Shree Swami Samarth Maharaj of Akkalkot, known to his devotees simply as Shree Swami Maharaj appeared near Akkalkot, State of Maharashtra, India in the early 19th century and took mahasamadhi in 1878 A.D. Even though nothing is known with any exactness regarding the origin, the birth, the family background or even his physical age, Shree Swami Maharaj, when once asked about his early life, lifted the shrouds of mystery momentarily, claiming that he came from the woods of Kardali.
The Master of Creation
Shree Swami Maharaj paid scant attention to the rigorous karma way of life (a way of life that overemphasizes the methodology of the religious rites and rituals without adequate appreciation of their spirit) and displayed a non-conformist streak. To Shree Swami Maharaj, the universe, it seems, was nothing more than a plaything, a masterfully designed game of karma, observed from a spiritual vantage point by its creator. And this is aptly depicted in several portraits of Shree Swami Maharaj, where he holds a marble between the thumb and the index finger of his right hand; the marble representing the existence of the universe in its entirety.
The Path of Devotion
From his unorthodox mannerisms it seemed as though he appeared to show his faithful, that the means are not as important as the goal as long as one truly believes in the goal. That goal is to harbor relentless unconditional love in one’s heart for Him. This path of devotion offered much more latitude from the strict and severe karma path and was thus much better suited for this Age of the Lost Way, the era of Kaliyug.
"I am right there with you"
The spread of devotees of Shree Swami Maharaj across the length and breadth of India, as well as in all continents of the world, stands testimony to the effectiveness of his message and its relevance in the era of Kaliyug. More than a century after his Mahasamadhi, his devotees across the globe virtually rely upon the words of Shree Swami Maharaj to serve as the very foundation, motivation and reassurance of their spiritual lives. Shree Swami Maharaj said, “Do not worry. I am right there with you.”
In India, several of his accomplished disciples with exalted spiritual authority, like Shree Sai Baba of Shirdi, Shree Shankar Maharaj of Pune or Shree Gajanan Maharaj of Shegaon have gone on to deliver thousands of seekers from the unremitting ties of worldly miseries.
During his lifetime, Shree Swami Maharaj did as he willed. Miraculous anecdotes of him having brought back to life the dead or having vanished in thin air or turning live snakes into bars of gold abound in the annals of his miraculous biography, which is not only an uninterrupted source of wonderment, but also a continuous reminder that there is so much more beyond the grasp of our material intellect.
Shree Datta Sampraday