Shri Samartha Ramdas Swami harmonized material and spiritual life by emphasizing the significance of dedication to work and alertness and shrewdness in daily life. He realized the need of selfless workers for the upliftment of society. The selfless worker, according to Shri Samartha, was one constantly engaged in social work, not one interested in only his own spiritual progress. Shri Samartha believed that the organisation of such devoted workers would create the necessary awareness in society.
Shri Samartha initiated Ramdasi Sect (Sampraday) by installing the first Maruti at Shahapur (District Satara) in 1644 A.D. The Sampraday was transformed into a systematic organisation in 1648 by establishing Math at Chaphal. Thus Shri Ramdas Swami himself created Sansthan for Ramdasi Sampraday in 1648. This Sansthan came to be known as Shri Ramdas Swami Sansthan. Shri Samartha stimulated Ramdasi Sampraday’s work by installing 10 more Marutis between 1644 and 1652 A.D., thus taking the number to the well known ‘11 Marutis’.
Realising the importance of the social work of Shri Samartha and Ramdasi Sampraday, Shrimant Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj took ‘Gurupadesh’ from Shri Samartha at Shinganwadi near Chaphal in August 1649. He had great reverence for Shri Ramdas Swami.
Shri Ramdas Swami Sansthan has been receiving constant support from the rulers as well as society right from the times of Hindawi Swarajya (Formation of Maratha kingdom). Shri Samartha Ramdas Swami moved from Chaphal to Sajjangad in 1676. The present day Math at Sajjangad was his place of residence.
The artisans of Tanjaur (Tamilnadu) had shaped the Panchadhatu idols of Shri Ram, Laxman, Sita and Maruti under the guidance of Shri Samartha. Shri Samartha placed those idols in ‘Shejghar’ of the Math. At the end of 5 days of fast he breathed his last (Mahanirvan) in front of these idols on Magh Vadya Navami, shake 1603(22nd January 1682). There was a pit to the north of the Math. The last rites, as prescribed in the Shastras, were performed there on Shri Samartha’s body. These rites were performed at the hands of Shri Samartha’s disciple, Shri Uddhavswami. Shri Samartha’s lady disciple, Chimanabai alias Akkabai was also present.
However, Kalyanswami, Shri Samartha’s another renowned disciple, was not present at Sajjangad at the time of Shri Samartha’s Mahanirvan. Realizing that he could not even take the darshan of his beloved guru for the last time, Kalyanswami became inconsolable. At this time, Shri Samartha’s Samadhi miraculously emerged on the place where the last rites were performed. The temple was built over it and the Panchadhatu idols were installed within it on the upper level of the Samadhi.
Sansthan owns the historical sites including Shri Samartha’s Math, Samadhi Mandir, Angai and other temples, Bhandargruha, etc. The daily religious programmes from Kakad Arati to Shejarati and special programmes on particular occasions like Gurupornima, Dasnavami utsav, Ramnavami as well as number of other programmes are being conducted by Sansthan for the last 329 years without break since the Mahanirvan of Shri Samartha.