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Dasopant – Life History Of Marathi Saint Poet

Dasopant was born in 1551 CE at Narayan Peth in a Deshpande family to Digambar Pant and Parvatibai. Digambarpant was in charge of the granaries under a Sultan who was ruling over the region with his capital at Bidar (in present day Karnataka). Once there was a severe prolonged drought in the region causing death and misery to the people. Digambar Pant could not bear the sight of people dying of hunger when the royal granaries were full. Without the consent of the Sultan he distributed the grain to the populace. This angered the Sultan and he punished Digambar Pant by fining two lakh rupees. It was impossible for Digambar Pant to pay the fine; for him the other alternative was to convert to Islam or pledge his son Dasopant with the Sultan. For some time, Dasopant was put in jail as his father could not pay the fine. Before long, one Dattaji Padiwar arranged to pay the fine and Dasopant was freed. People believe that Dattaji Padiwar was none other than God Dattatreya.

After being released, Dasopant left home and went on a pilgrimage. He found the footprints of God Dattatreya at Rakshasbhuvan on Godavari and stayed there. He was away from his family for twelve years; his wife believed him to be dead and had almost decided to live like a widow. Then his father found him bathing in Godavari, and the family reunion took place.

Dasopant finally settled at Ambajogai in Maharashtra. He lived there for forty years and composed 35 works in verse including Gitarnava, and Gitartha Chandrika and many others. His Panchikarana was written on cloth with illustrations. Of the 1,25,000 verses and more composed by him, only about 2000 have survived. He died in 1615 at Ambejogai where there is a Samadhi to him.