Category Archives: Sant Eknath Maharaj Shashthi

गुरुसेवा से मिलता परम अमृत-संत एकनाथ षष्ठी

sant eknath maharajगुरुसेवा से मिलता परम अमृत
(संत एकनाथ षष्ठीः २९ मार्च २०१६ )

एकनाथ जी गुरुसेवा से अपने को धन्यभाग समझते थे। जो भक्त नहीं है उन्हें सेवा में बड़ा कष्ट मालूम हो सकता है, पर एकनाथ जैसे गुरुभक्त के लिए वही सेवा परमामृतदायिनी होने से उसी को उन्होंने अपना महद् भाग्य समझा। उन्होंने स्वयं स्वलिखित ʹभागवतʹ में गुरु और गुरु भजन की महिमा गयी है। उन्होंने कहा है कि ʹभवसागर से पार उतरने के लिए मुख्य साधन गुरु-भजन ही है।ʹ और गुरु का लक्षण क्या है ?

एकनाथ महाराज कहते है कि ʹसदगुरु वे ही हैं जो आत्मस्वरूप का बोध कराकर समाधान करा दें।ʹ लौकिक विद्याओं के लौकिक गुरु अनेक हैं पर सदगुरु वे ही ऐसे सदगुरु प्राप्त होते हैं। और ऐसे सदगुरु की सेवा सत्शिष्य कैसे करता है ? एकनाथ महाराज वर्णन करते हैं- ʹगुरु ही माता, पिता, स्वामी और कुलदेवता हैं। गुरु बिना और किसी देवता का स्मरण नहीं होता। शरीर, मन, वाणी और प्राण से गुरु का अनन्य ध्यान हो – यही गुरुभक्ति है। प्यास जल को भूल जाय, भूख मिष्टान्न भूल जाय और गुरु चरण-सवांहन करते हुए निद्रा भी भूल जाय। मुख में सदगुरु का नाम हो, हृदय में सदगुरु का प्रेम हो, देह में सदगुरु का ही अहर्निश अविश्रान्त कर्म हो। गुरुसेवा में मन ऐसा लगे कि स्त्री, पुत्र, धन भी भूल जाय, यह भी ध्यान न हो कि मैं कौन हूँ।ʹ

गुरु ही भगवान, गुरु ही परब्रह्म और गुरु भजन ही भगवद-भजन है। गुरु और भगवान एक ही हैं, यही नहीं प्रत्युत ʹगुरुवाक्य ही ब्रह्म का प्रमाण है अन्यथा ब्रह्म केवल एक शब्द है।ʹ

गुरुसेवा का मर्म बताते हुए एकनाथ महाराज कहते हैं- ʹगुरु को आसन, भोजन, शयन में कहीं भी न भूले। जिनको गुरु माना उन्हें जाग्रत और स्वप्न के सारे निदिध्यासन में गुरु माना। गुरु स्मरण करते-करते भूख-प्यास का विस्मरण हो जाता है और देह एवं गेह का सुख भी भूल जाता है, उनके बदले सदा परमार्थ ही सम्मुख रहता है।ʹ

सदगुरु के सामर्थ्य और सत्सेवा का सुख कैसा है, इस विषय में एकनाथ महाराज के ये प्रेमभरे उदगार हैं- ʹसदगुरु जहाँ वास करते हैं वहीं सुख की सृष्टि होती है। वे जहाँ रहते हैं वहीं महाबोध स्वानंद से रहता है। उन सदगुरु के चरण-दर्शन होने से उसी क्षण भूख-प्यास भूल जाती है। फिर कोई कल्पना ही नहीं उठती। अपना वास्तविक सुख गुरुचरणों में ही है।”

गुरुसेवा के संबंध में नाथ फिर अपना अनुभव बतलाते हैं- सेवा में ऐसी प्रीति हो गयी कि उससे आधी घड़ी भी अवकाश नहीं मिलता। सेवा में आलस्य तो रह ही नहीं गया क्योंकि इस सेवा से विश्रांति का स्थान ही चला गया। प्यास जल भूल गयी, भूख मिष्टान्न भूल गयी। जम्हाई लेने की भी फुरसत नहीं रह गयी। सेवा में मन ऐसे रम गया कि एका (एकनाथ जी) गुरु जनार्दन स्वामी जी की शरण में लीन हो गया।ʹ

Sant Eknath Maharaj Shashti

sant-eknath-maharaj

Eknath Sashti is believed to be the day when Sant Ekanath left for heavenly abode by voluntarily laying down his life. Eknath Maharaj is one of the most popular and important saints among the Bhakti Saints in Maharashtra. He was also a prolific writer and social reformer. He lived during the sixteenth century.

 

Eknath Sashti is observed on the sixth day (Shasti) of the Krishna Paksha (waning phase of moon) of Phalgun month as per traditional lunar Marathi calendar. On this day, he is believed to have performed Jalsamadhi in the sacred Godavari River and left his body and merged with the Supreme Soul.

Born in the ancient and holy city of Paithan (Pratishthana) on the banks of the Godavari, Eknath Swami continued and enriched the spiritual legacy bequeathed to Maharashtra by Sant Dnyaneshwar three centuries before Justin E Abbott writes that “No one can read the life of Eknath without receiving an inspiration for a higher and better life”. A scholar in Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian, Eknath Swami is best known for his magnificent commentary in Marathi on the Eleventh Skandha of the Bhagavata Purana, I which not only made the scriptures accessible to the common man but I also revived the near extinct vernacular literature.

Mahipati, the great biographer of the Maharashtrian saints, writes I glowingly of Eknath’s exemplary life I which became the touchstone for the I tremendous social change that swept Maharashtra in those times. His simplicity and spirit of hospitality was such that it reached out to everyone irrespective of caste or creed. Mahipati recounts tales of his companionable nature – how he lifted up a Mahar (outcaste) child from the burning sand of the Godavari and carried him home to his mother, how he protected and obtained pardon for an escaped prisoner, how he assuaged the thirst of a donkey by pouring into his mouth the Ganges water he had brought for worship.

When he was twelve years old Eknath heard a heavenly voice from the Siva temple asking him to go to Janardana Swami for initiation. when he reached Devgiri (Daulatabad) he leaned that Janardana Swami was in charge of the fort there. Eknath stayed with Janardana Swami for six years. The Muslim king had great respect for the Swami and every Thursday was proclaimed to be a court holiday so that he could worship the deity Dattatreya without distraction.

There is an interesting story of how Eknath kept awake late into the night, trying to locate an error of one Adhela (half paisa) in his master’s accounts. When he finally discovered the mistake, he danced with joy. Janardana Swami, who had watched everything, told him that he would attain the highest well-being in life if he concentrated his mind in the same way on Lord Krishna. It is believed that Sri Krishna worked in the household of Eknath Swami in the guise of a servant for twelve years so that he could listen to Eknath’s public reading of the Bhagavata and the Jnaneshwari. Eknath Swami revived the spirit of the Jnaneshwari by preparing the first authentic edition of Dnayneshwar’s book, a work of great scholarship, in which he eliminated the many errors, which had crept in since Sant Dnyaneshwar’s time.

Eknath also wrote ‘Rukhmini Swayamvara’ a Marathi Poem based on the story In the Bhagavata about Rukmini, a Vidarbha Princess, who chose Sri Krishna as her husband because of his virtues and Charms. It is an allegory about the union between Jiva and Siva (the human soul and the universal soul). Even now girls of marriageable in Maharashtra are advised to read it for getting a good husband.

Eknath Swami composed his last great work, the Bhavartha Ranayana, up to the forty-fourth chapter of the Yuddhakanda and left it to be completed by his disciple, Gavaji.

His end was drawing near and he foretold that he would pass away on the sixth day of the dark fortnight of Phalgun. On that day, sacred to the memory of his guru in AD 1599 Eknath left his house, repeating God’s names, followed by a crowd. Arriving at Lakshmitirtha, on the bank of the Godavari, he waded out into the water and attained Jala Samadhi.Eknath Sashti commemorating the passing away of Eknath Swami four hundred odd years ago – an occasion to remember this scholar extraordinary who used his learning for the common good, and an opportunity spread his message to everyone irrespective of caste and creed.