Saturday, 1 February 2014


Harijan Child

Late in age, he picked up the child of a Harijan woman who had been to the river to fetch water and had forgotten the infant playing in the sands. The cries of the child attracted Eknath and out of pity, he lifted it gently and carried it home to its mother.

The small episode had the effect of enraging the local pundits who cried: “Horror! The sacred lineage of Bhanudas has been made impure by this descendant of his!” This time they wanted to make sure of Eknath taking steps for a full purification.

Eknath went wearily down the ghats to the river to start a penance in order to please them, when a brahmin suffering from leprosy suddenly dashed forward causing much consternation as he made his way towards Eknath and prostrated himself full length before him.

“It is 12 years since I suffer from this terrible disease,” he told Eknath and the crowd that had collected around them. “I did penance at Tryambak-eshwar where I was told in a dream that if Paithana’s saint Eknath was willing to part with the merit he obtained in restoring a Harijan child to its mother, I would be cured.” Eknath, modest and humble as ever, answered:

“I know neither sin nor merit. But if you think it will help you, by all means, receive in your hands whatever merit I might have earned this way.”

He placed his hand over that of the brahmin and lo! the stricken one rose a cured man. All the other tempestuous brahmins turned about shameĂfacedly and without a word retired to their homes.

Three Thieves

While Eknath was busy one night conducting a Kirtana in his house, three thieves slipped in and hid in the premises. After the Kirtana was over and the inmates of the house fell asleep, they quietly crept into the inside rooms and collected whatever pots and articles they could lay their hands on. They piled them near the door and went in for more.

Then calamity struck. One after the other the thieves became blind. Groping around for the way out, they stumbled upon the heap of pots and the noise woke up Eknath who came to see what the trouble was about. Hearing his footsteps the thieves who had realized that they had committed a crime by robbing the house of a saint for which they had become afflicted with blindness, cowered and huddled together. Eknath called them and asked the reason of their fear and all three fell at his feet and told him of their woe.

Sight Restored

He immediately passed his hands over their eyes and they regained their sight. He called Girijabai and asked her and Uddhava to feed them and then sent them away with all the pots they had stolen. The thieves, overwhelmed by his goodness and generosity, fell again at his feet and swore that they would never steal again. Seeing their change of heart, Eknath blessed them and explained:

“God has come into my house in your forms, so go now, take these pots and start life a new, adhering to the honest path.”  

Sthitapradna - Steady Intellect

 Going to Kashi (Benaras) was supposed to be a great religious achievement in those days Everybody therefore tried to go to Kashi in his old age and complete that pilgrimage. Once a gentleman wanted to go for that pilgrimage. He had a "Paris'' (one stone which converts iron into pure gold by touch) with him and in those good old days, when there was no security he was faced with the difficulty of keeping it in safe custody.

The travel from Maharashtra to Kashi was quite hazardous. The roads were infested with thieves and often times the Muhomedans used to attack the pilgrims and convert them. Thus unrest and insecurity prevailed in India for about three centuries from 1500 A, D. to 1800 A. D. After the coming of the British, they destroyed all the mischievous elements like the Thugs and Pendharies and established peace in India. It is said that this peace and security, which the British gave to the Indians, was one of the reasons why the opposition to the British rule subsided very soon and the people thought that the British rule has come to India for their good.

This gentleman had heard that Eknath was an upright and honest man who would not play flase with him. He therefore came to Eknath and requested him to keep the Paris with him up-to the time he returns from the pilgrimage. Eknath took that stone and kept it in the place where the idols of the god were kept and quite forgot about it; because he had not the sligtest idea of using the stone and converting iron into gold. After a lapse of nearly eight months the gentleman returned from his pilgrimage and straight went to Shri Eknath. On seeing him Shri Eknath welcomed ,him and enquired how he completed the pilgrimage. He also enquired whether he had any difficulties on his way. Shri Eknath was talking about everything else except the Paris; because he had forgotten completely about it, On seeing this, the gentleman started doubting the fidality of Shri Eknath He thought that Eknath wants to retain the stone and does not want to give it back to him. He thought it is no use keeping quiet at this juncture. He therefore himself opened the topic and requested Shri Eknath to give back his Paris. When the person made the mention of Paris Eknath remembered about it and went in the room where he had placed it. After a diligent search, he could not trace it; because it appeared that along with the stale flowers, used for God's worship, the stone also might have been thrown in the Godavari river. When Eknath could not produce the stone, the gentleman became restless.

The doubt in his mind about Shri Eknath's honesty was confirmed and he thought that the reputation he had heard about Eknath was not correct. He was a rogue and wanted to usurp the stone. He got a little agitated; but Eknath clamed him and said "Do not be afraid. I will find out and return the stone to you before the evening". After this Eknath further requested the gentelman to stay with him for lunch and suggested that in the meanwhile they might go to the Godavari for a bath. Though annoyed the gentleman became quite helpless before the calm and composed talk of Shri Eknath and he went to the river for bath. When they came to the river, Shri Eknath dived into the water and from the riverbed he brought out a handful of stones and requested the gentelman to pick up his stone from amongest them. He was however dismayed and thought that he was being fooled by Eknath, as he thought that such handful of stones can never all be Paris; but he was careful enough to bring peices of iron with him and on trying them he found to his utter surprise that all of them were Paris. He was picking up one and leaving it, thinking that it was not his stone. So he went on fidgeting, not being able to make up his mind. Seeing this,

Shri Eknath said, "Kindly select your stone early. So that we can finish our bath and go home. I have yet to worship the god and therefore we might be late for lunch." On this request, the gentleman had no other go but to select his stone and no sooner he picked up his stone, Shri Eknath threw the rest of them back in the river. Similar incident is also reported in the life of saint Namdeo.

The greedy gentleman was stunned at this queer behaviour of Shri Eknath. He thought of retaining a few more stones out of those brought out by Shri Eknath; but Shri Eknath was a man whose greed, anger love and such other passions had vanished. In terms of the Bhagavadgita he had become a Sthitapradna i, e. a person whose intellect had become steady.

Stone Bull Eats Grass

Eknath was forthwith branded as the killer of a brahmin who could bring dead to alive. No matter how he tried to clear himself, they wouldn’t listen.

They held a meetĂing in front of a Siva temple and Eknath repeated what he had said so many times and over before: “I did not force him and God is witness that I am not guilty.”

“Right,” cried their spokesman,

“If God is witness to your innocence, let us see you feed fodder to this Nandi bull (Siva’s vehicle). If God causes the bull to eat the grass, you will be exonerated, not otherwise!”

Eknath humbly bowed to the stone Nandi, patted him gently on the head and offered him the fodĂder, and yes, he opened his mouth, licked and ate the fodder, got up and trotted away, and finally disapĂpeared into the Godavari.  

Dead Made Alive

In Paithana, there was a sannyasin whose habit it was to prosĂtrate before everybody. He was a slightly eccentric devotee of God who liked to salute God in the form of whoever he met on the road. They called him Dandavat Baba.

As he passed one day by the carĂcass of a donkey, some children asked him:

“Dandavat Baba, why don’t you also prostrate to the dead donkey?” Obliging them, the Baba did so and to everyone’s amazement, the animal came back to life, got up and romped away.

The news of it reached Eknath who felt concern for the sannyasin. He went and asked the old Baba why he had revived the donkey. “I don’t know,” said the Baba helplessly, “I didn’t do anything.” “Do you realize,” said Eknath, “how people are going to exploit you and trouble you to revive their dead? What are you going to do about it?” “I wish I knew,” he answered and looked up to Eknath, spreading his hands and asked:

“Please tell me what you think is best.” Eknath then spoke about the ideal of sannyasins who have no ties in this world and for whom life and death are the same since they are identified with the soul which lives in its infiĂnite state and suggested he give up his own body, by taking Mahasamadhi.

This suited the Dandavat Baba well and he accepted his idea with great relief. 

Army Commander

it was a Thursday when the enemy suddenly stormed the gates of the fort. Janardana Swami was in samadhi while Eknath guarded the door. Seeing that pandemonium reigned, Eknath quickly made up his mind.

He rushed to the room where his guru kept his weapons and coat of mail, put on the armour, and rode out on the guru’s horse, reassuring the people. He dashed out of the fort and into the fray and routed the enemy without disturbing his guru. Having re-established peace and order, he returned the arms and clothes and took back his post at Janardana Swami’s door.

The Swami found out all that had happened without Eknath’s countenance betraying the slightest sign of excitement of the past hours and he felt well pleased with the presence of mind and initiative of his disciple, his courage and humility.  

Purity of Body Vs Mind,

One day a group of people were gambling. A small fight began within them and they started fighting within themselves.

One of them tried to stop the fight and asked them not to get angry and fight among themselves. One of them immediately replied that he was not Eknath to be calm and collected and never to get angry for anything.

One of them listening to this asked if Eknath really will not get angry for anything. All others said that even the sun may rise in the west but Eknath will never get angry. He then said that if someone doesn’t get angry then he is not human. The others then said that he was not human and that he was god.

The guy then betted the whole money they were gambling and said that he would make him angry. The gambler who had betted, had a house near the banks of Godhavari. He went home and the next morning he was waiting for Eknath to come to Godhavari to have his bath. Eknath had his bath and was returning back. The gambler was chewing pan and spited on his head from the terrace of his house on Eknath.

Eknath did not even bother to look up to see him, nor did he shout at him and he went back to Godhavari to bath again. When he came back the gambler again spit the pawn on him. Eknath still did not say anything and went back to bath again. Eknath would clean himself and come and the gambler would spit on him, this happened several times and by noon the gambler had finished his entire pan and was also tired standing in the terrace and spiting.

Now the gambler came down and was waiting for Eknath to come. This time when Eknath was going back from the river the gambler blocked him and asked him how he had so much of patience and that why he did not get angry with him when he has been spiting on him since morning.

Eknath then replied to him that he came to Godhavari to clean his body before performing pooja to god. He also said that one should perform pooja with clean body and mind. When he spited on him, he only dirtied his body and went back to clean it. He then said that if he had got angry and shouted at him, his mind would have become dirty and that it would be even more difficult to clean his mind than cleaning his body. The gambler was moved hearing this and said that he had read about this but never seen this in practice. 

Kandiya Krishnan

God loved his devotee so much that he even took the form of a servant and served Eknath for 12 years. He was called Sri Khandya and did all kinds of jobs for Eknath and Girijibai

Envy to Surrender

Eknath’s neighbour was envious with him and was saying everyone that he dint know Sanskrit and was scribbling something in Marathi with out knowing about the granthas that he is writing about. Eknath never bothered about what others said and would continue to do his work thinking it was Vitthal’s leela.

Once while writing about Uddhava in Bagavatha he got in to a transcendental state and fell down. His neighbour saw him in an unconscious state with a note about Uddhava in his hand. He immediately understood that he had underestimated Eknath and waited for him to come back to consciousness and apologised to him and asked him to make him his sishya. 

Guru was everything

Janradhana Swami’s deity was Dattatreya and he requested him to give darshan to Eknath and Dattatreya agreed to his request.

The next day Eknath went to Godhavari River to have his bath as usual. After completing his bath he would bring water from the river to the ashram. On his way back Dattatreya gave him his darshan in godly form. The four Vedas stood next to him as 4 dogs. Dharma devata stood behind him as a bull. Eknath on seeing him prostrated to him. Dattatreya then blessed him and Eknath came back to the ashram and started doing his work as usual.

Janardhana Swami came and saw what Eknath was doing and he found him boiling the milk. He then thought that he doesn’t look like someone who has had the darshan of god. The state of a person who has realised and seen god would be different and they would be in deep meditation, sometimes crying or smiling and would not look like normal persons to the outside world. Janardhana Swami was now wondering if god had given him darshan or not. Janardhana Swami was now really confused and asked Eknath if had seen anything this morning. Eknath then told him that when he was returning from the river he saw his guru’s deity standing under the tree and that he had worshiped him. Janardhana Swami was further perplexed and told him that there are so many rishis trying to realize god for so many janmas and after having realized god how he could continue with his regular work. Eknath then replied to him that his Guru was everything to him and that he was happy to see this form of god rather than the form he saw in the morning. Hearing this Janardhana Swami was moved. 

Bridge / How

Sant Eknath Is Like A Bridge Between His Predecessors Dnyaneshwar And Namdev And Successors Tukaram And Ramdas

During the intervening period of about 250 years between Dnyaneshwar and Eknath, various invaders ravaged Maharashtra. Defeats after defeats had completely demoralized people. The great legacy of Dnaneshwar was nearly forgotten. Eknath devoted himself to change this situation. His first task was to locate the "samadhi" of Dnyaneshwar and trace the undistorted version of "Dnyaneshwari". In fact, without Eknath’s all-out efforts, the legacy of Dnyaneshwar could well have been lost to the succeeding generations.

According to scholars, in Maharashtra, Eknath's place as philosopher-writer-saint is second only to Jnanadeva's. His main achievement, outwardly, was to spread Sanatana Dharma (the Eternal Religion) and its philosophy down to the lowest stratum of society. As one of his biographers puts it,

"With Jnanadeva, philosophy reigned in the clouds; with Eknath, it came down to earth and dwelt among the people"

At last following the example of his idol, Dnyaneshwar, he left for his heavenly abode by embracing "jalsamadhi" in sacred Godavari on the Krishna Shasthi day of Phalguna in the year Shaka 1521 (1599AD).

Meditation - Protection From Sun Heat by Snake

  After this initiation, Janardan Swami advised Eknath to go to the mountain peak named "Sulabha" near Daulatabad and perform penance there after taking bath in the lake known as Suryakund which existed there. According to his Guru's orders Eknath started his penance on the Sulabha Mountain. When he would sit for meditation and go into the trance, he would know nothing that would happen round about him. During that period he would, so to say, be outside this world. So once when he sat for meditation, one big serpent came to him and opened his hood on his head in order to protect him from the Sun. One farmer, who happened to see this, shouted aloud and because of that noise Eknath moved his body. Knowing that Eknath was coming out of his trance, the serpent vanished. When the farmer told this story to Eknath he said that he did not know anything about this as he was deeply in trance during that period. He also said to the farmer that this must be the arrangement made by God to protect him from the heat of the Sun. After observing penance in this fashion for a few days, one day he God himself stood before Eknath in human form. Eknath at once bowed down to him and went back to his Guru according to his instructions. Janardan Swami was glad to know the progress of his disciple and he told him that he has reached a sufficiently high level in concentration of mind & meditation and that he can now proceed for a pilgrimage along with him.


Mukteshwar the son of Eknath's  daughter, was dumb from his birth; but later on his speech was restored to him by the grace of Shri Eknath and he became a prominent Marathi author. 

Samadhi Day

It may be recalled that the Guru of Shri Eknath, Shri Janardan Swami took his samadhi on Falgun Vadya sixth and that day was being observed scrupulously at Eknath's house. Once while speaking about this day, Eknath had said that this day is at present famous for the following four occurrings:-

1) Birthday of Shri Janardanswami.
2) The day on which Shri Eknath got the darshan of Lord Datta.
3) The day on which Shri Eknath met his Guru Janardan Swami for the first time.
4) The day on which Janardan swami took his Samadhi. and added that it would be famous for a fifth occurring in course of time. This occurring to which he referred was his own samadhi day. Shri Eknath also took samadhi on the same day, which was the Birthday and the day of the death anniversary of his Guru.


Three Forefathers

It was- the Shraddha day of Eknath's father and he had called the brahmins of Paithan for dinner; but before serving them, he served the food to some non-hindus.

The brahmins, who had gone to the Godavari for bath, returned back and saw that before them the "Yavnas" are fed, thus showing disrespect for them. Eknath however told them that no disrespect was meant by him as the soul is the same in all human beings and god is pleased when any soul gets the food. The brahmins however would not agree and ultimately agreed to take the food if the forefathers would partake physically.

Shri Eknath agreed to that and requested the forefathers to attend and partake of the food in person. On Eknath's request three forefathers appeared in person and then the brahmins had to take the meals as per their stipulation.  

Janardhana Swami - His Guru / Note
 Eknath was a devout gurubhakta and wrote under the name of Eka-janardana meaning eka of janardana