Shri Balappa Maharaj, the second in the line,formed the Guru Peetham (lineage of Masters) on the orders of His Guru, Shri Swami Samarth Maharaj. As the work and teachings of Shri Balappa Maharaj grew the devotees appealed in a letter to the ruler of Akkalkot State for providing a plot of land, aplace from where teachings and philosophies of Shree Swami Samarth Maharaj could be spread. On 8 th of August 1901 a piece of land was donated to Shri Balappa Maharaj. On instructions received from Swami Maharaj, a Math was founded in the heart of Akklakot town and all the blessed emblems and insignias of the Guru Peetham were placed there. This Math later came to be known as the Balappa Math.
It is the monastery which was glorified by Shree by inheriting the Divine tradition of Masters. `Balappa Math’ which is a symbol of the Eternal Guru Shishya tradition was renamed as `Guru Mandir’ by Paramsadguru Shree Gajanan Maharaj. In Guru Mandir you can also see the Samadhi sites of Shree Balappa Maharaj and Shree Gangadhar Maharaj.
Swami Samarth Maharaj had also asked Balappa Maharaj to provide food and a residential facility for the devotees who would come to seek grace and guidance. Balappa Maharaj in accordance with his Guru’s wishes started the tradition of providing food and accommodation in the Math for all the devotees. This tradition was continued by Shree Gangadhar Maharaj as well.
When Shreeji became the Peethadeesha (The person in charge of the Guru Peetham), He continued all the initiatives started by predecessors. He would ensure that no devotee ever had to leave the monastery without food.
Today, the monastery housed in a heritage building for more than a century attracts thousands of people from all over the world who come to pay their respects at the feet of their Guru. They are all provided free Prasadam (food) in the Guru Mandir premises. The tradition started more than a century ago is still going on.
Maharshi Jamdagni and Bhagwati Renukamata, the parents of Lord Parshuram along with their family had resided at this place for some time. He had established his Ashram here and used to perform daily Agnihotra. On the floor of the land of this place were arranged Yagnya pits for Garhapatya, Aahavaniya and Dakshinagni fires for the performance of his Agnihotra. These fire pits were situated just at the same spot where centuries later Divine Fire had appeared before Shree. Lord Parshuram had also appeared in Guru Mandir dressed as a Yogi.
Shree had many visions where He was told of the historical and spiritual importance of this land.
On entering the Monastery, set under a massive Audumbar (Ficus) tree, is the Ram Paduka or the Blessed Insignia of Lord Parshuram. Made out of stone these Padukas are believed to have been blessed by Lord Parshuram. In the ancient times it is believed that the family of Lord Parshuram resided on the place that is today’s Guru Mandir. The beautifully carved temple today stands on the same spot, reminding us of the historic and spiritual importance of the site.
The place where Shree lived is called Ram Ramashram. This is a two floored structure standing just adjacent to the Ram Paduka temple. In this building are the room’s personal kitchen, dining room, resting room,etc that Shree used during His 41 years of stay in Guru Mandir.
In the year 1971/72 Shree gave permission to one of His devotees, to build a residence for Shrees use in the left side of the area from the main gate. Up till this time the meditation room was used by Shree for his daily religious austerities and for taking his meals, etc. This two storey building had facilities for Shrees, clean bathrooms, toilet etc.
Shreeji's Darshan Room
This a room on the ground floor of the Ram Ramashram. This was the place where He had the vision of the Holy Fire (Siddhagni). This room was used by Shree for His Meditation and Japanusthan (chanting of Mantra’s). This room was also used by Him to meet all the devotees and followers who came to meet Him from all over the world. The stool and bench He used are still kept in this room.
Garhbha Gruha (Santum Sanctorum)
Inside the Sanctum Sanctorum of the temple is the Samadhi (final resting site) of Shree Balappa Maharaj. All the Blessed Insignia given by Shree Swami Samartha Maharaj to initiate the Guru Lineage are also kept here.
Shree Gangadhar Maharaj Samadhi
The Samadhi of Shree Gangadhar Maharaj, the spiritual Guru after Shree Balappa Maharaj, is located just outside of the Garbha Gruha.
The four Vedas, the symbol of unlimited knowledge and wisdom are placed on a beautifully carved wooden structure.
This is the place where in the year 1944 Shree took the Vow, “I will rejuvenate the Vedas.” The Sapta Shloki (Seven Verses), which describes the Panch Sadhan Marga (Five Fold Path) and is considered asthe gist of Vedic Wisdom, was first revealed by Shree. This site is of great historic and spiritual importance to all the Agnihotra and PSM followers worldwide.
The Ram Mandir
The Ram Mandir is a separate temple complex adjoining the main Guru Mandir building. This is a 300 year old structure with many amazing carvings and murals.