Phalgun Krushna Shashthi
Today is Eknath Shashthi.
On this occasion HJS pays obeisance at his holy feet.
IntroductiomEknath (1533-1599) was a prominent Marathi religious poet in the Hindu tradition in India.
He was born and lived most of his life in Paithan in Maharashtra, India. Eknath's family name is almost unknown. In accord with a tradition in India of assigning the epithet "sant" (संत) to persons regarded as thoroughly saintly, Eknath is commonly known in Maharashtra as Sant Eknath (संत एकनाथ).
At age 25, he married Girijabai, and the couple had three children.
Eknath was well-versed in Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Urdu and Hindi languages besides Marathi.
Sant Eknath was the disciple of Sri Janardana Swami - a highly ranked minister in the kingdom of Devgarh. Sant Eknath had surrendered his life at the lotus feet of his Gurudev since he was just 10 years old. He used to wash Guruji's clothes, get flowers for worshipping, when Gurudev used to sit for meals, he used to fan him with a hand-fan, he used to take care of the sons of Guruji, he used to read letters sent to Guruji & give corresponding replies as directed by Guruji. While performing these duties & several other big & small duties he surrendered at the divine feet of Gurudev.
Sant Eknath on Indian Stamp
Sant Eknath on Indian Stamp
Once Gurudev told Eknath to do the accounting of the expenses of the king's ministry. The accounts were to be submitted to the king next morning. The whole day was spent in writing & checking the accounts. The night came. The servant kept a candle near Eknath & went away. Eknath didn't even come to know that night had begun. A mistake of one penny was there in the accounts. It had become midnight & still that mistake of one penny was not traceable. Eknath kept on working...
Early in the morning Gurudev saw that Eknath is still busy with the accounts. He silently came & stood in front of the candle. Shadow was now falling on the account-books, but Eknath still kept on looking into the account-books with full concentration. He was so involved with his work that even in darkness, the letters of the account-book were clearly visible to him.
All of a sudden the mistake of one penny was figured out. Eknath was so happy that he shouted: "Found it... Found it... !"
Gurudev asked: "What did you find, son?"
Eknath was totally surprised to hear Gurudev's voice. When he looked up, he saw Gurudev standing. He got up & bowed to Gurudev & said: "Gurudev! A mistake of one penny was not traceable. Now it is found."
Only a mistake of one penny in the accounts of thousands! And to remain awake the whole night to figure that out. So much dedication in Guru-Seva! Shri Janardana Swami's heart was filled with Guru-Grace seeing so much devotion & endurance in Eknath. He found a capable heir who could be showered with the nectar of True Knowledge. The true disciple capable of taking care of the spiritual property of the SatGuru was found. Thereafter the sun of True-Knowledge arose in Eknath's heart & in his divine presence several other aspirants were overwhelmed being able to experience this Supreme Bliss. The Mother Godavari (river Godavari disguised as a lady) herself used to come to attend Sant Eknath's spiriual discourses to wash away the sins which other people used to put in her. Many people are still getting benefitted by reading the epic written by Sant Eknath ji called "Eknathi Bhagvat".
Sant Eknath Temple, Paithan
Feature of Sant Eknath's PoetryOld Marathi Literature covers about eight centuries. Its pioneers and founders were Mukundaraj (Vivekasindhu) and Dnyaneshwar (Dnyaneshwari) whose younger contemporary Namdeo (1270-1350) wrote devotional verses in a simple language for the people. Two centuries later came the great saint and greater poet Eknath whose Ekanathi Bhagavata is a literary masterpiece of Marathi literature. Eknath had a simple and attractive style of composing poetry and was the founder of secular poetry in Marathi.
Religious WritingsFor his spiritual development in his youth, Eknath had accepted the discipleship of a Guru named Janardan Swami. At the suggestion of his Guru, Eknath wrote as his first composition a Marathi commentary in verse form named Chatushloki Bhagwat based on certain four verses (shlok: श्लोक) in Sanskrit Bhagwat. The elaborate commentary consisted of 1,036 owees (ओव्या).
About 230 years before the birth of Eknath, Dnyaneshwar had writtten an important commentary in verse form (ओव्या) in Marathi named Bhawarth-Deepika, (popularly known as Dnyaneshwari) on Sanskrit Bhagawad Geeta. After elaborate research, Eknath meticulously prepared an authentic edition of Dnyaneshwari.
Almost all of Eknath's writings were in verse form in Marathi.
Eknath wrote a scholarly and lucid commentary, Eknathi Bhagawat, on the Eleventh Canto of Sanskrit Bhagawat Purana. The commentary involved 18,800 owees.
He worte the first 25,000 owees of his another major work, Bhawartha-Ramayana. A disciple of his had added 15,000 owees to complete this work.
Eknath wrote Rukmini Swayamwar comprising 1,711 owees; it was based on 144 shlok from Bhagawat Purana. His work, Hastamalak, compised 764 owees, and it was based on a 14-shlok Sanskrit hymn with the same name by Shankaracharya.
He further wrote Shukashtak (447 owees), Swatma-Sukha (510 owees), Ananda-Lahari (154 owees), Chiranjeewa-Pad (42 owees), Geeta-Sar and Prahlad-Vijaya.
Eknath introduced a new form of Marathi religious songs called Bharood (भारूडे), writing 300 of them. He wrote 300 religious songs in the Abhang form (अभंग).
In his adult life, Eknath gave many lucid relgious public discourses (कीर्तने).
Eknath initiated in Maharashtra a movement called Wasudewa Sanstha. It involves house-to-house visitations by individuals known as Wasudewa, who, standing in front of people's houses, spread religious messages through bhajan chants (भजने).
Ref. : geocities.com and wikipedia.org