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Saints of India: Kanhopatra

No matter who you are, where you come from or what you have done, if only you earnestly lay your head down before God and pray and worship to him, he will definitely accept you, no matter what.

Sant Kanhopatra's life story is the perfect example for this. Being the daughter of courtesan, she devoted her life to Vitthala and Vitthala accepted her too!

Let us find out a little more of how that happened...


Sant Kanhopatra was the daughter of a popular courtesan. When she came of age, her mother wanted Kanhopatra to follow in her footsteps. However Kanhopatra refused to this.

She instead devoted her life to Vitthala, and became one of his great devotees.

However, Kanhopatra was extremely beautiful and no one could not, not notice her beauty.

The lure of her looks made the king of nearby Bidar lust after her. In fact, he even sent some of his army to abduct and bring her to him!

It so happened that Janabai along with the other Varkaris, was in the temple performing bhajans and keertans, when these soldiers of the kings reached the gates of the temple.

She came to know about them and so she pleaded with Vitthala to accept her into him so that she could be saved.

Vitthala accepted her plea and her soul merged with him, leaving behind her mortal body back.

The other brahmins quickly buried her in the temple premises and planted a tree over it.

By the time the soldiers came inside, they could not find her anyway.

On questioning, they were told by the brahmins of the truth which they refused to believe.

And so, they captured these brahmins and took them to the king.

The king too, initially refused to believe the story. In a conversation that flowed back and forth, the brahmins tried to offer the king some prasad to alleviate his mood.

The king was about to eat it when he found a hair in it. Now, he was completely convinced that Kanhopatra was still in the temple.

To save themselves from his rage, the brahmins lied that it was probably Vitthala's hair. The king did not believe this too, and told them they would visit the temple to check the veracity of the truth and if found to be lying they would be killed.

The brahmins, now in a fix, prayed fervently to Vitthala to save them.

When the party reached the temple, to their astonishment, actually saw real hair in the idol of Vitthala!

The king at once realised his mistake, and not only released the brahmins but also gave up his own mortal body there!

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