A commemorative postage stamp on Saint Eknath, a Marathi sant, scholar and religious poet from Varkari sampradaya :
Issued by India
Issued on Mar 23, 2003
Issued for : The Department of Posts is happy to issue a commemorative postage stamp on this great poet-saint of India.
Stamp & FDC : Based on material furnished by the sponsors.
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Four Colour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Overall size : 2.90 x 3.91 cms.
Printing size : 2.90 x 3.91 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Paper : Imported unwatermark adhesive gravure coated stamp paper in sheets size 50.8 x 53.5 cms.
Stamps Printed : 0.4 million
Number per issue sheet : 35
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
Name : Eknath
Born on 1533 at Paithan, Aurangabad district, Maharashtra, India
Died on 1599
- India has a long tradition of saints and mystics who made rich contributions to the spiritual and social life of the country. This tradition has been responsible not just for bringing the light of awakening into the everyday life of the common people through the path of religion, but also in reforming the society from various decadent practices that have afflicted it from time to time. The role played by the great mystic poets of Maharashtra in this regard is particularly significant. Sant Eknath is one of the ‘Great Quartet’ of Vithoba‘s Poets, which included Jnanadev, Namdeo and Tukaram besides himself.
- Signs of genius were evident in Eknath even as a young boy. He is believed to have mastered the ancient scriptures by the time he was eight. It is said that he went through a mystical experience one day while in meditation, which made him travel a great distance on foot in the dead of night, to Janardhan Swamy of Devgad. Swamiji was quick to see the spiritual aura surrounding the boy and accepted him as a disciple. At the behest of his Guru, Eknath undertook a pilgrimage to different holy places and finally returned to his native village, Paithan.
- Eknath undertook composing of various texts on spiritual and ethical subjects. These included Eknathi Bhagwat and Bhavartha Ramayana. Like the other great mystics of Maharashtra there was a strong under current of social reform in his writings. He disregarded untouchability and opposed discrimination of all kinds. Despite being ostracised by the professional priests for questioning the orthodoxy, people from all creeds flocked to him for Bhajans and Kirtans. He taught the common people that even in the middle of everyday pressures of life one can attain closeness to God.
- Eknath was a prolific poet who wrote in many genres. One among his important works is a carefully researched edition of the Jnaneshwari.
- Text : Based on material furnished by the sponsors.