Shri Sadguru Manik Prabhu Maharaj
The great mystic saint and yogi Shri Manik Prabhu Maharaj (1817-1865) is hailed as the fourth incarnation of Lord Dattatreya and has an enormous following in the country. Shri Saibaba of Shirdi, Shri Akkalkot Swami Maharaj, and Shri Gondavalekar Maharaj were Shri Prabhu’s contemporaries and they interacted with him on matters of deep spiritual wisdom. Shri Prabhu was also associated with the first war of Indian independence in 1857. All biographers refer to Shri Prabhu as a saint of great spirituality and mysticism. He is hailed as ‘Bhaktakarya Kalpadruma’. Stories of his miracles and eye witness accounts, which bear testimony to the manner in which he brought succor to the distressed and the sorrowing, to the afflicted and the wronged, who, ardently and with deep faith sought his spiritual intervention are available.Shri Prabhu?s teaching, basically, lay stress on the path of Bhakti. Alongside, he moralizes in the most remarkable manner on the Vedantic Truths concerning the Spiritual Unity? of beings.
Shri Prabhu uses his theological platform beautifully, to unfold, interpret and even reason out the concept of Ultimate Reality. His innumerable poetic compositions are replete with expressions of ardent devotion to the different manifestations of Parabrahma. In the final analysis, he enjoins a meaningful connection between man and man, in a spirit of fellowship and brotherhood, disregarding affiliations of religions, castes, and creeds. Such a philosophy invited messianic reverence for Shri Prabhu from all communities and earned him the appellation ‘Sakalamatacharya’. Sakalmata Sampradaya is not a cult or a sect. It is a holistic and all-embracing school of philosophy, which basically rests on the concept of a Supreme Soul that pervades the Universe and in that context perceives a spiritual unity in the entire human race. This school of thought holds an umbrella of equality overall diversities of religions, faiths, and persuasions. Such a philosophy was readily acceptable to people of all religions, castes or creeds, and to rich and poor, as it held the promise of harmony among all people, transcending all barriers that produced conflicts.