Sri Krishna Saraswati Maharaj was born in a small village called Nandani situated in Shirol taluka in the Kolhapur district. Appa Joshi, his father, was a very pious priest always engrossed in conducting his daily religious rituals and was very helpful and hospitable by nature. He was a practicing priest and was conducting religious ceremonies and rituals for the people of Nandani as well as for those in the neighbouring villages. He was a great devotee of Sri Narasimha Saraswati Maharaj, the second incarnation of Lord Dattatreya. On every Saturday and on full moon day, Appa would visit Wadi, a place where Sri Narasimha Saraswati Maharaj stayed for 12 long years during his lifetime.
Appa Joshi’s wife Annapurna was unhappy because the couple unfortunately did not have any child. She would often request her husband to pray Sri Narasimha Saraswati Maharaj to bless them with a son. However, Appa would disregard her wish, as his wish was that Sri Narasimha Saraswati Maharaj who can bestow “Moksha” (ultimate merging with God), should not be troubled with trivial requests.
Once while returning home from his regular pilgrimage to Wadi, Appa was stranded at Wadi for the night due to extremely heavy rainfall and flood. Whilst sleeping there, Sri Narasimha Saraswati Maharaj appeared in his dream and promised him that he, himself, would take birth as his son. On his return home the next day, he revealed his dream to Annapurna. Soon, Annapurna was pregnant. During pregnancy, she was most happy and often she would go and sit for long in the temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman.On Sunday, February 7, 1836, (in the month of Magha, 5th day after full moon -according to Hindu calendar), she gave birth to a healthy, radiant child -a son. A group of astrologers predicted that this divine child would remain a celibate and guide thousands on the spiritual path. Appa Joshi and Annapurna named their son as Srikrishna because of his attractiveness and allure which was similar to that of Lord Krishna. Unlike normal babies, Srikrishna instead of confined to the cradle used to constantly crawl on the floor.
To the despair of his anxious mother, Srikrishna would not speak even upto the age of 5 years. Her friends and neighbours would advise her to perform certain rituals like worshipping the Peepal tree and feeding the priests and the poor. Annapurna would abide by all their advices. As time passed by, Srikrishna started speaking but no one could comprehend what he was saying.
Srikrishna reached the age of 7 years. His parents decided to arrange for his Upanayana ceremony. During the ceremony, the sacred Gayatri Mantra was recited in Srikrishna's ears. All that he could repeat were the first 2 words of the mantra twice as "OM BHURRA, OM BHURRA", which caused a peal of laughter from all those present. Appa Joshi was calm and unperturbed, as he was aware that the life of a divine child has to be different from an ordinary child's growing up stages.
When Srikrishna was 12 years old, he felt it was time to leave his home in Nandani for good and go to Akkalkot. He asked his mother's permission. Annapurna was shocked! She requested him to stay and not to leave them alone. Appa Joshi told his wife, "Do not stop him. Let him do what he wants to do. The very purpose of his birth is to help people on their spiritual journey. We neither have the strength nor the power to stop him." With heavy hearts, Appa Joshi and Annapurna said goodbye to their son. While parting, Srikrishna assured his sorrowful parents that he would appear to them whenever they remember him.
Srikrishna travelled on foot towards Akkalkot where Sri Swami Samarth, an incarnation of Lord Dattatreya, was staying. Days before Srikrishna's arrival at Akkalkot, Sri Swami Samarth had been restless. He was constantly heard excitedly muttering, "Krishna is coming, Krishna is coming". As Srikrishna approached the boundary of Akkalkot, Sri Swami Samarth speedily came out of his math. As soon as Sri Swami Samarth saw Srikrishna, he held his hand and rushed him to a nearby forest so fast that those who were following them could not locate them. Srikrishna and Sri Swami Samarth remained at an unknown place in the forest for over 7 days. What divine play was enacted in isolation was not known. Perhaps Sri Swami Samarth charted the divine course of future action for the young Srikrishna to undertake. Sri Swami Samarth gave spiritual initiation to Srikrishna. Sri Swami Samarth was considered as Srikrishna's Guru. In future, Srikrishna had great love and respect for Sri Swami Samarth, whom he held in extremely high esteem and which was equally reciprocated. Whilst Sri Swami Samarth was away, a gloom had descended on his devotees and disciples. Finally after a week, Sri Swami Samarth returned to Akkalkot alongwith Srikrishna. People were delighted to see their Guru, their God again. Sri Swami Samarth called out to them, "Srikrishna is hungry, get laddus for him." Srikrishna stayed on for some time at Akkalkot. Sri Swami Samarth renamed Srikrishna as Sri Krishna Saraswati Swami.
In 1900 A.D., in the month of Shravan on a full moon day, Swami kept on mumbling randomly. Most devotees, then, did not understand the importance of his vague utterances. He said, "O Audumbara Tree! You really are great. You offer shadow to one and all without distinction. Now onwards, I shall not be able to sit in your shadow. O Light! You are like a saint. You spread your glow equally to all whether it is a student studying Vedas, a thief at work or a couple enjoying a private moment. O Five Elements – Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Sky! I will now return the loan I took from you. Am I going away somewhere? Where can I go? The entire cosmos is not big enough to contain me! I shall always stay there where my devotees sing and chant.” The few wise devotees understood the eventuality and fell into depression. They felt sorry for themselves and very lonely.
Suddenly Swami’s thoughts wandered, and he started calling favourite disciple Namdev who was away in Ganagapur. Swami repeatedly murmured, "Why has Namya not arrived yet?" On the ninth day after the full moon, i.e. on Shravan Navami, Namdeva arrived. Swami asked all his other devotees except Namdev to go out of the room. Swami held Namdev’s hand firmly and said, "Namya! This tree of spirituality must grow tall like a Vata tree. Remember that it is for you to make it grow." Perhaps this was Swami’s way of appointing Namdev as his heir apparent! At 3.30 a.m. Swami laid his head on Namdev’s lap. He smiled and said, "Goddess Amba is calling me.”
At 4.00 a.m. the sounds of bells were heard ringing at the temple of Goddess Amba as the early morning aarti started.
Sri Namdev Maharaj continued to carry on the message of Sri Krishna Saraswati Maharaj and a small mathi was constructed at Gangaves near the Nijabodha mathi. A shrine was also created at Tarabai’s house at Kumbhar galii where Sri Krishna Saraswati Maharaj spent most of his time and guided thousands of devotees. Today at all the three places the worship is continuing with the fullest devotion and devotees are still having miraculous experiences. The Padukas of Sri Krishna Saraswati Maharaj was carved out by Sri Namdev Maharaj on a black stone from Jyotiba hill near Kolhapur where Sri Krishna Saraswati Maharaj used to wander in search of a Guru and where someone told him in his dream that he should immediately go to Akkalkot where Sri Swami Samarth Maharaj is waiting for him. Sri Namdev Maharaj kept these Padukas at the Gangaves mathi.
P.P. Nana Maharaj, the dear most disciple of Sri Namdev Maharaj, had taken on his shoulders the responsibility of spreading the message and taking forward his Guru’s mission, was blessed with a long life by Sri Namdev Maharaj. It was a desire of Sri Nana Maharaj that these Padukas of Sri Krishna Saraswati Maharaj should be brought at Sri Saihari Kshetra near Apta Phata so that the Guruparampara of Sri Akkalkot Swami Maharaj is brought at Sri Saihari Kshetra for the benefit of devotees. He expressed this desire to one of his devotee who instantly responded to the wish of his Guru and constructed a mathi on a piece of land in his own farm at Sri Saihari Kshetra only with the blessings of Sri Nana Maharaj and without any outside support. In 1988, ceremoniously the Padukas were brought at Sri Saihari Kshetra and on 12th December, 1989 on an auspicious day of Sri Dattajayanti at a mathi, namely Mrinmayee, the Padukas of Sri Krishna Saraswati Maharaj were installed at the hands P.P. Nana Maharaj. This occasion was also graced by P.P. Nanasaheb Gadre, another disciple of Sri Namdev Maharaj. The jayanti and punyatithi utsavs of Sri Krishna Saraswati Maharaj are celebrated every year at Mrinmayee.