Eknath on a 2003 stamp of India
Born1533 CE
Died1599 CE (age 66)
  • Suryanarayan (father)
  • Rukminibai (mother)
PhilosophyAdvaita, Varkari
Religious career
Literary worksEknathi Bhagavata, Bhavarth Ramayan, Rukmini Swayamwar Hastamalak, Shukashtak, Swatma-Sukha, Ananda-Lahari, Chiranjeewa-Pad, Geeta-Saar and Prahlad-Vijaya
HonorsSant (Saint)

Eknath (IAST: Eka-nātha, Marathi pronunciation: [eknath]) (1533–1599),[1] was an Indian Hindu saint, philosopher and poet. He was a devotee of the Hindu deity Vitthal and is a major figure of the Warkari movement. Eknath is often viewed as a spiritual successor to the prominent Marathi saints Dnyaneshwar and Namdev.


Precise details of his life remain obscure. It is generally believed that Eknath lived during the latter three-quarters of the 16th-century. He was born into a Deshastha Rigvedi Brahmin family of Vishwamitra gotra to Suryanarayan and Rukmini Bai at Paithan, present-day Maharashtra and was a follower of the Ashvalayana Sutra. His father probably held the title of Kulkarni and kept financial accounts. Their family deity is Ekvira Devi (or Renuka).[1]

His parents died while Eknath was young. He was then raised by his grandfather, Chakrapani. His great-grandfather Bhanudas was another revered saint of the Warkari sect.[2][3] Eknath was a disciple of Janardan Swami[4] who was a devotee of the Hindu deity Dattatreya. He was against caste distinctions and spread the message that there was no distinction in God’s eyes between Brahmin and outcaste or between Hindu and Muslim.

Eknath's samadhi shrine is located at Paithan near the Godavari river. Celebrations commemorating Eknath are held every year around the month of March at Paithan.[5]

Literary contribution

Eknath was a creative person, who utilized his literary skills to compose religious work in vernacular Marathi language, promoting local devotional religious practice, and opposing the suppressive caste-system propagated by the elite Brahmins.

Eknath's writings include a variation of the Hindu religious text Bhagavata Purana, known as Eknathi Bhagavata. [6] He also wrote a variation of the Hindu epic Ramayana, known as Bhavarth Ramayan. He also composed Rukmini Swayamwar Hastamalak, a literary piece consisting of 764 owee (poetic metre) and based on a Sanskrit hymn of the same name. He has also tried to shift the emphasis of Marathi literature from spiritual to narrative composition and introduced a new form of Marathi religious song called Bharood.

His other literary works include Shukashtak (447 owee), https://shikshaved.com/category/marathi-essay/-Sukha (510 owee), Ananda-Lahari (154 owee), Chiranjeewa-Pad (42 owee), Geeta-Saar and Prahlad-Vijaya. He introduced a new form of devotional melodies called Bharood and wrote nearly 300 of them.[6]

See also



  1. ^ a b Ganesh Vasudeo Tagare (1994). Eknath. Sahitya Akademi. p. 4. ISBN 9788172014568. EKNATH : A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH* (A. D. 1533–1599). A reference to the Marathi Vangmaya Kosh (A biographical dictionary of Marathi writers) shows that there were three authors called "Eknath" and seven authors who used the mudrika (Pen-name) "Eka-Janardan" used by our author Eknath. Eknath was a Rigvedi Deshastha Brahmin, a follower of the Ashvalayana Sutra. His Gotra was Vishvamitra. His family deity was Ekaveera Devi (or Renuka). His family lived at Paithan, ...
  2. ^ Novetzke (2013), pp. 141–142
  3. ^ Schomer & McLeo (1987), p. 94
  4. ^ "Coming Soon Page".
  5. ^ George Michell (1 May 2013). Southern India: A Guide to Monuments Sites & Museums. Roli Books Private Limited. p. 115. ISBN 978-81-7436-903-1.
  6. ^ a b Keune, Jon Milton (2011). Eknāth Remembered and Reformed: Bhakti, Brahmans, and Untouchables in Marathi Historiography. New York, NY, USA: Columbia University press. p. 32. Retrieved 9 March 2016.