Saint Dnyaneshwar Biography
Saint Dnyaneshwar was the second of the four children of Vithalpant and Rukminibai Kulkarni, a pious couple from the village Apegaon near Paithan,in Maharashtra,India, on the banks of River Godavari.
All the four children were very intelligent and pious. They studied the Vedas and Shastras under Vitthalpant Vitthalpant was excommunicated since he had resumed his family life even after adopting "Sanyas".Because of the excommunication the children could not join the brahmin community or study in schools run by them
In a hopeless state of mind Vithalpant and Rukminibai abandoned their children at Apegaon, travelled to Prayag and ended their life in the River Ganges.
The orphan children then approached the brahmin community of Paithan to accept them as brahmins after whatever purification rites necessary but the brahmin community refused.
However, due to their excellent behaviour they were permitted to live in the community on the condition that they will observe celibacy and produce no progeny.
About this time when Dnyaneshwar was 12 years old,Nivrutinath initiated him into the Nath sect and instructed him to write a commentary on Gita.The children moved to Nevase, a village in Nagar district on the banks of Pravara river.
There Dnyandeo began his commentary on Gita. He used to give a discourse on it to a group of seekers, some of them belonging to the Nath sect but many were followers of the path of devotion. A local devotee by name Sacchinanandbaba wrote down whatever Dnyandeo said.
A prominent person among the audience was the saint Namdeo known for the miracle where Vithoba the presiding deity of Pandharpur had eaten the food offering brought by Namdeo when he was a mere boy
In the year 1287 Dnyandeo(12) started on his commentary which he called Bhavarthadeepika. He finished it two and half years later in 1290. By that time he had developed a great friendship with Namdeo.
Shortly after the completion of Bhavarthadeepika, Dnyandeo joined the varkari movement probably under the influence of Namdeo and virtually became their leader.Dnyaneshwari and Amritanubhava are holy texts for the Varkari sect today.
Dnyandeo then accompanied Namdeo and several other followers of devotee path like Savata Mali, began a pilgrimage of all the holy places of north, east and west India. Immediately after returning to Alandi Dnyandeo (in 1296) expressed his desire to leave his body by taking samadhi.
He chose the thirteenth day of the dark fortnight of Kartik for the final samadhi. People gathered and had final round of bhajans etc. Dnyandeo embraced his brothers and sister and close friends like Namdeo. With tears in the eyes of all he entered the cave and sat in the yogic posture, The cave was sealed by a stone and Dnyandeo left his body by yogic process. Dnyandeo was only 21 years of age at this time.
Copies of Dnyaneshwari were
preserved by many families and were read regularly. In the course of copying and
probably due to the additions of their own works, many copies got corrupted.
Three hundred years later,in 1584 Saint Eknath collected several available
copies and after careful studies prepared a good copy of Dnyaneshwari.
Miracles Of Saint DnyaneshwarThe two miracles, in Dnyaneshwar's life, one of making the he-buffalo repeat Vedas and the other of bringing to life Sat-chit-Anandbaba have already been referred to. A few more can be narrated here.
At Paithan once a Brahmin wanted to perform the Shraddha (death anniversary) of his father.
So Dnyaneshwar requested the Brahmin to make
all the preparations and after going there invited all the forefathers for
lunch. At other places these ancestors are supposed to come, but they are
not visible. However, here they remained physically present and enjoyed
She came home empty-handed and was sobbing, because she thought that Nivrittinath, her eldest brother, would get annoyed at this. When
Dnyaneshwar knew about this he consoled Muktabai and by the power of Yoga,
he kindled the fire inside his stomach and told Muktabai to bake the "
Mande " on his back which was as red hot as the frying pan.
When Changdeo found that Dnyaneshwar was having control over
inanimate objects as against his control on living beings, he was
completely subdued and knew his folly in underestimating the power of
Dnyaneshwar. He at once fell at the feet of Dnyane¬shwar and became his
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