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Sant Eknath

Sant Eknath


Sant Eknath (1533 - 1599) was a great admirer of Jnanesvar of the 12th century (or the 13th) who was a great poetic genius and mystic saint of Maharashtra and who established the bhagasvata tradition in Maharashtra.

Jnanesvar's magnum opus was Jnanesvari, the famous commentary in Marathi on the gItA, the most elaborate ever written. It was Eknath who brought out the first authentic edition of Jnanesvari. Eknath was a brahmin, but he set an example by not observing caste distinctions, against which he preached vehemently. His own commentary in 18,800 verses on the eleventh skanda of the Srimad-bhagavatam is called Ekanatha-bhagavatam.

It is not just a spiritual treatise; it is a literary masterpiece. types, massaging the feet, keeping all accessories ready for pujA, fanning the Guru Eknath while he delivered lessons or lectures for his disciples, and so on. At the end of full years by a fortuitous circumstance the unsuspecting Eknath got the revealing news from a total stranger that the lad known as his disciple krishna was none other than the Lord of Dwaraka. But the revelation came just late, because, the Lord, who had stayed in Eknath's house all these years, had just then disappeared.

Sant Eknath is credited with bringing out the first authentic edition of Sant Jnaneshwar’s magnum opus Jnanesvari, the famous commentary of Bhagavad Gita in Marathi. Another major work associated with Sant Eknath is a commentary in 18,800 verses on the eleventh skanda of the Shrimad Bhagavad Purana known as Ekanatha Bhagavatam.

Ekanath believed and taught common people that the way of Bhakti (devotion) is easier than the path of knowledge, but it was sufficient by itself to attain Moksha.

About Eknath’s Teaching from the book Sai Baba of Shirdi by M.V. Kamath and V. B. Kher

As the sun requires no help to dispel darkness, so also bhakti required no external help to destroy avidya (ignorance). Eknath held that intellectual knowledge is unnecessary for God realization.

Eknath illustrated this theory by the example of the milkmaids of Vraja. Those milkmaids were manifestly ignorant of any scriptural knowledge but by loving Him and even acting against the injuctions of the Shastras, they realized their spiritual goal.

Eknath also held that in matters worldly as well as spiritual, the help of the Guru was not only valuable but indispensable. Eknath believed in meditation and insisted that even a single moment spent in meditating upon God could destroy tribulation, disease, obstacles, doubts, sins and egoism.