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4

 

he came back to body-consciousness, he found that he had become extremely weak; but he could, with difficulty, return to the plains, where he was looked after for about a month by the villagers of Gawalwadi.

 

After the penance in the cave, Maharaj went back to Satane in July, 1900. But he soon lost his father, grandfather and his second wife. After this, Maharaj felt strongly that he was not meant for worldly life; so he left home during the marriage season for fear that the elders might again entrap him, and came back when the marriage season was over. However, a third marriage was in his destiny; and he could not avoid getting married for the third time. Seeing that a family life was pursuing him, he decided to qualify himself to make a living; and he gathered knowledge of Ayurvedic medicines at Sangli. He first began his medical practice at Satane but soon shifted to Amraoti, where he lived with his wife. At Amraoti, he edited a medical magazine called "Bheshaja Ratnamala" for three years and earned much fame and success in his profession. But though he was now living in the ways of the world, his heart was always in spiritual matters, and his wife not only shared his spiritual inclination but actively co-operated with him in everything that he undertook to do for a religious purpose.

 

After several years of stay in Amraoti, in consultation with his wife, Maharaj decided to wind up the life of making money; and on the 10th of April, 1910, they left together for tapas (penance) at holy places. Once, at Omkareshwar, when Maharaj was in meditation, his body received a sudden shock; and he not only became unconscious, but stopped breathing. His wife brought him to consciousness by sprinkling water on him; but he found breathing extremely difficult and painful, since it was not now done by the automatic and natural movements of the lungs, but had to be done through the artificial movements of the stomach. Maharaj had not been practicing Pranayama or any other yogic practices; but, owing to his special spiritual preparation, his meditation was so successful, that he lost all body-consciousness and stilled his mind. However, his first experience of Samadhi was the beginning of a long-drawn breathing trouble.

 

In order to have some treatment for this new breathing trouble, Maharaj went to Nagpur. There he was no better off in this respect but he had his first darshana of Shri Narayan Maharaj, who had come to Nagpur at that time. On that occasion Maharaj was just one of many others who wanted to have the darshana of Shri Narayan Maharaj; but Shri Narayan Maharaj beckoned to Maharaj; and when, in response, Maharaj sat near him, Shri

 

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