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Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae


“NOT AT ALL,” REPLIED SAINT EKNATH, “I WAS WRONG TO COME IN YOUR WAY.”


As Saint Eknath bathed one day in the sacred Godavari, a Turk sitting on the banks spat on him as he came out of the water. Without a word of reproach, Saint Eknath simply went in and bathed again; as he came out wearing clean clothes, the Turk spat again and he went on and on every time Saint Eknath returned to the bath and came out so that he had countless baths until the foolish fellow got tired and was won over by his patience and forbearance.

“Forgive me,” he said, “I did wrong to spit at you thus.”

“Not at all,” replied Saint Eknath, “I was wrong to come in your way.” His humility had the effect of plunging the man into a well of repentance and he fell at his feet. “Alas, I am a sinner, Maharaj, please bless me and forgive me!”

“No, no” said Saint Eknath, “you did no wrong. Thanks to you I took 108 baths in the Godavari, it has done me good.”

The Turk felt all the more repentant and begged for his teachings.

“Very well,” said Saint Eknath, “remember this: God is One, whether you call Him Allah or any other name you choose. He also abides in all things. Behave so that you offend none and see God in all.”

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Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae


“IN PANDURANGA’S NAME, YOU SHOULDN’T BE ALLOWED TO EAT UNTIL YOU REPAY YOUR DEBT.”


Uddhava, Saint Eknath’s servant, had borrowed Rs.700 from a landlord on his master’s name to hold the Utsava. On the next day, the landlord pressed Uddhava for repayment and was put off by him. He got suspicious and feeling he’d never see his money back, he went straight to Eknath and threatened him: “In Panduranga’s name, you shouldn’t be allowed to eat until you repay your debt!”

Without feeling in the least put out, both Girija bai and Saint Eknath kept fasting and didn’t touch a morsel of food. Uddhava also didn’t eat.

Then Lord Panduranga (Sri Krishna) taking the form of Uddhava went up to the landlord. It was midnight and he was naturally much annoyed at being aroused from his sleep.

“What have you come for so late?”

“To return the money.”

“Can’t that wait till tomorrow?”

“And what about my master and his wife fasting?”

So, the landlord, much against his will, got up and went out to open his shop, accepted the money and gave a receipt canceling the debt.

The next day, the landlord feeling guilty of having caused trouble to a great saint like Saint Eknath, went to him and embraced his feet. “Forgive me!” he said. But Saint Eknath humbly replied that he was himself at fault and would resume eating as soon as he had repaid his debt in full.

Hearing this the landlord turned to Uddhava and exclaimed: “What! Didn’t you come last night to wake me up at midnight, with the money?”

“Certainly not!” replied the non-plussed Uddhava.

Saint Eknath went and opened his account book and there, neatly kept between the pages, was the receipt of the landlord.

Thus Saint Eknath knew that it was all the doings of Panduranga and tears came to his eyes. Seeing this, the landlord again fell at the feet of Saint Eknath begging for forgiveness and would not relent until Saint Eknath gave him reassurance and peace of mind. Nothing ever ruffled Saint Eknath who was always even-minded and full of compassion.

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Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae


SAINT EKNATH TOLD HIS WIFE, “TAKE CARE LEST THIS BIG CHILD FALLS DOWN.”

It is of the nature of the people to be envious of those who gain more respect from others. Particularly the learned that are secretly proud of their knowledge, this fault is often very pronounced. Thus, the pundits were jealous of Eknath’s fame as a saint and sage. They snatched at the slightest opportunity to harass him. So the moment they came across a poor Brahmin, whom they found one day begging hither and thither at every door in town, they had an excuse. He needed Rs 200, he said, to perform the Munja (Yagnopavit or sacred thread ceremony) of his son.

Mischief-makers were quick to sense in this the means to ridicule Saint Eknath and made a pact with the Brahmin that if he actually could make Saint Eknath angry, he would earn his Rs.200 from them. They showed him the house and the Brahmin thinking it to be a matter of little consequence, walked straight into Saint Eknath’s home and without a single “by your leave,” tramped about in his puja room with his chapels on.

Saint Eknath was sitting in meditation. Seeing that he hadn’t disturbed the Saint, he went and fell heavily on his lap. Saint Eknath opened his eyes and laughed gently. “Though we haven’t met yet, you seem to come from far and show such great affection!”

The Brahmin was taken aback and said: “Indeed I come from far.” So Come” said Saint Eknath, “let us bathe in Ganga (Godavari) together and the meal is ready.”

The Brahmin went to bathe and purposely took a very long time. He found Saint Eknath waiting for him, courteously giving him the seat next to his. To the Brahmin, the earning of Rs.200 became more difficult than expected and he felt the sum escaping him.

He had to act fast. So as a last resort, he decided to jump on the back of Girija, the wife of Saint Eknath. Everyone gasped in surprise, but Saint Eknath laughed and told his wife, “Take care lest this big child falls down.” And she knew her husband’s mind and was as patient as he answered quite composed: “Don’t worry on his account for carrying a child on my back while working is not new to me. He won’t fall down.”

This time the Brahmin broke down. Those sweet words were too much even in the balance of Rs.200. he felt so ashamed that he got down and fell at Saint Eknath’s feet and drenched them with his tears, telling him his sad story.

“Why didn’t you mention that earlier,” said Saint Eknath, “did you think I would have go cross with you?” he sent for Uddhava and told him to give Rs.200 to the Brahmin.

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Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae


GAVE HIS OWN COT TO UDDHAVA, AS A REPLACEMENT FOR THE KITCHEN FUEL.

On a stormy night, the people of the town, directed an old Brahmin to Saint Eknath’s house. He was an unknown traveler caught up in heavy rains and Sant Eknath at once ordered a fire to be lit to cook food and dry his clothes. But Girijabai’s store of wood was soaking wet in the rain and she could not start a fire though she tried very hard.

Saint, Eknath without any hesitation, gave His own cot to Uddhava, as replacement for kitchen fuel. Saint Eknath again showed that the needs of a guest come first, no matter what. He was fully gratified to see the Brahmin fed, clothed and rested.

Freed from any selfish motive, Saint Eknath’s compassion and kind heart worked wonders with others.

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Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae


SAINT EKNATH’S TEACHINGS

  • The sayings of a man who practised what he preached must be of special interest to us:
  • Duty well performed purifies the mind, and qualifies one for Bhakti (Devotion). The Vedas should be followed as long as one has not risen above attachment and duality just as a watchman is needed to guard the fruits of a mango tree until the fruits are removed and then he can be dispensed with.
  • So when a man transcends body consciousness he is beyond the Vedic Order.
  • “Through Love,” says Saint Ekanth, “the devotee can even become God.” “God and His devotees are akin to the ocean and its waves.”
  • He also condemned unnecessary penance of the body while the mind remains steeped in worldliness.
  • “To emaciate one’s body with fasts and the like is not true penance. So long as evil passions persist in man, all external appliances are useless.”

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Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae


” DEATH WILL NOT COME TO YOU FOR THESE 11 DAYS.”

Krishnadas approached Sri Eknath one day and humbly beseeched him to complete the Ramayana he was writing because an astrologer, who had never been known to make a mistake in his predictions, had told him that his time to leave this world had arrived.

The old man had tears in his eyes as he viewed his life’s work and ambition to be destined to remain incomplete. He looked at Saint Eknath with pleading anxiety and said:

“Maharaj, kindly finish it for me!” Eknath read the manuscript and liked it and so asked him: “How long do you need to complete it yourself?”

“Eleven days,” replied the Brahmin.

“Good,” said Saint Eknath, “You can stay here and complete it in peace. Death will not come to you for these 11 days.”

Thus Krishnadas stayed at Saint Eknath’s place and went on writing. After 11 days the Ramayana was duly completed and he expired peacefully, his soul at rest.

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Om Sathguru Sri Seshadri Swamigal Thiruvadikkae


“THE ROOT OF THE ANJANA TREE NEARBY WAS CHOKING ME. PLEASE COME AND REMOVE IT.”- JNANESHWAR.

Some years late without any reason, Eknath’s throat began to swell and an unknown pain made him very uncomfortable. He then dreamt that the young saint Jnaneshwar who had taken Maha Samadhi 300 years earlier at Alandi (near Pune) in a cave, which was sealed over him, complained that the root of the anjana tree near by was choking him and asked Eknath to come and remove it.

Some parts of Alandi, near the Siddheswar Temple were over run by jungle and it took a long time for Eknath to single out the particular anjana tree under which Saint Jnaneshwar lay in Samadhi. He prized open a massive stone slab and slipped into the opening. He found there the subtle form of Sri Jnaneshwar, illumined by its own effulgence while a sweet aroma pervaded the cave.

Sri Eknath worshipped Sri Jnanadeva with folded hands and removed the root. Jnaneshwar spoke to him affectionately: “Nathya, the root was only an excuse to call you here. In these last 300 years, my Jnaneshwari (The Bhagvat Gita in Marati by Jnaneshwar) has become corrupted with misinterpretations and interpolations. All I desire is that you salvage the original and rewrite it as it was, in the way I had intended it to be.”

They stayed together three days conversing and discussing and so Sri Eknath, who had been greatly blessed in his company, gently placed his head on Jnaneshwar’s feet and extricating himself out of the Samadhi Cave returned to his followers.

It took a full year for Sri Eknath to sort out the Jnaneshwari, clearing it of unwelcome additions or omissions, in short, of all the corruption, centuries of mouth to mouth repetitions had added to this magnificent work. The Jnaneshwari, which is available to us today, is the one amended by Sri Eknath.

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