Sakku Bai


There was a small village called Sinchirunipuram, near Pandharpur, Maharashtra. There lived a man named Gangadar Rao who was a great devotee of Lord Vitthal (Sri Krishna incarnate). He was an honest, truthful and straightforward man involved in numerous bhagavat sevas. His wife Kamala Bai was also a great bhakta. Through their humble nature and philanthropic attitudes the couple had won the hearts of the people in their town. They were most known for their staunch devotion to Pandharpur Vitthal, the presiding deity in the town.

The couple was childless for many years. They were leading a contented life but seeking a child from God since long. Very soon God answered their prayers. One night the couple dreamed about Lord Vitthal. The Lord blessed them both saying they would soon bear a girl child. The delighted couple greatly praised Lord Vitthal and chanted many hymns on Him.

Soon Kamala Bai gave birth to a girl child and she was named Sakku Bai.


Following the footsteps of her parents, Sakku Bai also became a great devotee of Pandharpur Vitthal. At a very tender age Sakku Bai started singing beautiful bhajans and at times owing to divine ecstasy she would dance and shed tears. Everyone around her used to get stunned on seeing her bhakti, and on hearing her mellifluous voice.

Sakku Bai was a girl with exceptional abilities. Whether it was performing household chores, tending the cattle or helping her mother in cooking, she knew it all. At a very tender age she began assisting her mother in various Puja rituals by making flower garlands, preparing sandalwood paste etc. Sakku Bai was taught by her parents to be obedient and truthful. She learnt from her parents never to hurt or utter any harsh word against anybody.


During the same time, there lived a man by name Krupanaraya in Karaveerapuram. Krupanaraya, though a Brahmin and well versed in Puranas, was extremely selfish, miserly and unfriendly. He was popularly known was ‘Krupanaraya’ meaning ‘a miser’. His wife also reflected his characteristics, and was a quarrelsome and shallow woman. The couple had a son named Oaduraya.

Oaduraya’s father had not only imparted the knowledge of the Vedas to his son but also transmitted his bad qualities to him. By this time Sakku Bai had reached a marriageable stage; however, the only man to whom she wanted to marry was Vitthal. She had already lost her heart to her Lord and it wasn’t possible for her to accept anyone else as her husband. But to follow the social norms, Sakku Bai was forced to marry Oaduraya. She was only twelve years of age during the time of her marriage.

Sakku Bai’s husband, Oaduraya, was not a good soul and was very cunning and miserly. She however served her husband with great love and respect. Whenever in pain and misery, she used to reflect within herself; she would just visit the holy shrine of her Vitthal to sing, dance and meditate on her Lord. She would share everything with her Lord and would shed tears and be in a state of complete ecstasy. After seeing the unnatural behavior of his wife and failing to realize her bhakti towards Lord Vitthal, Sakku Bai’s husband thought her to be insane.

Sakku Bai was also tortured at her in-law’s place. Throughout the day, she would get completely engrossed in the household chores. Day by day she became malnourished as she was given very little to eat. But, in spite of all this; while milking the cow, cooking, cleaning and mopping the house she would always be thinking and chanting about Vitthal.


1.    Building Sandcastle and playing with Vitthal:

Once when the young Sakku Bai was building small sandcastles with her friends, Vitthal appeared in the scene, disguised as an old man. He was also wearing anklets, tulsi mala, and chipla. He was carrying a thambura. The Lord made his presence felt by singing ‘panduranga vitthala pandarinatha vitthala’. Vitthal came near the sand house built by Sakku Bai and her friends, and destroyed it completely. When Sakku Bai asked him innocently the reason behind this weird gesture, Vitthal replied that since he was completely into the thought of his Lord he failed to notice their sand house.

Sakku Bai asked Vitthal to give away his thambura as part of the settlement for her loss. Lord obligingly agreed upon her request and even taught her tuning the thambura. He asked her to render songs in admiration of the Lord with the instrument. Vittal, in his disguised form, also initiated Sakku with the Ashtakshara Japam. Subsequently, he also narrated the Gajendra moksha to make the young girl realize the pure essence of Ashtakshari.

When Vitthal was leaving the scene, Sakku Bai gracefully returned the thambura to him asking him where he was going. Vitthal told her that he was leaving for Pandharpur and promised her that he would return after five days to share everything about the place with her. As years passed after this episode, Sakku’s thirst to meet her Lord Vitthal grew all the more intense without any limitations.

2.    Permission to go to Pandharpur and the entry of Maya Sakku:

One day Sakku Bai came across a group of bhakts who had halted at her village and were on their way to Pandharpur. When Sakku Bai asked her husband’s permission for the two of them to go to Pandharpur with other bhakts to seek darshan of Lord Vittal, her husband got extremely furious and tied her to a pillar.

During this time a miraculous incident took place that changed Sakku Bai’s life for good. When distressed Sakku Bai was tied to the pillar and thinking about her Lord Vitthal, a Maya Sakku arrived who freed Sakku Bai from the tied knot so that she could go and see the lotus feet of her Lord. Maya Sakku also promised her that till the time Sakku returns to her place, she would play her part and nobody would get the slightest idea of the whole occurrence.


With her single pointed devotion, Maya Sakku transformed all those people who came into contact with her. The polluted brains of her relatives-in-law were changed; many more entered into the path of spirituality.

Songs & Prayers of Sakku Bai

“Ranga, because of you I am carrying on with this shelterless life… If I do not see you, my mind will not be steady!

“Oh Krishna, won’t you come to me, even in my dreams! Come and show me yourself, I cannot bear the separation.

“Take the essence of Vedas, convert it into a melodious music, fill it into the flute, and change it into a song Krishna! Sing the song, with lyrics filled with honey Mukunda, talk to me to the satisfaction of my mind. Sakku Bai used to sing like that.

One day, her mother-in-law gave her a big sack of rice and commanded that she grind all the rice into rice flour. Sakku Bai grew very tired from the hours of rotating the manual grinder wheel. (

“Ranga! For how long are these troubles? What for are these lives? Is there no justice? Why do you quarrel with me? Don’t you have any compassion towards me? I am your servant, yes? or no? Is it appropriate for you to humiliate me?

“If I am truly your servant, why are these troubles for me? There must be some faults in me, that is why you are delaying. Let me know what my faults are and save me”.

Sakku Bai brought about the transformation and salvation of her family and also of all those who came into contact with her.