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Ekanath

Ekanath was one of the most established saints of Maharashtra who was born in 1533 at a place called Paithan. He was only 3 years old when his parents died and was looked after by his grandparents namely Saraswatibai and Chakrapani. Since Ekanath was an orphan, he had to initially suffer from taunts given by other children. Due to this reason, he used to avoid their company and absorb himself in various devotional practices.

His great grandfather was a well known Saint Bhanudas. He used to worship Vitthal right from his childhood. Since he belonged to a family of saints, he derived devotion towards Vitthal through his family. During his childhood, Ekanath learnt shastras that were taught to him by his father. He then planned to learn the shastras from a Sadaguru. He became a follower of Janardhan Swami who was Dattatreya’s devotee. He joined the ashram of Janardhan Swami and started serving him.

His guru taught him Vedanta, Philosophy and Sanskrit Grammar. Ekanath then studied Jnaneshwari. He located the Samadhi of Dnyaneshwar in order to show people that the great saint was a real man and not a mythological being. Ekanath married Girijabai who was a great support for him. Ekanath and Girijabai were blessed with daughters, Ganga and Godavari and a son named Hari. The couple served as the perfect examples of ethical living. Ekanath perfectly blended his spiritual attainments and worldly life.

Residences of Ekanath

  • Paithan

  • Nasik- Trymbakeshwar

Writings of Ekanath

Ekanath wrote numerous epics such as the Abhangs, Bharudas and Bhavartha Ramayana. But one of his major works is the Ekanath Bhagvata which was his commentary on Bhagvat Purana’s 11th Skanda. It was completed in 1573 in Varanasi. In the work, he has beautifully explained the 9 traditional limbs of navangini i.e the Bhakti marga. He also translated many Sanskrit books in Marathi language. In addition to Ekanath Bhagvat, he also wrote Rukmini-Swayamvar which is the story of Lord Krishna and Rukmini’s marriage.

During 1583, Ekanath completed the edition of Jnaneshwari. Ekanath also initiated a movement called Vasudewa Sanstha in Maharashtra. It consisted of spreading religious messages through visitations, standing outside the houses and bhajans. Ekanath introduced Bharood which is a religious song in Marathi and performed the same in Varkari Sampradaya. He wrote about 300 songs which were in the form of Abhangs.

Preaching Of Life

Ekanath worked towards spreading Lord Krishna’s gospel among people in Marathi language. He emphasized the implementation of nama-smarna, discharging one’s duties, purity of conduct, bhajan singing and saguna bhakti. He stressed on the value of kirtana and chanting God’s name. His preaching, verses and works kindle hope among a large number of people even today. 

Spiritual Development

Janardana Swami completely focused on the spiritual progress of Ekanath. So, he never missed an opportunity to teach him. His main goal was to spread the philosophy of Sanatana Dharma to the masses. Ekanath devoted a great deal of time to devotional practices. He also fought against untouchability and some other ills that rotted the society. The teachings of Lord Krishna were his inspiration for fighting against untouchability.

Through his dedicated practice Ekanath achieved self realization. He was asked to go on a pilgrimage by his guru Janardana Swami. After the visit to pilgrimage, he was back to his birth place Paithan. Ekanath left his body by immersing himself in the sacred Godavari in 1599 on Krishna Shasthi day. He was a great saint and still shines as a role model for many people.

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