Sadguru Kalavati Aai
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Mata Kalavati Aai
was born to the pious parents Smt. Sitabai and Mr.Shantaram Kalyanpurkar of Karwar,Karnataka State,India.Mr.Shantaram had a dream of Goddess Durga informing about her incarnating in his family. Soon thereafter in 1908, Holy Mother was born at the auspicious time on the day of Rushi Panchami in the month of Bhadrapad.She was named as "Rukmabai".
As she grew,she exhibited amazing maturity and patience unusual for her age.She had gracious manners and a very selfless nature.At the age of five she was able to sing bhajans in four different languages like- Marathi, Kannada, Hindi, and Gujarati. As a child her games differed from other kids'. She enjoyed playing with the favorite toys ie idols of different deities-Ram, Krishna, Ganesh, etc.
At the sea shore,she used to make a huge Shivalinga and would be engrossed in worshipping it for hours together. The idol of Shri. Krishna,which she had,totally stole her heart.The whole day she used to be around the idol getting fully-absorbed for hours in His devotion.She would clad Him with colorful dresses and ornaments.
She used to collect flowers from the garden to make garlands for Him.She called children to join her in bhajans and told them stories from Hindu mythology about the great sages and saints.
She never missed a single opportunity of religious activity, selfless service or any spiritual events in the town.She performed difficult religious tasks such as "Kartik-snanam",which involves,everyday taking a dip in the holy pond,early dawn, in chilly cold winter.
At the age of seven she met a great Sanyasi [monk] by the name "Swami Purnananda Saraswati".She was blessed with his company for many days.He was very much impressed by her profound devotion. At the time of departing,he turned to her father and said,"Your child is none other than divine Incarnate born for spiritual upliftment of masses.She will retire from her family life and shake off all social fetters at a young age of 19.
Thus from the age of seven to fourteen,Rukmabai laid down for herself a strong spiritual foundation.At the age of 15 she married Shri Rajgopal Mallapurkar,a police inspector from Kadur in south Arcot district. On their way back they took a break at Hubli to have the darshan of the great Saint "Shri Siddharudh Swami". The Swami blessed the couple.
The Guru at this time gave her the initiation in the mahamantra of 'Om Namah Shivay'. Within the first two months of her husband's death serial tragedies hit her one after other.She lost her father in law and her own dear father in succession.
She lived with bare minimum needs. Initially she managed to live on just one sari. When the Guru came to know about it he gave her a pair of saries. She restricted her food and drinks habits. Sometimes she went without food for a week. The Guru was very much pleased with her virtues. in 1928,on the day of Dassera,the Guru honoured her,by giving her seat beside him on the dais,in a huge gathering.The Guru honoured her by wrapping a shawl around her shoulders and gave her 'Prasadam' to eat and named her as 'Kalavati Devi.'
She was then asked to give a spiritual discourse,to which she promptly responded and spoke on a hymn 'Naam Sankeertan sadhan pai sope' (chanting the holy name and singing the praises of the Lord-the easiest way to salvation.).She spoke for 2 1/2 hours very authoritatively when everybody was mismerised with her blessed discourse. One day while she was doing bhajans she became very restless and emotional with eyes full of tears longing to see God. She wanted nothing but God,otherwise life was worthless to live anymore. Aai's Guru, Paramahans Siddharudh Maharaj
The Guru walked into her room and no sooner had he placed his graceful hands on her head,she plunged into a superconcious state (Samadhi). This was her first mystical experience of absolute union with absolute reality. Very soon the Guru informed her about his decision to give up his body and instructed her to do twelve years of Keertan Seva (spread the Gospel) touring different places.
At the end of twelve years settle down at Angol, Belgaum. At the end of her solitary retreat she visited her Guru's Ashram on the holy day of Mahashivratri.Here she accepted the invitation of Mrs. H. Narayanrao, wife of a principal in Madras to visit her home in Bangalore.
Her first keertan was held in a woman's club there.The secretary of the club made the usual enquiry of the honorarium for the services.Devi smiled and said "As per my Guru's orders I charge no fees.
I am doing this as a selfless service to God,however if you listen to me with full attention and excuse me for any lapses I would consider this itself a gift".
She thus moved from place to place spreading the divine love.Once at 'Saraswati Sabha' in Madras at the end of the Keertan,she was offered a gift of a gold coin, by a doctor named Keshav Pai.
She refused to it,saying that it would be against the principles of her Guru.She also declined offer of Rs.75,000/- by a Lingayat grocer in Nanjangarh a private house by a childless Marwari couple in Kolhapur.
She moved from place to place spreading the divine love.In 1942 she concluded her 'Keertan Seva' of 12 years,during which she happened to be in Belgaum for the Ramnavami festival. During extensive travel,she faced many difficulties.The Guru rescued her all the times in the guise of a stranger either as 'Gurunath Hublikar 'or 'Siddhappa Hublikar'. Thus her life bears ample testimony to the fact that He protects those who have real faith in Him.
At this time,a person named Mr. M Shivrao,had a divine dream asking him to present a piece of land in Angol Belgaum to Kalavati Devi.He came looking for her here and told her about his dream. Though initially she did not accept it, she accepted it when she received similar instructions. On this land she built an Ashram called ' Shri Harimandir '. She compiled bhajans of different saints in a book called 'Parmartha Marg Pradeep' and taught her devotees to sing in appropriate melodious tunes.
To a common man she taught how to spiritualise their daily lives.She formed a special prayer booklet called 'Balopasana' for children which has become very popular.Though illiterate (she had education only upto 3 rd std. in Kannada) she would throw a flood of marvelous light upon the obscurest corners of Indian scriptures (Vedas, Puranas) and bring out fundamental principles in such simplicity and clarity that even a lay man could understand it.
Thus all kind of people,laymen to intellectuals of both sexes and all ages would attend her discourses in large numbers.The discipline as taught by the holy mother is so commendable that even a gathering of 25,000 people is handled without any commotion or chaos and decorum maintained.
She taught how to use time and money efficiently so that enough time is spared to pursue higher spiritual goals.She also taught the dignity of labour.She had a great respect for nature and showed her devotees how to nurture nature and use its resources sparingly.
Soon,she became the Saint of whole household.She preached equality and people of all caste and creed attended her prayers and no distinction was made.A person walking in hot sun enjoys to rest in the shade of a tree.Similarly,the people restless in life find the utmost peace after visiting her.The peaceful, silent and clean atmosphere impresses the visitor the most.
The holy darshan (divine grace) of Kalavati Aai was a blessed event for all.Her face was full of radiance and magnanimity.Her eyes were bright and lustrous.She had a very mismerising expression and smile on her face.
Her motherly affection touched the hearts of her devotees.Her presence was a heaven.The peace and bliss from her darshan would leave a lasting impression on devotees.She breathed her last uttering the name of 'Krishna ' at an age of 70 years on 8th Feb.1978. A samadhi according to Hindu religious tradition was constructed at the place of her burial in the prayer hall.
It is noteworthy that even during this difficult period of mourning punctuality of the prayers was maintained. This was according to the teachings of holy mother to stick to prayers during all the ordeals in life. Holy mother has written books which serve as excellent guidelines to divine truth.