Merit of feeding the poor – Story of Sant Eknath

Eknath

Eknath was a great devotee of Lord Krishna. He was born in the year 1533 in Maharashtra.

It was a day to perform funeral rites of his ancestors. On this day there is a tradition to feed the brahmins. But instead, Eknath had invited the poor and low-caste people to his house for food.  He served them all with great respect.

The brahmins got to know about this and were furious. They went to Eknath’s house and accused him for having broken the tradition of feeding the brahmins. To repent for his wrong deed, they asked Eknath to take bath in the river and pray to God to pardon him. Eknath without saying a word followed what was told.

When Eknath had just finished taking a bath in the river, a leper (diseased) came there searching for Eknath.  He fell at Eknath’s feet and pleaded Eknath to protect him. He said that he was a devotee of Lord Shiva and had come from Tryambakeshwar. Lord Shiva had come in his dream and had said that Eknath had accumulated so much merit (punya) by feeding the poor & the low-caste that Eknath had the power to cure him.

Hearing this, Eknath immediately took a handful of water from the river and sprinkled it on the leper. What a miracle! The leper was completely cured.  The brahmins who witnessed this realized the greatness of Eknath and pleaded for forgiveness.

Eknath later wrote a version of Bhagavata Purana known as Eknathi Bhagavatha and Ramayana known as Bhavarth Ramayan.

Moral: Jana seva is Janardana seva: “Service to people is Service to God”.

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]

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