A prolific poet of the 16th century, Eknath, reverentially called Eknath Maharaj, has gifted several outstanding works to
literature. He was a social reformer, educationist and a yogi.
Eknath was born to the couple Suryanarayan and Rukhminibai in 1548. His family was honoured for restoring the idol of Lord Vitthal at Pandharpur, which was acquired by the ruler of Vijaynagar Empire. It was Eknath Maharaj who improvised the 'Dnyaneshwari,' in the 'Prakrit' language into a simpler comprehensible form. 'Abhang', ‘Bharud’ and ‘Johar’ are devotional writings developed from his teachings. Bhavartha
Ramayana and Rukmini Swayamvar are his popular works. Rukmini Swayamvar is a narrative poem of seven cantos running into 40,000 ovis (metrical stanzas).
Eknath Maharaj attained ‘
nirvana’ (salvtion) in 1599 on the banks of the Godavari, known as ' Krishna Kamal Teerth'. The river flows to the west of the ‘samadhi’ (shrine of Eknath Maharaj). Nath Mandir is the place where the saint resided and delivered his teachings. The
puja room where he prayed everyday is today the sanctum sanctorum.