Significance of Sree Guru Charitra
Many are the blessed souls who, by daily devout study of this work, have earned the grace of Lord Dattatreya and his unerring guidance respecting to their Perfect Masters. A few instances: Vasudeva Sastri (b. 1854), a very poor but devout Brahmin of Mangaon, used to read Sree Guru Charitra since his boyhood. One day, Lord Datta appeared in his dream and said, “Go to Nrisimhavadi. You will get the needed money and company too!” The next morning, a rich man who had earlier got his astrological guidance turned up and paid him Rs.250/-. Meanwhile, his neighbor, a devotee of Lord Datta, requested Sastri to accompany him on a trip to that very place! On the way, when they sojourned at a village called Boregaon, Lord Datta again appeared in his dream and said, “At Nrisimhavadi, take darshan of Govindaswami!” Accordingly, on reaching the place, even while they were enquiring where Govindaswami lived, the great saint himself approached them and addressed Sastri familiarly, by name and enquired after his welfare!
At that time, Sastri was reading Sree Guru Charitra only formally, as a part of his family-tradition, but not with zeal. One day, Govindaswami said, “Sastri, why not worship Sree Guru?” As Sastri was devoted to the japa of the Gayatri Mantra, the recitation of the Veda and tending the sacred fire, he did not agree. The same night, Lord Datta appeared in his dream and initiated him with a mantra. The next morning, Sree Govindaswami saw him and said, “Hello, you are initiated with a mantra. Now, learn the method of its japa!” and taught him the same. Sastri accepted Sree Govindaswami as his Sadguru and, under his care, grew up to be a Sadguru himself, a sannyasi, entitled Sree Vasudevananda Saraswathi. The then Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Sringeri, H.H.Sree Chandrasekhara Bharathi Swami, hailed him as the very manifestation of Lord Datta.
One young Panduranga took darshan of Sree Vasudevananda Saraswathi at Nrisimhavadi and henceforth considered him as his Guru. Unfortunately for him, the saint attained Mahasamadhi shortly after. Young Panduranga prayed to Datta for guidance when he heard a voice, “Read that sacred book!” thrice. On his way home, he visited his uncle. The latter used to revere his text of Sree Guru Charitra, which he devoutly read everyday. As he grew too old to do so, now he was anxious as to whom he could entrust it. It suddenly struck Panduranga that it was the sacred book, which Datta directed him to read and he gladly received it. He was pleasantly surprised to know that the book was personally given to his uncle by Sree Sai Baba of Shirdi, an avatar of Lord Datta. By deligent and devoted study of it, he blossomed into Sree Sadguru Rangavadhutha Maharaj of Nareswar.