Compact Biography of P.P.Shri Vasudevanand Saraswati (Tembe) Swami Maharaj HTML version

His parents were devotees of Lord Dattatreya, his father Shri Ganesh
Bhataji Tembe spending years together in the remote Ganagapur
temple of the Lord in Karnataka. His mother Ramabai also used to
spend her time in religious pursuits like jap (recitation of mantras),
pradakshina, path, atithisatkar (hospitality) etc. After a particularly long
stay in Ganagapur, Lord Dattatreya appeared in a dream and
instructed Shri Ganesh Bhataji to return to Mangaon and lead the life
of a householder (grihastha), promising to incarnate as their son. It
was after his return from Ganagapur that his eldest son Vasudeo was
born on the 5th day of the dark fortnight of the month of Shravan of
A.D. 1854. Tembe family was endowed with spiritual riches (daivi
sampat) but had little temporal wealth. Their priestly duties were not
adequate for the livelihood and Vasudeo’s grandfather took to
agriculture as a side business.
Elementary Education
At the age of three years Vasudeo started going to the private school
in the Yakshini temple in the village. He had to learn writing with his
fingers on a layer of dust, a very tiring and painful mode. Apart from
the secular education in the school, Vasudeo also received traditional
oral education from his grandpa Hari Bhataji. With his sharp intellect
and quick memory Vasudeo soon mastered the basics of Sanskrit
grammar and poetry.
As per the tradition Haribhataji performed the Maunjibandhan of his
beloved grandson Vasudeo, which consists of initiation to the Vedic
studies and Brahminhood and the first of the four Ashramas,
Grihasthashram. Immediately after this, the young Vasudeo started
the daily rituals ordained by the scriptures viz. Sandhya twice a day,
1000 recitations of Gayatri mantra, daily reading of shri Gurucharitra –
the bible of Shri Datta tradition etc. He also completed a 2.4 million
recitation of Gayatri. He strictly followed the religious disciplines
prescribed by scriptures, particularly the Gurucharitra. He then started
the study of Vedas, the holiest of the scriptures, under the guidance of
Shri Tatya Bhataji Ukidave. He woke up daily before sunrise and took
his bath and insulated himself from all impurities and contamination
during the religious practices. He only took fresh, pure (sattvik) and
vegetarian food prepared by himself or by his mother and never ate
outside his home. The food prepared in this fashion, he used to first
offer to sacrificial fire (Vaishvadev), the cow (Gograas), to the crow