Sant Durgabai (17th century AD) was born in a village in Maharashtra in a pious Hindu family. Her father was a learned scholar and he has taught Vedas to the Brahmin boys in order to earn money for his livelihood. Durgabai was the only daughter for her parents, and she got married at the tender age of 14 to a young boy, whose name was Ganpatram.
Young Durgabai was very much talented in doing household chores, and she served her husband and in-laws in a dutiful manner in spite of their repeated tortures. She took a small idol of Lord Krishna from her maternal home, and began to worship it in her husband’s home. Though she found only a little time to perform puja to the idol of Lord Krishna, but she was very much satisfied in doing that small divine service to Lord Krishna.
After the passage of time, due to some health related issues, her husband has passed away, by leaving her alone. Her in-laws blamed her for the death of their son, and they have chased her out from their home. Since young Durgabai was disinterested to live in her maternal home, she joined with a troop of travellers who were on their way to Pandharpur. She had eagerly sang songs on Lord Vittala, a form of Lord Krishna, and began to dance and dance, and at one point of time, she has forgotten the entire world due to her utmost devotion on Lord Vittala.
Initially some people had seen her in a different manner, due to her young age, and due to her stunning beautiful appearance. But quickly they realised that she was a saintly woman, and also understood that she has dedicated her entire life to Lord Vittala. After reaching Pandharpur, she politely approached one landlord, and with tearful eyes, she sought his help for providing food and shelter to her. The landlord being a staunch devotee of Vittala had realised her true bhakti, took her to her home, and began to treat her as his own daughter. Since the landlord and his wife didn’t have any children, hence they considered Ma Durgabai as their own child, and provided her with all sorts of comforts in their big house. But Ma Durgabai requested the noble couple to construct a small hut for her, and to provide her only a small quantity of simple food, in order to lead a saintly life.
In course of time, Ma Durgabai bhakti has increased tremendously, and she also has relieved the people from their troubles and turmoil and had shown the bhakti path to them. After living a saintly life for many years, on one fine Ekadasi Day, after observing full fasting for the whole day, Ma Durgabai had attained the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu, and permanently dwelled in the Vaikunta, the divine abode of Lord Vishnu.
“OM MA BHAKTA DURGABAI NAMAHA”