A commemorative postage stamp on Bhati Yogi Sri Sant Bhagwan Baba, a saint-poet from Maharashtra, spiritual successor to Dnyaneshwar, Tukaram and Ramdas :
Issued by India
Issued on Oct 15, 2002
Issued for : The Department of Posts is happy to issue a commemorative postage stamp on Bhagwan Baba.
Stamp : Alka Sharma (Based on material furnished by the sponsors)
FDC : Brahm Prakash
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : First Day Cover
Colour : Four Colour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Overall size : 2.90 x 3.91 Cms.
Printing size : 2.90 x 3.91 Cms.
Perforation : 13.5 x 13.5 mm with elliptical hole on each 39.1 mm sides
Paper : Matt Chromo
Stamps Printed : 0.4 million
Number per issue sheet : 40
Printing Process : Photo Offset
Printer : Calcutta Security Printers Ltd.
Name : Abaji Tubashi Sanap
Born on Jul 29, 1896 at Supe Sawargaon, Patoda taluka, Beed district, Maharashtra, India
Died on Jan 18, 1965 at Ruby Hall Clinic, Pune, Maharashtra, India
- Bhagwan Baba (1896-1965) was an ascetic who belonged to the long tradition of mystics and saint-poets of Maharashtra. In many ways, he was a spiritual successor to Jnyaneshwar, Tukaram and Ramdas.
- Hailing from the Beed district, young Abaji (which was his real name) was a bright student. However, he could not pursue education beyond an elementary stage due to lack of facilities near about his village. He took to farming and looking after the family live-stock. Even at the young age, his charisma was evident and he was clearly the leader among the boys of his village.
- A religious procession which he happened to witness during the Ashadhi Ekadashi proved to be a turning point in his life. He joined the group of pilgrims and proceeded to the temple of Pandharpur. The idol of Lord Vithoba at Pandharpur enchanted him so deeply that he accepted a garland of tulsi from Gite Maharaj, a well known ascetic, and became a Varkari for life. Two other saints of the time were also to influence Abaji‘s life and outlook. They were Manik Baba, the Guru who accepted him as his disciple at Narayangad and Bankat Swami, who trained him in various scriptures at Alandi. It was Manik Baba who renamed him as Bhagwan.
- With his magnetic personality and impressive oratory skills, Bhagwan Baba attracted a large number of people to him. He was of amicable nature and always helpful to the needy. His philosophy of life was rooted in universal brotherhood. He followed a simple life style. His kirtans held his audience spellbound and demanding more. He exerted a positive influence on all those who came in contact with him and was able to persuade many dacoits, robbers and other offenders to give up their vices and lead honest lives. The dindi, or walking pilgrimage to Pandharpur, started by him in about 1920 A.D. on a limited scale went on to become an institution in itself.
- Bhagwan Baba undertook many social service activities for helping the poor to find livelihood and the landless labourers to acquire a piece of land for themselves. He initiated programmes for the spread of education and for providing medical facilities to the poor. With his support many physically challenged persons were rehabilitated and relief was brought to leprosy patients. He also was instrumental in resolving family feuds and enmity between different groups. His leadership was crucial in putting an end to animal sacrifices in many places of worship.
- Text : Based on material furnished by the sponsors.