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Shree Nrusimha Saraswati
नृसिंह सरस्वती
Nrusinh Saraswati Maharaj drawn by Satish Ansingkar as is vaisualised from decsription in Gurucharitra.jpg

1378 CE
  • Madhava (father)
  • Ambabhavani (mother)
PhilosophyAdvaita, Gurucharitra tradition
Disappeared28 January 1459 (aged 80–81)
Disappeared in Kardali Vana near Srisailam, Vijayanagara Kingdom
(present-day Andhra Pradesh, India)

Shree Narasimha Saraswati Swami Or Shree Nrusimha Saraswati Swami (1378−1459) was an Indian guru of Dattatreya tradition(sampradaya).[1] According to the Shri GuruCharitra, he is the second avatar of Dattatreya in Kali Yuga after Sripada Sri Vallabha.[2]


Shri Narasimha Saraswati lived from 1378 to 1459 (Shaka 1300 to Shaka 1380).[3] Saraswati was born into a Deshastha Brahmin family in Karanjapura, modern-day Lad-Karanja (Karanja) in the Washim district, which is a part of Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, India.[4] His father (Madhava) and his mother (Amba-Bhavani) initially named him Narahari or Shaligramadeva, with the surname Kale.

First Incarnation - Sripada Srivallabha
First Incarnation - Sripada Srivallabha
Datta Paduka Mandir 01.jpg

Shri Narasimha Sarswati is considered to be the second incarnation of Dattatreya, the first Incarnation was Sripada Srivallabha, as per his blessings to Amba Bhavani, in her previous birth, Sripada Srivallabh had blessed her & he advised her to perform shiva pooja. Later he also told that he would be born to her in her next life as Narasimha Saraswathi to uphold the Sanatha Dharma in Kali Yuga. This instance has been well narrated from chapter 5 to Chapter 12 in the holy book Guru Charithra[5]

Guru Mandir Karanja-Birthplace
Guru Mandir Karanja-Birthplace

Narasimha Saraswati was a quiet child, who did not speak much during childhood. This led his parents to worry about his speech ability; however, Saraswati showed through hand gestures that after his upanayana or munji (sacred thread ceremony), he would be able to speak. He started reciting the Vedas after his munja, which so impressed the Brahmins in the village that it was talked about, with senior learned Brahmins coming to him for learning.

Narasimha Saraswati left home in 1386 at a tender age of 8 all alone and went on a pilgrimage to Kashi on foot. He took Sanyasa at Kashi from Shri Krishna Saraswati. The second part of his name came from this guru, who eventually named him Shri Narasimha Saraswati. (This is a Sanskrit name.)

After becoming a Sanyasi, Narasimha Saraswati visited several holy places before returning to Karanja at the age 30 to meet his parents. He visited various places before settling in Ganagapura (Ganagapur)[6] (now in the state of Karnataka) for the last 20 years of his life.[7]

Towards the end of his life, Narasimha Saraswati met with the Muslim king (Sultan) of Bidar, possibly 'Ala-ud-Din Ahmed Shah' of the Bahmani Sultanate, who was ruling the area at that time.[8]

Since his karma for that avatar had completed, thus he decided to take samadhi. He left for the jungle of Kadali (Kadali vana near Srisailam). Saraswati took Nijanandagamana (निजानंदगमन) type of samadhi in 1459 for 300 years.[9]


The main events of Sri Narasimha Saraswati's life are given below. Possible years and dates are given according to descriptions of the lunar and stellar events calendar mentioned in the Shri GuruCharitra.[10]


Saraswati taught that the life of Brahmins was fully covered by the rules given in the old scriptures and the rules were to be strictly followed by the Brahmins in their daily lives in order to achieve happiness and, ultimately, moksha. He insisted that his disciples follow these routines.[11]


Many parts of Saraswati's life are told in the Shri GuruCharitra, written by Saraswati Gangadhar.[12][13][14]


Guru Tradition

Saraswati comes from the tradition of Sringeri Math. Jagadguru Shri Adi Shankaracharya established this Math. The guru-lineage according to Sri Guru Charitra follows like this:Pitamaha Brahmadev - Shankar - Vishnu - Bramha - Vasishtha - Shakti - Parashar - Vyas - Shuka - Gaudpadacharya - Govindacharya - Sri Adi Shankaracharya - Vishwarupacharya - Dnyanagiri - Sidhagiri - Ishwaratirtha - Narasimhatirtha - Vidyatirtha - Shivtirtha - Bharati - Vidyaranya - Vidyatirtha Saraswati - Malayananda Saraswati - Devatirtha Saraswati - Yadavendra Saraswati - Krishna Saraswati - Narasimha Saraswati.

Disciple Tradition

Shri Narasimha Saraswati had several disciples. They include:

Siddha Saraswati is possibly the original writer of the Sanskrit GuruCharitra, which was later translated to Marathi by Shri Saraswati Gangadhar.


Saraswati's house where he was born is located in Karanja. Although the house is no longer in the original shape, some parts remain and have been converted into a temple.[15]

Final disciple tradition

Saraswati's final disciple tradition is as follows:

Shri Narasimha Saraswati - Madhavendra Saraswati - Amritendra Saraswati (Amritananda) - Gaganendra Saraswati - Madhavendra Saraswati (Madhava Saraswati).

After Madhava Saraswati, the tradition split into two branches:


  1. ^ Shri Dattatreya Dnyankosh by Dr. P. N. Joshi (Shri Dattateya Dnyankosh Prakashan, Pune, 2000)
  2. ^ "Sree Nrusimha Saraswati Swamy | Sree Datta Vaibhavam".
  3. ^ Shri Narasimha Saraswati (Karanja) page with Shri Guru Charitra.
  4. ^ "Gurumandir Temple".
  5. ^ "Shri GuruCharitra (English) | Guru | Shiva". Scribd. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  6. ^ "Ganagapur". Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Shri Guru Charitra". Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  8. ^ "Marathi Vishwakosh (मराठी विश्वकोश)".
  9. ^ Akkalkot Niwasi Shree Swami Samarth (Shri Narasimha Saraswati) Complete Biography
  10. ^ Bharatiya Itihas Sanshodhan Mandal trimonthly 9.4 (Gurucharitratil Aitihasik Mahiti, J. S. Karandikar) pp.6-16; Maharashtramahodayacha Purvaranga: N.S.K. Gadre, pp.68
  11. ^ Shri Narasimha (Nrusimha) Saraswati (Karanja) page with Brief life history of Shri Gurumaharaj.
  12. ^ Shri GuruCharitra (Sri Gurucharitra) (new, abbreviated version) online
  13. ^ Shri GuruCharitra (Sri GuruCharitra) see point 2 on this page to see the difference between modern and old Shri Guru-Charitra
  14. ^ Sree Guru Charitra Complete online book in English by Acharya Ekkirala Bharadwaja.
  15. ^ Shri Gurumandir Sansthan, Karanja - Birthplace of Shri Nrusimha (Narasimha) Saraswati Swami Maharaj - Home Page of Gurumandir - a Lord Dattatreya Temple