Thursday, 11 July 2013

Dada Gavand - Philosopher Mystic - Tapovan Ashram, Satara, Maharashtra

Dada Gavand - Mystic Dada (1917-2012)

Silence is the gate to go beyond. We are missing the aesthetic beauty of silence, the fragrance of quietude and inner peace, because the mind has become overgrown and overactive. It has captured us and the whole energy of life, going on and on ceaselessly, continuing with its mechanical momentum in time.
- DADA GAVAND (1917-2012)

I first heard of Dada Gavand from Shri. Subhash Kulkarni, who had known him for some time. Subhash gave us a talk on Dada Gavand's philosophy and shared a few books. We, a small group of about 8 persons, were attending a Workshop at Krishnamurti Foundation's Sahyadri Study Centre. The books, "Intelligence Beyond Thought" (an autobiography) and "Intuitive Intelligence" which is an exquisite collection of soulful nature photos, each accompanied by a short poetic passage from Dada's talks/writings. 

Dadaji met Sri. J Krishnamurti early in his spiritual quest and was inspired by him. The deep influence of Krishaji's thought is evident in Dadaji's talks and writings.  Dadaji had also interacted with famous contemporary philosophers including Sri. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who was also the Indian Republic's Second President. 

Memorial Marble near Dadaji's Samadhi at Tapovan Ashram

While reading the books shared by Subhash, I found deep meaning in Dadaji's thoughts and the mind drifted into a quiet, thoughtless state. Subhash also shared his personal experiences with Dadaji.

 Sadly, before I could meet Dadaji in person and savour the Ultimate Silence, Dadaji attained Samadhi on 29th January 2012 at Borne, near Satara, Maharashtra.

Dadaji's Samadhi at Tapovan Ashram, Borne Village, near Sajjangarh, Satara
His nephew, Kiran Gavand has built a memorial, Tapovan Ashram, a fitting and everlasting tribute to the memory of this philosopher saint, who spent his last few years at this place. Tapovan Ashram is situated amidst sylvan and pastoral surroundings between Borne and Thoseghar Villages,Near Sajjangad,Post : Borne,District : Satara, Pincode : 415013. 

Dadaji had attained   enlightenment at Sajjangarh and had a lifelong wish to spend his days here. 

Dadaji Gavand's Tapovan Ashram, between Borne and Thoseghar villages, Near Sajjagarh, Satara, Maharashtra, India

You can read more about Dadaji at his website:

Meditation Hall at Dadaji Gavand's Tapovan Ashram 

There are some Facebook pages devoted to Dadaji:

Arun, Subhash and I visited the Tapovan Ashram, which is a "far from the madding crowd" experience. The silence we experienced during our stay, near Dadaji's samadhi and at the Meditation Hall, are experiences that we look forward to again and again as a respite from our busy lives. The ashram is located near Sajjangarh, renowned because of Swami Samarth, who was Chattrapathi Shivaji Maharaj's guru. A short distance from the Ashram is Thoseghar Waterfalls, whose beauty is indescribable and needs to be experienced.

Below are some photos taken during our visit. Those wanting to visit the Ashram can contact Mr. Subhash Kulkarni at Mob: +919423005173 :

Below is a view of the Thoseghar Falls in late summer. 
Thoseghar Falls late Summer 2013 (before the rains) 
We visited Thoseghar Falls again on 26th July 2013 in pouring rain. As you will see in the picture below, the cascading torrents of water and the vaporous mist result in an indescribable and ethereal experience.

Thoseghar Falls 26th July 2013

In the vicinity of the above Falls, are many others. Below is a picture of another falls from the adjoining cliff, which pours down and flows into the valley.
The Water Falls on the adjoining hill. Notice the water gushing in the stream in the valley below.

Subhash(left), Arun(right) and me during the visit in May 2013

View of the Dam from atop the Sajjangarh Fort.