Sanjeevan Samadhi and His Assurances
Shree Gajanan Maharaj attained ‘Maha-samadhi’ on September 8th, 1910 (auspicious Rishi Panchami, a day after Ganesh Chaturthi). He had predicted and indicated the date a good two years in advance. He also indicated where His final place of rest should be saying ‘Tethe raheen re’ meaning ‘I will stay there’, He said, pointing to the place of his current samadhi. The day before He left his mortal coil, Maharaj addressed the audience thus “Tomorrow morning, I shall be going away from this world, but do not become despondent. I will be here only. He said,”Like the story in Ganesh Purana, the day after Ganesh Chathurti, the statue of Ganapati made of clay should be immersed in water so it should be done with me. Do this with joy. I shall always be there to protect you all the time and in all circumstances”. He further said, “This body is like a rag, it must be changed when torn and when no more serviceable”. The next day, these words came true. At 8 am Maharaj, while sitting in yogic padmasana (folded legs), uttered the words “Jai Gajanan” and closed His eyes, Maharaj forced his life breath into sahastra chakra and ended His incarnation.
The news of his samadhi spread like wildfire and people rushed to Shegaon in flocks. Seventy two bhajan groups arrived, Maharaj appeared in dreams of many distant devotees and conveyed this news. Even after many hours of His attaining samadhi, His head was warm. Devotees kept butter on his head which melted thus proving that Maharaj is a true yogi and had attained sanjeevan samadhi – one who’s prana always stays alive even after he leaves the body. That night a huge procession was taken with Maharaj’s body in padmasana sitting posture in a chariot decorated with flowers. Streets were lit with oil lamps, decorated with rangoli, bhajan groups singing for Maharaj and thousands of people walked along the procession, offering flowers, tulsi, bukka (black powder), wanting to take His last darshan. As the chariot passed the home of Bapuna Kale, his wife placed their small child, Namdeo at His holy feet. For a second, Maharaj opened his eyes and glanced at Namdeo to shower His divine blessings. Namdeo grew up to become an accomplished person. Later Pundalik Baba Bhokare also pleaded for His last darshan and Mauli granted his wish by opening His eyes for a second, and smiled. These incidents also show that Maharaj’s samadhi is indeed a sanjeevan samadhi, ever standing tall to the call of His true devotees. After the procession, Rudrabhishek was performed and with elaborate rituals and aarti , Maharaj was placed in sitting position facing north in a cell filled with salt, argaja and abir (scented powder) and a slab was placed on the door amidst the chants of “Jai Swami Gajanan” .
After about a year and half of Maharaj’s samadhi, Hari Patil could not control himself and opened the slab over the samadhi to have a glimpse of Maharaj. Maharaj still appeared to be as fresh as He was, when He attained Maha Samadhi. Thus his last assurances before leaving His mortal coil as stated in Shree Gajanan Vijay Granth, chapter 19, “Mee gelo ase manu naka, bhaktit antar karu naka, mala kadapi visaru naka, mee aahe yethech” meaning “Don’t think that I have left, keep full devotion, never forget me. I am always here” still holds true for his devotees.