Sadguru Akkalkot Maharaj is popularly known as Swami Samartha. He is beleived to be an incarnation of Shri Gurudev Datta, the Trinity God.
He was a Hindu Guru of Dattatreya tradition(Sampradaya) who was widely followed in Maharashtra, Andhra pradesh and Karnataka.
As per the information given by the close dissiples of Swami, He was very tall with long hands extending upto the knees and broad shoulders. He was fair with pinkish complexion and fine set of teeth.
Swami had long ears and ear-lobes which were shaking with the slightest movement of body.He had ear-rings with gems.
He had a divine mark of 'Tilak" in his forehead.He wore 'Rudraksha' mala around his neck.He had a protruding belly. Even at the advaned age his skin had no wrinkles.
The holy book of Shri Gurucharitra mentions that the second Datta incarnation, Shri Narasimha Saraswati entered into mahasamadhi in Kardalivana in 1458.Furthe, Shri Narasimha Swami was in state of samadhi for about three hundred years.
As the time elapsed, a huge anthill covered him and he was lost to the outside world. A woodcutter once came there and hit his axe on the bushes grown around the anthill, when was shocked to find blood stains on the blade of the axe.
He cleared the anthill and found a Yogi in meditation.
The Yogi slowly opened his eyes and consoled the stunned woodcutter,saying that it was the divine will for him to re-appear in the world to resume his mission.
This Yogi, in his new role came to be known as Swami Samartha. He travelled all over the country and perticularly the places-Rameshwaram, Kashi, Girnar, Haridwar etc.
He also visited China, Tibet and Nepal. Later he stayed at Mangalvedha and finally settled down at 'Akalkot', which is situated in district Solapur of Maharashtra state of India.
Shri. Swami Samartha first appeared at Akkalkot, on a Wednesday, somewhere in September-October peiod in 1856 AD,near Khandoba temple and continued his stay for 22 years.
He came to Akkalkot on the invitation of Shri. Chintopant Tol and stayed at a place on the outskirts of the town. He treated all the religions equally. He was very kind to the poor, needy. He celebrated festivals of all the religions.
Once a dissiple asked him about his life. Swami told him that he was the oigin of a 'Vata-Vriksha' ie Banyan tree. He further added that the prop roots of the tree represent other saints, dissiples and Datta incarnations.
In one incident Swami said that his name is Narsimha Bhan.
Sadguru Akkalkot Maharaj Avatars
He added that he was coming from a place Kardalivan, near Srisaliam, confirming that he was Narsimha Saraswati. Swami had mentioned that he came from the Kardali forest and he was Shukla yajurvedi kanva shakha brahmin.
Swami Samarth was 'Antaryami' means, he had the capacity to read the minds of the people. He was also able to know about their past and future.
Swami Samarth and Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi have a surprising similarity in their lives and deeds, which include their methods of teaching, the universality of their approach and their miracles.
It is beleived that Swami Samarth and Shri Shirdi Sai Baba were the manifestations of the same Divine Spirit in two sacred bodies.
Before Mahasamadhi, Swami Samartha advised one of his disciples to worship Shri Saibaba at Shirdi saying that he (Swami Samarth) would stay at Shirdi in future.
Once a Risaldar,wanted to test the Swami by offering him a 'Chilum' (an earthen smoking pipe) without tobacco in it and asked him to smoke. Swami Samarth started smoking the empty Chilum after lighting it as if nothing had happened.
Realising him to be an advanced spiritual person, the Risaldar apologised and made arrangements for his stay in the house of one Cholappa.
It is in this small house that Swami Samarth lived upto his last. Swami Samartha took Mahasamadhi (left his mortal body) in 1878,
Just before he passed away, one devotee asked Maharaj, who will give them protection after him?". Swami Samartha gave him a pair of his sandals (Sabots) to worship.
He added "in future I will be staying at Shirdi in district Ahmednagar,India". Another devotee, decided to go to Akkalkot and worship the divine 'Sabots' (sandals) of Swami Samartha.
But Swami Samarth appeared in his dream and told him "now I am staying at Shirdi, go there and worship me". Thousands of devotees till today worship Samartha and have miraculous experiences.
On April 30, 1878 (Chaitra Vadya Trayodashi of Hindu year 1800) after nearly 600 years of the incarnation, the great sage adopted MahaSamadhi (the last conscious communion with God) under his favourite Banyan tree.
Devotees still experience his divine presence and feel reassured because of his quote "I have not gone, I am still present".
The Teachings of Swami Samartha
01- God exists in every seen and unseen thing in the world.
02- Conduct while following spiritualhould be pure.
03- Scriptures composed by seers should be read.
04- Try to gain knowledge from every spiritual master you come across.
05- The knowledge gained by reading must be actually practised.
06- The spiritual powers gained should not be misused for showing miracles.
07- Maintain the purity of mind like the sactity of external body.
08- One should earn livelyhood through sincere efforts.
09- Serve with devotion to the spiritual master.
10- The final goal of all the religious faiths is the same.