Eknath Maharaj was a major saint of the Varakavi Sampradaya founded by Jhanadeva. He was born in 1533 at Paithan, Maharashtra, India. He could not get much parental love as he lost his parents at a very early age.
Eknath was initiated by Guru Janardana, a devotee of Dattatreya. He was unique as he represented a blend of Vedanta and Sufism. He was a devout 'Gurabhakta' and wrote by the name of Eka-janardana meaning 'Ekanath of Janardana'.
Saint Eknath, considered the spiritual successor to the work of Sant Dnyaneshwar and Sant Namadev. Sant Eknath was known for His spiritual prowess as well as His immense efforts in awakening people and safeguarding Dharma.
Sant Eknath is the author of numerous hymns and books on Bhakti and Spirituality, including the famous Eknathi Bhagwat, the spiritual essence of the Bhagavad Geeta and his magnum opus 'Bhavarth Ramayan'.
During the time of Sant Dnyaneshwar and Sant Namadev in Maharashtra, Devgiri was a prosperous and content kingdom under the rule of the king Shree Ramdevrai Yadav.
After his demise, Devgiri, the Muslim invaders took over the charge and subsequently, the precious work initiated by Sant Dnyaneshwar and Sant Namdev came to a complete halt.
For almost 200 years, he people were heavily taxed and tortured like slaves. This situation continued till a bright soul took birth to awaken the masses.
He was also a prolific writer and wrote 'Bhavartha Ramayana' numerous 'Abahngas and Bharudas'. His Bhagavata popularised the Vedanta philosophy to a great extent. v
He explains beautifully the nine traditional limbs of the "Bhakti marga" with examples from saints.
Saint Eknath was impressed by the importance of the Gurucharitra, hence he was constantly enquiring on how he could reach upto his Guru.
The pandits around him advised him to ask the river Godavari to get the right information. Immediately the next morning little Eknath approached the river Godavari and asked his query with great with great hopes.
The extremely kind mother guided him that his Guru was waiting for him in the fort of Daulatabad. Soon at the tender age of 5 years, little Eknath left home for Daulatabad.
Eknath, while climbing the steps of the fort, happened to meet Janardan swami, who was the head of the fort of Daulatabad. The Guru always waits for the arrival of his worthy disciple.
Janardan Swami told Namdev that he was expecting him there and welcomed him. Later on, Janardan Swami asked Eknath to prepare for puja.
Eknath promptly did it with great devotion, that pleased the Guru immensely. Janardan swami happily adopted little Eknath as his dissiple.