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Pujay Rang Avadhoot Maharaj (Pujya Bapji)ā€™s Biography

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Pujya Rangavadhoot Maharaj (Pujya Bapji) was born in Godhra, Gujarat, India on Monday, the 21st November (Hindu calendar – 9th day of the month Kartika, Vikram Samvat 1955) as Panduranga, another name of Lord Vitthala in a very religious Brahmin family known and respected for learning, selflessness and integrity. Pujya Bapjis's father name was Vitthalapanta and mother's name was Rukmini. Rukmani gave a birth to Panduranga (also known as Babu) on a auspicious data, Akshaya Navami in a small dark room of the Vitthala temple. Panduranga had another brother, Narayana.

Childhood & Education

When Panduranga was five years old, his father Vitthalapanta fell prey to the epidemic of plague.
In his very early part of childhood, the young Panduranga was indoctrinated into devotion and recital of the name of God Rama. Panduranga was a born commander and none with lack of agility could stand by him. Panduranga received his elementary education at schools in Godhra. He was his teacher’s favorite, and maintained first or second rank in his studies.

Meeting his Guru

Panduranga and his brother Narayana were initiated into the ritual of becoming a 'dvija' (twice-born). A t early age, Panduranga was initiated into spiritual education. At the age of eight, Panduranga had his sacred thread ceremony. After ceremony, Panduranga visited his spiritual guide and Master, Sri Vasudevananda Sarasvati Swami Maharaj (Pujya Swamiji). This visit established a spiritual awakening and initiation in young Panduranga. Pujya Bapji considered Pujya Swaminji as his guru.

Following Gandhiji and Freedom Struggle

Panduranga loved his country and his patriotism was evident since his college days. Panduranga joined Mahatama Gandhiji’s freedom struggle. Panduranga sacrificed his bright future for India’s freedom. Panduranga met Gandhiji several times. During this period, Panduranga received Master of Language degree from Gujarat Vidyapitha, Gujarat, India.


After his graduation, Panduranga began to teach at a National school. He also wrote and published two books of Sanskrit grammar. His reputation spread as a scholar of Sanskrit as well as a good teacher.

Centering In Nareshwar

During 1925, Panduranga was looking for a lonely place to stay. On the 4th December, 1925 in he bitter cold of the fourth day of dark fortnight in the month of Magasara v.s. 1982 (Hindu calendar), Panduranga started to stay in small hut in place known as Nareshwar. Nareshwar village was located in the jungle and on the bank of holy river Narmada. Basically, Nareshwar was a cremation ground for seven surrounding hamlets or villages. It was a dense forest, where serpents, scorpions, big black ants moved freely. Panduranga met number of saints before moving to Nareshwar. He scrupulously put into practice whatever advice he received from saints. At Nareshwar, Panduranga used to get up very early in the auspicious wee hours of the morning and take bath with the potful of water brought from the river Narmada. His daily routine included mediation, reading, basking in the sun during day and talking to the stars at night. In Nareshwar and surrounding villages, Panduranga was known as Ranga Avadhuta (Pujya Bapji).

Writing of Sri Gurulilamrta and Datta Bawni

As per instruction from Pujya Swamiji, Pujya Bapji started composing and writing the book called ‘Sri Gurulilamrta’. Pujya Bapji also wrote ‘Dattabawni’. The ‘Dattabawni’, a Divine Hymn of 52 lines, glorifying Lord Datta, is recited in many of families around the globe.

Neem Tree ā€“ A Tree of Enlightenment

While staying in Nareshwar, Pujya Bapji many times sat under Neem tree and discussed religion, spirituality and other related subject matter with devotees. He will also mediate under the Neem tree. The leaves of Neem tree have bitter taste. But because of Pujya bapji’s presence, the leaves of this particular Neem tree are sweet.

Pujya Bapji in Haridvara

Pujya Bapji left for Haridvara after raising the memorial for his mother at Nareshwar. He never returned from Haridvara. He uttered “Aum” three times and breathed his last on the last day, the darkest one, of Kartik in V.S. 2025 (Hindu calendar). He left his physical body and his soul merged with the eternal one. He passed away on the 19th November 1968 in Haridvara and was cremated on 21st November, 1968, at midnight in Narehswar. This day also happened to be his birthday.

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