Saints of Maharashtra

The state of Maharashtra has a strong religious and cultural heritage. The religious studies and traditions are evident from the several temples and religious destinations in the state. Maharashtra is also popular for the long list of saints who hailed from the state. These saints have enlightened the masses from time to time with their discourse on humanity, equality, valor, brotherhoodness and harmony. Namdev is respected for his excellent knowledge of poetry and religious discourse. He travelled entire India and reached Punjab region, where he is respected by the Sikh religious followers even today. Saint Ramdas delivered preaching on courage and noble living

The strong influence of Warkari tradition gave prominence to saints in the state. Saint Tukaram, Eknath and Dnyandev are considered proponents of this tradition. They were considered as the hope of living for people with depressed souls and miseries. Saint Eknath mobilized the masses to fight against injustice of dictatorial rulers by way of his “Bharoods”. Saint Dnyaneshwara propagated his teachings of Bhagavadeeta among the masses by translating its verses to Marathi. There were also some women saints like Saint Sakhubai, Soyrabai and Janabai who influenced the society with their religious discourses.

Maharashtra has the distinction of producing several saints throughout its history. One or the other saint has been continuously involved in awakening the masses and spreading spiritual teachings. The endless list of most respected Bhakthi saints include Samarth Ramdas, Savta Mali, Gora Kumbhar, Dnyaneshwar, Chokhamela, Namdev, Eknath and Tukaram. Apart from these saints there were also few Harijan Saints likeSant Damaji panth, Sant Sakhubai, Sant Banka Mahar, Sant Kanhopatra, Sant Bhagu, Sant Soyarabai, Sant Nirmala, Sant Sadna, Sant Satyakam Jabali, and Sant Karmamelam. The state is also popular as the birth place of several world famous saints like Meher Baba, Swami Shukadas Maharaj, Sai Baba of Shirdi, Swami Samarth, Maharaj Gajanan and Maharaj of shegaon. The tomb of Meher Baba located at Meherabad is a world pilgrimage center visited by thousands of pilgrims. Maharashtra also has the distinction of most number of devotees thronging the state. Bhagubai and Namdev Mahar from Kharagpur are the dedicated devotees of Shirdi Sai Baba. Shirdi is a popular Shrine in Maharashtra and is also the second richest temple in the country after Tirupathi Balaji Shrine in Andhra Pradesh.

Some of the popular all time Saints from Maharashtra are listed below:

  • Dnyaneshwar
  • Tukaram
  • Namdev
  • Sant Gora Kumbhar
  • Sant Rohidas
  • Samarth Ramdas
  • Sant Narhari Sonar
  • Chokhamela
  • Savta Mali
  • Bhakta Goma Bai
  • Sant Banka Mahar
  • Sant Bhagu
  • Sant Damaji Pant
  • Sant Janabai
  • Sant Kanhopatra
  • Sant Karmamelam
  • Sant Nirmala
  • Sant Sadna
  • Sant Sakhubai
  • Sant Satyakam Jabali
  • Sant Soyarabai
  • Sant Sena Nhavi
  • Sant Eknath


Sant Dnyaneshwar who was popularly called Jñanadeva belonged to the thirteenth century. He was a philosopher, poet and yogi belonging to Nath tradition. Some of his writings like Amrutanubhav and Bhavartha Deepika (Bhagavad Gita stories also known as "Dnyaneshwari") are the literary masterpieces in Marathi Literature.


Sant Tukaram belonged to the Warkari cult and was a popular poet of Bhakti. He is popularly called Sant Tukaram. Tukaram was an ardent devotee of Vithoba or Vitthala which is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.


Namadeva or Sant Namdev as he is popularly called belonged to the Warkari sect of Hinduism. He was a religious poet and is being respected by the followers of Sikh religion also.

Namdev was born in the Narasi-Bamani village of Hingoli District in Maharashtra on 29th Oct 1270. His father Damshet was a tailor and calico printer by profession. His mother’s name was Gonabai. Namdev’s teaching emphasized the importance of the institution of marriage. He highlighted the prominence of leading a family life and proclaimed that it is the only method of attaining Moksha or self realization.

Sant Janabai

Janābāi was a famous Marāthi religious poetess who is believed to be born in the mid thirteenth century (uncertainty exists about the date) in Maharashtra. As per the available legends she died in the year 1350.

Janabai was born to the couples karand and rand in the Gangākhed, locality of Maharashtra. Her parents belonged to lower caste and she had a troublesome childhood due to the existence of stringent caste rules during the period. Her mother expired at an early age and this made her father take her to Pandharpur. Janabai worked as a domestic help at the house of Dāmāsheti, the father of popular Marathi religious poet Namdev. Being older than Namdev, she looked after him for many years.

Sant Soyarabai

The fourteenth century witnessed a popular woman saint in Maharashtra. Sant Soyarabai, the wife of renowned saintChokhamelabelonged to the Mahar caste. She followed the path shown by her saint husband.

Her popular literary works included blank verses of her own. She had written numerous verses out of which only sixty two are known presently. In her teachings, “Abhang”, she shows displeasure to God for ill treatment to the Untouchables and making their life miserable. She addresses herself as Chokha’s Mahari. The main themes in her poems are always the plight of untouchables and her devotion to God.


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