Sant Eknath was a prominent Marathi sant, scholar, and religious poet of the Varkari sampradaya. In the development of Marathi literature, Eknath is seen as a bridge between his predecessors—Dnyaneshwar and Namdev—and the later Tukaram and Ramdas.
The precise dates of his life are uncertain but it is traditionally that Eknatkk live during the last three-quarters of the sixteenth-century CE. Legend also says that he was born to a Brahmin family at Paithan, that his parents died while he was young and that he was then raised by his grandfather, Bhanudas, a hero of the Varkari sect. Some sources say that Bhanudas was his great-grandfather. It is possible, but not certain, that his guru, Janardan, was a Sufi.
|This section does not cite any references (sources). (May 2015)|
He wrote a variation of the Bhagavata Purana which is known as the Eknathi Bhagavata, and a variation of the Ramayana which is known as the Bhavarth Ramayan. Eknath wrote Rukmini Swayamwar Hastamalak, which was comprised 764 owees and based on a 14-shlok Sanskrit hymn with the same name by Shankaracharya.
His other works were the Shukashtak (447 owees), the Swatma-Sukha (510 owees), the Ananda-Lahari (154 owees), the Chiranjeewa-Pad (42 owees), the Geeta-Sar, and the Prahlad-Wijaya. He introduced a new form of Marathi religious song called Bharood, writing 300 of them. He performed them in varkari sampradaya. He wrote variations of Bharuds in other languages. He also wrote 300 religious songs in the Abhang form. He was also a preacher, and gave many public discourses.
Eknath initiated in Maharashtra a movement called Wasudewa Sanstha. It involved house-to-house visitations by individuals known as Wasudewa, who, standing in front of peoples' houses, spread religious messages through bhajans (ballads).
Eknath was one of the earliest reformers of untouchability in Maharashtra, working as he was in the late Middle Ages. In times when Brahmins even avoided the shadow and the voice of an untouchable, he publicly showed courtesy toward untouchables and frequented them. saint Eknath (1533-1599) was staying along with his spiritual master saint Janardhan swami ( A authority in spirituality following dnyaneshwari (bhagwad gita) ) for 8 years on Devigiri fort as chief of all affairs. He overlooked all the activities on fort and also gone through a training in spirituality. He had fought couple of wars to defend the fort successfully.He use to maintain accounts of all fort expenses to help his guru in very humble way. Further he wrote Eknathi Bhagwat, Ramayana, Rukhmini swaymwar, Bharud and Gawlan and many books . He has in credit to correct dnyaneshwari which became incorrect over period of 200 years from saint dnyaneshwar.(1275–1296).
- Novetzke, Christian Lee (2013), Religion and Public Memory: A Cultural History of Saint Namdev in India, Columbia University Press, ISBN 9780231512565
- Schomer, Karine; McLeo, W. H. (1987), The Sants: Studies in a Devotional Tradition of India, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 9788120802773
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