Posted by: Chenthil Kumar D | August 11, 2009

Sant Janabai

One day in the month of Karthik (November) the Vitthal Rukmani temple in Pandhari was filled with Pilgrims. Janabai had come there with her parents as a pilgrimage to the temple. Sitting at the Mahadwar of the temple, she told her parents that she doesn’t want to go back with them and want to spend the rest of her life in Pandhari worshiping Vitthal. Jani was only 7 years then and the other pilgrims there were astonished hearing what she had to say. Her parents were greatly troubled hearing this. After several attempts to convince Jani, her parents finally left for their home, comforting themselves by thinking about her determination and love towards Vitthal.

Nama happened to see this little girl and asked her why she was alone and enquired about her parents. Jani said that Vitthal is her father and mother and that she has no one other than him. Hearing this, a feeling of compassion aroused in Nama for Jani and he took her home. Nama told Gonai that he found this girl in the temple and that she had lost her parents and we need to take care of her. From then on she would do all the house hold work in Nama’s house and would call her self the maid of Nama. She used to keep chanting the name of Vitthal whenever she did any house hold work and at night she used to sing about Vitthal and meditate upon him.

One night when Nama was asleep, a fierce wind blew and that carried away the roof of Nama’s hut. Vitthal on seeing this sent his Sudarshana chakra to revolve around his hut so that Nama and his family could sleep. There were heavy rains but not even a drop of water went in to the hut. Vitthal then rebuilt Nama’s hut. When Nama woke up he saw Vitthal’s Pithambaram (Robe) shining outside his hut and he came out and fell in his feet. Nama then asked Vitthal what he was doing so late in the night here. Vitthal then told him that there was a storm and that his roof flew away because of it and he had come here to rebuild it. Vitthal then told Nama that if he had not come in time, his children would have felt the cold and Gonai would have become very angry with Vitthal and spoken to him harshly. On hearing this, Gonai immediately fell at Vitthal’s feet. Jani then came at once and saw that Vitthal was fully wet and rubbed his back with a dry cloth. Vitthal then told Nama that he must be hungry and asked him to eat with him. Gonai then bought some food and Nama, Gonai, Rajai, Nama’s children all sat down to have food with Vitthal. Looking at this Jani was grieved as Vitthal had no pity for her and did not call her. Vitthal immediately stopped eating and told Nama that he is not enjoying the food today and he doesn’t know why. Nama immediately replied to Vitthal that it was because Jani was standing outside in grief and that he is also not enjoying his food because of that. As Vitthal stopped eating every one stopped eating. Gonai gave the plate in which Vitthal had left some food to Jani. Jani then took it happily to her hut. Nama and Vithhal were then sleeping in Nama’s bed. Once Nama was asleep, Vitthal then went to Jani’s hut and told her that he was hungry and that is why he had come to her. Jani then told Vitthal that she dint have anything other than the food he had left earlier, and that she was hesitant to give it to him. Vitthal then told her not to hesitate and asked her to bring it. He then asked Jani to sit beside him and had the food. He then told Jani that he was happy and satisfied with what she had offered. Jana BaiVitthal then came to Jani and told her to arise as it was time for her to grind the grains. He also told her that he had cleaned the mill and is waiting for her to come. He then asked her to place her hands on the mill and asked her to sing her abhangs. Vitthal then did the grinding by himself and filled the basket with the flour. (This mill is still there in Pandarpur and one can touch and see this when we visit Gopalpur temple) There was still some time left and so Vitthal slept in Jani’s hut. When the dawn began to appear Jani woke up Vitthal and told him that people would be coming to the temple and he has to go there immediately. Vitthal left his necklace and shawl in Jani’s house and went to the temple with Jani’s shawl. When the priest opened the door of temple, he was surprised to see a different shawl on Vitthal. One of the devotee’s said that the shawl belonged to Jani and when they removed the shawl they also found the necklace missing. A group of people then came to Jani’s house and accused her of stealing the necklace and shawl of Vitthal. Jani said that she had not taken any of these. When they searched her house, they found the necklace and the shawl. They then brought her to Chandrabhaga to impale her. They tied her to an Iron rod and she was crying to Vitthal helplessly. The iron rod suddenly turned in to water and all the people who had gathered were astonished. All of them then praised the Jani and prayed and sang about Vitthal.

One day as Jani was singing an abhang, Vitthal started writing it down. Just as he was writing down the abhang, Gyaneshwar entered the temple and noticed Vitthal hiding something. He then asked him what he was hiding and then Vitthal told him that he was writing down the abhang composed by Jani. Gyaneshwar burst in to laughter and asked why he was noting down an abhang that is being sung on his praise. Vitthal then told Gyaneshwar that the verses of Jani are full of love. Gyaneshwar then called Vitthal to Nama’s house. When they reached Nama’s house a lot of saints had already gathered there. Vitthal then asked Nama to call Jani. Jani was doing some house hold work and on hearing this she immediately washed her hands and came there. Gyaneshwar then told Nama about Vitthal writing down the verses of Jani. Vitthal then said, I was happy to write down the verses of Jani and I will bless anyone who reads her verses, and they will not suffer any calamities in their family life.

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Responses

  1. thanks . good account of the popular version of janabais life. it is very unfortunate and surprising that very little is known about major events in her life.

  2. can you give me the source for these stories? I would like to read the original stories. Thank you, Joyce Brandon

    • Dear Joyce,

      Please read Stories of Indian Saints, by Justin E Abbott and N.R. Godbole. Some of these here are also the discourse of my Guru Sri Sri Krishnapremi swamigal. Have a great day!

  3. It is said that Janabai could remember her previous births & was Manthara in Ramayana & Kubja in Krishna avtar . She attained salvation in this birth as J
    Janai

  4. Jai Janabai Mataji ki :-)

  5. Jai Shri Jana Bai…
    Jai Vitthal Ji Maharaaj Ki…..

  6. there is also one story goes like this…Janabai had put lot of cow dung plates in her court yard and these were stolen by the neighbor maid and when she was caught she asked janabai to lift only those plates that really belong to her as the the entire plates of Janabai were mixed up in a heap of cow dung plates.Janabai was n a utter confusion but N saint Namdev found out a way.He put each of the cow dung plate to the ear and in a plate belonging to Janabai A melodious voice of “vithal Vithal pandurang” was heard ! thus was the bhakti of Janabai!!

  7. One day god will hear our sound and hurrily come to meet us. he always loves devotees. Gurudeo Datta.

    • we not take anything with us from this world and leave all things here only our blood relatives, friends, wealth, our face, our body also on which we madly love but we cant take anything with us from this except PUNYA which we earn in our life. So take NAMES of our lovey god who run this world every time in our mind at our working and rest time to live smoothly and successful like, he will definitely help us in our work and protect us from danger.


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