Param Poojya Nana Maharaj was born on 22nd July, 1922 in a middle class Brahmin family at village Adivare in Ratnagiri district. From his childhood he was attracted towards spiritual life and was influenced by the philosophy and teachings of Saint Dnyaneshwar Maharaj. After completing his education he joined Indian Army as a Civilian and had participated in the Second World War in Burma. After taking retirement from the Army he worked for Hindustan Construction Ltd. as a Draftsman for number of years and retired in the year 1980. While he was in service he used to regularly conduct discourses for his colleagues and share his spiritual experiences with them.
Initially Nana was a devotee of Lord Shiva and use to chant “Om Namah Shivay”. Oneday, Sri Swami Samarth materialized in front of Nana and asked him, “Is there a difference between Lord Shiva & Me?” and made him realised that his further spiritual path will now be guided by him. Thereafter Sri Swami Samarth showed him in dream an old man with a wooden stick and blazing eyes. Nana asked Sri Swami Samarth, “Who is this person?” He said, “You will know him in two years from now and thereafter thisgreat old man will be your spiritual guide.”
Exactly two years later in 1965, Nana’s friend and devotee Mr. Dyaneshwar Hari Katkar invited him to his home in Kurla, Mumbai to pay respect to Sri Namdeo Maharaj of Kolhapur , a disciple of Sri Krishna Saraswati Mahaaj. Nana was amazed to see same figure with blazing eyes he saw two years before.
In their very first meeting Poojya Namdeo Maharaj told Nana that you have been blessed by my Guru’s Guru i.e. Sri Swami Samarth Akkalkot Maharaj and you will be carrying his mission hereafter.
Five years later, in one of his visits to Sri Namdeo Maharaj, Nana was told to ask for anything under the sun. Nana replied that he didn’t need anything. However, Namdeo Maharaj insisted. Nana therefore, asked for the power to remove the suffering of those who come in contact with him. “This is my Guru’s (Sri Krishna Saraswati’s) work. You will accomplish this,” said Namdeo Maharaj, being extremely pleased with the request. Then on Gurudwadashi, Namdeo Maharaj blessed Nana with a special saffron robe, Chhatti, and a sacred mantra. He told Nana to offer food to the hungry and serve the poor and the suffering people.
Nana Maharaj's Divine Experiences
Param Pujya Nana Maharaj lived very simple life. Throughout his life Param Pujya Nana Maharaj selflessly carried the mission of spreading the message of Universal Brotherhood . He used his spiritual strength to remove the sufferings of those who needed relief. He life philosophy was to help people as per Sant Tukaram Maharaj’s Abhanga Je kaa ranjale ganjale tyasi mhane jo aapule tochi sadhu olkhava dev thethechi jaanavaa.
( One who considers those afflicted with many types of sufferings, troubles and sorrows as his own is the real Sadhu and we will find God in him. )
Nana Maharaj’s message to Devotees
- Selfless service and love towards fellow human beings is the fastest way to the Lord. One should not neglect the ordained duties but perform the worldly responsibilities perfectly and then pursue the divine fragrance.”
- To practice Naamsmaran is an essence of Bhakti Marg.
- To inculcate Bhakti Marg and be an ideal devotee to set an example before the society with attributes of Bhakti, Spiritual Knowledge, Vivek (Discrimination), Vairagya.