishna. In the remaining chapters, the author describes the birth and early life of four children Nivrutti, Dnyanadeva, Sopan and Muktai, their extraordinary  qualities as well as the challenges they had to face due to early departure of their parents and strict social customs, the miracles performed by Dnyanadeva when he was merely a child, their meeting with Changadeva, the composition of Bhavartha Deepika which is also known as Dnyaneshwari, the explanation of Bhagavad Geeta of Lord Krishna in Marathi and finally the departure of Dnyanadeva in the presence of Lord Krishna. In addition, the books also has 8 verses in praise of Dnyanadeva and the summary of Bhagavad Geeta presented in only 18 verses. The text is concluded with 8 verses of heartfelt prayers by the author to Lord Krishna where he humbly expresses his limitations. Author has described all these topics in extremely enjoyable way and one is sure to feel spiritual bliss after studying the book. This book is a rare treat for devotees of Lord Krishna, especially those who can read and understand Marathi verses.

For me, I felt humbled and inspired by the way Dnyanadeva has taught us the goal of human life and the way to achieve it by Bhakti. This book will be an important addition to the collection of those who are looking for satisfaction, inspiration and happiness on the spiritual path.

If you wish to read this book, please send me an email at I will reply with the scanned pdf of the book.