|Shri Samartha Siddharameshwar Maharaj is one of the greatest unknown
saints of the age. He was born in the month of August 1888 A.D. in a small
village called "Pathri" in the district Sholapur of India.
On the sixth day of his birth, his grandmother had a dream in which great Saint Siddheshwar appeared before her and told her that the boy who is born, is his incarnation and asked her to name him Siddheshwar. He also said that one day the boy will become a great Saint. And hence his name was kept Siddharamappa. Later on he was known as "Siddharameshwar Maharaj."
Even in his childhood he was very much sharp, active and had the capacity to imbibe things very quickly. He did not study much at the school level but he was very intelligent, clever and smart in all his behaviour. He was always very straight forward and spoke with a thoughtful idea. He retorted his answers to every question with full meaning. At the age of 16, even though he was premature to work, he took up a job of an accountant (Munim) in a Marwadi firm at Bijapur. He did his work with earnestness and with (a Munim) and settled down in Bijapur. Here he met his Master Shri Bhausaheb Maharaj, who has built a monastery (Math) in the small village called Inchgiri in Karnataka State of India which started in the year 1885.
Shri Bhausaheb Maharaj, understanding the mental capacity and lifestyle of the people then, started teaching "Meditation" to his disciples at this monastery. The main aim or goal of teaching meditation was to attain Final Reality. This method is known as Pipilika Marg or the ant's way in Hindu Mythology, it is a slow process of attaining Final Reality.
Shri Siddharameshwar Maharaj, after passing away of his Master Bhausaheb Maharaj in the year 1914, was meditating on the teachings of his Master. In 1918, he renounced the world and joined his four brother disciples to popularise his Master's teachings. In the year 1920 when he was on the tour of popularising his Master's teachings, he got the idea, that one should go beyond meditation because meditation is an initial stage to attain Final Reality. Brother disciples disagreed with Shri Siddharameshwar Maharaj, saying that their Master Shri Bhausaheb Maharaj has not told them so. He agreed with them, but reiterated, "Okay! Can one not go beyond that?" He decided to set on that arduous path on his own and left them and returned to Bijapur at his home. He started his meditation in Bijapur on the raised platform like a minaret (upli buruj) sitting over an old gun and he meditated for nine months without a break. Since his Master had taught him only meditation there was no alternative for him to find out the way to attain the Final Reality without meditation. His efforts were finally rewarded and his Master blessed him. He then explained that one can achieve the Final Reality via Vihangam Marg (the bird's way) that is by thinking Ignorance has come by hearing over generations. Only by hearing and practising from the teachings of the Master and thinking over it, just like the bird flies from one tree to another, one can attain Final Reality very fast. This is the shortest way to achieve the Final Reality. In both the way one has to reach the Final Reality by going into "Laya" i.e. absorbing self. Ignorance has come through thoughts and if the thoughts are absorbed in reality, one can go to the ultimate reality by thinking only. He made the ceaseless efforts to achieve this Final Reality. He said "I will attain the Final Reality even at the cost of my life." By the grace of Master Bhausaheb Maharaj he attained the goal of Final Reality. He then started preaching his disciples to attain Final Reality via Vihangam Marg (the bird's way i.e. by thinking). First he gave the Knowledge of Final Reality to his disciples and then asked them to renounce and then told them to renounce even the act of renunciation. Finally he gave the knowledge of Vignana -- the Thoughtless Reality.
He preached in a very simple, lucid and sane language, by giving examples from daily life. He was of the opinion that Parmarth -- understanding of Final Reality should be taught in a very simple language without using high sounding or bombastic words, to make the people understand the Ultimate Reality. This he did from year 1925 to 1936. Finally he passed away on 9th November, 1936, in Bombay, giving full understanding of the Final Reality to his disciples.
That is why this book is the Master Key to Final Realisation. This book explains only one of the ways to attain Final Reality. That is, the knowledge, that you are apart from the four bodies and that there remains the Ego of knowledge which should be dissolved in Final Reality that is called "Laya" (Absorbtion).
Shri Dattatray Dharmayya Poredi has expanded one of the lecture of Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj known as "Master Key of Self Realisation." ("Atmagyanachi Gurukilly"). He was one of the able disciples of Shri Siddharameshwar Maharaj living in Solapur (city in the state of Maharashtra in India) and has also written many poems on Vignana (Final Reality) taught by Shri Sadguru Siddharameshwar Maharaj.
The Master Key to Self-Realisation, which is written in Marathi, is translated into English by Dr. Mrs. Damayanti Dungaji. She is a disciple of Shri. Sadguru Nisargadatta Maharaj, who was the disciple of Shri Sadguru Siddharameshwar Maharaj.
Shri Siddharameshwar Maharaj preached step by step in a very simple language how to attain Final Reality during the years 1925 to 1936. These teachings of his have been published in Marathi as "Amrut Laya." These Lectures also will be translated in English and will be published for the benefit of those who do not understand Marathi.