Saint Eknath – The brave disciple

In 18th century India, there lived a Saint called Eknath Maharaj. Saint Eknath Maharaj was the disciple of Janardan Swami. (A disciple is one who does spiritual practice under the guidance of a Guru; he has complete obedience and faith in the love of God and his Guru and serves Them accordingly.) Janardan Swami looked after the fort that guarded the city of Devgad in Maharashtra. An enemy would have to capture the fort before they could take over the city. Hence, Swami Janardan’s army was always prepared for battle.

Daily, Swami Janardan would meditate (meditation is when one sits in one place and completely focuses on God or one’s chanting) for a few hours. During His meditation time, no one used to disturb Him.

Once, Janardan Swami was in deep meditation (samadhi), when a soldier rushed in. He said that he needed to meet the Swami urgently. Disciple Eknath Maharaj inquired about the purpose of the meeting. The solider informed him that he needed to speak to the Swami because enemy forces had gathered near the city. Saint Eknath wondered what to do. He did not want to disturb the Guru’s meditation but the situation was urgent. Quickly, he thought up a plan and rushed to the room where the battle armour was kept. He prayed intensely to the Guru, put on His Guru’s battle armour and rushed to where the soldiers were waiting. Praying to the Guru, He went to battle.

Seeing Eknath Maharaj clad in Swami Janardan’s armour, the soldiers thought He was Swami Janardan and went to battle with Him. They fought hard under Eknath Maharaj’s brave leadership and soon, the enemy forces were destroyed. Eknath  Maharaj returned to the fort, victorious. As soon as he returned, Eknath Maharaj changed back into His usual clothes, put the Guru’s battle armour back in its place and went back to daily satseva (service unto God), as if nothing had happened.

Soon, Swami Janardan awoke from meditation and heard the victory cries of the soldiers gathered in the fort, ‘Janardan Swami ki Jai (Victory to Swami Janardan)!’ He could not understand why they were celebrating. On hearing the story of the battle, He realised that it had been His disciple Eknath Maharaj, who had led the army bravely against the enemy. He asked Eknath Maharaj, “Dear Eknath Maharaj, how did you manage to lead the army?” Eknath Maharaj replied, “Swamiji, before going to battle, I just prayed to You. And You did the rest!”

Janardan Swami was pleased with His brave and devoted disciple.

Moral: This story shows Saint Eknath Maharaj’s love for and faith in, His Guru. So much so that He even went to battle, to avoid disturbing His Guru’s meditation. It also shows that when we have such faith, the Guru or God Himself gets everything done, just as He brought victory to Eknath Maharaj. We too, can develop such faith and devotion by praying sincerely to God in everything we do and chanting (repeating) God’s Name as much as possible.