Part 12- Sant Sri Sevalal Maharaj History

Miracles of Santh Sri Sevalal Maharaj:
Banjaras believe that Santh Sri Sevalal Maharaj is a pawan purusha (man of miracles), saviour, social worker. When banjara society was in difficult position and under pressure from British Sevabhaya through his teachings awakened the banjara society and united them and protected them and ended his life. Miracles are the unnatural happenings or occurences which will be created in nature. These miracles or occurences are shown or created by great personalities (saints etc) which are appreciated and believed by common people and show great respect to such personalities. Such dvine occurences are described from time immemorial (ancient times) and have become indivisble part of their lives. These occurences have not limited to one religion or other.

They are parts of dharmas of many religions or beliefs.
It may be quoted from the life of 12th century social reformer, Sri Basaveswar that he converted a brinjal into a Shivalinga or leprosy was cured by touch of Jesus Christ. Such are in plenty in Hindu mythological epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharatha. However, such miracles or divine powers in one way or other, are great strength and are the basis of dharmic beliefs and are indivisible parts of human life. However, Gamaru Singh Rathod is very critical of such occurence. He says that such miracles are false and his followers have created such false miracles which will be done by dongi sanyasis and harm the reputation of Santh Sri Sevalal Maharaj. He states that Sevabhaya was a samathawadi, manavathavadi, sresta doordarsi, chintana sheel and samaja sudharaka. But he has not mentioned how Santh Sevabhaya has been worshipped by banjaras south of Vindhya Mountain ranges (Banjara Dharma Patrika, Sant Sevalal Special Editor Mothiraj Rathod).

Such divine occurences may not be proved scientifically but by such occurences the great personalites such as Rama, Krishna, Jesus, Basavanna, Hathiram Bawaji, Meetu Bhukiya and Sevabhaya are respected and worshipped by common people. Such occurences should not be taken lightly and are indivisible realities of life.

Hathiram Bawaji was another saint and social reformer among the banjaras. He was a great devotee of Lord Venkateswara (Sri Balaji). Last days of his life he spent on Thirumal hills worshipping Sri Balaji. He established an ashrama on Thirumala hills. It is stated that Sri Balaji used to appear in human form, converse and spend time playing chess with Sri Hathiram Bawaji (Heera Naik).
Even today this ashrama provides lodging and boarding free of cost to devotees from banjara community. Sri Sevabhaya stayed in this ashrama during his stay as Mahanta of Lord Venkateswara (already described earlier). In fact, the representatives of Mahanth of Sri Balaji come to Santh Sevalal Maharaj temple at Sevagad, Guthi, worship and present shawls (silk vasthra) and fruits during birthday celebrations on 15th February every year.

Sevabhaya tried for unity, samaj sudharaka and involved in spiritual teaching. As Basavanna states that ‘kayakave kailas’ (work is worship), banjaras believe in hard work.

Banjaras are always involved in hard work and believe that Santh Sevalal Maharaj is the cultural and social pillar for the banjaras Samskrithi. Because of this belief we see that every thanda of the banjaras respect and worship Sevabhaya and ultimately we find that banjara dharmik belief only.
On this basis, the life of Sri Savabhaya is described by oral tradition of poems and stories through folklore (janapada sahithya).

Some of the miracles are described below:
1.  Sevabhaya cured simple cold, coughs and fever by his touch.
2.  By his touch he made the barren cows give milk.
3.  It is stated by local people of surrouding villages of Ramagundam that infertile women gave birth to children after worship (by blessings of Sevabhaya)
4.  It is already described how the spread of epidemics was prevented in Hyderabad by his prayers and bhajans.
5.  He saved his people from certain death by eating sweets mixed with poison sent by Nizam of Hyderabad.
6.  By grace of Sri Jagadamba, he defeated the army of the King of Surath when they stole the ram (male sheep).
7.  He and his men secured the Garasiya bull from bhills. When the bhills chased them by his divine powers and prayers to Sri Jagadamba
the river gave way to his group but came with full force to wash away the bhills.
8. It is already described how an youth by name Chingarya was made into women when people made fun of Sri Sevabhaya (Harilal Pawar quoted from Sevalal and Khemsing Jadhav, Raja Banjara).

continue…Part 13

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