Extract from the letter written by Shree Maharaj to Shri Seetarambuwa Walawalkar, Sawarde dated September 17, 1960 printed in the Marathi book ‘Tuchi Baap Dhani’
Received your letters (and) got the contents thereof. I am in Mumbai at present and it appears that I may have to be in Mumbai for another 20-22 days. Work of casting of Shree’s idols has been undertaken here and I shall not be able to leave (from here) unless it is completed. Thereafter Shree’s Birthday – annual celebrations will be held on 2nd , 3rd and 4th November 1960 at Shree’s Samadhi mandir, Pune. Hence the schedule will be hectic. Thereafter preparations for the death anniversary celebrations of Shree Sant Digambarbaba will have to be done. After having done all that, I am thinking of coming there in the beginning of month of Pausha.
You have informed that the tin of oil given for lighting nanda-deep (sacred lamp) in Swami Math is about to bottom out. (You may) Purchase a new tin of oil, open it and take one seer of oil out of the tin. Thereafter mix up one seer of bitter-oil (non-edible) in that entire tin and then hand over the tin to Shreepad. Then the nanda-deep will be lighted regularly before Shree Swami and the oil will not be used for cooking purpose.
You will certainly make all the preparations as usual for the anniversary celebrations of Shree Digambarbaba. Let me know by (your) mail about all the preparations that you are going to make there. You are well aware of all the arrangements that need to be done every year. Shri Vasant Shembekar will also come for the celebrations, eight days prior. Please inform at his residence that his tailoring course is going on well and that his health is okay.
Now, clarification about the land of four Gunthas which belongs to Math:
- At the time of Revision Survey the Surveyors had asked you as to who had built this Math and you had answered that you have built the Math with the assistance from people. They have noted it. Brochure issued about Shree Sant Digambarbaba was issued in your name. Receipts issued for the Donations received for Math were signed by you alone. Entire expenses were done at your hands and you have been doing (all the arrangements and expenses for) the anniversary celebrations since inception for the last about ten years. Many people will record (their statements as) witnesses for the purpose if necessary.
- Shri Raghunath Neelkanth Shembekar, USER, Shree Datta Sthan, has not helped (you) in this, in any way and there is no proof (of his help) available in this regard. In the past some whispers that ‘this Sthan belongs to us and that it has been given to us’ were being heard and the members of ruling clans of the village are well aware of it. Since inception you have placed Tulsi Vrindavan and Maruti, on the piece of land where final rites of Shree Digambarbaba were performed. The fact that when shelter over Maruti was removed by his son at that time and now during the last two years you personally tried to resolve the issue with compromise if necessary with the help of members from the ruling clans of the village as arbitrators, is known to all of them. You are cultivator-user (tenant of the land) for the last ten years. You have dug the well solely by yourself. All the compound construction, sowing of trees etc. in the Devadatta Sthan is done at your hands. Till 1956 you were cultivating the entire land of Shree Devadatta Sthan at your own and at the expenses of the Sthan. Subsequently you had given it up because it was physically impossible for you and due to the enmity developed. It is also known to everybody that you have not received any salary for the developmental work that you did at the Sthan either from the Devasthan or from the user or from Shree Sant Digambarbaba.
- The fact, that when Original Samadhi Mandir was constructed at that time all the things were done with the permission and express consent of the USER Shri Raghunath Neelkanth Shembekar, is known to everybody. Besides you had preserved the ashes (bones) of Shree Sant Digambarbaba as his ‘initiated disciple’ and those ashes were ‘purified’ by chanting of prescribed Mantras, two days prior to the first anniversary celebrations, through the priest and USER Shri Raghunath Neelkanth Shembekar for which he was given separate Dakshina (money for performing the ceremony) and thereafter the ashes (bones) were filled in a small copper vessel and the vessel (Asthi – kalash) was placed in Samadhi at the hands of the priest, Shri Shembekar. You are also in the know that right from the first year and until last year he has been attending ‘Kirtan’ done on the occasion of Death anniversary celebrations. He has been sitting outside the function hall and I have been personally calling him inside at night and arranging to offer him Prasad (sacred meals served every year). He has been continuing to do all these things until today from which it is evident that he has his tacit consent for Samadhi Mandir, from then and till now. Every year his son Balu has been actively participating in the celebrations which show that he also has his consent. His sons Wasu, Kamalya, son-in-law Hadap and daughter Venu were all present for the first Utsav. Shri Wasudeo’s wife has been working for the Utsav every year whenever she was in Sawarda (village). Vessels other material, carpets (for sitting arrangements) etc. of Devadatta Sthan was being used for the Utsav until all such things were purchased for Samadhi Mandir. It is evident from all these things that they had their consent for constructing Samadhi Mandir of Shree Sant Digambarbaba.
- Shree Datta Devasthan i.e. Swami’s Math constructed by Shree Sant Digambarbaba has been constructed as a public property by collecting (monetary) assistance from the public.
- Ganjewale Bhandari from Koldhari has paid money at the time of purchasing the estate.
- Bogus (false) charge of Debt has been shown on the estate at that time. If the charge is real, written evidence of such debt be produced as a proof.
- Shri Tulsaram a person from fishermen’s’ community gave stone and money for PADUKA. Shri Durafe (Narayanrao) from Junnar paid money for the construction of well. Money for the purchase of Vessels and carpets for sitting arrangements was given as ‘Bhiksha’ by the people in Mumbai and from other places.
- While Shree Sant Digambarbaba was alive he used to bear himself all the expenses for farming activity. Besides user Shri Raghunath Neelkanth Shembekar’s (son-in-law of Digambarbaba) House, Shed for cattle and Storage for grains were repaired and entirely reconstructed by Shri Digambarbaba and there is no evidence in writing of having repaid the cost thereof.
- When you stopped going for Madhukari (asking for cooked food from house to house) Shree Sant Digambarbaba had summoned Shri Raghunath Neelkanth Shembekar and had told him that that the land of one acre and 24 Gunthas from the small compound is given to Shri Seetarambuva as Bhiksha as his Bhiksha has stopped.
- Shri Narso Govind Chinchalkar had submitted an application that this portion of land should not be shown in the name of Shri Raghunath Neelkanth Shembekar as owner in revenue records. The vendors from whom the land was purchased Shri Madhavrao Chinchalkar and his wife have thereafter in persuasion of the application submitted in writing before the Mamlatdar and S.D.O. that, this land was offered by them for ShreeDatta Devasthan. It is clear from this that the land is owned by ShreeDatta Devasthan.
- Shree Sant Digambarbaba has not made any will or any other Registered Document hence there is no question of any hereditary rights.
- Shreesant Digambarbaba has appointed Shri Raghunath Neelkanth Shembekar as user hence he is not the owner but simply USER (of the land).
- ShreeDatta Devasthan’s entire estate is funded by public hence the Government should think of establishing Public Trust of ShreeDatta Devasthan and since this fact has not been brought to the notice of The Charity Commissioner by the ‘USER’ for the last ten years after the death of Shree Digambarbaba hence the Government should ask for the income and accounts from the USER and get it examined.
Now your own SAY is as under
- Shree Sant Digambarbaba’s Samadhi Mandir and the Maruti Mandir and Tulsi Vrindavan on the land on which last rites of Shree Digambarbaba were performed have been constructed by Seetarambuwa Walawalkar from the amount of money he received as ‘Bhiksha’. Entire movable property in Samadhi Mandir has been created by Seetarambuwa Walawalkar form the assistance he received from public.
- Oral permission for the costruction of Samadhi Mandir was directly obtained from the USER Shri Raghunath Neelkanth Shembekar. Apart from this the USER does not have any connection with Samadhi Mandir.
- Entire expenses for Shree Sant Digambarbaba’s annual death anniversary celebrations, daily Pooja, Naivaidya and for the maintenance and other expenses of Samadhi Mandir and outside (things connected therewith) are borne by Shree Seetarambuwa personally since inception till date.
- USER Shri Raghunath Neelkanth Shembekar and his family members after they are invited for the Death anniversary Celebrations are always contributing their mite by physical work by their personal presence. This indicates their permission and sympathy for the ceremony.
- We accept that the land on which Samadhi Mandir was built and (the land) on which his final rites were performed belongs to ShreeDatta Devasthan.
- Shree Seetarambuwa Walawalkar became the Disciple of Shree Digambarbaba after performing all the rituals as prescribed in the Religion and therefore he has constructed his Guru’s Samadhi over the land owned by ShreeDatta Devasthan created by his Guru which is religiously appropriate. The land on which Samadhi Mandir is erected and the land on which (Shree Digambarbaba’s) final rites were performed and the necessary Land around, in the name of Shree Seetarambuwa Walawalkar for revenue records and it is therefore requested that the Government should give the land to him as tenant (Kul) of ShreeDatta Devasthan with tenancy rights. Shri Seetarambuwa is ready to pay certain amount to Devasthan as portion of his income as may be decided by the Mamlatdar.
- Shre Sant Digambarbaba alone has constructed ShreeDatta Devasthan (Shree Swami Math), the assets (necessary) were also created by him (for the Math) and Shree Walawalkar as his disciple constructed Samadhi of the great Saint in the land owned by Devasthan. There is nothing unusual in that. Although we accept the ownership of ShreeDatta Devasthan in totality and we do not wish to deprive (Devasthan of its) ownership but the said USER out of vengeance and in order to grab the estate of ShreeDatta Devasthan for their personal use are opposing and creating obstacles. It is requested that considering the entire matter appropriately, the Samadhi Mandir, the land on which (Shree Digambarbaba’s) final rites were performed and the necessary and essential land around (both) and land for road for going from Samadhi Mandir to Sawarde village and Dervan Village and for going to the (main) road constructed by the Board (govt.) all this may please be arranged to be done in the name of Shri Seetarambuwa.
All this information is to be submitted to Mamlatdarsaheb or anyone who comes for (official) enquiry in the matter and also (he is to be told) that we are submitting the matter to Charity Commissioner. Application to be submitted before Charity Commissioner will be sent for your signature, when ready. Let me know, what reply USER files in the matter, then we can decide about future steps. Convey Sashtang Namaskar to Shree Swami samartha and Shree Digambarbaba on my behalf and on behalf of Shri & Sou. Marballi, and Namaskar to Shri Nana Shembekar, Gopukaka, Dattamaster, All teachers Shripadbhau and blessings to both the servants and Mestry. Blessings to Dhondbarao & Shivramrao.
Shre Sadgurucharanraj V.G.Joshi