Among the saints of India the contribution of the Maratha saints is of immense importance. The saints of Maharashtra are more popular because they accomplished a high degree of reconciliation between worldly and spiritual life. But as they wrote or spoke in Marathi, the knowledge of what they wrote or spoke became restricted to Marathi readers.
The present book belongs to the series on the Life and Works of Indian Saints, which we have started for the benefit of English-knowing readers. It depicts the life of Eknath who occupies a unique place among the saints of Maharashtra. Though in some aspects he is ranked as second to Tukaram he is the greatest of the Maratha saints who wrote in emotional verses-the abhangas.
The present account of the life of Eknath is derived from the Bhaktalilamrta (Chs. 13-24) of Mahipati. The record is traditionally regarded as the authentic version for all modern references to Eknath. It contains episodes which depict the various phases and aspects of the life of Eknath and have attained popularity for their moral value. They portray the devotional ardour which inspired Eknath and which became the vital breath of his life. There is a religious fervour and an emotional element in all his writings which have universal appeal and can be utilized for their emotional content by a person of any creed or religion.