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Shri Maniram Baba of Baggi was a Hindu philosopher who lived in Amratavi District, Maharasthra, India.

Baggi (Jawara) is a small village on the bank of the river Chandrabhaga, in Chandur Taluka in Amravati district. Shri Manirambaba lived at Baggi. Though information about his earlier life is not available, it was known that he was born in a brahmin family in the Kanauj lineage. From the available information it is learnt that Shri Manu Maharaj of Satephal and Shri Manirambaba were cousins and were born in Kashi and Ayodhya respectively (as told by Shri Manu Maharaj). It is not known when Shri Manirambaba appeared at Baggi; he came there at the age of about 35 years. He wore a dhoti and a banian. In the beginning, he came to the carpentry workshop of Ramji Yelkar and said, “Would you give me some room to stay in the workshop?” Looking at Manirambaba incessantly, Ramji said unknowingly, “The place belongs to you.” Ramji offered him room to stay and Baba started to stay in a corner of the workshop. However, some of the residents started to say: “The residents then said, ‘Ramji, you are giving room to a crazy person, for nothing This man looks like a crazy fellow to us, do not let him be here’"

Ramji prepared a wooden cot for Baba and spread a mattress over it and placed it in the workshop. Though Ramji made arrangements for his boarding, Baba said, “One must earn one's livelihood. One must be content with whatever he/she receives. The human birth is meant to do Karma (action). One should spend leisure in helping others philanthropically and meditating on God as well as conducting the indispensable religious austerities after earning one’s livelihood, in order to know the essence of the knowledge of the Self.” It was his routine to roam around in the village, ask food in alms and eat whatever he obtained thus. He used to speak only when required and observe silence and remain in a state of meditation. Ramji used to serve him wholeheartedly.

Gokuldas was a rich merchant in Baggi. Once he asked Manirambaba, “Why do you roam around idly?” Baba replied, “No one gives me any work. Therefore, I ask food in alms at a few residences and remain contented.” Thereupon Gokuldas said, “If you graze cattle, I would give you flat bread and curry daily.” Baba accepted his offer with a condition that he should not be disturbed while conducting worship. Gokuldas thought that being a crazy person, he must not be interested in religious duties and accepted his condition. Thereafter Baba with a staff in his hand, started to take the cattle to graze in the forest and return in the evening. He used to advise others never to allow the cattle to stray and graze in others’s fields, saying it was irreligious to do so. The other cowherds used to call him Manya.

In the forest, he used to sit beneath a tree and meditate, after allowing the cattle to graze. There used to be a holy book before him, which was nothing but many papers, stacked together. Once when Gokuldas went to the forest, he saw the cattle roaming and grazing unrestrained. When he asked other cowherds about Manya, they told him that he was meditating under a tree. Gokuldas found Manirambaba immersed in meditation truly and called him many times but did not get any reply. Irritated and angered, Gokuldas took his holy book and threw it in the nearby river, but neither the book sank nor it became wet. Startled, he left the book in front of Baba and returned home astonished.

Once, Baba took bath in the river, returned and sat mediating on the cot in the workshop. Just then, Gokuldas, who wanted to send a reply to the letter to his relative at Aarvi, urgently, came there. Thus, he said, “Manya! Give this letter to my relative at Aarvi, get his reply personally and bring it back to me!” Baba received the letter from Gokuldas and keeping it beneath the mattress said, “I would bring the reply from your relative at Aarvi, quickly” After sometime, Gokuldas came there again to confirm whether Manya had gone to Aarvi or not and saw Baba still immersed in his meditation. Gokuldas started to abuse Baba when the latter opened his eyes quickly, took a letter from beneath the mattress and handed it over to the former. When Gokuldas opened the letter, he was stunned to see that the letter was the reply to his letter from his relative at Aarvi. Gokuldas, with his eyes wide open asked, “Manya, when did you go to Aarvi? When did you fetch the reply? Before I could visit my home and return how did all this happen?” Astonished by his tremendous powers, Gokuldas fell at the feet of Baba.

There was a dog, namely “Dhadsya” with Baba; it would always accompany Baba. Baba used to give it half the food received in alms and then partake his meals. Dhadsya was very obedient and honest and never touched even a piece of flat bread given by others. The dog too slept in the workshop. Once, Baba was swimming along with Bakaram, a cowherd. While jesting, Bakaram drowned Baba deep in water, but even after considerable time when Baba did not resurface, he repented. When Bakaram prayed God asking him to save Manya, Baba emerged out of water. Once, Baba sat meditating in the cavity of a huge tree. The cowherds collected hay, stacked it at the opening of the cavity and lit it. Upon seeing that the tree remained intact even after the entire hay was burnt in the bonfire, the cowherds realised that Baba was an extraordinary being.

Manirambaba performed innumerable pastimes. Once, while going for toilet in the morning, Baba saw a dead bird on the way. He sat near the bird and said, “Hey! This is not the time to sleep. Sun has risen in the east. Get up fast!” The bird came to life and flew away. On one occasion, he saw a dead dog on his way, while going for his bath. Baba approached the dead dog and asked Ramji, “How did it happen?” Thereupon Ramji said, “Since last two days, the dead dog is lying here.” Baba caressed the dog and called it by its name. In a jiffy, the dog came to life and started to lick Baba’s feet, looking at Baba’s face. Baba asked Ramji, “Wasn’t the dog sleeping?” jovially. Ramji was taken by surprise, but said nothing. Even today, the descendents of this dog are alive in Baggi, who attend Aarati of Baba’s Samadhi in the monastery every day, barking throughout during Aarati. It is said by the saints that everyone likes to enjoy the holy company of saints depending on the merits of his/her past lives.

A barber, Doma was Baba’s devotee, who used to fill Baba’s clay-pipe. Baba used to smoke the clay-pipe once and give it to Doma and ask him to smoke once and offer it to others. Doma used to fill the clay-pipe with great faith. Once, Doma’s son became ill and did not get well in spite of the medical treatment from different doctors. At last, he came to Baba and prayed for his son’s recovery.

“Baba took pity on him and said to Dhadsya,
‘Are you going to visit Doma’s residence for the sake of his son?’
 Dhadsya indicated the omen, upon receiving the orders,
 If it got up promptly, it was thought to be good omen”

As soon as Baba ordered Dhadsya, it got up, rushed to Doma’s residence and sat beneath the cot of Doma’s ailing son. Baba followed it and arrived at Doma’s residence. Doma offered him a low stool to sit. Baba gave him holy ash and asked him to give it to his son, mixed in water. Upon drinking the water mixed with the holy ash, the child passed urine and stool and got well immediately. Doma with tears of joy in his eyes, surrendered to Baba.

    “The one whose faith is firm, suffers no injury or harm
     One’s beliefs and allegiance, protect him/her”
               (Shri Manirambaba Charitra)

Baba graced Doma due to his firm faith. Those who have unflinching faith and strong allegiance are truly competent to receive the grace of the saints. Baba’s fame spread far and wide. Devotees thronged to visit him and Ramji’s residence turned into a monastery. However, Baba hated fame and appreciation.

“Baba did not desire for reverence and respect and to avoid fame And importance, thought to leave” (Shri Manirambaba Charitra)

Thus Baba left Baggi without anybody’s notice. He came to Nachangaon, trudging the forest, without informing even Ramji. There is a monastery of Siddheshwara at Nachangaon with a temple of Lord Siddheshwara (Lord Shiva) with an emblem of Lord Shiva consisting of a circular flat stone with a central dome-like structure, jutting out. The emblem in Siddheshwara temple has a cranny between the central dome and the flat circular base, through which water trickles continually. The water in the cranny dries up whenever the village were to face a calamity. “If there were an impending epidemic of cholera or famine, the water dries up totally Even if unlimited water is poured, water in the cranny dries up During other times, water does remain in the cranny, be it either rainy or summer season The level of water remaining same and constant always Even today this miracle can be seen and is not a mere idea To experience it, visit Siddheshwara once” (Shri Manirambaba Charitra) Thus, the supernaturally endowed temple is constructed in the Hemadpanti style. Siddheshwara temple located in Nachangaon is in Pulgaon Taluka of Vardha district. The abbot, Shri Bajaranggir considered Baba to be Godly. Manirambaba arrived here in 1901 to stay and performed many divine pastimes. Baba did not believe in the caste based differences as well as partiality while serving the people of different castes or sects. Annually a weeklong celebration used to be conducted in the Siddheshwara monastery wherein the brahmins were fed with the feast consisting of sweet wheaten stuffed pancakes. “Dainty victuals of different types, pulse broth,

rice and gram flour boiled butter milk
Nothing lacked there, such was the tasty food
On the fifth day, all were served, 
designs were made around their plates
All the dishes were served, and when brahmins 
were about to partake the food
Came Manirambaba with a leg of a dead ox, in his hand
With a leg in his hand, Baba walked through the rows of brahmins
Upon seeing this, brahmins left for their homes uttering “fie, fie”

Bajaranggir was deeply pained upon seeing Baba’s act. Baba distributed all the food to the poor and the destitute people without caring for his feelings. Baba, even though he was a brahmin himself, took a seemingly harsh stand. When Bajaranggir expressed his agony on account of the brahmins leaving unfed, Baba said, “All the creatures in the universe have the same right.”

“Someone gets a sweet wheaten pancake, while the other 
 Does not get even a piece of flat bread
 Is this to be termed as Annadanam, 
 as Lord Vasudev resides in every being?
 If brahmins were born of God, then did the ghosts prepare the food?
 If everyone says God is one, then where is the difference?
 If God were to discriminate, would he eat with saint Chokha Mela?
 God does not discriminate between ‘mine’ and ‘yours’,
 Just as the sun who is the same to all”

Saying so, he quit the monastery of Siddheshwara and came to a pond at Panchdhara near Pulgaon, jumped into the pond and sat underwater in deep meditation. At noon, he used to come out of the pond and sit on the sandy bank. When Bajaranggir could not find Manya, he came to Pulgaon in search of him, but could not find him anywhere. At last, a cowherd told him that a crazy-looking fellow, without clothes on his person, was seen coming out of the pond at noon, resting on the sandy bank and going underwater again. The cowherd told him that he regularly observed him following the same routine. Upon listening to his words, Bajaranggir waited near the pond till noon and saw Baba emerging out of the pond at noon. Baba sat in the sand blissfully unaware of his corporeal state and surroundings. It was the God who looked after the well being of one, who had attained an incorporeal state. Bajaranggir importuned him to return to Siddheshwara monastery again. There were many wounds on Baba’s head, which were cured by applying the holy ash regularly. Bajaranggir, being old and tired, left his mortal body, soon thereafter. After Bajaranggir expired, Baba returned to Baggi, went to Ramji again and asked him, “Ramya, would you give me some room?” Ramji offered him the room and Baba started to stay there again.

The wife of Raghoba Joshi from Baggi was a great devotee of Baba. Once, while wandering Baba came near Joshi’s residence. When Joshi’s wife learnt that Baba was nearby, she rushed to visit him and prostrated at his feet; promptly Baba hit her with a staff. When Divanji learnt about this incident, he spoke to Baba irreverently, dragged him and beat him with a staff. However, Joshi interfered and freed Baba immediately. Joshi’s wife was cured of her ailment following this pastime, however within six months Divanji was afflicted with leprosy. His fingers and toes decayed and pus started to ooze out of the wounds. His family members drove him out and he started to wander like a crazy fellow and started to beg. It was a retribution for his evil action. Later his son too died. As he had tormented a saint, he suffered the violent rage of God. No remedy is available in the world to alleviate the sorrows of those who attract the displeasure of saints. The saints and the ascetics bear the torture, harassment and humiliation without any complaints. But even they become helpless if misfortunes befall someone following the rage of God.

Manirambaba asked Ramji to tell everyone that he would leave for Vaikuntha on the 7th day of the bright fortnight of Kartika. Accordingly, Ramji informed everyone. The devotees from afar came to visit him. He said to Ramji, “Ramya make all the preparations.” He asked all of them to loudly acclaim Lord ShriHari and chant His holy name. He said, “Nobody should grieve.” Ramji bathed him with warm water and seated him on his seat. Baba asked Ramji to sit beside him and empowered him. Baba placed Ramji’s hand on his own bosom and said, “You are the heir to this throne. Take care of my begging sack and my staff. This is my everlasting wealth with you.” Saying so, Baba offered his obeisance to mother earth thrice and asked the devotees to loudly acclaim Lord Ramachandra. He sat in the lotus posture and with the yogic powers entered into the final communion with God. It was the 8th day of the bright fortnight of Kartika in 1915. Baba merged with the Supreme Self, Sachchidananda. All the devotees decided to inter him on the bank of the river Chandrabhaga. His mortal body was placed in a chariot and a procession was taken out. The procession moved to the accompaniment of loud chants of the holy names of God; fragrant powders were being sprinkled over the chariot from all over. The chariot arrived at the designated spot and his mortal remains were interred there and a Samadhi temple was constructed.[[Category:Hindu saints}}



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