The award, carrying a citation and Rs five lakh in cash, was presented by Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh to Dharmadhikari's son Appasaheb, who said he was receiving it on behalf of his late father and millions of followers.
"Almost 15 lakh followers of late Dharmadhikari have come to attend the function," Deshmukh said, glancing at the crowd.
Minister for Cultural Affairs Ashok Chavan said the disciplined manner in which people had gathered for the function spoke volumes about Dharmadhikari.
Deshmukh had yesterday presented `Maharashtra Bhushan' award to noted poet Mangesh Padgaonkar, at a function held at Shanmukhananda Hall in Matunga. Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil was also present.