At present where gram devatha Shri Lakshmi mandir situated opposite to it, Achary and sant Udasi Baba or Shri Udashi Maharajs' Samadhi could be seen. In our country there are innumerable number of sanyasis, sadhus, sants, born and contributed to the entire world their noble thoughts and works before going back to where they come from. In Maharastra State, district Ahamadnagar is one such holy place where divine population lived in the past particularly on the banks of holy river pravara and its tributaries but to know and discuss their life history here there is shortage of time and place.
This river is not much vast in size. And further, on the banks of this holy river there are number of dev and devi mandirs both swayambhu and installed alongwith samadhis'or prarthan mandir of sanyasi's and saints like Santh Tukaram, Santh Tulasidas, Sant Jnaneswar, etc could be seen even today though they have left this materialist world centuries ago. But I am particular here to present before the devotees of Shri Shani Maharaj, the life history of Sant Shri Udasi Baba or Achary Udasi Maharaj who spent whole of his life in the service of Bhaghawan Shri Shani Maharaj and His devotees. And in the end at the ripe age of 87 years he left this world and got mukthi. In the following pages let us know from where, and when did he came and how he lived here and what services to the divine and devotees alike he has rendered during his life span.
Life History of sant Udasi Baba or Udasi maharaj
From nearby village called Bodey Gauv a young bala sanyasi who was suffering from disease due to the wrath or curse of Shanidev came to Shingnapur gram by bere footed to get cure his disease by serving to Shri Shani Maharaj and with the intention to render more services to the humanity by the grace of Him.
In those days there was no one to perform any pooja, abhishek, archan and prayers to Him exclusively. That means there were no one to guide what method or rituals to perform in the day, noon and evenings. In the beginning he uses to bring water either from the panasa nala or from the well nearby the Shani Maharaj chaboothar, get flowers and fruits from the trees and plants grown in the nearby forests, after taking bath he use to do jall abhishek, clean the idol with his dothi and offer prayers and archan with flowers and offer naivedyam. Whatever fruits he used to pluck in the forest would form his afternoon meal, and on some days if a few devotees present after darshan of Bhaghawan, he used to share with them with the same quantity. After that, he used to go round the Shingnapur village to propagate Shri Shani Maharaj Mahima to people and in the evening after returning to Shingnapur he would again perform pooja, archan, and just nearby the Shri Shani Maharaj's chabooter to sleep. This has become his routine work throughout his life. And in this way he used to spend his life quite for some time, his disease was cured without any other medicine or by a medical attendant. That is Shri Shani Bhaghwan Himself is BHAWAROGA VAIDYA means Dhanvantari/doctor who can cure all sorts of disease.
The young sanyasi felt like returning back to his native village Bodey Gauv, but the divine decision was not that. When he was preparing to go back all the villagers requested him not to leave, therefore he was in a dilamma. In that situation he left for rest as the Sun dipped in the west and Moon rose. As he was kept thinking what to do very late in the night and praying Him to show the way, he went to sleep around mid night.In the early morning Bhaghawan Shanidev gave darshan to him in dreams, and told the young sanyasi, "Hey! sanyasi, I am very much pleased by your services to me and more over to my devotees, therefore, you don't go anywhere and continue to propagate my mahima to the people living in the surrounding villages of Shingnapur in the mean time continue to do my pooja, archan and prayers, I will grace you mukthi in the end", and thereafter Bhagawan Shani Dev disappeared.
The young sanyasi, from that day onwards forget going out of the Shingnapur and stayed by doing services to the people in the day as well in the early morning and in the night doing pooja, archan, abhishekh, jap, homa, etc; to Shanidev. Everyday he used to tour all the villages located within the Ahmadnagar District, more particularly villages of Sonai Taluk bare footed. By seeing this, the villagers donated a cow and calf, a pair of bullocks with cart, and more number of household items, spices, vegetables, etc; at his door steps. All these happenings brought him more close to Bhaghawan; as such he stopped thinking anything about materialistic world but spent more time on chanting Bhaghawan names and thereby inculcating in the people's mind about better devotion and bhakthi towards Bhaghawan only. During entire life till his last breath, he did keep for himself any kind of materials or property nor even didn't he built any house for himself whatever he received from devotees except for minium basic needs, the rest was again put back at dhan at pathr (hundi).
He was not having any ambitions. That is why he was called as "Udasi Baba" or Achary Udasi Baba. And also people use to respect him as Poojari Baba. He lived by serving to Him and His devotees with devotion and bhakthi without any kind of expectation. He lived for the full life that is; upto the age of 87 years and his soul joined Him at the end. The people of Shingnapur say and believe that Baba Acharya was graced by Shrishanidev. And it seems He gave darshan also to him. People built his Samadhi opposite to Shrishanidev chaboothor. He was a selfless, sincere and dedicated servant of Shrishanidev and His devotees. And was liked by everyone in and around villages of Shingnapur. People of all these villages have respect, love and bhakthi toward Shri Udasi Baba. And he was also having love and affection all including the nature, animal's etc.His dual bullocks pulling the cart charriated by him was silently crying quite some time after his death and they didn't consume any food and water. And from their eyes tears were coming out continuously even after 4-5 days of his death.
Till the day of death Udasi Baba was himself performing daily morning and evening's araadhana of Sri Shanidev, but from then on, there was no one to do. So, person whoever to perform pooja, archan, etc; used to do it himself. As such the same system of performing araadhana of Bhaghawan is being continued by individual devotee. But, only men are allowed to do and that too only after taking bath with wet clothes; and if women want to do pooja, archan, etc; they are allowed only below the chaboothar but not to touch Shanidev Maharaj. This system also continued for quite a long time.