Namadeva used to spend
most of his time in his devotion to Vitthala. Therefore he paid little attention to his
Father was aged. Both Damaji and his wife were hoping that their son, being a youth
now, would help the father in his tailoring.
Namadeva, of course, used to treat his father and mother with utmost love and respect.
He loved his wife and children too. But he did nothing to help and support his family. All
the time he was absorbed in the thoughts of Vitthala. He would spend more time in the
temple than at home. What help could the family expect from such a son? Thus the family
had to face many hardships. When his mother was not able to bear this, she became ill
tempered in her behavior. One day Namadeva got disgusted with this. He left his house,
went and sat in the temple. Rajayi, the wife of Namadeva, went to her neighbors and began
to bemoan the difficulties of her family before them.
"Rajayi!" some one called her.
She came out hurriedly and asked, "Who is it that called me?"
"It is me, Keshavashet. Namadeva is my bosom friend. Here is some money to be
given to him. Please take it" - so saying, he gave her the money and went away.
Rajayi took the money and went to the market. She bought all the required provisions,
came home, prepared food and sat down waiting. At that time Gonayi was not at home. She
had gone to someone's house to borrow some grain. When she was returning home with the bag
of grain, she stepped into the temple. Advising her son who was sitting there, she brought
By the time the mother and son came home there was a big change. Rajayi had bought nice
clothes. Food was cooked and kept ready. Both were taken aback. "What is all this?
Where did you get these things?" the son asked his mother. She too did not know it.
Namadeva came to know that one Keshavashet who claimed to be his intimate friend had
given money and was gone. He was astonished, as he knew for certain that he did not have
any such friend and nobody owed him any money.
That the family got money was a fact. How else could all those new things be there? Who
was it really that had come to give this money? Who else but Vitthala would give money to
him? So he thought. He felt thrilled at the thought that Vitthala had told that he was a
close friend of Namadeva. And at the same time he was moved to tears because for his sake
Vitthala had to take such pains.
He did not want that money. He was afraid that it might distract his devotion from
Vitthala. So he called all the Brahmins and poor beggars of the town and gave away all the
money the unseen hand of God had given him. Once again he became penniless. A number of
stories like this are there to illustrate Namadeva's devotion, austerity and Vitthala's
appreciation of that devotion. In addition to his family consisting of father, mother,
wife and children, Namadeva had a wide circle of devotees as his kinsfolk. They belonged
to various castes. But all of them were soldiers of one and the same God. Jnanadeva was a
Brahmin, Namadeva was a tailor, Narahari, a goldsmith, and Sawanta a gardener, Gora was a
potter and Chokhamela, a pariah. In their daily personal life they followed their
respective professions. But in their devotion to Vitthala they were collectively one.