Baba Namdev Ji
Saint Namdev was born in 1270 to father Damasheti and mother Gonabai in Village Naras-Vamani (in Maharashtra's Satara District). The entire family moved to Pandharpur where a Temple of Vitthala (Lord Vishnu) was located. His parents were devotees of Vitthala. Saint Namdev also became a devotee. When he was 5 Years of age, his mother gave him some food to offer to Vitthala. He went to Temple and placed offerings before Vitthala's Idol. He asked Vitthala to accept the food. When he saw there was no response, he said he would kill himself if food is not accepted by Vitthala. Soon Vitthala appeared and ate the food. Saint Namdev was married before he turned 11 Years of age and had 4 sons and one daughter. He came under the influence of Jnanadeva and started spending his time in worship of Vitthala of Pandharpur.
Saint Namdev's devotion was of such high standard that Lord Vishnu helped him in many ways and it is said that he had glimpse of Lord Vishnu for 70 times in his life. He composed many Hymns. He became very popular and people used to visit him to hear recitation of Hymns. Because of his immense devotion it is said that when Saint Namdev recited Hymns, Lord Vishnu used to dance before him. Namdev's 61 Hymns have been included in Sri Guru Granth Sahib (the Holy book of Sikhs).
Once due to immense popularity of Saint Namdev, Sultan Ala-ud-din Khilzi felt jealous and decided to test him. One day when Namdev was preaching, the Sultan ordered his men to place a dead cow outside the place where Namdev was preaching. Namdev came outside and said the cow would come back to life in a few Days. He prayed to Lord Vitthala and on the fourth Day Lord appeared and revived the cow. The King asked," Why did the Lord took 4 Days to revive the cow?" Namdev said, "Since I had asked him to bring the cow back to life in a few Days, he took 4 Days, Had I prayed to bring the cow back to life in a Minute, he would have done so".
Once when Namdev was taking food, Lord came in the form of a Dog and took away a chapati from his plate. Namdev started running after the Dog saying," When you have come, do not eat chapati without Ghee." So Namdev was able to recognize Lord Vitthala.
Once on the Shivratri Day Namdev started reciting Hymns in a Naganatha Temple. People in large numbers came and Brahmins were not able to enter inside to pay homage to the Idol of God. They asked Namdev to go to the backside of the Temple for his recitation. Namdev did the same, but the entrance of the Temple turned on his side. The Temple which was facing East was now facing West.
Saint Namdev with Saint Jnanadeva and other Saints visited all parts of the Country and arrived in Punjab. Saint Namdev came to Village Ghuman, where Gurdwara Darbar Sahib is situated and resided here for more than 17 Years. He used to meditate here. Here a King asked Namdev to show miracles. Saint Namdev refused to do so and said," Showing miracles means interfering in the Will Of God." The King ordered Namdev to be thrown before a drunken elephant to be crushed to death. Lord Vitthala appeared to save his Saint. After sometime Namdev returned to Pandharpur where at the age of 80 he took samadhi.