A Challenger’s transformation

Sant eknath

Value- Non violence

Sub value- Patience, forgiving and Love

A group of people were playing cards near Saint Eknath’s (a prominent saint of Maharashtra, India) ashram as was the habit of many people who were jobless and whiling away time.

On a particular day, one of the player was continuously losing his money as the cards were not favourable for him that day. He was restless and was angry not only at his bad luck but was also jealous of others who were better placed than him. Naturally he was enraged as any other loser would be.  He started arguing on what they were talking and soon it resulted in a fight.

Someone advised the loser “Don’t get angry”.

The loser retorted “Hey! What do you think of me? Am I Saint Eknath not to get angry?”

The argument took a different turn now.

Another fellow in the group intervened and demanded, “Is Eknath a divine person not to get angry? He is also a normal human. Show me a person who does not get angry”.

Someone then supported the questioner.

“May be Eknath does not have any feeling or self-respect at all”. Any person with self-respect would get angry and cannot remain calm, always receiving anything aimed at him.”

Another card player now supported Eknath. “No.Saint Eknath never gets angry”.

“No. That is not true. There is no human being who does not get angry”.

“Definitely not. I know Eknath and I have seen him also. He never gets angry”.

“I say you are wrong. He does get angry”.

“No. Certainly not”.

They were a gambling group. So what else could be expected from them? Their ridiculous conversation continued.

“What do you want to bet? I will make Eknath angry”.

“Even if you stand upside down, you cannot do that”.

“OK. Each of you put Rs.100 as a bet. I shall get back all the money I lost in the game by taking this challenge to make Eknath angry.

All agreed. Next day, the man who challenged, went and stood near Eknath’s house as per their plan. Others stood at a distance and were watching him.

That morning, at about the time sun was rising in the east, as usual Saint Eknath came out of the house singing Vittal (Lord Vishu) songs. He was on his way to the river Godhavari river for his bath and oblations. He performed his prayers after bathing in the river and was returning back to his place.

The bad man, who challenged the other gambling men that he can make Eknath angry, was ready with his mouth filled with betel leaf chewing was waiting for Eknath to pass by him.   As Eknath was about to enter his house, the man spat and spewed the red betel mixed saliva on Eknath’s face. For a minute Eknath was shocked startled and looked at the man who did this, but without saying anything, he went back to river Godhavari for a fresh bath and returned.

Again the gambler repeated what he did earlier. Strangely, Eknath just uttered ”Jai Pandurang, Jai Vital’’ and without any murmur, we turned back again to the river for yet another bath.

To the surprise of everyone who were watching all these, this occurred three to four times but without uttering a word or showing wry face, Eknath again and again went to Godhavari river for bathing , chanting Vittal’s names. HE WAS NORMAL AS USUAL WITHOUT ANY TRANCE OF DISPLEASURE, UNHAPPINESS OR ANGER.

The gambling men who witnessed what happened all the while, chased away the gambler, and all of them, including the gambler who committed the foul act, came towards the saint and fell at his feet and asked for his forgiveness. Eknath hugged each of them. The man who was the culprit who spewed and spat on Eknath’s face, now cried aloud   ”Swamiji, I am a fool and a sinner who committed this grave mistake.   Please forgive me and he fell down at the saint’s feet and held them tightly begging repeatedly ‘‘please forgive me,   please forgive me.

With folded hands and tears flowing from his eyes, he was crying sincerely repenting what he did. Eknath lovingly raised him by his shoulders and embraced him.

Eknath was different from others.   He lovingly told the crying sinner, “Blessed you are my son. Why do you cry?   You have not committed any wrong deed.   You have committed NO SIN.   In fact you are blessed soul and I have to worship you because you did create a very rare opportunity for me today. Do you know that today is the auspicious Ekadasi day, and because of you and you alone, I was fortunate to visit Mother Godhavari four times and worship her and pray to Lord Vittal after repeated sacred bathing in Godhavari at least 4 to 5 times. So it is my turn to thank you” saying thus, Eknath bowed to the man in all sincerity.

After this incident, instead of assembling at their regular place for playing cards and gambling, the group of young men lighted a lamp and performed naam sankeerthan they learnt from saint Eknath and became his disciples.


It is a divine quality to forgive. If we develop this sacred quality, we can transform ourselves by developing peace and love within ourselves as well as be an instrument in helping transform others.





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