Sadguru Sant Shri Ram Maruti Maharaj is considered one amongst the foremost and eminent saints in Maharashtra. He was the contemporary Saint who lived during the period of Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi. Shri Ram Maruti Maharaj was born on Bhadrapada Shuddha Navami in the year 1856 at a village named Pen in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. His family name was Deshpande.
The maternal uncle of Maharaj’s father, Shri Madhavrao was an ardent devotee of Shri Balmukund Swami. Once Shri Balmukund Swami happened to visit Shri Madahvrao’s house to enquire as to why Madhavraoji was not visiting the Mutt at Kandewadi, Mumbai. The visit of Shri Balmukund Swami was a complete surprise to Madhavraoji. He explained the grave situation within his family, in particular the ailment of Rajaramji (father of Shri Ram Maruti Maharaj).
As he mentioned that the birth of Shri Maharaj was on Mool Nakshatra, his mother Sitamayee placed the child at the feet of Shri Balmukund Swami, who first placed his hands on his father’s (Rajaramji’s) head and said - “this child is mine, keep him with you as a Prasad given by me and I will take him back at the right time”
From childhood, Shri Maharaj was deep into bhakti marg, and used to sit in a meditation pose even during school hours. When the pundits used to read kirtans and shlokas, Maharaj asked several queries for which the pundits had no answer. During his childhood he used to put his legs inside a sack and kept his forehead on a Shivaling to perform meditation. Once during his meditation, Maharaj heard a distant voice asking him to come to Shri Balmukund Swami at Mumbai. When Maharaj heard that Madhavraoji was visiting Balmukund Swami, he insisted on taking him along with Madhavraoji. Swami took Shri Maharaj on his lap, and then onwards Maharaj regularly started visiting the Mutt and sometimes also stayed at the mutt. During his visits, Shri Maharaj was bestowed by his Master the Rama Nama mantra.
The 22 names in his bhasha (language) were; 1.Shrirama 2. Jairama 3. Jaijairama 4.Ramachandra 5.Raghuveera 6. Raghupathi 7.Shivashakar 8.Bhima Shankar 9.Harahara mahadev 10.Shiva Shiva 11.Vithalah 12.Vithoba 13. Panduranga 14.Govinda 15. Gopala 16.Ganapati 17. Hari 18. Gopalakrishna 19. Harinarayana 20. Dathathreya 21.Maruti 22.Bala bheema
An interesting episode took place in Shri Balmukund Swamiji’s Ashram when a group of devotees started their usual Bhajan. At the same time, one of swami’s disciples at “Shri Kshethra Kashi” was taking a dip in the Ganges by chanting the name of Shri Balmukund Swamiji and he suddenly started drowning in the Ganges. By seeing this incident, through Swami’s spiritual eye (divya drushti), Swamiji suddenly looked at Shri Ram Maruti Maharaj and conveyed the then happening incident in the river Ganges and his intent and mission to save the disciple. Through his subtle form Maharaj traveled to Kashi and rescued him. At the Ashram, all the devotees where shocked seeing Maharaj in fully wet clothes. Shri Balmukund Swami smiled and told everybody at the ashram that Maharaj had been to Kashi. Later on, Shri Balmukund Swami received a letter from the same disciple at Kashi informing him that Shri Ram Maruti Maharaj saved his life. Thus people came to know why Maharaj was wet during the Bhajan.
At times, Maharaj’s face, resembled like Lord Hanuman. Maharaj always chanted “Ram naam” and sometimes used to jump high like Lord Hanuman. During meditation in Lotus posture (Padmasana), Maharaj used to literally lift his body two feet high from the floor. Shri Ram Maruti Maharaj held the fruits offered to him like Lord Hanuman.
Another incident which is worth mentioning is as follows: Sai Mahabhakta Sagun Meru Naik was running a mess in Shirdi with a noble intention that Sai devotees need not run here and there for the sake of food. Baba used to address Sagun Meru Naik as "Thaki". One day Sagun Meru Naik had come for Baba's darshan. Baba was calm and quite till then. But no sooner Sagun Meru Naik entered Dwarakamai, Baba started showering abuses at him saying: "what do I have. You don't behave in the way I have told you. Get out of here and don't come in". Sagun Meru Naik was taken aback and started analysing what wrong he did that made Baba abuse him like that. Thinking like that in mind, he turned back and stepped out of Dwarakamai. As he was walking back thinking about Baba's abuses, suddenly a thought came to his mind that somebody might be hungery and that is the reason why Baba might be angry with him. When he was walking towards his mess, he noticed two persons sitting near Dixit Wada corner. One of them was chanting Ram Maruti. Sagun Meru immediately recognized him to be Ram Maruti Buva and also realized at once that both of them are hungry. Sagun Meru took both of them to the mess and fed them with lunch. The same evening, when Sagun Meru Naik again went to Dwarakamai for Baba's darshan, Baba suddenly told him "Now did you understand what I was trying to tell you in the morning". Sagun Meru apologized and promised Baba that he will not commit such blunder in futue.
Yet another incident worth mentioning is as follows. On 18th January 1912 Sai Baba suddenly caught hold of Saint Ram Maruti and lifted him at the Dwarakamai Masjid. Ram Maruti felt as if he was in heaven at that time (ref: Shri Sai Sannidhi by Ekkirala Bharadwaja).
Shri.Ram Maruti Maharaj stopped speaking with people after 35 years and started observing "Moun Vrat". He had acquired all the spiritual powers. He used to float in the air during Padmasan.
Shri Sant Ram Maruti Maharaj took “Samadhi” on 28th September 1918 i.e., Bhadrapad Krishna Paksha Navami at 5.15 am during the Mahalaya Month.
Shri Sant Ram Maruti Samadhi Sansthan, Kalyan was strated 3 years after Shri Ram Maruti Maharaj took Samadhi i.e., in the year 1921. There is an interesting anecdote related to the construction of the temple. Once, one of the closest disciples of Maharaj Sri Sadguru Shantaram bhau Jaivant ji’s (from Bhivandi) disciple Shri Kalidas visited the Samadhi of Maharaj for darshan. He found that the Samadhi was uncovered and he took his umbrella and covered the Samadhi and declared that he will not move unless the Samadhi is covered.
Ram Maruti Maharaj Mandir
By noticing this incident, the devotees from Kongaon-Kalyan (Kumbhar Samaj), Sri Jetaraja, Jiva Narayan ji and others initiated the construction of a temporary shade. Later on in 1925, the civil work was started for the construction ofthe Mandir. It was renovated later in the year 1970 under the direction of Sant Shri Gajanan Maharaj Pattekar of Thane. Later on it was the desire of the devotees to have a marble statue of Shri Maurti Maharaj in the Mandir and the same was installed on 19th April 2009 with 3 days of celebration.
Charitable activities of the Trust:
The Mandir-Sanstha also provides text books and note books for SSC Students free of cost to children from economically backward families.
Festivals/Events Celebrated by the Trust:
Shri Ram Maruti Maharaj Jayanti on bhadrapada Shudha Navami.
Shri Sant Rammaruti Samadhi Sansthan Kalyan accepts donation from philanthropic donors for the successful running of the Samadhi Temple and day to day social service activities. Donations can be sent by way of Cheque/DD to the below mentioned bank account. Devotees can also make payment using NEFT/RTGS facility.
(Source: Shri.Shirish Anant Gadkari, Trustee, Shri Sant Ram Maruti Samadhi Sansthan, Kalyan, Shri Sai Leela Magazine - November-December 2011).