Back of the Book:
From ancient times, India has had the privilege of having given birth to many saints and holy persons. They have appeared at different times and in different regions of this great country. However, unfamiliarity with the regional language sometimes causes awareness of their existence and of their deeds to remain restricted only to the region where they have spent their hallowed live.
This book presents short sketches of the lives of Five Holy Men who, though no longer living now, have a considerable following amongst people. Brief information about the places associated with each of them is also given, for the benefit of those to whom it may be of interest.
Dr. Hemant Bambawale is a medical graduate. After working for some years in the Medical Division of the Bhabha Atomic Research Center, he set up independent practice in 1970 as a family physician in Pune. Now retired, he spends his time in reading and writing. His areas of special interest are human psychology, stress management, and meditation.
India is often described as a poor country. There is no doubt that from an economic point of view, she is way behind some of the more affluent countries of the world. But looked at from another angle, India is one of the richest countries on earth. She has an abundant spiritual heritage, which finds expression in the continuous succession of saints and holy persons India has given birth to, from ancient times to the present day. This phenomenon is not restricted to any particular region of this land; every part of this country has contributed at one time or another to this great tradition. Some of these saints and holy persons are widely and universally known, for example, Sant Dnyaneshwar, Tukaram, Kabir, Ramana Maharshi and Sai Baba, to name a few. There have been many others who are not so widely known, perhaps because barriers imposed by language have kept their particular spheres of influence localised to the regions where they were born and spent their lives. Yet their compassion and concern was for all humanity. During their lifetimes they exerted a profound influence on the lives of ordinary human beings, and they continue to do so even now when they are no longer amongst us. They are looked upon by their devotees as Divine Beings, and are revered and worshipped by them with sincere faith and devotion.
The lives of five such holy men in whom many people place their faith are briefly outlined in the following pages, along with some information about the places that have assumed significance because of their association with them. In choosing to write about these holy men, it is not my intention to specially eulogise any particular individual, or sect, or philosophy. To me all saints and holy persons of any religion or sect are equally great. My only aim here has been to try and learn more about five such holy men, and to present it briefly in a simple and informative manner for the benefit of those who may wish to know something about them.
In sketching the life histories these holy persons I have taken the help of many books and publications that deal with their lives in greater detail. I acknowledge my indebtness to and express my gratitude to the authors and publishers of the books I have consulted, a list of which is attached in the end.
I also wish to express my sincere thanks to the many persons who have been of immense help to me in various ways, and particularly to Shri A.N. Satyanarayana and Smt. Heera Satyanarayana, Shri Nitin and Smt. Roopa Deshpande, Shri Pradip and Smt. Smita Phadke, Shri Vijay Phadke, and Sri Rajendra Tambekar. Without their kind and generous help the writing of this book would not have been possible.
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