Gurur Brahma, Gurur Vishnu, Gurur DevoMaheshwaraGuru Sakshat Parabrahmah Tasmai ShreeGuru Veh NamahShri Guru CharitraIntroduction
'Shri Guru Charitra' is the life of 'Shri GuruDattatreya' (an incarnation of Brahma, Vishnuand Maheshwara). It was originally written in Oviform (a Marathi Metre) in Marathi by ShriSaraswati Gangadhar, whose ancestorSayamdev had personally lived and served withdevotion, Guru Narasimha Saraswati, anincarnation of
Shri Dattatreya about 600 yearsago
. It was later translated into Sanskrit by ShriVasudevananda Saraswati (Tembye Swamy),who is regarded by many as an incarnation ofShri Dattatreya and who lived about a hundredyears ago. It has been later translated intoseveral other languages.This volume is regarded as Divine; capable ofblessing one and all who read it with respect andis placed with images of Gods and adored inalmost all devotees' houses of Maharashtra. It ismuch respected and is very popular like Vedas,Ramayan, Mahabharat, Bhagawat and otherPuranas in Sanskrit and Dnyaneshwari,Dasbodh, Ekanathi Bhagawat etc. in Marathi. Inthe last century, it has spread its influence farand wide and legion are the experiences got bythose devotees who read it regularly withrespect.Shri Dattatreya had taken birth at the Ashram ofAtri and Anasuya in very very old times (KritaYug) and it is believed that his two incarnationsnamely Shripada Shri Vallabha and ShriNarasimha Saraswati had taken place in theDeccan in about the 14th and 15th Century(A.D.) respectively.
Shri Manikya Prabhu, ShriAkkalkot Maharaj, Shri Sai Baba of Shirdiand Shri Vasudevananda Saraswati are someof the great Saints who are considered as theAvatars (incarnations) or Amsas (taking apart of His powers) of Shri Dattatreya.
This is the historical period when the BahamaniKingdom was split up into five differentKingships, one of which viz.,'Bidar' is mentionedin this volume. "Shri Guru Charitra" depicts thelife missions of these two incarnations.The original volume contains 52 chapters and itis written in the form of conversation betweenNaamdharak and his spiritual Guru Shri SiddhaMuni, who was a disciple of Shri NarasimhaSaraswati. Several miraculous deeds areassociated with these two Gurus - 5 such deedsare relating to Shripada Shri Vallabh (chapters 5to 10) and 26 are relating to Shri NarasimhaSaraswati, (chapters 11 to 51) besides manymythological (Puranik) tales have also beennarrated in this volume by way of illustration.
The main aim of the book is to extol thegreatness of the Spiritual preceptor (Guru)and to dispel the ignorant notion that He isjust another human.
According to researches made in connectionwith Shri Guru Charitra, by a Gurubhakta, ShriR. K. alias Annasaheb Kamat of Durga DattaMandir, Mashail, Goa, ' Shri Guru Charitra'contains "Shri Guru Geeta" as its 49th chapter. Itis composed of 176 Sanskrit slokas and 34Marathi Ovis - 13 at the beginning and 21 in theend. In some of the latter scripts it seems thatthis chapter of Shri Guru Geeta is deleted,probably it being in Sanskrit and the 41stchapter is split up into two chapters, keeping thenumber of chapters the same i.e. 52. The gist ofShri Guru Geeta is included in this volume. (ShriGuru Gita is a dialogue between Shri Siva andHis Divine consort Shri Parvati and forms a partof Skandha Puran.
It deals with the greatnessof Guru and establishes that Guru is Brahma,Guru is Vishnu, Guru is Maheshwara, why, itproclaims, Guru is identical with ParaBrahma, Who is considered the Origin of allincluding the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu andMaheshwara. Since Sri Dattatreya is also anincarnation of the three Deities, He is reveredas the Aadi Guru. Shri Dattatreya is anAvinash Avatar, i.e. He did not shed His bodywhen His mission was completed like SriRama, Sri Krishna etc., but is continuingeven today. His mission is to help all Hisdevotees cross this Ocean of Worldlyexistence.)
The research scholars of Medical Sciences havea good opportunity of thinking over andanalysing the means that have been used byShri Guru for cure of acute gastric pain, leprosy,toxic irritations, revival to life, sterility of femalesetc. Of course it is an admitted fact that theyogic and Divine power of Shri Guru is mainlyresponsible for these miracles to a great extent.
Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi also performedsimilar 'miracles' to reinforce the faith of Hisdevotees.
In order that the general public, males andfemales, should be acquainted with the contentsof this great popular volume, this author made ahumble attempt and "Subodh Shri GuruCharitra" in Marathi prose was published inNovember 1952, on Datta Jayanti (MargashirPoornima).It is an experienced fact that the reading of suchliterature gives mental peace to those who areworried due to different miseries of this worldlylife and also encourages and guides them to goahead on the path of self-emancipation by