History of Ashram and Trust

Gurudev was looking for a place that would suit his health after his serious illness. He wanted a place with dry weather, close to his guru's Samadhi at Inchageri and with communication and travel facilities. He found such place in Nimbal. He shifted his residence to Nimbal in 1922. Nimbal is a village with railway station near Bijapur. Gurudev bought the land near railway station in 1922 and built his house there in 1925. By 1920 Gurudev had achieved the high spiritual experience of names of God and earned the authority of being a guru. However he did not initiate anyone as Amburav Maharaj (Baba) was carrying that responsibility. After Amburav Maharaj's demise in 1933, Gurudev started initiating devotees at Nimbal. Disciples of Bhausaheb Maharaj and Baba started looking to Gurudev as their guide in spiritual life. They and Gurudev's own disciples sought his inspiring company and advice. People came to Nimbal and stayed there for few days in Gurudev's company as they did with Maharaj and Baba earlier. Gurudev built some rooms initially to accommodate them. As he saw the number growing, he built another house for himself in 1942, so that others could use the old house. Slowly more buildings came up as number of people increased. Gurudev converted his house into his ashram. This is a unique happening that one never comes across these days.


For many years, about eighteen years, Gurudev met all expenses on food from his own pocket, as his guru had done. This again is a unique case, where guru did not take a penny from his disciples for their stay and spent his own money to feed them at the ashram. There is no other place in the world where the guru has done this. After some years, at the insistence of senior disciples Gurudev agreed to have a 'kothi', to collect voluntary contribution from disciples for arrangement of food. However he insisted that such contributions should be reasonable (and not high) and voluntary. He also insisted on strict accounting and control of these contributions and expenses.


In 1957 Gurudev left his mortal coil. Matushri Kaukusaheb, his wife, stayed on at Nimbal. This was courageous and difficult as Nimbal is a remote isolated place. It did not have electricity, tap water, toilets etc. Gurudev's Samadhi was located at his old house, which was converted into his Samadhi Mandir. Kakusaheb managed the ashram and kept the discipline and tradition set by Gurudev alive. She formed a trust in 1957 with herself as sole trustee. Later she formed a Public trust in 1979, appointed its office bearers and handed over the management of Trust to them. She continued to be a trustee and provided guidance to the trust till she passed away in 1982. Shri Gurudev Ranade Samadhi Trust, Nimbal has been managing the ashram since 1979. A separate trust was created for 'kothi' to manage catering at the ashram to provide tea, breakfast, lunch and dinner to the devotees. Nimbal being a remote place there are no hotels and devotees are solely dependent on the ashram for food. Gurudev always wanted devotees to spend all the time on meditation and devotion. Hence kothi is integral part of the ashram.


Now the ashram has many facilities. Large number of devotees assembles there during the 'Saptah' for major events, i.e. punyatithi of Nimbargi Maharaj, Bhausaheb Maharaj, Amburav Maharaj and Gurudev and during Shravan Saptah. At other times people visit and stay as per their convenience.