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  The Advent of Dattaguru Bhandara Trust

In the world, mother's love is treated to be superior to all other types of love. The love of Lord Dattatreya, the benign form of Almighty, let His form be anything, out beats even this. With no rewards for His grace on the devotees, extending the same from worldly benefits to the highest spiritual goal of salvation, Lord Datta follows them birth after their birth till He leads them to achieve the above goal. This indescribable love of Him, combined with His divine powers tenderly takes care of every aspect of His devotees' welfare.

For His intended purpose so meticulously the God arranges everything needed and executes all the activities at the most appropriate times so that the result is perfect to His satisfaction. At the same time He never acts openly Himself but actuates some privileged devotees of Him to act on His behalf. Eventhough He is the real manager, apparently it appears as if the actuated devotees are the performers of the job. When the above devotees are given credit for the great job performed, just like a mother He feels immense happiness. The performance of God above described can be understood only after synthesizing together all the events concerned with a particular project. By then what an ecstatic thrill it gives the concerned devotees, only the experienced can express!

This applies to "DATTAGURU BHANDARA TRUST" which started as the Dattaprasadalaya in the names of Sri Nrisimha Saraswathi and Sadguru Sainath of Shirdi, the second and fifth avatars of Lord Dattatreya, already described.

To the founder - chairperson of the trust who was smitten with Baba's motherly grace with her very first visit to Shirdi in 1982, Baba arranged Pujyasri Sivanesan Swamiji in Shirdi as her Guru. This Swamiji, an exemplary devotee of Sadguru Sainath was drawn to Shirdi from south and offered sincere service to Baba for 45 years, till His Samadhi in 1996. In 1988 she had the physical darshan of Sri Nrisimha Saraswathy ordering her to undertake a padayatra to Sri Kshetra Gangapur. A small decorated chariot with Baba in Dwarakamayi pose was made and taking 11 days to cover the distance of 270kms the padayatra went off, concluding it with a Sainama sapthaham with the efficacious Sai tarakanama
"OM SAI SRI SAI JAYA JAYA SAI". During the course of the padayatra appreciating the devotional ordeal of the group, people of different categories from rickshaw pullers to affluent people, offered dakshina of varied levels. The discretion of utilizing the collected amount was given to the revered Swamji at Shirdi and accordingly "AKHANDA SAINAMA SAPTHAHA SAMITHI" was incepted in 1989 with the above amount as the corpus fund. The aims of the samithi were to do prachar of the most efficacious Sai tarakanama "OM SAI SRI SAI JAYA JAYA SAI" and to publish books which would confer the grace of Lord Datta and Baba on the devotees performing assiduous reading of the same. Infinite number of bhajans with the above nama were organized from Kanyakumari to Kashmir . "Devotees' experiences of Sri Sai Baba" by Sri B.V.Narasimha Swamiji, "Sri Guru Charitra", "Sri Navanatha Charitra" have been some of the published books by the Samithi. It is worth mentioning that it is the tireless service of the above samithi which made devotees to realize the efficacy of the above Sai nama which has almost attained the status of moola mantra on Baba now.

Stressing the point that Baba was Dattatreya, Sivanesan Swamiji instructed those with the Akhanda Sainama Sapthaha Samithi to perform ekahams (i.e. singing the same nama repeatedly for 24 hours continuously) with Sai tarakanama at every Dattakshetram. By Dattakshetram it means a holy place sanctified by Lord Dattatreya in any one of His forms. This he said would seek abundant grace from Lord Datta on the samithi people.

One by one ehahams were performed in places like Kuravpur, Shirdi etc. On November
20th & 21st of 1994 (Karthik poornima) such an ehakam was performed in Kashi (Varanasi) ) at Scindhia ghat near Manikarnika ghat on the banks of mother Ganga . A small Datta paduka mandir is there which is supposed to be the place of initiation to sanyasa of Sri Nrisimha Saraswathy by Krishna Saraswathy, a descendant disciple of Adi Sankaracharya.

By then, while doing dhuni pooja, while the nama was going on, the founder-president of Akhanda Sainama Sapthaha Samithi was given a divine inspiration to open a Dattaprasadalaya at Kshetra Gangapur. The order was to serve lunch as Dattaprasad in the names of Sri Nrisimha Saraswathy Swami Maharaj and Sadguru Shirdi Saibaba (both being the same), the second and fifth avatars respectively of Lord Dattatreya. Receiving the order in full obedience the founder devotee visited Shirdi to seek the blessings of Baba and her physical guru Pujyasri Sivanesan Swamiji. Even before meeting the Swamiji she prayed to Baba in Dwarakamayi like this - "Baba, you had ordered me to start the venture of this Annaprasadalaya at Gangapur in Karnataka state, whereas I am from Hyderabad of Andhra Pradesh state. Language, culture etc. etc. are all different. Inspite of all these obstacles, being a slave of you what alternative is there for me apart from obeying your sweet order? But kindly do me this favour alone. It is my prayer that just to give me an enthusiastic start, the first contribution should be from one of your sources". No sooner this prayer was made, her beloved guru Sri Sivanesan Swamiji, turned up there commanding her to come to his room near Gurusthan of Shirdi. Even before the matter was delivered, by himself he said "You are going to start something great in Gangapur. The place which is supposed to be with absolute selflessness has become place of greed etc. With Baba's influence the place has to be replenished with its sacredness. In addition to the Annaprasadalaya a Sai Mandir with unimaginable additional aspects is also going to come with illustrious performance". With these words of encouragement and blessings with his sacred hands he offered a sum of Rs.5000, the first dakshina for this entire project.

Imagine what a thrill would have welled in the mind of the founder with this! Baba not only ordered her to undertake the venture, He arranged everything needed, land, money, reliable sevaks and all the other services that inspite of many obstacles, with much sacrifice, Dattaguru Bhandara was inaugurated on 12-07-1995, the holy Gurupoornima.

Just to establish the above leela of Datta, Nrisimha Saraswathy or Baba or by whatever name you identity Him, we cite out the following incident by which the site for the Annaprasadalaya was arranged.

After the padayatra in 1988, during the nama sapthaham already described, the founder and other members were staying in the house of one old pujari having traditional rights to perform puja in the Dattapaduka mandir. Highly affluent person he was in Gangapur, that there was absolutely no necessity to sell any of his properties. One day early in the morning he tapped the door where the founder was sleeping. He said just then he had received an order from the Maharaj i.e. Sri Nrisimha Saraswathy Swami Maharaj to sell her one of his plots on the sangam road in Gangapur. Once the order was from the Maharaj even the founder obeyed it and the plot was purchased. Little did she know that Datta was arranging the plot in 1988 for a project which He was about to launch in 1995. It is the very site where the first dining hall of Dattaguru Bhandara Trust was built during the inauguration of the trust. Is this not wonderful!

The very first programme during the inauguration was a Muslim marriage organized by Dattaguru Bhandara Trust. First in the Hindu tradition then in the Muslim tradition by moulvis, the same marriage was conducted.

Once it was the project of the Lord one by one other developments took place. For one year for want of perfect building etc. only madhukari with single item food was served during noon . From the Gurupoornima in July of 1996 full-fledged south Indian meals were introduced for the Datta Sai prasad during lunch. Even then, madhukari described above is continued after noon arathi as it is the tradition of Gangapur.

In 1997 on Gurupoornima, the first ever Sai mandir in any of the Dattakshetrams of Bharat was inaugurated for devotees' worship. Facing the Bheema river, the Baba murthy of the mandir is so lively and fills the heart of everyone worshipping Him.

On 09-07-1998 , Gurupoornima at 9 hours 9 minutes in the morning the most memorable moment in Baba's school of thought and concerned with Dattaguru Bhandara Trust took place. In the entire globe the first ever Nirantara Sainama Sankirtan on Baba was initiated at that time and is being continued day and night for ever.

In the year 1999 a Sainama stupam with namanidhi in the forms of books written with the nama "SRI SAI" was inaugurated. The first deposit by then consisted of 11 crores of the above nama. The stupam is having a steel roof fabricated in the form of a typical Kerala temple. It is having facility to be removed and replaced giving provision for adding namanidhi whenever desired.

With these features the Sai mandir of Dattaguru Bhandara Trust in Gangapur is the only temple which is open 24 hours a day on all the 365 days of the year!

It is the grace of benign Baba that Dattaguru Bhandara Trust has been privileged to undertake some special projects in and out of Gangapur mentioned below.

1) Samuhika Dattamala Mantra Homam
2) Sai Laksha Annadan at Sabarimala
3) Akhanda Athirudrabhishekams

   For detailed description of the above please refer the link Special Projects.

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