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Biography in Short
Shri Gondavalekar Maharaj was born on 19th February, 1845 at Gondavale and breathed his last on 22nd December, 1913 at Gondavale. He lived his life for 69 years and is living today and forever by his simple and down to earth philosophy. His grandfather late Shri Lingopant and father late Shri Ravji were devotees of God Vitthal. Mother late Smt Geetabai was all the time ready to help distressed villagers. Shri Gondavalekar Maharaj was born in such a pious family and hence was deeply engrossed in meditation. Ever since the age of 5, he used to practice fearlessly even at midnight on the bank of river Manganga. He left home quietly in search of sadguru at the age of 8, travelling all over India and finally got initiated bya a great Saint Tukamai of Yehalegaon in Maharashtra. After passing all acid test put to him by his Guru Tukamai, Tukamai blessed him with a devine name "Brahmachaitanya" then.
Guru Tukamai advised him to propogate God's name and teach common man how to lead a spiritual life i.e. real satisfying contended life without renouncing the world..
1. His love towards his mother was so intense and ideal that he never did anything against he wish. She wished him to get married again after the death of his first wife at young age and Shri Maharaj accepted her order with a condition that he himself will choose the bride. He then chose to marry a blind girl to uplift her life.
2. He did his best to bring down trodden, distressed souls to happy contended life and spread the message of pure love and compassion among human kind to put into practice.
3. He established more than 50 temples all over India, especially in states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.
As it happens in a saint's life, there were miracles in his life too. But he preferred to keep them on low key. Instead he chose to advice people 3 things, i.e. to worship God, (saguNopasana), offer food to all (annadaan) and chanting God's name (Ram NamasmaraN) which would uplift their own soul.
He used to say - "A person liked by all, is liked by God and he, who is selfless will only be liked by others.
His last words are "जेथे नाम तेथे माझे प्राण, ही सांभाळावी खूण" i.e wherever God's name is chanted, I am always present there, and that is my promise.
One would get a good idea of his philosophy put in words by Shri G.S. Gokhale in very easy to follow and simple way and inspire a person to put it into practice.
By reading the following books you would get much better idea of his life and philosophy -
1) Discourses by Shri Gondavalekar Maharaj, priced at Rs. 50/- ($ 1) - available in Marathi, Kannada, Hindi, English, Gujarati, Telugu and also in French.
2) His biography - Sant of Gondavali - by Prof. K. V. Belsare in english.
3) श्री. गोंदवलेकर महाराज - चरित्र व वाङ्मय - लेखक - प्रा. के. वि. बेलसरे.