It had not rained for two years in the state of Maharashtra. Lakes, wells, tanks, and even small rivers dried up. Without water, plants had withered. Many animals moved to far off places in search of water.

Eknath decided to go to Benaras on a pilgrimage to Varanasi and pray for rains. Those were the days when there were no trains or buses. Eknath walked all the way to Varanasi. He took a dip in the river Ganga and prayed at the temples.

A kind saint told Eknath that he should carry waters of the holy Ganga to his village and pour it on the Shivling in his village temple. Then it would rain. Eknath thanked the saint. He filled a vessel with the waters of the Ganga and left for his village. It was a long walk back home.

As Eknath neared his village, the villagers heard that Eknath was bringing the Ganga to bathe the Shivling of the village temple. A huge crowd joined him.

Eknath was about to enter the village’s Shiva temple, when he noticed a donkey. The animal appeared to be ill. It swayed and fell right in front of the temple. Eknath could see the poor animal was gasping for breath and that it badly needed some water to drink.

Eknath looked at the Shivling in the temple. He looked at the donkey. Chanting the name of Shiva, Ekanath lowered the vessel he was carrying on his shoulder, and poured water into the donkey’s open mouth. As the water went in, the donkey got some strength to stand up. It looked up at the kind man who had offered it water.

As Ekanth gave more water to animal, the temperature dipped. A cool breeze blew and then it started raining!

Eknath, they say, brought rains to the village.

Note: Saint Eknath (16th century CE) was a devotee of Panduranga Vithala of Pandarpur. He composed the Bhagawat Purana in Marathi. He is known by the name ‘Eknath Bhagwat’.

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