Saturday, April 21, 2012

Shirdi Sai and Dnyaneshwari - commentary on Bhagawad-Gita

About Sri Jnaneshwar 
(Author of  Bhavarthadeepika or popularly known as Dnyaneshwari - a Marathi commentary on the Gita in poetic form)
Author of Bhavarthadeepika,  popularly known as Dnyaneshwari

Click here to read the English translation by Sri Yardi.- Jnaneshwari
Click here to read the English translation by Sri. Manu Subedar - Gita explained

Jnaneshwar, the well known Saint of Maharashtra was a gifted poet and a realized soul.  At a very early age, he wrote Jnaneshwari (Dnyaneshwari) a commentary on the Gita in poetry form.
In his Jnaneshwari, he calls the Gita the literary image of Lord Krishna (IX.2).

Sri Jnaneshwar, says that true knowledge consists in knowing God in the non-dual form and that devotion should culminate in Advaita (non-dual) bhakti.  This shows Jnani-Bhakta (VII.17)
He was born in a village Alandi about 20Kms from Pune in 1271.  He is worshiped all over Maharashtra as Mauli (Mother) by a large number of devotees. 

Sri Jnaneshwar, says that everyone should perform his duty as a Yajna and offer his or her actions as flowers at the feet of God.  He took Sanjivan Samadhi when he was only 22 years old. (The Nirvikalpa or Sanjivan Samadhi is well explained by the greatest yogi, Dhnyaneshwar. In his treatise, Bhavarthadeepika or Dhnyaneshwari, Dhnyaneshwar has emphatically talked about relation between higher awareness and light or pure energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation).

All the accounts of his life have been written on the basis of three chapters in the Namdeva Gatha (collection of Abhangas), entitled Adi, Tirthavalli and Samadhi.

At one time it was accepted by all that the Philosophy of Sri Jnaneshwar was the same as that of Sri Shankara.  They both were non-dualists.  In the ninth chapter, Sri Jnaneshwar states, "The supreme Self is formless, without limiting conditions, inactive beyond the qualities, changeless, formless, all-pervasive, unmanifest and on-dual.  But people ascribe form to the formless.

Just as the rays of the Sun are not different from the Sun, so there is unity between God and Universe.  The devotion, which is offered to Him with the knowledge of his unity, is known as non-dual bhakti.  When a person attains full knowledge as a sthitaprajna or a jnani-bhakta, he does not experience that the world is unreal.  On the other hand, the sthitaprajna becomes one with the world after he renounces egoism and all sense objects (2.267).  The Jnani-bhakta becomes free from the notion of dualism and experiences that he has become one with the universe (12.191)

Sri Jnaneshwar, holds that even if the world is real, the world appearance is not real.

Sri Jnaneshwar did not accept the doctrine that this world is the play of the Supreme (Chidvilasa) like Sri Ramanuja, who regards the visible world too as real, being the play of the Supreme Person.

The Shankara bhashya and Sri Jnaneshwar also differ in their view as to which Yoga is considered more important in the Bhagawad-Gita.  Sri Shankara regards the Yoga of Knowledge as primary with both the Yoga of Action and the Yoga of Devotion as subsidiary and supportive of it.  He says the seeker attains liberation in the following order - Purification of the mind through Karma Yoga, Renunciation through the way of Knowledge and self-realization.

In the opinion of Sri Jnaneshwar, all the methods of Yoga are equally valid and one has to adopt the Yoga according to his aptitude.

The story of Dnyaneshwari as outlined in the Sai Satcharitra Chapter XLI (English version P-217)
Reading of Dnyaneshwari

Mr. B.V.Dev, who was Mamlatdar (In Indian Panchayati Raj, Mamalatdar is the head of Taluka revenue office and responsible for proper collection of the taxes in the concerned Taluka.), of Dahanu (Thana district) wished for a long time to read Dnyaneshwari – (the well-known Marathi commentary on the Bhagawad-Gita, by Dnyaneshwar), along with other scriptures.  He could read daily one chapter of the Bhagawad-Gita, but when he took Dnyaneshwari in hand, some difficulties cropped up and he was precluded from reading it. He took three months leave, went to Shirdi, and thence to his home at Poud for rest.  He could read the other books but when he opened Dnyaneshwari, some evil or stray thoughts came crowding up in his mind and stopped him in the effort.  Try as much as he could, he was not able to read even a few lines of the book with ease.  So, he resolved in his mind that when Baba would create love for the book, and would order him to read it, he would begin and not till then.  In the month of February 1914, he went with his family to Shirdi.  There, Jog asked him, whether he rads Dnyaneshwari daily.  Dev replied that, he was desirous of reading it, but he was not successful and that, only when Baba would order him to read it, he would commence.    Jog then advised him to take a copy of the book and present it to Baba, and start the reading after it was consecrated and returned by Him.  Dev replied that, he did not want to resort to this device, as Baba knows his heart.  Would He not know his desire and satisfy it by giving him a clear order to read?

Dev, then, saw Baba and offered dakshina.  Then Baba said to him, "Go on reading the Pothi (Dnyaneshwari) daily, go and sit in the Wada, read regularly every day, and while reading, explain the portion read to all with love and devotion". 

Dev, was much pleased to hear the words of Baba, for He directly asked him to start reading Pothi (Dnyaneshwari).  He thought that, he got what he wanted and that, he could read the book with ease, thenceforth.  He again prostrated himself before Baba and said that, he surrendered himself to Him, and that he should be treated as a child and be helped in his reading.  

The matter did not end here, Baba did not stop with only issuing an order to read.  Within a year, He went to Dev and enquired about his progress.  On 2nd April, 1914, on Thursday morning Baba gave him a dream.  He sat on the upper floor and asked him, whether he understood the Pothi.  "No", answered Dev.  Baba said, "Then, when are you going to understand?".  Dev burst into tears and said, "unlessYou, shower Your grace, the reading is mere burden, and the understanding is still more difficult".  Baba told, "While reading you make haste, read it before Me, in My presence".  Dev asked - "What shall I read?" Baba said, "Read Adhyatma (spiritualism)."  Dev went in to bring the book, when he opened his eyes he was fully awakened.  We leave it to the readers to imagine, what ineffable joy and bliss Dev felt after this vision.

Read here the English translation of the Marathi work by Dnyaneshwar on Gita by Sri Yardi.
To read the Gita Explained by Sri Manu Subedar click here
For children to read about Jnaneshwar click here ISBN:8175084308



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