Ganeshotsav 2022 – August 30th –September 8th

Theme – “Santamela”- Saints of Maharashtra

Topography – Pallavi Sadekar, Rajeev Joshi, Parag Pandit, Cyrill Suaris, Amit Vishwakarma, and Kanhaiya Gorane

Theme – GRMM EC 2022

Design and Concept leads – Pallavi Sadekar and Cyrill Suaris

Mentors – Pallavi Sadekar, Rajeev Joshi, Parag Pandit, Cyrill Suaris, and Amit Vishwakarma

Paintings – Amit Vishwakarma and Rajeev Joshi

Topography – Pallavi Sadekar, Rajeev Joshi, Parag Pandit, Cyrill Suaris, Amit Vishwakarma and Kanhaiyya Gorane, and Geetanjali Joshi

3D Effect (Vithoba Hand) – Parag Pandit

Light Arrangement – Prassana Kelkar and team

Write up – Yogendra Patil and Prajakta Vaze

Technical support (QR code) – Prashant Upadhye and Yogendra Patil

The Maharashtra state has a strong religious and cultural heritage. The religious studies and traditions are evident from the several temples and religious destinations in the state. Maharashtra is also popular for the long list of saints who hailed from the state. These saints have enlightened the masses from time to time with their discourse on humanity, equality, valor, brotherhood, and harmony.

Maharashtra has the distinction of producing several saints throughout its history. One or the other saint has been continuously involved in awakening the masses and spreading spiritual teachings. The endless list of most respected Bhakti saints includes Samarth Ramdas, Savta Mali, Gora Kumbhar, Dnyaneshwar, Chokhamela, Namdev, Eknath, and Tukaram.

The strong influence of warkari tradition gave prominence to saints in the state. Saint Tukaram, Eknath, and Dnyandev are considered proponents of this tradition. They were considered the hope of living for people with depressed souls and miseries.

Maharashtra has the distinction of the most number of devotees thronging the state. Ref –

Sant Sakubai

Painting – Amit Vishwakarma

Artist  – Sonali Amberkar ,Neha Bhandare,Rupali Pendse,Nitasha Pandit ,Sushma Kelkar,Vaishali Naphade ,and Geeta Pandit

Design and Concept leads – Pallavi Sadekar and Cyrill Suaris

3D Effect (Vithoba Hand) – Parag Pandit

Light Arrangement – Prassana Kelkar and team

Abhang by Sant Sakhubai

आनंदाची दिपवाळी । घरी बोलवा वनमाळी । घालीते मी रांगोळी । गोविंद गोविंद ॥धृ०॥
सुंदर माझ्या घरात । आत्मा हा नांदत । चंद्रसूर्य दारात । गोविंद गोविंद ॥१॥
दळण दळिले मंदिरी । विष्णू यावे लौकरी । चित्त माझे शुद्ध करी ।
रावणासी मारोनी । सीता आणिली घरी । बिभीषण राज्य करीत ।
अंजनीच्या उदरी । मारूती ब्रह्मचारी । येशवदेच्या मांडीवरी ।
वैकुंठीचा राणा । चन्द्रभागेवरी आला । पुंडलिकाचा भाव पाहुनी । उभा तो राहिला ॥५॥
पुंडलीक भक्त बळी । त्याने आणिला वणमाळी । विटेवरी दिसली । मूर्ती ती सावळी ॥६॥
सावळा तो वनमाळी । भक्तीसी भुलला । पुंडलिकाचा बाजार । दृष्टीने पाहिला ॥७॥
विठ्ठल माझा सखा । ओव्या मी गाईन । देऊळासी जाईन । हरिला पाहीन ॥८॥
विठ्ठल माझे गणगोत । आराध्य दैवत । विठ्ठलाच्या चरणी सखू । झाली मनोरथ ॥९॥

On the banks of the river Krishna in Maharashtra, in a village called Krar, there lived a Brahmin and his wife with their son and daughter-in-law. The daughter-in-law’s name was Sakubai.

Sakubai was a holy woman who worshiped Lord Krishna of Pandharpur. She was always chanting the name of the Lord. This woman who was the embodiment of virtues was treated very badly by her mother-in-law. And unfortunately, Sakubai’s husband was totally under the influence of his mother. This aggravated the situation and the endless torture which Sakubai had to endure, was unimaginable.

Sakubai looked after her husband’s home and family very well in spite of the abuses that she had to suffer from her mother-in-law. Many times she was not given food or was given stale, rotten food. She was very patient and at the same time very cheerful. She was grateful to the lord for having put her in such unfortunate circumstances because only that would make her close to him.

One day a woman neighbor asked Sakubai whether she did not have parents and why they were not visiting her. Sakubai answered that her parents were in Pandharpur. She added that Lord Krishna was her father, and his consort Rugmini was her mother.

Once Sakubai participated in a festival in Pandharpur where she was immersed in the darshan of the Lord and the chanting of his holy name. Out of intense longing to participate in the function, she had gone to the temple without taking the permission of her in-laws. A woman of a neighboring house saw Sakubai in the temple and reported to her mother-in-law. Sakubai was dragged back home and tied to a pillar with a strong rope. Sakubai prayed to the Lord saying that her only focus was the Lotus feet of the Lord and that she was not afraid of death or bodily torture. She only wanted the Lord’s darshan; nothing else mattered to her. Lord Krishna heard her prayer and appeared in front of her in the form of a woman.

The woman asked Sakubai whether she wanted to go to Pandharpur. Sakubai, in her physically bound state, was evidently unable to go. The woman removed the rope and freed Sakubai and tied herself up in Sakubai’s place; she told Sakubai to proceed to Pandharpur. Through God’s grace Sakubai reached Pandharpur in a moment. She was so happy and felt that she was not only freed from the bond of the rope, but also from the bonds of life.

The Lord, in the form of Sakubai, was also ill-treated by the family. But He was only happy because He loved His devotee so much. The new Sakubai was not given any food for several days. Finally, the husband started repenting for his cruelty. One day he untied her and asking her forgiveness, he told her to take bath and have food. Like a devoted wife, the new Sakubai listened to everything. She took bath, prepared delicious food and they had meals. She massaged the feet of her mother-in-law and did all the other household chores. The in-laws were pleased.

The real Sakubai, who reached the temple of Pandharpur, was in divine bliss when she had the darshan of Lord Vitthala. She became unconscious and dropped down dead. A Brahmin who lived in the nearby village, recognized Sakubai and with the help of his friends, cremated her body.

Now, Rugmini, Lord Krishna’s consort, was in trouble. Her husband was acting the role of Sakubai who was dead. She wanted to get her Lord back. So, she created another Sakubai with her yogic power. The Sakubai created by Rugmini had a dream in which she was asked to go to her village by Rugmini.

On her way back, Sakubai met the Lord near the river in the guise of Sakubai and expressed her gratitude for having helped her to go to Pandharpur. On returning home, Sakubai was astonished at the change of attitude of her in-laws.

Meanwhile, the Brahmin who had cremated Sakubai came to her house and saw her full of life. He told her in-laws that she was dead, and he had cremated her. He added that this Sakubai was the ghost of the original. The father-in-law answered that she had not gone to Pandharpur, and she was at home all the time. They now called Sakubai and asked her whether she had gone to Pandharpur. She told the whole story how a woman had untied her, how she had gone to Pandharpur where she was in divine bliss, how Rugmini had created her again and how she met the Lord disguised as herself. She said that she was sure that the woman was none other than the Lord.

Now the in-laws understood that the woman was none other than the Lord of Pandharpur. They repented for their wrong deeds and started worshipping Sakubai too.

Ref –

Sant Janabai

Painting – Amit Vishwakarma

3D Effect (Vithoba Hand) – Parag Pandit

Artist  – Ruchira Lalwaney, – Anuja Verma ,Geetanjali Kidambi

3D Effect (Vithoba Hand) – Parag Pandit

Design and Concept leads – Pallavi Sadekar and Cyrill Suaris

Lights Arrangment – Prassana Kelkar and team

Janabai was born in Gangakhed  1258-1350 Maharastra to a couple with first names Rand and Karand

Janabai is one of the early women saints of Maharashtra during the period of the medieval Bhakti movement. She was one of the greatest women Sant in the Vitthal Sampradaya, the tradition of devotion to Vitthal of Panadharpur.

The story of Janabai, the girl of Gangakhed turning into a mystic devotee of Vitthala has fascinated the people of Maharashtra to this day. It has an element of miracles and is considered to be of divine design.

Janabai was born in 1260 a poor family. Her father, Dama, had a dream in which he was asked to take his daughter to Damaseti, a tailor in Pandharpur, to serve in his household. Dameaseti was none other than the father of Sant Namadev, the celebrated saint who was closely associated with Sant Dnyaneshwar. In the household, Janabai gradually ceased to be a servant and grew into a devotee of Vitthal.

It so happened that whenever she stopped working, her God completed the work for her. It was often the case that when she was grinding corn, and started dreaming about Vitthal, the lord ground the corn for her.

Janabai was once punished for stealing the ornaments and shawl of Vitthal of Pandharpur. The Lord had left them with her after helping her grind corn during the night. When the punishment was to be meted out, Vitthal came to her rescue ; it is said that the spear on which she was to be impaled turned into water.

Janabai ranks high as a poet of abhangs (devotional songs) and devotees of Vitthal take much delight in singing them. She also created abhangs in praise of Namdev and Chokhamela. She also wrote a narrative poem on king Harishchandra, the legendary ruler who adhered to truth even in the most trying circumstances.

Ref –

Sant Dnyaneshwar,Nivruttinath , Sopan and Muktai

Painting Rajeev Joshi

Artist  – Bhakti Joshi, Anjali Deshpande, Aparna Tasgaonakar, Rashmi Deshpande,and Priya Dhareshwar

Design and Concept leads – Pallavi Sadekar and Cyrill Suaris

Lights Arrangment – Prassana Kelkar and team

TitleSant Dyaneshwar
Janmashtami, 1275 CE Apegaon, Yadava dynasty
(present-day Paithan Taluka, Aurangabad, MaharashtraIndia)
ParentsVitthala Pant (father) Rukmini Bai (mother)
Religious career
GuruNivruttinath (elder brother)
Literary worksDnyaneshwariAmrutanubhavChangdev PaasashtiHaripathabhang devotional poetry
HonorsSant (Saint), Dev (God) and Māulī (Mother)[1]

Abhang by Dnyaneshwar –

ॐ नमो जी आद्या ।

वेद प्रतिपाद्या ।

जय जय स्वसंवेद्या । आत्मरूपा ॥ १ ॥

Changdev was a Yogi who had achieved numerous siddhis (Supernatural powers). He had defied death 42 times using his siddhi and hence lived 1400 years. He liked being respected by people. One day, he came to know about Saint Dnyaneshwar. He was peeved that a young boy is getting so much attention from people. He became jealous of Dnyaneshwar’s increasing popularity.

He thought of writing a letter to Dnyaneshwar but couldn’t understand how to begin. He thought that Dnyaneshwar was a 16 year old young boy, so how could he pay him respect and he also couldn’t address him as a kid, as Dnyaneshwar was a Saint, spiritually evolved. He couldn’t decide what to write and so he sent a blank letter to Dnyaneshwar.

Only a Saint can understand the other Saint Mukta bai, Saint Dnyaneshwar’s sister wrote a reply,” Even though your age is 1400 but you are still as blank as your letter”. Reading this Changdev decided to meet Dnyaneshwar himself.

​Changdev had developed pride due to his extra ordinary achievements. He came to visit Dnyaneshwar with pomp, riding a tiger, wielding a serpent as a whip. Dnyaneshwar was sitting on a masonry wall with his siblings when he came to know about Changdev’ s arrival.

Saint Dnyaneshwar thought that he should personally welcome Changdev. He immediately instructed the wall to take them to Changdev. The wall started moving. When Changadev saw this, he was convinced of Dnyaneshwar’s supremacy.

​Changdev understood his limited powers, being able to control the living beings only, whereas Dnyaneshwar was able to control even the material objects. He immediately got down and prostrated to Dnyaneshwar.

Moral : Using one’s Siddhis is obstacle in obtaining atma-gyan (self-realization).

Ref –

Samarth Ramdas Swami – A great guru of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Painting – Amit Vishwakarma

Artist  – Jaishree Kolhle, Archaha Sankhe, Harshali Gurane, Yogendra Patil, Vrushali Choudhari, Pallavi Sadekar, and Rashmi Deshpande

Design and Concept leads – Pallavi Sadekar and Cyrill Suaris

Light Arrangement – Prassana Kelkar and team

BornNarayan Suryajipanta Thosar
c. 1608 Jamb, Jalna districtMaharashtraIndia
Diedc. 1681 SajjangadSatara districtMaharashtraIndia
PhilosophyVaishnavismBhakti Yoga
Religious career
Literary worksDasbodhManobodhAatmaramManache Shlok, more[1]

Manache shlok by Ramdas Swami

“गणाधीश जो ईश सर्वां गुणांचा।

मुळारंभ आरंभ तो निर्गुणाचा॥

नमूं शारदा मूळ चत्वार वाचा। गमूं पंथ आनंत या राघवाचा॥१॥”

Lord Shri Rama advised Samarth Ramdas to help Shivaji Maharaj’s initiative of “Hindavi Swaraj”. It was a time when moguls were ruling the country.

Shivaji as an incarnation of Lord Shiva and the founder of Maharashtra Kingdom meets Samarth Ramadas. He used to hear a lot about Samarth Ramdas and his teachings from his local followers near Krishna River.

Samarth Ramdas establishes 7 Hanuman temples for the signification of physical development.

Shivaji used to place Samarth Ramdas sandals at his throne and run his kingdom.

One day, he saw his guru begging on the streets. He was perturbed by this incident as to why his guru needed to beg when he has everything been served at his disposal. Shivaji sent a chit to Ramdas through his companion Balaji to request him to come to the palace. Shivaji insisted to take the whole kingdom to Ramdas. Ramdas agreed to it.

The next day morning, Ramdas invited Shivaji to his place and upon Shivaji’s request for Gurudev’s service throughout life, they both went for roaming around begging with a bowl in their hands. They returned to the river and had the meal prepared by Gurudev.

Ramdas asked Shivaji to rule the Kingdom in his name, to take the Gerua Chaddar (Orange flag) for his banner, and defend its honor with his life. He suggested Shivaji, think that the kingdom did not belong to himself but treat it as a trust to be ruled justly and well before God. Samarth Ramdas then established several Hanuman temples across different pilgrim places.

Ref –

Sant Tukaram

Tukaram Painting – Rajeev Joshi

Vithoba Painting – Amit Vishwakrama

Artist  -Vrunda Nadgouda ,Shvetal Pathak ,Sameer Parab,Kavita Pakhale

Design and Concept leads – Pallavi Sadekar and Cyrill Suaris

Light Arrangement – Prassana Kelkar and team

3D Effect (Vithoba Hand) – Parag Pandit

Tukaram used to sing abhangs every day and a lot of Sadhus and bhagavatas would come to listen and participate in this. Whoever came for the kirtans went back with a heart filled with love and affection towards Vitthobha.

There was a person by name Rameshwar Bhatt in Dehu. He was well versed in the sastras and was preaching about Dharma sastras. No one came to his preaching’s, but everyone went to Tukaram’s kirtans. Seeing this he was angry and said that Tukaram was a Vysya and that he has not read the sastras and was blabbering something in the local language Marathi and was spoiling all residents in the city with his abhangs. Bhatt also said that he was a Brahman and had read all the sastras and knew more than what Tukaram knew about the sastras. He then said that in his discourse he was saying what the rishis had written earlier, but Tuka was writing his own poems and singing that to the public.

When Tukaram came to know what Rameshwar Bhatt was feeling about him, he felt that Bhatt may be correct as he is a very learned person. He never even got angry with him but went to him prostrated to him and asked him if he had done some mistakes in his abhangs. Bhatt then asked him who he was to advice others and asked him if he had studied the sastras and puranas and why he was saying something on his own. Bhatt then told him that Tuka was doing a great sin by doing all this and said that he was also making others commit sin by listening to it. Tuka then told Bhatt with tears that he didn’t know that he was committing a sin by doing all this and told him that he would do whatever Bhatt asks him to do as he was the most learned man in the city. Bhatt then asked him not to compose or sing any more abhangs and also asked him to throw all his compositions.

Tuka then came back to his house took all his compositions tied it in a silk cloth and was thinking what mistake he had done in those compositions and his eyes were filled with tears. He then felt that Bhatt who was a scholar would not lie and that he should immediately destroy it. He then took the bundle to river Indrayani and again had a look at his compositions; he saw that he had written only about the beauty of Vitthal, Nama Mahima, Guru Mahima, Ekadashi Mahima, Prahalad, Dhruva and other bhaktas.

He then felt that Vitthal was living in every Abhang composed by him and how he would throw him in the river Indrayani. He was sitting under a tree near the banks of Indrayani and looking at his compositions with tears. These were his only proud possessions. He then felt that having promised Bhatt that he would destroy it he threw his compositions that were tied in a cloth in to the river. The abhangs which were his only possession had now gone with the flood in the river. He now couldn’t sing any more abhangs as Bhatt had asked him not to sing and he knew nothing other than singing the praise of Pandurang.

He was crying and sitting under the tree. His wife and children came in search of him and asked him to come back home. He would only say “Pandurang Pandurang” with his eyes full of tears. He felt like he has lost everything in his life as he now could not sing the praise of Vitthal.

The next morning when the priest went to open Vitthobha’ s temple in Dehu, he saw a bundle on Vitthal’ s head. The priest rushed in to remove it and the bundle was wet. He opened it to see what was inside and it had all the songs that Tuka had thrown in to the river.

They took the bag and came running to Tuka to show it to him. Tuka was chanting the name of Vitthal and still sitting in the bank of the river. They then gave it to him, and Tuka asked why they had taken it from the river. The priest then told him that when they opened the temple for suprabatham, they found this in Vitthal’ s head. Hearing this Tuka was happy and understood that Vitthal has recognized his poems and that there were no mistakes in it. Rameshwar Bhatt on hearing this Leela of Vitthal, came running to Tuka, and asked him to forgive him and also praised him that he was a mahatma. Tuka then said that Bhatt was a Brahman and had also learnt the sastras and that he should not ask him to forgive him. Tuka also said that this was Pandurang’s Leela to show to the world that he is happy with my abhangs and that there was no fault with Bhatt. After this incident Tukaram’s abhangs became very famous and many people started singing his songs and his collection of abhangs came to be known a Vaishnava Veda.

BornTukaram Bolhoba Ambile
Either 1598 or 1608[1][2] Dehu, near Pune[2]
Maharashtra, India
DiedEither 1649 or 1650 in Dehu
Known forAbhanga devotional poetry,
Marathi poet-sant of Bhakti movement[3]
Dharma namesSant Tukaram
OrderVarkari tradition
Literary worksTukaram Gatha

Ref –