88th Marathi Literary Festival was celebrated in 2015 thousand mile away from Maharashtra in a non descript village called Ghuman in Gurdaspur district of Punjab. Looks surprising why? The reason is that this village has an important link with Maharashtra. Great saint Namdeo came here during his wanderings and remained here for 18 years.
He is said to have born in Naras-Vamani village of Satara district in Maharashtra, Bhagat Namdeo. It was during 12 to 13 century but there are doubts. Anyway it was before the founder of Sikh religion Guru Nanak was born. Imagine about 800 years ago how the saint must have travelled nearly 2000 kilometers when the means of transportation were few and far between. And also why he chose this place only. During these years saint preached here about the one god and leave the bad customs like casteism plaguing the society here.
In one of his compositions , he tells the God, how he was thrown out from the temple as he belonged to lower caste. He himself beseeches the God why He had ordained him to be born in the family of cloth dyers which is considered low caste. He tells God that he has returned out from your temple and sitting at the backside of the temple. Full poem in Gurumukhi with English meaning is reproduced below.
People here still revere him. His teachings were so pious that 61 of his Shabads were included in Adi Granth , the holy book of Sikhs by Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth guru of Sikhs.