Encyclopedia of Indian Saints and Sages

Item Code: NAF129
Author: N K Prasad
Publisher: Times Group Books
Language: English
Edition: 2012
ISBN: 9789388757270
Pages: 354
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.5 inch x 6.5 inch
Weight 590 gm
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Book Description
Back of the Book

Great soul has walked on this holy land of ours that today know as India. This book is an attempt to chronicle the lives and teaching of those sages and saints. Their number is large enough to give the book an encyclopedic from. The book covers a span as long as the creation itself.

All the epochs of Hindu mythology have been covered, viz satya., Satya Yoga, Treta, Dwapar and Kaliyuga. Within Kaliyuga, it user a century-wise classification and cover ancient medieval and modern saints, even those who are still alive. Besides there is a Chapter in which saints from other religion who have been associated with India are covered. A special Chapter is devoted to saints who have established or propagated sampradayas (religious traditions).

While covering the sages and saints an effort has been made to make the best use of materials available from various sources. The entries try to familiarize you with the lives and teaching of these great Souls. The reader also gets to know about their works and about the ashrams they established.

A reading of this book will leave you enlightened about the rich heritage of our country. It acquaints You with spiritual tradition. You get to unearth the treasure of Knowledge buried under layers of our ignorance. The book may orient you towards a behavior exudes positive energy. And who know it may even ignite that spark You which leads to the light of bliss.


The National Youth Day celebrated in India on 12 January on the Birthday of a Great Indian. He is not a cricketer or chess player is he a politician Singer or dancer. He is swami Vivekananda, Who introduced Indian philosophy to the Western world. It is only appropriate that the Government of India decided to observe a great saint’s birthday as an occasion to hold activities that promote the Youth. For, it is the legacy of Indian saints and sages that represents the true identity of Indian ideology. I bequeath this book to the youth of our country so they can know and understand the roots from which they have originated. Hope they will identify with that aspect of the country which is so much around us and yet goes unrecognized and untapped. The lives and teachings of saints and sages are so full of energy. Let it not go waste in a world that is starved for it.


The canvas of this book is very wide, ranging from about three billion years ago, when the human creation had started, to the present time. It has now been accepted that the Big Bang created the whole superstructure of the universe 14 billion years ago. Later, various creatures came into being and human being appeared about three billion Year ago.

When the Universal Divine source or Cosmic Energy or Cosmic Consciousness, called by different names of god in different religion, started the creation of human beings with the help of human being with the help of Prakriti (Nature) or Maya, the supreme Power also created his shadow of divinity called Saints, Rishis or Munis to remind the human being that there is a Creator whom they should not forget. The input of Jnana or spiritual Knowledge had to be developed and inculcated in the minds of human beings this vital role was assigned to the ancient Rishis munis and saints in every age present one.

The ancient Rishis and munis got the Vedas, the original books of Knowledge, through their meditative in-depth studies, researches and intuition. These books proved to be the foundation of all knowledge not only spiritual, but also empirical. They also laid down the detailed procedures of rituals for worship the Divine Creator. The Rishis who got the Vedas in their Dhyana war called Mantradrashta Rishis.

The second step of imparting the Knowledge contained in the Vedas and other sacred books was also very Knowledge contained in the Vedas and other sacred books also very important. For this purpose, God created another set of Rishis, Munis and saints who acted like spiritual teachers by opening Gurukuls, admitting suitable from various classes of society and making them better and ethically organized person. This is how the civilization started developing.

The work the divine Creator did not stop there. He created another set of spiritual researchers who made in depth studies of both the outside and inside of the universe and discovered many scientific mysteries of the common people particularly during the last 10,000 years, such great personalities appeared and made many discoveries which provided the foundation for further research and spiritual scientists.

Up to this stage, two-pronged efforts were made to improve him living conditions on Earth. One was to provide suitable knowledge and the other was to develop means of comfort in life. The Divine Creator, however, was not satisfied with only these achievements. His real objective of creating the universe was to take the process of evolution to such a height that human being understood Him and then tried to realize Him.

The drama of creation is very interesting. Rivers are Created from the waters of the seas, play their role on Earth and then return to the same source from which they were formed. In the same way, every individual soul is a part of the universal divine soul, emerges from there, adopts a body, plays the assigned role on Earth and then returns to the original source. In other words, it has been the intention of the Divine Creator that every individual should come back to him after understanding Him and realizing Him in the true sense. For this purpose, the assistance and guidance of specialized persons is required. Fitting this role, saints have appeared in large numbers throughout the word in all religions and stared creating a revolution amongst the minds of the people. The tools which they have used for this purpose are many, viz., sat sang spiritual listening to discourses, and singing Bahamans and Kirtans. All these help one divert their attention from the pursuit of mere worldly matters to God realization the higher purpose of life.

The Divine Creator has been sending good soul in different human bodies to promote Janana Yoga, Karma Dhayana, Dhyana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. In the Bhagaved Geeta, we Lord Krishna, we have lord Krishna who was none other than the Universal Divine soul who had been incarnated to transform the metal state of the people and make them better individuals in very way. He explained various types of Yoga which are helpful in the elevation of the soul. He has also given the master concept of integrated Yoga which combines the benefits of all kinds of yoga. He asked everybody to ultimately reach the summit of Bhakti Yoga, Which is the Yoga of surrender to the Almighty and also one of complete elimination of ego including the sense of "doership". This concept of Integrated Yoga recently very developed by the great Yoga was recently very well developed by the great yogi and saint, Sri Sai Aurobbindo, who lived in Pondicherry. There have been other saints also who have endorsed the same view and tried to shape personalities of individuals in a balanced.

Amongst the living saints also, there are a few who have realized the truth behind the teaching of Gita, other sacred books, Rishis, Munis and saints and have been trying to inculcate amongst their disciples the of idea of making God-realization the aim of life.

A question is often asked by inquisitive mind. In spite of the incarnation or advent of so many evolved souls, why are majority of the people still ignorant, selfish and unethical? The answer to this question is that whatever good is to be seen on this Earth and in howsoever small a number good persons are available this is all because of the constructive roles played by those great personalities. Had not created them the original jungle life with its uncivilized behavior would still continued.

Most of the wise men of Satya Yoga, the first epoch, were wedded to the concept of Jnana Yoga. In Treta, the next epoch, the new element of Jnana Bhakti Karma emerged. Many of the Rishis Munis and saints set before the people expels of ideal as a householder saint King Father Mother Husband Brother friend and even as a neighbor. Those expels are still relevant and the seeker souls study them and try imbibe in their in lives as far as possible those finer elements.

Next came the epoch of Dwapar. In which the formal worship of God as a personal deity started. It was found that only the study of spiritual literature ets. Did not give proper food to the seeking minds of the people Rather something more required to keep them engaged and to change the complexion of their consciousness. Therefore ritual worship was introduced and along with it the need for a personal deity. The Divine Creator was aware of these development and He created various forms His own power. For every individual taste and inclinational a deity was available Interestingly. Evil deities are also available. In the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna has clearly indicated that the worship by different people of different deities is all relevant and ultimately reaches Him in a circuitous way, But those who worship Him directly reach their destination faster.

In this book it was not possible to classify every sage or saint according to their contribution in the field of Jnana Yoga Karma Yoga Dhyana Yoga or Bhakti Yoga. However from their lives given in this book one easily find out the finer threads of emphasis. The only requirement is to study with faith and love.

The present book is not an the not an end in itself. It is only a means to provoke a seeking mind to study life turn attention introspect and then decide about the aim of his life. Thus it is only a stepping stone or spiritual ladder through which one can advance on the spiritual path and ultimately achieve God realization .The effort made in this regard will considered successful if even a few individuals benefit from it and make their lives happier more purposeful and successful in every way.

To err is human. If you find anything wrong or misplaced in the book you are welcome to human to point this to the author or publisher so that the requisite corrections may be made in subsequent editions .

In this whole universe nobody can work in isolation. I have also received not only information from various sources but also the requisite inspiration to write such a book with many dimensions. I do not feel shy in disclosing that the Divine Power has also been giving due guidance and inputs for writing this book such guidance has come In dreams not only while asleep but also when awake .An interesting experience in this regard is that one particular saints had been left out. He later appeared in a dream and asked why he had been left out. He also made the suggestion that he should be given a few lines in the book Thus in a sense this work s the result of the result of the combined effort made by the Divine persons in the form of saints ets the divine friends and even those relatives who have proved to b esdquately divine Besides, I am particularly grateful to my wife Smt. Shivrani Prasad my eldest son Dr Ajit Sinha, My second son P K Sinha, daughter Rashm,Verma, Son in law Naveen Verma and grandchildren Gauri, Ambika, Aditya, Shashwat, Anand and Shantanu.

A special mention has to be made about the publisher. The Times of India and its owners, who like seasoned Jewelers recognized the special value of this work and made an offer to publish it as early as possible.


Rishis of Satya Yuga 10
Unmarried Wise men of Satya Yuga 20
Rishis of Treta and Dwapar 33
Saints of KaliYuga up 11th Century 49
Saints of 12th 14th Century 64
Saints of 15 Century 69
Saints of 16 Century 83
Saints of 17 Century 97
Saints of 18 Century 112
Saints of 19 Century 124
Saints of 20 Century 156
Saints from Other Religion 207
Sampradayas and Saints 243
Living Saints 313
Appendix I: Saints who Lived for More than a Hundred Years 328
Appendix I: Saints who Gave Prior Indication of Their Death 330
Glossary 331
Bibliography 340
Index 341
Smt. Indu Jain 349
NK Prasad 350
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