Gajanan Maharaj ji was an Indian Hindu saint, guru and seer. He first emerged at a village named Shegaon at age of 30, in Buldhana district, Maharashtra as a young man on 23 February 1878. On 8 September, 1910 He achieved Sanjeevan Samadhi which is believed to be a process of voluntary withdrawal from ones physical body. This date of his Samadhi is celebrated every year as part of the Shree Punyatithi Utsav. The date of his first arrival is appraised as an optimistic day and is commemorated as Prakat Din Sohla.
One of his biographies known as Shree Gajanan Maharaj Charitra-Kosh was composed by a native of Shegaon, Bhargavram Yeodekar. The biography raised several versions of Gajanan Maharajs origins. While at Nashik, Dasbhargav is believed to have met a modern saint known as Swami Shivanand Saraswati who was 129 years of age at that time. In 1887, According to Shivanand he was a Brahmin who had formerly met Gajanan Maharaj at Nashik. He informed Bhargavram Yeodekar about the period when Gajanan Maharaj emerged in Shegaon where he lived for the rest of his life. He affirmed to have made around 25 to 30 visits to Gajanan Maharaj. Shivanand Swami also declared that he would often visit Dadasaheb Khaparde who was a resident at Amravati and lived with his family at their residence during these visits. It is also affirmed that Shivanand Swami later traveled to the Himalayas and was never seen again. It is also assumed that Shivanand Swami may have been a previous resident at Sajjangad, Maharashtra, also where the notable 17th-century saint and philosopher Samarth Ramdas lived for many years. Gajanan Maharaj was a fierce user of marijuana and hashish which is symbolized in almost all available images in the public domain from the time of his achieving samadhi. Even the temple sites where he achieved samadhi had a smoking choola as a symbolic representation.
Another Gajanan Maharajs biography named Shree Gajanan Vijay was authored by Das Ganu who was born at Akolner. Das Ganu who was firstly named Narayan by his maternal relatives had at some point moved to Ahmednagar, Maharashtra where his father had been a care-taker of a property. Later, he was renamed as Ganesh and his grandfather often called him Ganu. When he reached Pandharpur, Das Ganu was approached by Ramchandra Krishnaji Patil, a resident at Shegaon, who was also a follower of Gajanan Maharaj. He counseled Das Ganu to write a biography on Gajanan Maharaj.
It is said that he had once visited Nashik, Maharashtra and the neighboring pilgrimage sites that included Kapila Tirtha. He stayed at Kapila Tirtha for around 12 years. Contemporaries of Gajanan Maharaj recognized him by various names such as Gin Gine Buwa, Ganpat Buwa, and Awaliya Baba.
Bankat Lal Agarwal, a money lender, on 23 February 1878 he first saw Gajanan Maharaj in a superconscious state on a street, eating leftover food which was thrown that way he was spreading the message of food is life and food should not be wasted. Observing him to be not a simple mundane man who needs food to eat but a Yogi, Bankat Lal Agarwal took him to his home and asked Gajanan Maharaj to live with him. In his lifetime, he performed many supernatural phenomenon like giving a fresh contract on life to one Janrao Deshmukh, lighting the clay-pipe without fire, drawing sugar cane juice by twisting canes with his hands, filling an emptied well with water, curing hansens disease of a man, curing himself from many bites of honey bees, etc. these acts were Shri Gajanan Maharaj knew Yoga Shastra on his own admission in the book by Shri Das Ganu Maharaj.