Shri Manikya Prabhu

Shri Manikya Prabhu Maharaj (1817-1865) from India was a Hindu saint, poet, philosopher, and a Guru. He is regarded as the 4th incarnation of the Universal Lord Dattatreya. He is an Avadhoota, ever anchored in Atman (Spirit), but always overflowing with compassion for all the beings and the entire creation. His philosophy is known as “Sakala Mata Siddhanta” or “Sakala Mata Sampradhaya,” (Religious Tradition Embracing All Faiths), and echoes the principles of Advaita Vedanta by Shri Adi Sankara. It holds the promise of harmony among all people, transcending all barriers that produce conflicts. Shri Prabhu’s teachings lay stress on the path of Bhakti (devotion). Alongside, he moralizes most remarkably on the Vedantic Truths concerning the Spiritual Unity of beings.

Life History

Shri Manikya Prabhu Maharaj was born on 22 December 1817 (Datta Jayanthi), as the second son of Shri Manohar Maharaj Naik & Baya Devi, in a place called Ladvanti near Ramtirth, in the Taluka of Kalyani in the erstwhile Nizam’s state, now in the Bidar District of Karnataka. He belongs to the Gotra (lineage) of Shri Vatsa, had two brothers, the elder Shri Dada Maharaj and the younger Shri Narsimha Maharaj, and a sister called Chimanabhai. The fact that Manikya Prabhu was born on the auspicious day of Datta Jayanthi is very significant. His parents were intense devotees of Lord Dattatreya, with Narasimha Saraswathi Swamy of Ganagapur as their favorite Avatar. Such was their devotion that they did parayana (daily reading) of the Guru Charitra, the holy book about the first two incarnations of Lord Dattatreya, continuously for sixteen years. Then Lord Dattatreya, who was very much pleased by their austerity and unswerving devotion, appeared to them and asked, “Desire anything, and I will grant.” “We want a son like you,” was the reply of the parents. Later, Lord Dattatreya took birth as their son and was given the name Manikya.

Tradition and Gurus

Shri Manik Prabhu’s tradition is deeply rooted in the Advaita Vedanta philosophy propagated by Shri Adi Sankara. Like the Universal Lord Shri Dattatreya, Shri Manik Prabhu loved Nature, and his attention was drawn to the open sky, the cool breeze, the rustling leaves, and the birds’ chirping. Books were stale for him, teachers un-inspiring, and lessons boring. He liked to seek teachers in the lap of Nature, listen to Nature’s natural education rather than the artificial or contrived studies in the classroom. Hence, Nature became his classroom, and his very Self became his teacher at a very young age. After the conscious exit of his physical abode (in 1865), the Guru Parampara was sustained by the following successors.

Shri Manohar Manik Prabhu (1858-1877), the immediate successor to the holy Peetha of Shri Prabhu
Shri Martand Manik Prabhu Maharaj (1861-1936)
Shri Shankar Manik Prabhu Maharaj (1895-1945)
Shri Siddharaj Manik Prabhu Maharaj (1939 – 2009)
Shri Dnyanraj Manik Prabhu Maharaj (born in 1958)

Teachings

  • Restore love & humanity, religious harmony, and universal brotherhood (based on Advaita philosophy by Sri Adi Sankara)
  • His philosophy – SAKALAMATA SIDDHANT – the gospel of love, humanity, and oneness that firmly rests on the Upanishadic principles of ‘ekam sadvipra bahudha vadanti ‘(Truth is one). Later, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa proclaimed this principle, and Mahatma Gandhi also adopted this principle and built his national unity.
  • Sakalamata Sampradaaya proclaims that all the religions and the sects in the world lead their followers to one and the same God.
  • His teachings laid stress on Bhakti (devotion) but are deeply rooted in the essence of Vedanta concerning the ‘spiritual unity’ of all beings.
  • In Shri Manik Prabhu Sampradaya, nothing is more important than singing the glory of the Lord. It is realized that while intellectual and philosophical disputations may attract and captivate the mind, it is the sound, the Naad, that moves the heart. Therefore, Bhajans (songs of devotion) played an important role in the Sampradaya of Shri Manik Prabhu Maharaj. It is only through such unalloyed communion with the Lord that His creatures come back to Him. Bhajana, therefore, basically represents the unity of Bhagavan (the Lord) and Jana (the Devotees). Shri Prabhu also encouraged this medium of ‘Naad-Upasana’ (worship the Lord through music and songs) from his followers.

Holy Sites and Pilgrimages

Shri Prabhu Mandir
Managed by Shri Manik Prabhu Samsthan – This is the place where Manik Prabhu attained Sanjivani Mahasamadhi in 1865. It is located at Manik Nagar, Bidar District, Karnataka (His birthplace)