Shri Guru Charitra : The Holy Grantha of Datta Sampradaya recounting the Life Story of Shri Dattatreya, Shripada Shri Vallabha Swami Maharaj and Shri Narasimha Saraswati Swami Maharaj
Shri Guru Charitra is a holy book of Datta Sampradaya written by Sri Saraswati Gangadhar Sakhare in 15th Century. The book recounts the Holy Life of Shri Dattatreya, Shripada Shri Vallabha (around 1320 A.D – 1350 A.D) and Shri Narasimha Saraswati (around 1378 A.D – 1458 A.D), his philosophy and teachings. The Book also provides some of the other Important Historical facts. The language used here is 14-15th century Marathi.
Sri Saraswati Gangadhar was a Descendant of Sri Sayamdev who was a Close Disciple to Sri Narasimha Saraswati. Saraswati Gangadhar refers to himself as Namadharaka in the Book. The book is written in the form of a conversation between Siddha Muni (who too was a disciple of Shri Narasimha Saraswati) and Namdharak who is listening to Sri Siddha.
Namadharaka spent most of his Life at Kadaganchi, a village nearby Ganagapur. He meets Sri Siddha Muni near Ganagapur and when he realizes that Sri Siddha Muni was a Disciple of Sri Guru, he requests him to narrate the Holy Life of Sri Narasimha Saraswati. Sri Siddha Muni takes Namadharak to Bhima-Amarja Sangam and then starts narrating “Sri Guru Charitra”.
Instructions / Rules and Procedure for Reading Shri Guru Charitra (Sri Guru Charitra Parayan Vidhi)
Shri Guru Charitra contains many Mantras from Vedas, Shlokas and Stories from Various Puranas and it is in itself the Life Story of Dattavatari Shri Guru Narasimha Saraswati Swami Maharaj. So there are few regulations which have to be followed during its Reading. Shri Guru Charitra can be read Daily or as a Saptah Parayana (7 days) or in 3 days.
- Saptah Parayan must be read for 7 days dividing the Total Chapters (Adyays) into 1-9 Adhyays on 1st day, 10-21 on 2nd, 22-29 on 3rd, 30-35 on 4th, 36-38 on 5th, 39-43 on 6th and 44-53 on the Last Day.
- 3 Days Parayan must be read as 1-24 Adhyays (Jnana Kanda) on the 1st Day, 25-37 (Karma Kanda) on the 2nd Day and 38-53 (Bhakti Kanda) on the 3rd Day.
- It Must be read with Complete Physical and Mental Purity i.e at morning after the bath with Fresh Mind with No worldly concern.
- The Place of reading must be Cleaned and a Deepa must always be lit while Parayana.
- One Should not Speak while reading and also maintain Brahmacharya during the Parayana Days.
- Eating of Onion, Garlic, Egg etc must not be done and if possible one must have food only once and Fast in the Morning or Night.
- One Must avoid Sleeping on the Bed and can use mat on floor.
- After the Parayan Samapti one Should offer Pooja to the Holy Book and perform Dampatya Bhojan (Brahman and Suvasini).
- The Reading of Guru Charitra can also be done through a Brahmin (Brahmana dwara) after the required Sankalpam in the Name of Devotee. To Perform the Guru Charitra Parayana Seva at Ganagapur one may
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Benefits of reading Shri Guru Charitra or its Parayana:Devotees who read Shri Guru Charitra or perform its Parayana experience a Spiritual Joy and also Material Well Being. Some Devotees perform the Parayan for their Physical and Mental Well Being. Numerous are the Instances in Sri Guru Charitra where we see different people from across the Country who came to Shri Guru were cured by him by his mere Kind Glance. Even today devotees experience his Blessings by reading Sri Guru Charitra repeatedly. There are Specific Chapters (Adhyays) in Guru Charitra which are believed to cure Specific Problems in Life. Here are few :-
Adhyay 8 for Birth of a Wise and Intelligent Child, Adhyay 14 for Solving Employment Problems, Adhyay 17 for Development of Childrens, Adhyay 18 for Financial well being, Adhyay 20-21 for Ghost or Bhoot Preta Badha, Adhyay 10 and 38 for Financial Upliftment, Adhyay 13 and 45 for Health related Problems, etc.Contents of Shri Guru Charitra :Shri Guru Charitra Contains 3 Sections viz., Gnyanakanda (Section of Knowledge), Karmakanda (Section of Work ) and Bhaktikanda (Section of Devotion). Chapter 1 is Managalacharanam (Bowing to Various Deities), Chapter 2 to 4 are Datta Avatar Charitra (Life of Dattatreya Incarnation), Chapter 5 to 10 are of Shripad Shri Vallabha Charitra (Life of Shripad Shri Vallabha), Chapter 11 to 52 are of Shri Narasimha Saraswati Charira and Chapter 53 is Avataranika or the Summary of the whole Book.
The Major Section of Sri Guru Charitra i.e., Chapter 22 to 52 deals with the Advent of Sri Narasimha Saraswati Swami Maharaj at Sri Kshetra Ganagapur.
Brief Description of all the Chapters (Adhyays) in Shri Guru Charitra (Click to read in Detail) .
- Adhyay 1: – Namadharak is blessed with the vision of Guru Nath.
- Adhyay 2: – The Power and Glory of Guru Bhakti. Story of Guru Veda Dharma and his Disciple Deepak.
- Adhyay 3:- Maha Vishnu Saves King Ambrish and accepts Rishi Durwasa curse to take Several Incarnations.
- Adhyay 4:- Trimurtis test the Pativratya of Mata Anasuya, Birth of Lord Dattatreya.
- Adhyay 5:- Birth of Shripada Sri Vallabha Swami Maharaj at Peethapuram.
- Adhyay 6:- Ravana receives Atma lingam from Lord Shiva, Birth of Sri Kshetra Gokarna.
- Adhyay 7:- Importance of Sri Kshetra Gokarna, Story of Ikshawaku King and Vashishta Maharshi.
- Adhyay 8:- A Brahmin women who tried to commit suicide is Saved, Importance of Shani Pradosh Vrata.
- Adhyay 9:- Rajaka (Washerman) blessed to become a King in his Next Birth , Shripada Shri Vallabha Swami Concludes his Avatara.
- Adhyay 10:- Shripada Shri Vallabha Swami revives Vallabhesh who was robbed and killed by Dacoits.
- Adhyay 11:- Birth of Shri Guru Narasimha Saraswati Swami Maharaj and his Bala Leela as Narahari.
- Adhyay 12:- Narahari accepts Sanyasa Diksha from Sri Krishna Saraswati at Kashi and becomes Sri Narasimha Saraswati.
- Adhyay 13:- Sri Narasimha Saraswati visits Karanja, A Brahmin Cured of Severe Stomach ache at Basara.
- Adhyay 14:- Sayamdev visits Sri Guru and is saved from the Trouble of a Muslim King.
- Adhyay 15:- Importance of Various Teerthas explained, Disciples sent on Pilgrimage but Sri Guru himself Stays at Parali Vaijanath.
- Adhyay 16:- Importance of Guru Bhakti explained, Story of Dhoumya Rishi and his Disciples.
- Adhyay 17:- A Dull Brahmin Boy becomes a Well Learned Pandit by the Grace of Sri Guru at Audumbar (Near Bhillavadi).
- Adhyay 18:- A Poor Brahmin at Amarapur blessed with a Pot of Gold by Uprooting the Plant of Ghevada.
- Adhyay 19:- Shri Guru blesses 64 Yoginis and also a Farmer called Ganganuja at Narsobawadi.
- Adhyay 20:- Shri Narasimha Saraswati Saves a Woman from a Brahma Pishachi who used to kill all her issues immediately after their Birth. Sri Guru also blesses her with 2 Sons.
- Adhyay 21:- Shri Guru in the disguise of a Sanyasi Consoles Women with lot of Philosophy. The women goes to Narsobawadi and prays to Sri Guru Padukas. The Dead Child is revived to Life at Night.
- Adhyay 22:- Shri Guru Makes an Old Barren Buffalo at a Brahmins house give Milk when he came to Ganagapur for Bhiksha (Alms).
- Adhyay 23:- Brahmarakshasa liberated by Shri Gurus Grace, Establishment of a Math at Ganagapur.
- Adhyay 24:- Shri Guru reveals his Vishwaroopa (Universal Form) to Sri Trivikrama Bharati at Kumasi.
- Adhyay 25:- Two Arrogant Brahmins who troubled Sri Trivikrama Bharati are brought to Sri Guru at Ganagapur.
- Adhyay 26:- Structure and Importance of the Holy Vedas is explained to the Arrogant Brahmins.
- Adhyay 27:- A Harijan is called upon and with the Grace of Sri Guru he starts discussing the Vedas, the Brahmins give up but were eventually Punished.
- Adhyay 28:- Shri Guru asks a disciple to remove the Bhasma on Harijans body by Pouring water, his Knowledge vanishes and he returns home.
- Adhyay 29:- Importance of Bhasma (Holy Ash) explained, Story of a Rakshasa and Sri Vamadeva.
- Adhyay 30:- A Woman named Savitri who has lost her husband is consoled by Shri Guru in disguise and is Explained the Impermanence of Life. (This Place can be still seen at Ganagapur and is known as Sati Katta ).
- Adhyay 31:- Pativratya Dharma is explained to Savitri, Story of Agastya Muni and Lopamudra.
- Adhyay 32:- Code of Behavior of a Widow is explained, husband Datta revived to Life.
- Adhyay 33:- Importance of Rudraksha explained, Story of King Bhadrasenas Son Sudharma.
- Adhyay 34:- Importance of Rudradhyaya explained, Kings son is saved by Parashara Rishi.
- Adhyay 35:- Kacha-Devayani Story is described along with Simantini Story to stress the Importance of Somavar-Vrata.
- Adhyay 36:- Karma-Marga is explained to a Brahmin and his Wife who made her Husband break the Vrata of not taking Paranna Bhojana.
- Adhyay 37:- Shri Guru continues to explain and elaborate on Many More Karmas to be performed by a Brahmin.
- Adhyay 38:- Four Thousand People fed with the food sufficient only for 3 People, Bhaskara Brahmana blessed by Sri Guru.
- Adhyay 39:- 60 Year Old Women begets Children by Worshipping Ashwattha tree at the Bhima Amarja Sangam as directed by Shri Guru Narasimha Saraswati.
- Adhyay 40:- A Brahmin, Narahari cured of Leprosy after testing his Devotion, Story of Shabaradut and his Devotion to Shiva & Guru.
- Adhyay 41:- Sayamdev Serves Shri Narasimha Saraswati by bringing Agni (Fire) from Nirgun Math to Sangam.
- Adhyay 42:- Importance of Kashi Yatra, Story of Twashta Brahma Kumara and his devotion to his Guru.
- Adhyay 43:- Shri Guru asks Sayamdev to perform Ananta Vruta on Bhadrapada Shuddha Chaturdashi, Story of Pandavas, Story of Koundinya and his wife Sushila.
- Adhyay 44:- A weaver (Tantuk) is taken to Shri Parvat (holy mountain Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh) and brought back in a Day.
- Adhyay 45:- Nandi Brahmin worships Godesses at Tuljapur and Sannati but is finally Cured by Shri Guru at Ganagapur.
- Adhyay 46:- Shri Narasimha Saraswati meets Narahari poet, a staunch devotee of Kalleshwara at Hipparaga village and makes him his disciple.
- Adhyay 47:- During Diwali festival, Shri Narasimha Saraswati visits all his 7 disciples and also stays at the Math in Ganagapur at the same time. This is known as Ashta Roopa Dharan of Sri Guru.
- Adhyay 48:- A Poor Farmer is blessed with a Huge Yield by the Grace of Shri Guru.
- Adhyay 49:- Shri Guru takes all villagers for Ashta Teerth Snan, Importance of Punya Bhoomi Sri Kshetra Ganagapur.
- Adhyay 50:- The Muslim King of Bidar (Rajaka in last birth) visits Ganagapur and is cured of a Tumor on his Leg.
- Adhyay 51:- Shri Guru decided to leave for Kardali Van and assures that he will Stay at Ganagapur forever in the Form of Nirguna Padukas.
- Adhyay 52:- Shri Guru Narasimha Saraswati Maharaj concludes his Incarnation, Disciples gets Flowers as the Prasada.
- Adhyay 53:- Avataranika or Summary of all the Adhyays of Shri Guru CharitraAn Article by :
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