Manish Khandekar is an IT professional and lives in San Francisco area. He is also founder of Nagpur25 Inc. Manish is an ardent devotee of Maharaj and an amazing person. He has created “Gajanan Vijay” iPhone/iPad app in 2011 and now enhanced the app to cover more and more about Maharaj.
Rupali Vatve is from Nagpur but currently lives in Toronto Canada. Her parents are devotee of Shri Maharaj and she got this devotion from her parents. She is a classical singer. In 2009 when she was going through some health issues and was not able to offer Parayan. During that period, she searched audio version of pothi and unable to find it. She promised Shri Maharaj that after her recovery she will record the pothi for the persons who are unable to read the pothi. In 2010 (during Maha-Samadhi 100th year), she recorded Marathi version of pothi in Nagpur and offered it to Maharaj. Subsequently she had recorded Hindi version of Pothi also. As of now more than 15,000 copies of CD was taken by devotees.
Ayush Mudgal : During his the last year of his highshcool, Ayush promised Shri Maharaj to record and type the English version of the Gajanan Maharaj Granth, if he gets admitted to the American University of his choice. Maharaj fulfilled his wish and, thus, he recorded the pothi in 2012 for the new generation, who are growing up outside India. This was the Seva offered by him to pass the Maharaj's legacy to the newer generation.
Shri Sumant Bhojane Kaka is an ardent devotee of Shri Maharaj and, after his retirement, chose to dedicate his life and time to the service of Shri Maharaj. By direction from Shri Maharaj, he has written "Gajanan Dohavali" - a conversion of the Gajanan Vijay Granth into Hindi dohas. This is a great seva offered by him for hindi speaking devotees. So far he has conducted about 95 Samuhik Parayans of "Gajanan Dohavali" at several places in India including Indore, Bhopal, Betul, small towns in MP, Mumbai, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Chalisgaon, Akot, Amrawati, Vadodara, Bengaluru, Gudgaon and other smaller towns.
We have heard of miracles. We have heard of magic. But we rarely see a walking miracle – a walking personification of magic! The person that is being referred to is a humble and simple soul, 81 years young, who answers to the name of Smt. Sumati Tai Bapat of Nasik..
Sumati Tai Bapat is a name that almost every devotee connected with the spiritual Master and Guru, Gajanan Maharaj of Shegaon, will know. Her feats are legendary notwithstanding her advancing age. Gajanan Vijay is the biography popularly known as pothi n Marathi, written by HBP Das Ganu Maharaj in poetic verses which is a source of strength to millions of Gajanan Maharaj devotees and a manner of offering prayer in obeisance to the Spiritual Master and God. It covers 3668 mellifluous verses and the legendary Sumati Tai Bapat has mastered the recitation of 3668 verses non-stop without referring to the script! This feat is unique and is simply God ordained.
Sumati Tai Bapat has conducted more than 3500 recitations ( known as parayans) sitting in one posture, folded legs, without moving them or getting up from her seat. The recitation takes almost 6 hours with a Prasad - break for Maharaj after reading of 16 chapters and devotees participating in large numbers. She has conducted parayans in various cities towns and even interior villages. Till recently, she would commence reading at 7 am and conclude by 2 pm and in all these hours she would not move an inch. This itself, can be said to be a miracle in itself. Her voice flows like a cuckoo and is melodious and inspirational. She presently resides in Nasik in Maharashtra and devotees from Mumbai, Pune, Nasik, Shegaon and many locations have conducted her programs. In Akola, 1500-1800 devotees assemble to read the script jointly with her.
When devotees came to know of her powers and God’s gift, she started receiving invitations from various groups, individuals and temples. She says she got excellent cooperation from her family members.
Sumati Tai got introduced to Gajanan Maharaj in 1967 thanks to a neighbor named Mrs Limaye. Between 1967-1973 Tai used to read the pothi at infrequent intervals due to professional and personal family commitments. Sumati Tai was disturbed that due to commitments she could not read regularly. So once in November 1972 , she made a plea and prayer to Maharaj that she must be given the power and ability to know the 3668 verses by-heart so that she can recite aloud even while doing her work and attending to professional work ! So this journey began at the residence of one Mrs Ghate where tai recited the pothi non-stop and every one came to know of her prowess.
Once,on Ram Navami day, she was seated in Shegaon in the temple and there were thousands of devotees sitting along side. Tai happened to be conversing with Maharaj as is her normal practice, and asked Him to guide her from preventing people from being hurt by her nature or mannerism and if it did , then what solution was there ? Suddenly, an oldish tall man passed by a threw a crumpled piece of paper on her lap and went ahead. Tai was angry at this unknown person’s demeanour. In normal course she would have thrown that paper away but for some strange reason felt like opening the paper ball. When she did she saw a mantra written on it “ Ahilya Draupadi Sita Tara Mandodari Tatha Panchakanya smare Nityam Mahapatak nashanam” and the re wasa message in it- read this daily and see for yourself a change in your attitude ! See how Maharaj answered His devotee’s prayers in a split second ! This paper ball with the mantra is in the residence of Mrs. Pawar of Pune Chinchwad.
Such is the story of a great and marvelous devotee – an inspiration and a walking encyclopedia of Gajanan Vijay granth.
Shree Gajanan Maharaj - I began hearing His name during my infancy. My family’s worship towards Him started three generations ago. My great grandmother used to regularly read the full Pothi (Gajanan Vijay Granth) in one sitting. My grandmother has been reading one chapter of the Pothi every day for more than 2 decades now. At our residence in Singapore, my father offers daily Pooja to Maharaj. He even got Maharaj’s Paduka specially made from India, and offers Abhishek to them every Thursday. My mother has been offering 3-day Parayans for the last few years.
Whenever we visit India, we make it a point to plan a trip to Shegaon. Maharaj’s charm is such that our Shegaon visit inevitably becomes one of the highlights of our vacation, and even our relatives, who frequently join us, look forward to it with great enthusiasm. These Shegaon trips have always had an additional significance for me, as with every trip, Maharaj has continuously shaped my connection with Him.
My favorite memories of Shegaon from my childhood days were very innocent, like going to see Maharaj’s elephant and horse with my cousins, shouting “Jai” while waiting for Darshan or going back again and again into temple queues to hide from our parents. While these were simple and naïve experiences, they helped develop Maharaj’s significance in my life.
From visits during my high school years, I was able to find out more about Maharaj and our Pothi through local travel and interactions with other devotees. Once we visited nearby Nagzari, to see Shri Gomaji Maharaj’s temple and the streams there. Another time, we met Nitin (Gokarn) Kaka and Anita Kaku, who showed us Bankat Sadan and the spot where Maharaj used to bathe. We also once stayed at Shravan (Pande) Bhau’s house, where his father shared wonderful memories of serving Maharaj’s Samadhi. All this helped me understand Maharaj and our holy Granth better.
During my most recent visit, I was able to actively participate with my parents in a Satyanarayana Pooja, and by Maharaj’s grace, I could complete a full Parayan in the Mandir’s reading hall.
Through these visits, our Guru Mauli progressively brought me closer and closer to Him, and I started feeling His presence by my side. Even during my university years, when my studies took greater priority, He helped me acclimatize to the US and guided me all the way till graduation.
Subsequently, Mauli has let me engage more in His worship. Through this Gajanan Maharaj Parivaar, I have been able to participate in devotional activities that are further strengthening my connection with Him. Maharaj certainly continues to be with me away from my family, and helps me with all my day-to-day struggles. I am thankful to Maharaj for all the mercy, care, love and blessings. Jai Gajanan!
Rishi Mudgal lives in Portland, Oregon. A software professional who dedicated his life for Seva of Shri Gajanan Maharaj. Moderator of this website and also active contributor to “Shegaon-Prachar-Parivar” yahoo group.