Thursday, 18 November 2010

November 18, 2010

Sant Namdev Maharaj


Namdev of Maharashtra was a saint of mediaeval India. He was not a servant of Lord Krishna, but His companion. Namdev was an Amsa (part) of Lord Krishna.


Namdev was a contemporary of Jnanadev, the famous saint of Maharashtra, being his senior in age by about five years. He was born in 1269 A.D. He came of a family of tailors who were sincere devotees of Vittala of Pandharpur. The family members were observing the Wari of Pandharpur, i.e., going on pilgrimage twice a year on the first eleventh day of the Ashadh (June-July) and Kartik (October-November) months. The family originated from a village called Narsibamani on the bank of the river Krishna, near Karad, in district Satara. Being a great devotee of Vittala and wishing to improve his material prospects, Dama Setti, the father of Namdev, had moved to Pandharpur a year or two before his son's birth.

Namdev, from his very childhood; was like Prahlad. At the age of two, when he began to talk, the first correct word he uttered was 'Vittala', and since then, he continued with the repetition of that sacred name incessantly, without any help or instruction from others. He found great pleasure when every day his mother Guna Bai took him to the temple of Vithoba for offering worship to the Deity. His next step was, when at the age of about seven, he prepared a pair of cymbals and spent his time in dancing and singing, doing Bhajan, to the neglect of everything-food, studies in school, rest, sleep, etc. His devotion to Vithoba was so innocent and sincere that he used to treat Him sometimes as his dearest brother or as his playmate.

One day, as Namdev's mother was busy, she asked Namdev to take the plate of offerings to Vithoba. Namdev went to the temple, placed the plate of eatables before Vithoba and asked Him to accept the offering. However, when Namdev did not find any evidence of acceptance by Vithoba, he cried so bitterly that Vithoba actually assumed a human form and accepted the offerings gratefully. Namdev's mother was surprised when her son came back in great joy with an empty plate and explained to her that Vithoba had accepted the offerings by actually consuming the eatables presented in the plate. So, the next day, she herself accompanied Namdev (but without his knowledge) to see and verify for herself the correctness of Namdev's explanation. The same performance was repeated and the mother had the satisfaction of seeing the Lord actually accepting their offerings. Her joy and pride in Namdev was unbounded. She felt grateful to the Lord that she was the mother of such a great devotee.

In other respects, however, Namdev was the despair of his parents, and later, of his wife and other relatives. From the beginning he had no interest in worldly affairs; he neglected studies in school; he would not take interest in his father's profession as a tailor, or in any other trade. His sole interest was to spend day and night in devotion to Vithoba. His parents were getting old; the family prosperity was waning. Therefore, their dearest wish was that Namdev, while devoting a reasonable spare time to his devotions, should help in maintaining the family in comfort. So, Namdev was sent to the bazaar one day to sell a few pieces of clothes. But Namdev was innocent of the tricks of the trade. To him, such things as prices, and money and its value, were unknown subjects. He went to the bazaar with the clothes, because his father forced him. He sat there on a stone doing Bhajan, entirely forgetting that he had gone there to sell the clothes. After a few hours the sun set and it was time for him to go to the temple for the evening devotional performance. Then only he remembered that he had not sold the clothes and that he would get a thrashing from his father. He was impatient to go to the temple. He therefore sold all the clothes to the very stone on which he was seated, i.e., he kept the clothes on the stone, appointed another stone as a guarantee that the first one would pay the money the next day, and went to the temple.

Namdev's father was furious on hearing his son's adventures and asked him to bring forth Dhondya (which means a stone and which is also used as a proper name among certain classes of people of Maharashtra) who had guaranteed the money. The next day Namdev went back to the bazaar, found that the clothes had vanished during the night and took the second stone (Dhondya) home, as it refused to pay the money, and locked it in a room. He then went to the temple and narrated all the events to Vithoba and explained his difficulties also. When Namdev's father asked him to show him Dhondya who had guaranteed the money, Namdev replied that Dhondya had been kept in a closed room in the house and ran to the temple. When the father opened the room to demand the money, he found, to his surprise, a lump of gold. Great was the father's joy; but Namdev was quite indifferent to it. He only praised God for saving him from a thrashing. Thus it went on.

In the meantime, Namdev married Radha Bai. Radha Bai was a worldly-minded woman. In response to Namdev's invitation, Vittal attended the naming ceremony of Namdev's child in the guise of a human being, named the child 'Narayana' and gave good gifts on the occasion.

There was extreme poverty in the house of Namdev. Namdev neglected his worldly duties. Namdev's mother and wife abused Lord Krishna. Under the guise of Dharma Setti of Vaikunthapuram and the pretence of past friendship with Namdev, the Lord visited Namdev's house, gave magnificent gifts to Radha Bai and disappeared.

A Bhakta, named Parisha Bhagavat, propitiated Rukmini and got the philosopher's stone which could convert iron into gold. Parisha's wife gave the stone to her friend Radha Bai one day. Radha Bai showed the stone to her husband and said that his Bhakti was of no use and was inferior to the Bhakti of Parisha Bhagavat. Namdev threw the stone into the river. Next day Parisha came to know of everything and took Namdev to task. Namdev showed Parisha the place where he had dropped the stone. Parisha searched for the stone and found, not a single stone, but a whole lot. Parisha was struck with wonder. He admired the spirit of renunciation and the spiritual powers of Namdev.

Namdev felt it increasingly difficult to take interest in household affairs and in his parents, wife and children; and no amount of persuasion from all those people or his friends was successful in bringing him back to the worldly life. To him there was only one interest and that was Lord Vithoba. He used to spend hour after hour sitting before Vithoba, talking to Him, discussing spiritual matters with Him and doing Bhajan. To Namdev, Vithoba was the beginning and the end of everything.
Meeting with Jnanadev

When Namdev was about twenty years of age, he met the great saint Jnanadev at Pandharpur. Jnanadev was naturally attracted to Namdev as a great devotee of Vithoba. That he might benefit from the company of Namdev, he persuaded Namdev to go with him to all the holy places on pilgrimage. Namdev did not want to go, as that would mean separation from Lord Vithoba of Pandharpur. However, wiser counsel prevailed and Namdev was induced to go on pilgrimage. This was the most important period in the life of Namdev. Practically from this time, the two great saints almost never separated till death parted them. The pilgrimage extended to all parts of India and almost all the holy places.

On the way, several miracles are reported to have been performed by both Namdev and Jnanadev. Once Namdev and Jnanadev reached the desert of Marwar. Namdev was dying of thirst. They found out a well, but the water was at such a low depth that it was impossible to get it by ordinary means. Jnanadev proposed to assume the form of a bird by his Laghima Siddhi and bring the water up in his beak. But Namdev proved superior to him. He prayed to Rukmini. The level of the water rose miraculously to the surface. The well is seen even today at Kaladji, ten miles off Bikaner.

Namdev and Jnanadev came to Naganathpuri. Namdev started Bhajan in the temple. There was a huge crowd. The temple priests were not able to enter the temple and so became angry. Namdev went to the western gate of the temple and spent the night in doing Kirtan. The image of the temple itself turned to his side.

A Brahmin of Bidar invited Namdev to do Bhajan in his house. Namdev went there with a large number of devotees. The Sultan mistook them for rebel troops and sent General Kasi Pant against them. The general reported to the Sultan that it was only a religious party. The Sultan ordered that Namdev should be arrested and prosecuted. He asked Namdev to rouse a butchered cow to life or embrace Islam. An elephant was sent to crush Namdev to death. Namdev's mother requested her son to embrace Islam to save his life. But Namdev was prepared to die. Namdev raised the dead cow to life. The Sultan and others were struck with amazement. Namdev won the admiration of the Sultan and his party.

Namdev and Jnanadev met Narsi Mehta at Junagarh; Kabir, Kamal and Mudgalacharya at Kashi; Tulsidas at Chitrakut; Pipaji at Ayodhya; Nanak at a place in the Deccan and Dadu, Gorakhnath and Matsyendranath in other places.

When feeding of Brahmins was done by Namdev at the end of his pilgrimage, Vittal and Rukmini became the cooks and servers. They ate out of the very plate which Namdev used.
Namdev gained much, during the pilgrimage, from the society of Jnaneshwar and from Nivritti who was Jnaneshwar's elder brother and Guru, and was able to look on this world with a wider vision as the manifestation of God.

As we saw earlier, Namdev's world began and ended with the Deity 'Vithoba' of Pandharpur and he would not recognize any other Deity as the symbol of God. The pilgrimage lasted about five years and during this period Jnanadev advised Namdev to adopt a Guru so that he might be in a position to realise completely the manifestation of the all-pervading God and thus fulfil his own mission in life. Again Namdev hesitated as he thought that such action might alienate his loyalty and devotion to Vithoba. He plainly said that as long as he had the love of Vithoba, he had nothing to desire except constant devotion to Him. In fact, Vithoba was his Guru. It was, however, clear to Jnanadev and other saints in the company that Namdev's view was rather narrow in the sense that he thought God was centred in the Deity of Vithoba of Pandharpur and they wanted him to acquire the wider vision which they themselves had attained.

One day, in such company, Gora, another saint and a potter by trade, was asked to ascertain which of them were half-baked, i.e., had not realised Brahman. Gora took a small, flat wooden board such as he used to prepare or test the pots and began to pat on the head of everybody. When he came to Namdev and patted on his head, Namdev cried aloud thinking he was hurt. Immediately, all the others in the company began to laugh saying that Namdev was only half-baked and had not become fixed in his spiritual position.
Adopting a Guru

Greatly mortified, Namdev repaired to Vithoba and complained to Him of his humiliation. He said that he saw no necessity for him to have a Guru as he had intimate relationship with Lord Krishna Himself. Lord Krishna said that Namdev did not really know Him. Namdev denied this. Lord Krishna challenged Namdev and asked him to find out His identity that day. Namdev agreed. Lord Krishna took the form of a Pathan horseman and passed before Namdev. Namdev could not recognize the Lord. Namdev agreed to go to a Guru. Lord Vithoba then advised him to adopt Visoba Khechar as his Guru.

Visoba Khechar was one of the disciples of Jnanadev and was living at the time at a village called Avandhya. Namdev proceeded to the village immediately and arrived there at about noon. He took shelter in a temple in order to take some rest. There in that temple he saw a man sleeping with his feet on the Deity Itself. Namdev was shocked, woke up the man and rebuked him for this sacrilege. The man was no other than Visoba himself. Visoba replied, "O Namdev, why did you wake me up? Is there a single spot in this world which is not permeated by God? If you think that such a spot can be found, kindly place my feet there". Namdev took the feet of Visoba in his hands and moved them to another direction, but the Deity was there. He then moved Visoba in still another direction, but the Deity was there too! Namdev could not find any direction or spot where he could place the feet of Visoba without treading on the Deity. God was everywhere. Having realised this great truth that God had permeated the whole universe, Namdev surrendered himself to Visoba gratefully and humbly. Visoba then advised Namdev at great length. A small portion of Visoba's advice is given below.

"If you want to be absolutely happy, fill this world with Bhajan and the sacred Name of the Lord. The Lord is the world itself. Give up all ambitions or desires. Let them take care of themselves. Be content only with the name of Vittal.

You need not undergo any hardship or penance in order to go to heaven. Vaikuntha will come to you of itself. Do not be anxious of this life or of your friends or relatives. They are like the illusions of a mirage. One has to spend a short space of time here like the potter's wheel which goes on rotating even after the potter has left. Make the best of it by keeping the name of Vittal ever in your mind and on your lips and by recognizing Him everywhere and in everyone. This is my experience of life.

"Pandharpur was established on the banks of the river Chandrabhaga as a sort of boat for people to cross safely this ocean of life. Pandharinath is standing there as the boatman-in-charge to take you to the other side; and the most important point is that He does this without asking for any fee. In this way He has saved crores of people who have gone to Him in surrender. If you surrender to Him, there is no death in this world."

After initiation by Visoba, Namdev became more philosophical and large-hearted. His temple was no longer the small narrow space on the banks of the Chandrabhaga, but the whole world. His God was not Vithoba or Vittal with hands and legs, but the omnipotent infinite Being.

A few days after Namdev had adopted Visoba as his Guru, he was sitting at a place doing his Bhajan. In the meantime, a dog came to the spot and ran away with the bread he had prepared for his midday meal. Namdev ran after the dog-not with a stick in his hand, but with a cup of Ghee; and he addressed the dog thus: "O Lord of the world! Why do You want to eat the dry bread? Take some Ghee along with it. It will taste much better". Namdev's realisation of Atma was now complete and overflowing.

After Namdev had returned with Jnanadev from the long pilgrimage, the latter expressed his desire to take Samadhi at Alandi. Namdev therefore accompanied the party to Alandi as he could not part with Jnanadev. He was with Jnanadev to the last moment. He then accompanied the party until the other brothers, Nivritti and Sopan, and their sister Muktabai, left the world. Namdev has left behind a detailed account of the ends of these four saints in beautiful poems. Namdev was so shocked by these events which occurred within a short space of one year that he himself was left with no desire to live in this world. He took his Samadhi at Pandharpur at the age of twenty-six in 1295 A.D.

Namdev was not an author of any big treatise; but he left behind him a large number of Abhangas or short poems, full with the nectar of Bhakti and love towards God. These are exceedingly sweet. Most of these are lost, but there are extant about four thousand Abhangas, which to this day are a great source of inspiration to all who would read them. Some of the Abhangas are found in the Sikh Adi Granth.

The essence of Namdev's message is: "Always recite the Name of the Lord. Constantly remember Him. Hear His glory. Meditate on the Lord in your heart. Serve the Lord with your hands. Place your head at His lotus feet. Do Kirtan. You will forget your hunger and thirst. The Lord will be near you. You will attain immortality and eternal bliss"

Thursday, 11 November 2010

November 11, 2010 0

Saint Eknath Maharaj

Eknath was the grandson of Sant Bhanudas. Vitthal was their family deity and Eknath also worshiped Vitthal from childhood. As Eknath was born in a family of saints he inherited bhakthi towards Vitthal from his family members. He learnt the sastras from his father till he was about 12. He then wanted to go to a Sadguru and learn sastras under him. Eknath wanted to get a good guru and prayed Vitthal to guide him to one. Vitthobha then came in his dream and asked him to request Janardhana Swami to be his guru. Janadhana Swami was a great yogi; he had his ashram in a forest. Eknath felt that if he informs his parents they will not let him go and so one day went to Janardhana Swami’s ashram with out informing them. He joined the ashram and started serving his guru. He served his Sadguru for 12 years. There were several kids like him who had joined the ashram. Some came to study the sastras and were studying them, some came to study Yogabyasam like Yamam, Niyamam, Aasanam, Pranayamam and they studied that. Some were given manthropadesams and they chanted the mantras. Students who learnt the sastras took permission from the guru and left him once they learnt it well enough so that they could go to the outside world and do discourses. Students who learnt Yogabyasam took leave of their guru once they realised that they had now got the siddhi. Those who took manthropadesam from him also took leave of him after realization of those gods. While so many students joined the ashram, learnt what they wanted and left, Eknath was just serving his Guru. Janardhana Swami also dint teach him anything and just asked him to take care of the ashram. Eknath’s daily work was that he would get up early in the morning clean the ashram, milk the cows, take care of the visitors, make food for the sadhus, buy provisions from the village, take care of his gurus requirements and then check the accounts before going to sleep in the night. He has only been doing this for the last 12 years in this ashram.

One night, Eknath was checking the accounts as usual. He found that there was 1 paisa missing in the account and he had excess in hand. He was breaking his head to find out what happened. This was because he felt all the work he was doing in the ashram was Guru seva and that he should be correct in that. As he was awake till late in the night, his guru came to see what he was doing. Eknath dint even realize that his guru was standing behind as he was thinking deeply about reconciling the accounts. Janardhana swami understood that he is checking accounts and went back to his place. He again came at mid night to see if he was done with it, but saw that he was still working on it and went back. Around 2am Eknath emotionally shouted “Gurunatha, I found it” as he had reconciled the accounts. Janardhana Swami immediately got up and went to him and asked him what he had seen. Eknath immediately apologized for waking him up and said that an entry for 1 paisa was missing and that he had found it. As soon as the Guru heard this, his eyes were filled with tears and told him that there were so many sishyas who had come here and found so many great things and after serving me for 12 years you are happy that you have found 1 paisa. Janardhana Swami then said that he is now indebted to him for having taken care of him and the ashram for all these years. He then went back to sleep. Janradhana Swami’s deity was Dattatreya and he requested him to give darshan to Eknath and Dattatreya agreed to his request. The next day Eknath went to Godhavari River to have his bath as usual. After completing his bath he would bring water from the river to the ashram. On his way back Dattatreya gave him his darshan in godly form. The four Vedas stood next to him as 4 dogs. Dharma devata stood behind him as a bull. Eknath on seeing him prostrated to him. Dattatreya then blessed him and Eknath came back to the ashram and started doing his work as usual. Janardhana Swami came and saw what Eknath was doing and he found him boiling the milk. He then thought that he doesn’t look like someone who has had the darshan of god. The state of a person who has realised and seen god would be different and they would be in deep meditation, sometimes crying or smiling and would not look like normal persons to the outside world. Janardhana Swami was now wondering if god had given him darshan or not. Janardhana Swami was now really confused and asked Eknath if had seen anything this morning. Eknath then told him that when he was returning from the river he saw his guru’s deity standing under the tree and that he had worshiped him. Janardhana Swami was further perplexed and told him that there are so many rishis trying to realize god for so many janmas and after having realized god how he could continue with his regular work. Eknath then replied to him that his Guru was everything to him and that he was happy to see this form of god rather than the form he saw in the morning. Hearing this Janardhana Swami was moved. Janardhana swami then asked him to go back to his parents, get married and lead a family life. Eknath hesitated as he dint want to leave his guru but Janardhana Swami told him that he would realize his presence wherever he was. This consoled Eknath and he returned home.

Eknath reached home and his parents were very happy to see him again. He then told them that he went to be a student of Janardhana Swami and that he has now asked him to get married and serve his parents. Eknath then got married and lived with his family. He would spend his day in the service of god. He translated a lot of Sanskrit books in Marathi for the common man to read. Eknath Bagavatham and Eknath Ramayan are even today available and are being widely read in Maharashtra. He conducted discourses every day about god. In the evening he would perform bhajans and kirtans. He has also composed several abhangs. He also sang about saints like Namdev, Gyaneshwar and Janabai. He would invite sadhus to his house for food every day, give them food and only then have his food. As his family was rich he dint have to go for any work and would devote all his time to the service of Vitthal. Eknath’s neighbour was envious with him and was saying everyone that he dint know Sanskrit and was scribbling something in Marathi with out knowing about the grandhas that he is writing about. Eknath never bothered about what others said and would continue to do his work thinking it was Vitthal’s leela. Once while writing about Uddhava in Bagavatha he got in to a transcendental state and fell down. His neighbour saw him in an unconscious state with a note about Uddhava in his hand. He immediately understood that he had underestimated Eknath and waited for him to come back to consciousness and apologised to him and asked him to make him his sishya.

One day when he was reading Bagavatha a 12 year old boy came to him, prostrated to him and asked him to make him his sishya as he wanted to learn the Vedas from him. Eknath asked him who he was and where does he come from. He replied to him that his parents were no more and that he considered Eknath as his mother, father, Guru and God. He said that he was from Dwaraka and his name was Kandiya Krishnan. Eknath accepted him as his sishya and looked after him as his own son. Krishnan was very smart and a learnt everything easily. He took care of all the needs of his guru and served him well. He did all service to his guru right from washing his clothes, cleaning his pooja vessels, cleaning his pooja room, preparing garlands for his god etc. He would also serve his Guru matha by getting vegetable from the market, bringing water from Godhavari etc.

One day Eknath was performing his ancestral rituals. Two outcastes happened to pass by his house and understood that a feast was being prepared. They were discussing that it would be good if they could get this food. Eknath on listening to these discussions called them and gave them the food that was being prepared. They were happy with him, thanked him and then left. The other Brahmans who had come for the ceremony left the place on seeing this. All Brahmans in the village on seeing this started speaking ill about him for giving the food that was prepared for ancestral ceremony to some outcastes before completing the ceremony. They all spoke to each other and decided that Eknath should be punished for this deed of his. All the Brahmans in the village then came to Eknath and asked him how he could do this in spite of learning sastras. Eknath then said that, he gave them food as they were hungry and that hunger doesn’t have any caste difference and hence decided to feed them. He also said that the sastras say that annadhanam can be given to anyone and that there was no caste discretion on that. They then said that none of the Brahmans in the village would mingle with him and not have any contact with him and his family from now on. Eknath now had to prepare food again for the ceremony and perform the ceremony. Eknath was now worried that he would not be able to feed the Brahmans after the ritual is over as no one would come to his house now. Kandiya Krishnan then told Eknath that if Brahmans were not available the sastras say that they could give it to kurcham (a type of holy dried grass used in religious ceremonies) Eknath then started performing the rituals and when he kept the 1st kurcham, Vitthal came and sat down to have the food. As soon as he came other gods and his forefathers who were called during the ceremony came down and took the food directly. Kandiya Krishnan was watching all these happening and smiling at Eknath. Once it got over, they blessed Eknath by reciting holy mantras and disappeared. His neighbours heard the chanting of holy mantras and thought that some Brahmans from neighbouring villages would have come without knowing what had happened with Eknath and were waiting for them to come out of the house so that they could warn them and advice them not to go to his house. After some time Eknath came out of the house. The Brahmans asked him who had come for the lunch and he was quiet. They then said that they heard some people reciting some mantras. Kandiya Krishnan then asked them what their problem was and said that no one had come. The Brahmans then left and thought that Eknath and Krishnan would have chanted the mantras in some different voices to fool them.  It was almost one year since they had given this punishment to Eknath. He then went to the Bhraman Samaj and said that he was ready to do whatever pariharam (doing penance) to clear the mistake he had done by feeding the outcastes. The Brahmans then told him that they would discuss among themselves and come back to him on the same. They got together and started preparing a list of things to be done as per their wish. One said that he has to make a gold cow and gift it to some one. Another one said he has to gift land and another said he has to gift a house. Like this each one came up with whatever they wished and this list was given to Eknath. Eknath then felt that he would use all his wealth and perform the list of pariharams given by the Brahmans. The Brahmans were now happy that Eknath will now gift all his wealth to them and Kandiya Krishnan was thinking how teach them a lesson. Krishnan tried to tell his Guru that they were cheating him and planning to acquire all his wealth in the name of pariharam, but did not agree. The Brahmans were performing the rituals and Eknath was doing the sankalpam. It was noon and a leper came enquiring about Eknath. The Brahmans stopped him and asked him who he was. He said that he came from Triambakeshwar and wanted to see him. They then asked him why he wanted to see him. The leper said that he had come to do some praiharam from him. The Brahmans then told him that they were doing pariharam even for Eknath and asked the leper to do it from them. The leper then said that they would not be able to do it for him and only Eknath could perform prayachittam for him. The leper said that he has done several pariharams from many people and had taken holy dips in many holy rivers but nothing had cured his leprosy. Just then Krishnan came and asked him what happened. The leper said that he went to Triambakeshwar and prayed to Lord Shiva. He said that he then asked him to cure his leprosy failing which he will commit suicide by jumping in the Godhavari River. He then said that Lord Shiva came in his dream and asked him to take the paada theertham (water taken by cleaning the feet of saints) of Eknath and that it was the only cure for him. As soon as he said this, Krishnan told him that it was his Guru whom he was mentioning and took him to Eknath. The ceremonies were still going on and the leper asked Eknath for his paada theertham. Eknath then told him that he was not such a great person and refused his request. The leper then told him that it was Lord Triambakeshwarar who had asked him to do this and that he should not refuse. When Eknath heard that it was the wish of Lord Shiva he agreed to it. The leper then performed paadha pooja for Eknath and consumed the water. As soon as he drank this water his body became normal and leprosy had vanished. The Brahmans there astonished to see this. Krishnan then looked at the Brahmans and asked if they at least now understood the greatness of Eknath. The Brahmans now dint have the guts to continue with these pariharams they were doing and Krishnan was happy that Eknath’s wealth was saved.

There was a Brahman who was very pious. He set out on a yatra to visit all the holy places and wherever he went the deity in that temple would speak to him because of his bhakthi. One day he went to Dwaraka, the deity here (Kalyanarayar) did not give him darshan or speak to him. He felt that Kalyanarayar was not there and it was only the statue that was there. After sometime he thought that he dint have enough bhakthi and that is why god did not speak to him. He decided to be on fast till he gets a reply form him. After fasting for 12 days, Lord Krishna came on his dream and said that he was in Prathistanapuram (now Paithan) doing service to Eknath as his sishya for the past 12 years. He then told him that he can have his darshan if he comes there. He also asked him to do service to Eknath instead of wandering all over India. The next morning the Brahman got up and started going to Prathistanapuram. He reached Paithan and enquired where Eknath’s house was and came to meet him. Eknath was reading Srimad Bhagavadam, the Brahman prostrated to him and asked him where Krishna was. Eknath thought that he was asking about Kandiya Krishnan and told him that he has gone to Godhavari and would be back soon. Eknath thought that the Brahman was related to Krishnan and had come to see him. He also asked him to be seated till he comes back. Krishnan then returned from Godhavari with some water but did not say anything to the Brahaman. Eknath was surprised why both of them dint recognize each other. He then asked the Brahman if he saw Krishnan going inside the house. The Brahman then told him that he was looking for Lord Krishna and not this Krishnan and also explained to him what had happened to him in Dwaraka. Eknath on hearing this ran in to the house searching for Kandiya Krishnan but only the vessels in which he fetched water were there but Krishnan had disappeared. He searched for him all over the house and started crying. He cursed himself for not being able to recognize god when he was there with him. He could not perform any work as everything reminded him of Krishnan only. He went to a Samadhi state and was thinking only about god. The Brahman who came now started serving Eknath.

One day Eknath decided to go on a yatra and he set out on a yatra with few others who joined him. They went to places like Kasi, Prayagai, Vrindavan, Ayodha, Mathura etc. Eknath performed Bhajans and pravachans wherever he went. When the finished the yatra and returning to Paithan with Ganga theertham, they got stuck in a place where there was no water and all of them were thirsty. Even though they had water in hand they did not use that as it was Ganga theertham and that it was supposed to be used only for religious purpose and not for quenching thirst. They then found a donkey lying down in an unconscious state due to thirst and heat. Seeing the donkey dying Eknath felt bad and moved forward to give his Ganga theertham to it so as to prevent it from dying. The others who were with him said that he should not do that as this water was supposed to be used only for religious purpose. Eknath then said that there was no better deed that saving the life of someone and that he would give it to the donkey and save it from death. Hearing this, the others left him behind and started moving forward as they dint approve of his action. Eknath then gave the water to the donkey. As Eknath was feeding the donkey it turned out to be Vitthal. He then prostrated to Vitthal and asked him why he did this leela. Vitthal then told him that he wanted to show the world that Eknath sees every living being in this world as Vitthal and hence did this leela. Eknath then returned back home.

One day a group of people were gambling. A small fight began within them and they started fighting within themselves. One of them tried to stop the fight and asked them not to get angry and fight among themselves. One of them immediately replied that he was not Eknath to be calm and collected and never to get angry for anything. One of them listening to this asked if Eknath really will not get angry for anything. All others said that even the sun may rise in the west but Eknath will never get angry. He then said that if someone doesn’t get angry then he is not human. The others then said that he was not human and that he was god. The guy then betted the whole money they were gambling and said that he would make him angry.  The gambler who had betted, had a house near the banks of Godhavari. He went home and the next morning he was waiting for Eknath to come to Godhavari to have his bath. Eknath had his bath and was returning back. The gambler was chewing pan and spited on his head from the terrace of his house on Eknath. Eknath dint even bother to look up to see him, nor did he shout at him and he went back to Godhavari to bath again. When he came back the gambler again spit the pawn on him. Eknath still dint say anything and went back to bath again. Eknath would clean himself and come and the gambler would spit on him, this happened several times and by noon the gambler had finished his entire pan and was also tired standing in the terrace and spiting. Now the gambler came down and was waiting for Eknath to come. This time when Eknath was going back from the river the gambler blocked him and asked him how he had so much of patience and that why he did not get angry with him when he has been spiting on him since morning. Eknath then replied to him that he came to Godhavari to clean his body before performing pooja to god. He also said that one should perform pooja with clean body and mind. When he spited on him, he only dirtied his body and went back to clean it. He then said that if he had got angry and shouted at him, his mind would have become dirty and that it would be even more difficult to clean his mind than cleaning his body. The gambler was moved hearing this and said that he had read about this but never seen this in practice.