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Pawas (Ratnagiri)

Just chant ‘Ram-Krishna-Hari’ continuously and forget all your worries, anxieties, burdens, tensions et al so that you can begin to feel a new sense of absolute peace fill your mind. To experience this wonderful state of serenity as well as to lock into the sights and sounds of nature, book a ticket to Pawas. This is the place where Shri Swami Swarupanand, a divine personality, resided for years together. 

At a distance of 353 kilometers from Mumbai, Pawas, just 20 kilometers away from the coastal town of Ratnagiri, is the place where Swarupanand Swami took his ‘samadhi’. Swami was born on December 15, 1903 at Pawas to the couple Vishnupant and Rakhmabai Godbole. His original name was Ramchandra, but he came to be affectionately addressed as Bhau or Appa. His primary education was completed in the village itself whereupon he went to Ratnagiri for higher studies. From there he made his way to Mumbai where he studied for his higher secondary classes at the Aryan Education Society’s High School. It was here that he first got acquainted with religious and spiritual texts. At the age of 18 he got drawn towards the freedom movement led by Mahatma Gandhi.

At 20, Swami took initiation from Sadguru Babamaharaj Vaidya of Pune and this became a turning point in his life. It was from here on that he began his spiritual journey, working towards an understanding of his guru’s philosophies. Returning to Pawas, he undertook religious austerity and focused his mind on a deep study of Dnyaneshwari, Bhagvad Geeta and Dasbodh. Influenced by what he said or preached, he soon built up a huge following of devotees who started calling him Swamiji. Swami delivered the ‘guru mantra’ of ‘Ram Krishna Hari’ to his followers, which is chanted till today.

On August 15, 1974, Swami Swarupanand undertook self-immolation at Pawas. Now, Guru Purnima and Swami’s Samadhi are the two days that are observed on a large scale at Pawas. The Swami memorial is very neatly maintained and that is so for Swami’s original residence, Anant Niwas, too where he stayed for about 40 years. This has now been converted into an ashram where lodging and boarding facilities are provided to devotees. There are temples dedicated to Ganesha, Vishveshwar and Someshwar Shiv on either side of the river in this village.

Distance from Mumbai 341 kms.