Saint Savatamali: First Saint of Maharashtra and his 4 Abhang

Saint Savatamali: First Saint of Maharashtra and his 4 Abhang

Saint Savata Mali, or Saint Savatamali (b. 1250—d. 1295), the first saint of Maharashtra, was born in a small village called Aran, Mhada, Solapur.

Saint Savatamali was well-known for his Abhang. His devotion for his sacred life and morals are in abundance. Like Tukoba, Savata also used to sing the glories of Vitthal (God) by working in his farm. That time, India was a pure farming country.

Savata was a devout follower of God, Vithoba. Once upon a time, when Savata was busy in bhakti movement, he had guests. They were in-laws. Due to his busy schedules, Savata had lost his temper and yelled at his wife, Janabai. The calm and forbearing nature of Jana did not react to the fiery behavior of Savata. As a result, she was already aware of the lovely and kind company Savata used to keep.

Saint Savatamali: First Saint of Maharashtra and his 4 Abhang
i'mBiking | Saint Savatamali in his poem to Janabai, Pic credit to Wikipedia

Saint Savatamali in his poem to Janabai

प्रपंचीं असूनि परमार्थ साधावा । वाचे आठवावा पांडुरंग ॥

उंच नीच कांही न पाहे सर्वथा । पुराणींच्या कथा पुराणींच ॥

घटका आणि पळ साधीं उतावीळ । वाउगा तो काळ जाऊं नेदी ॥

सावता म्हणे कांते जपें नामावळी । हृदयकमळी पांडुरंग ॥


Along with marriage life, be devotee of god and continue living our regular life. Take a name of god every day-to-day. Never look at anything high or low. Old stories are old, you cannot change them. Therefore, the life, death, crime, and escape are the simple haste, nobody can deny. Let's go for a while. For my love and devotion, I consider seating on the thorns and meditate, still there would live a God (Pandhurang) inside my soul, at the lotus base.

Savata, considered the earliest saint of Maharashtra before arrival of Sant Namdev, Chokhamela, Dnyaneshwar and the great bhakti movement of Marathi poet, Tukaram Maharaj. The meaning of Savata is purity in personality and passion for truth, and abundance of  devotions possess in the accent of his name. The same way, Tukaram explained it in his soul scrubbing poem, Vrukshavalli Amha Soyari. However, it taught us how to admire our planet and its creatures and find the meaning of life.


God is always with you

Saint Savatamali

The same way, Savatamali says that our work is our God. We should love our work, what we do, from the bottom of our heart. That dedication helps ourselves achieve the trust of the god. Moreover, that is call inclination toward a peaceful life. Therefore, upon successful doing your duty, it is toward a worthy meeting with god. Furthermore, the life goes smoothly and there is no trouble any more.

The Famous Abhang of Saint Savatamali

आमची माळियाची जात, शेत लावू बागाईत

कांदा मुळा भाजी अवघी |विठाबाई माझी

लसण मिरची कोथंबिरी | अवघा झाला माझा हरि
We are gardener’s caste, we do farming. We get onions, radish and leafy vegetables and Garlic, green paper and green coriander, I consider then the God became mine.
स्वकर्मात व्हावे रत, मोक्ष मिळे हातो हात।
सावत्याने केला मळा। विठ्ठल देखियला डोळा।
Let there be self-realization, let there be salvation hand in hand. To see heavenly Vitthal through his eyes, Savata did farming.
योग-याग तप धर्म । सोपे वर्म नाम घेता।।
तीर्थव्रत दान अष्टांग। याचा पांग आम्हा नको।।
We can meditate god along with bonding (marriage life). Protect ourselves by taking the simple name of god. Need no pilgrimage, strict-fast (foodless days) and devote everything. We don't want this.
प्रपंची असूनि परमार्थ साधावा। वाचे आळवावा पांडुरंग मोट, नाडा, विहीर, दोरी। अवघी व्यापिली पंढरी.
Being a married, always seek excellence in work and life. My devotional life all occupied by work pouring water to plants, well, cord and I call it Pandhari (farm).

Namdev Maharaj Says in his Poem about saint Savatamali

माळियेचें घरी सावंत जन्माला, पावन तो केला वंश त्याचा 
धान्य ते अरण, रत्नांची खान, जन्मला निधान सावंत तो 
सावंत सागर प्रेमाचा अगर, घेतला अवतार माल्या घरी 
धान्य त्याची माता, धान्य त्याचा पिता, साठविला दाता त्रिलोकांचा 
नामा म्हणे सुफळ झाला, वंश उधारीला मळियाचा

Savata was born at gardener’s house. However, by doing that, the caste became sacred and became a mine of gems. The credit goes to the greatness of his mother and father, who got the donor of the three worlds (heaven-death-abyss). Saint Namdev said, the lineage borrowed done successfully.