Revered Dada Bhagwat - (1921 - 1991)
A Brief Life Sketch And Outline of His Work
Period From 1921 to 1942

Revered Dada was born in the town of Satara in the State of Maharashtra on the 6th February 1921. For well over three generations prior to his birth, the Bhagwats had been following and practicing the worship of the Datta cult. While yet a child he came into contact with a saintly personage by the name of Teli Maharaj and this incident together with the initiation by his father into Sufi cult very early in his life seems to have influenced the subsequent course of Dada's career. These were very probably the indicators of the guidance which Revered Dada was destined to receive in future from esteemed Sufi Saints. Before Dada's birth the Bhagwat family was known for its all round prosperity in that region. But fortunately or unfortunately soon after Dada's birth his father's business suddenly collapsed owing to unforeseen events and the family fell upon evil times. Dada instinctively felt that there was some malevolent force operating behind all this and that at the same time there must also be an unseen benevolent power existing in this universe. Convinced of the existence of such a benevolent power he made a determined resolution to find it out.

Period From 1942 to 1960

In 1942, in the course of World War 2nd, Dada enlisted himself in the British Indian army. Joining the army provided him with an apportunity to visit holy Sufi pilgrimage centres in Baghdad and Karbala. On 7th March 1949 Dada got married. Soon thereafter when Datta worship was still going on Dada began receiving mystical signals that he should devote the rest of his life to the service of Shri Sai Baba. Obeying the commands of Shri Sainath, Dada gave up his job in the army just three years after his marriage and proceeded to the holy pilgrimage centre of Audumber engaging himself in penance for two and half years subsisting all this while only on Madhukari (Begging for food from five different houses and surviving on whatever one gets therefrom). In 1956, on the auspicious day of Dasara, he founded the Shri Sai Adhyatmik Samiti and set up a work centre at Dadar - Mumbai in a residential mansion called Hemkunj and later another in 1959 in Ajinkya Mansion on Hughes Road also in Mumbai. Both of these centres were functioning until 1967. By adopting the Siddha - Siddhant - paddhati (the system as conceived and proven by Ancient sages which has come down traditionally from Guru to disciple as doctrine) of the Natha Cult, Dada relieved the sufferings of countless beings through the medium of Kamkaj. In this task he received divine inspiration from the venerable saint Shri Haji Baba of Kalyan.

Period From 1960 to 1967

In the course of the period from 1960 to 1967, the Sufi Saints, with a view to making the faculty of reasoning of the devotees on such subjects as birth and creation, flawless, gave a series of Mulakhts (discourses) through the medium of Dada. In 1962 the venerable Sufi Saint Moiuddin Chisti of Ajmer directed Dada to approach Pant Maharaj of Balekundri near Belgaon to seek his guidance for perfecting the Bhakti Sadhana or Aarti Sadhana. Dada duly obeyed this command and successfully accomplished the perfection of Bhakti Sadhana through the grace of Pant Maharaj by paying visits to his Samadhi at Balekundri near Belgaon.

It was during this period that Dada ensured the liberation of devotees from the five Rinanubandhas or bondages arising out of Janma Karma (actions in the given birth) , Janmajanmantar (actions accumulated in the series of previous birth in the course of cycle of birth and deaths), Matrupitru Rina (obligations owed to one's parents during present and previous births), Itarejan (ties one had with persons outside his / her family.) and Devadik (obligations owed to gods and goddesses) by performing, in accordance with the Shastras (Sacred Scriptural texts), such rites and rituals as Vamshavimochan (expiatory rites to liberate family lineage), Karmavimochan (expiatory rites for cleaning past karmas), and Rinmochan (rites for expiating any possible debts or obligations arising out of bondages). Benefits of Upasana Diksha (initiation in the proper method of worship), Namasmaran Diksha (correct way of reciting the mantra Om Shri Sainathay Namah ), Anugraha Diksha (way to acquire Guru's Grace) and Guru Diksha (initiation into the Guru Marg), also accrued to devotees. However, a majority of the devotees used to approach Dada for Kamkaj in the fond belief that Kamkaj was his principal work and hence used to participate in his activities. But then unless there are followers, good work one does, cannot be brought to the notice of the public at large. By the same token, unless people's problems and difficulties are done away with followers cannot be attached. It was perhaps the complexity of this situation which compelled Dada to bide his time patiently before he could put a total stop to Kamkaj and prescribe Sadhana Triad as the one and the only path of attaining spiritual development.

Period From 1967 to 1977

On the 6th of August 1967,at the bidding of his Guru, Dada left for London. There he visited the Spiritual Association of Great Britain The Spiritual Powers he demonstrated there through his Sadhana Triad made a deep impact on the Directors of that Association. In the very first few meetings the Directors realised that Dada was a medium that had attained a high degree of spiritual powers But after a sojourn of only nine months in London, Dada returned to India at the behest of Shri Sai Baba, declining to accept a large amount of honorarium offered by that Association. Sadly during his absence the work at the centres in Mumbai had fallen into utter confusion due to the ineptitude of those in charge, causing much distress to Dada. With great difficulty, Dada managed to make temporary arrangements for the work - centre in a mansion called Kartavya Sadan at Bandra in Mumbai thereafter acquiring an independent premises of its own for the centre in 1969 in Bandra itself in a building named Laxmi - Narayan. This centre was functioning until 1993.

Period From 1977 to 1989

Dnyana Sadhana perfected through Mulakhatis while in an inspired State and Bhakti Sadhana perfected through the guidance and blessings of Pant Maharaj of Balekundri constituted the first two parts of the Sadhana Triad. On 30 th June 1977, Shri Sainath Maharaj bade Dada to put a stop to Kamkaj and take up the work of accomplishing and perfecting the third and the final part of the Sadhana Triad. With that objective in mind Dada organised between 1979 and 1983 a series of eight Residencial workshops at an interval of every six months at Shiroda in Goa in the course of which Omkar Sadhana was perfected thus completing the Sadhana Triad. Meanwhile on 27th October 1982, on the auspicious day of Dasara Shri Sai Shak 1 was started to mark the commencement of the Manavata Yug or the age of Welfare of Mankind.

For Vimochanas, Diksha Vidhis and daily Sadhana, Dada had already established Shri Sai Adhyatmik Samitee. On the auspicious day of Akshay Tritiya of Shri Sai Shak 3, in the year 1985, Dada took a further step in pursuit of promoting human welfare. That was the foundation of Shri Sai Swadhyaya Mandal Trust. The main object of the Trust was to provide financial assistance to the needy for education, medical aid and other social purposes while ensuring at the same time that the Trust funds were properly utilised and accounted for. During this period Sadhaks also benefited by acquiring knowledge of Karan and Mahakaran Dikshas. (These Dikshas deal with the cause and purpose of a person's birth.)

Dada now decided to establish the Seat of Adishakti of the universe, from whom sprang all the gods and goddesses I. e. Utapatti (creation), Sthiti (preservation), Laya (perfection) in the context of the welfare of mankind and not destruction as understood commonly). In this task he was guided and assisted by the holy personages of the Datta - Nath - Suffi cults. Performing all the requisite rites and rituals as prescribed in the scriptural texts, Dada established Shri Shaktipeeth in the premises bearing the name Shri Saidham at Parvarim in Goa, not far from Panajim, on Thursday the 14 th April 1983 which happened to be Chaitra Pratipada. The Shaktipeeth has the potential to enable Sadhak to integrate and concentrate physical, spiritual and Guru Shaktis at the point of his Brahmarandhra (the aperture, supposed to be at the crown of one's head, through which the soul takes its flight on death) and dedicate himself / herself with body and soul to the promotion of humanity's welfare thereby fulfilling the purpose of his /her life. In short, a Sadhak can transform himself into a Shaktipeeth and function accordingly by practicing the given Sadhana religiously.

Period From 1989 to 1991

Over time ,Revered Dada's work was not being carried out as per his dictates. The Sadhana Triad he had perfected was indeed a part of the Divine design which many of his followers failed to understand. Failing to grasp its import, they began restoring to Kamkaj which Revered Dada had stopped in the year 1977.

It may be interesting to note here the following incident which occurred in 1952. That year Dada had gone to Shirdi to pay obeisance at the Samadhi of his Revered Guru. On the occasion, he also called upon Shri Abdul Baba, one of the leading living disciple of Shri Sai Baba. Shri Abdul Baba handed over to Revered Dada an earthen pot filled with 'Udi' or the 'sacred ash' saying that Shri Sai Baba had entrusted it to him two years prior to his Samadhi instructing him to preserve it carefully and hand it over as his treasured gift to one of his beloved sons who would call upon him (i. e. Abdul Baba) at some future date. Shri Sai Baba took Samadhi in 1918 and the pot was left to the care of Shri Abdul Baba two years prior to it when Revered Dada was not even born. He was born in 1921. This means that after a patient wait of nearly 35 years Shri Abdul Baba passed on the pot of Udi to Revered Dada instinctively realising that this man was none other than the 'beloved Son' mentioned by Shri Sainath. Such was then the 'Divine Design' behind Dada's accomplishments in the spiritual realm. Our principal object in understanding these labours is to bring home to all concerned that the practice of Sadhana Triad, as perfected by Revered Dada, could be a panacea bringing them, in the process, everlasting happiness and contentment.

Nirvana : By the year 1989 Revered Dada had successfully completed the process of perfecting the Sadhana Triad thereby bringing about a harmonious blending of Datta - Nath - Sufi cults. After that during the last year and a half of his life owing to several strokes and severe penance and austerities that he had to undertake, his health rapidly declined and at last on Jyeshtha Vadya panchami i. e., on Tuesday the 2nd July 1991 Revered Dada left his mortal frame and took refuge at the sacred feet of his Revered Guru Shri Sainath Maharaj.