Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj is one of the profound Hindu saints of his time. He was one of the greatest gurus of Inchagiri Sampradaya, a line of nine saints or gurus and Lingayatism masters from Maharashtra. Great Sri Bhausaheb Maharaj was the one who introduced the Nine Masters tradition in India.
Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj was born in Pathri village, Solapur district of Maharashtra, India, in 1888 AD. From his childhood, he was sharp and brilliant. However, despite his intelligence, he did not complete his schooling.
At age 16, he started working as an accountant in a small Marwadi firm in Bijapur. While working at the firm, Maharaj met his guru, who had recently built a monastery at Inchagiri, Karnataka. Fascinated by his intellectual ability, Bhausaheb Maharaj took Sidhararameshwar to his monastery.
In 1906, Siddharameshwar Maharaj started learning under the guidance of the Guru Sri Bhausaheb Maharaj. At Inchagiri, Bhausaheb Maharaj taught him ways to reach the ultimate reality through meditation. So, they follow the Pipilika Marg, which means ant’s way.
In 1914, Sri Bhausaheb Maharaj passed away, and Siddharameshwar Maharaj decided to concentrate on his guru’s teachings. So, in 1918 with his four brothers from the same monastery, he went on a spiritual world tour to publicize their guru’s self-realization teachings. On his journey, Maharaj proposed that one should go beyond meditation to attain the absolute truth, but the other disciples disagreed. Therefore, Maharaj returned to Bijapur with strong faith that he would transcend the boundaries of meditation to reach the ultimate reality.
Finally, after meditating for nine months, Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj realized how to attain self-realization through Vihangam Marg or Bird’s way. While meditating, he realized ignorance came from hearing and thinking, but if all those ignorant thoughts dissolve into meditation, then one can easily attain the ultimate reality.
On Ekadashi, 9th Nov 1936, Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj ji left his body, passing all his wisdom to his disciples. As a result, most of his disciples got self-realized throughout their lifetime and continued spreading his teachings worldwide.
Teachings of Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj
It means Self Knowledge. It is the primary subject of Sri Siddharameshwar’s teachings. In his book “Master Key to Self-Realization,” he explained the method of Vedanta teachings. At first, the disciples meet their gurus, and the guru will provide the disciples with a mantra. The mantra enables them to meditate and make their minds open.
Furthermore, the guru will describe his teachings which the disciples have to realize practically. Therefore, the students have to shut down their minds from external objects and the physical body throughout the process. In addition, one has to realize objects are an illusion, so it becomes easy to grow detachment and clear one’s thoughts. Hence, it is a critical step one must follow to gain Self-Knowledge.
To understand the Atma Vidya, one has to explore the four bodies to find out where the idea of “I” came from. So, the Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj detect four bodies which include;
- The physical body
- The subtle body includes;
- Five Action Senses: hands, legs, mouth, private parts, and anus.
- Five Knowledge Senses: eyes, nose, ears, tongue, and skin.
- Five Pranas: Vyana, Samana, Udana, Apana and Prana.
- The Mind
- The intelligence
- Ignorance, Desolation, and Darkness represent the causal body.
- The great causal body contains the vast knowledge of “I am.” However, it is an ineffable state, and one can attain the Turiya state only after they surpass ignorance and knowledge.
In contrast to Baushaheb’s ant’s way, Siddhrameshwar’s self-realization path was called the Bird’s way or Vihangam Marg. Also, it was the shortest path to reach the ultimate reality. According to Sri Ranjit guru, there are two ways to realize the final truth: ant’s way and Bird’s way. In ant’s way, the guru will provide the disciples with a mantra which one has to chant to meditate. However, it was a very lengthy process to attain absolute reality. That’s why saint Sri Siddharameshwar found a new and shorter way to realize the supreme truth through the process of thinking. Through thinking, one can become great of the greatest and lead oneself beyond the words, i.e., the ultimate reality.
The sermons of Maharaj were popularized and globalized by his disciples, who were;
- Sri Ranjit Maharaj (4th Jan 1913 – 15th Nov 2000) was one of the Nine Masters of Inchegeri Sampradaya.
- Shri Nisargadatta Maharaj (17th Apr 1897 – 8th Sept 1981) was the guru of non-duality, Nine Masters tradition, and Lingayatism.
- Sri Muppin Kaadsiddheshwar Maharaj (23rd Apr 1905 – 16th Aug 2001) was one of the great Nine masters’ teachers.
- Sri Ganapatrao Maharaj Kannur (18th Sept 1909 – 20th Sept 2004) was a saint of the Nine master tradition whose motive was to promote the principles of non-duality and one’s liberation in this present life.
- Shri Vilasanand Maharaj
- Sri Ranachhodray Maharaj
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj recorded all his preaching and knowledge to attain the absolute truth in books. And here are a few of the books published by his disciplines:
- Golden Day or Perfection of Material Science: It is a 10-page sermon recorded in Marathi by saint Siddharameshwar in 1925, later translated to English in 1929.
- Adhyatma Jnanachi Gurukilli – Master Key to Self-Realization: It is one of the most popular books that incorporate all the preaching and teachings of master Siddharameshwar in Marathi. One of the Maharaj’s disciples, Sri Dattatray Dharmayya, transcribed it in English.
- Adhyatmadnyanacha Yogeshwar: Vol I and II incorporates the 130 sermons of master Siddharameshwar, which saint Nisargadatta transcribed, edited, and published. Later, the same book got published as “Master of Self-Realization: An Ultimate Understanding.”
- Amrut Laya: The Stateless State
Vol I contains the conversation with Siddharameshwar Maharaj that talks about various subjects from the Dasbodh text. Similarly, Vol II includes 88 chats of Maharaj that speak on principles from texts like Dasbodh, Yoga Vashista, and Eknathi Bhagavata.
Some of the most famous quotes from Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj are;
- Undesireness requires letting go of that which disappears anyway.
- If you go beyond the source, you will find that there exists nothing.
- To achieve the Absolute Truth, one should shift the focus of one’s thoughts from Illusion to Reality.
- Refuse the existence of everything except yourself.
- You are the Self in the heart of all.
- There is nothing in this whole world as sacred as self-knowledge.
- Darkness begins when your focus shifts away from the Self towards objects, and that is an illusion.
- The Self is absolutely formless.