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Nāmdev (Nām Dev or Sant Nāmdev) (c.1270-c.1350 CE) was a prominent religious poet of Maharashtra, India in the Hindu tradition, and was one the earliest writers who wrote in the Marathi language. He also wrote some hymns in the Hindi and the Punjabi languages. His sixty-one compositions are a part of Sikhism's holy scripture, Guru Granth Sahib.
Namdev was born in the village of NarasVamani, now located in the Satara District in Maharashtra. He was born to a tailor named Dāmāsheti Relekar and his wife Gonāi (Gunābāi). Soon after his birth, his family moved to Pandharpur in the Solapur district of Maharashtra, where the prominent temple of the Hindu God form Viththal or Vithobā is located. His parents were devotees of Vithobā.
At age eleven, Namdev was married to Rājāi (Rājābāi), a daughter of Govindasheti Sadāvarte. Namdev and Rājāi had four sons and a daughter. (Some people claiming to be Namdev's descendants reside in Pandharpur.)
Since childhood, Namdev was an ardent devotee of Vithoba like his parents. According to a legend, when Namdev was five years old, his mother once gave him some food offering for Vithoba and asked him to take it and give it to Vithoba in the Pandharpur temple. Accordingly, young Namdev took the offering and placed it before Vithoba's idol in the temple, asking Vithoba to partake of the offering. When he saw that his request was not being met, he told Vithoba that unless his request was met, he would be killing himself. Vithoba then appeared in a personal form and partook of the offering in response to the utter devotion of young Namdev[citation needed]. (The place where, according to the legend, Namdev had waited for Vithoba to partake of the food offering is currently identified in that temple as "Nāmdev Pāyari".)
Namdev traveled through many parts of India, reciting his religious poems. He is said to have lived for more than twenty years in the village of Ghuman in the Gurdaspur district of Punjab, where a memorial commemorates him.
Namdev is regarded to have had a significant influence on the later, 17th century religious poet Tukaram of Maharashtra[citation needed].
Namdev's devotional compositions ("abhangas") have been collected in the document known as Namdev's Gāthā. His work titled "Teerthāvalee" contains his compositions concerning his travels in the company of Sant Dnyaneshwar.

[edit] See also
Backward-caste Hindu Saints

[edit] Useful Links
श्री संत नामदेव महाराज यांच्या जीवन चरित्राची सखोल,चित्रमय माहिती.

[edit] Bibliography
J.R.Puri, and V.K.Sethi, Saint Namdev (Punjab: Radha Soami Satsang Beas, 1975)
M.A.Karandikar, Saint Namdev (New Delhi: Maharashtra Information Centre, 1985)
Nirmal Dass (trans & intro), Songs of the Saints from the Adi Granth (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2000)

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