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(THE PHILOSOPHICAL PART)
The COMMON MAN'S GITA
Dnyaneshwari is a commentary on the Gita written more than seven centuries ago by Saint Dnyaneshwar (Jnanadeva) in the contemporary Marathi language in verse form using the ovi style. It brought the philosophy of the Gita, until then the prerogative of Sanskrit pundits, to common man. It is written in verse form as used to be custom of those days, An excellent spiritual seekers guide, it discusses in detail four different paths viz. The path of Knowledge, the path of action, the path of yoga and the path of devotion to choose from depending upon the psychological make up of the seeker. It presents the cream of Vedanta philosophy, Sankhya philosophy, Kundalini yoga and the practice of devotion. While Gita is difficult to understand to a common man, Saint Dnyaneshwar has written Dnyaneshwari (Original name Bhavarthadeepika) specifically for common man and therefore the text is easy to understand.
Saint Dnyaneshwar wrote this critique at the age of sixteen on the instructions of his Guru and elder (only by two years) brother Nivruttinath. Nivruttinath was a disciple of Gahininath, one of the nine gems or Navnaths of the Nath sect. Dnyaneshwari written seven hundred years ago is still vibrantly alive and is regularly read in many homes in Maharashtra.
Due to changes in the Marathi language over the last few centuries the text is not easily understandable, but many prose translations are available. While writing commentary on Gita Dnyaneshwar Maharaj has used a lot of examples and similes from day to day life and from nature to make the meaning very clear to a common reader. However, with today’s educational levels many of these are not necessary and often they distract the reader from the smooth flow of the philosophical thought. In this translation therefore
(i) Only the philosophical part of the text has been retained except where there is need for clarifying the meaning
(ii) Rather that presenting the translation sequentially it is presented as a group of sequential verses (omitting of course those having similes etc.) with a cogent meaning and are subtitled.
This translation, thus truncated, is intended more for an intellectual reader rather than the pious. It is the intellectuals who hold executive and professional positions in today’s socio-economic world and are the ones who can influence the society positively or negatively. But their world is a world of perpetual haste and cannot afford long winded texts of the old days. Thus a shortened version of Dnyaneshwari is most suited for this class un order to turn their influence on the positive side. (See PROLOGUE)
commentary on the Gita, Dnyaneshwari also has 18 chapters.
CHAPTER 2 : THE PATH OF KNOWLEDGE
CHAPTER 3 : PATH OF ACTIONS
CHAPTER 4 : YOGA OF KNOWLEDGE
CHAPTER 5 : RENUNCIATION
CHAPTER 6 : MEDITATION
CHAPTER 7 : WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE
CHAPTER 8 : THE IMPERISHABLE ABSOLUTE
CHAPTER 9 : SOVEREIGN KNOWLEDGE AND SOVEREIGN MYSTERY
CHAPTER 10 : DIVINE MANIFESTATIONS
CHAPTER 11 : VISION OF UNIVERSAL FORM
CHAPTER 12 : YOGA OF DEVOTION
CHAPTER 13/1 : THE FIELD AND THE KNOWER OF THE FIELD
CHAPTER 13/2 : THE FIELD AND THE KNOWER OF THE FIELD
CHAPTER 14 : THE THREE ATTRIBUTES
CHAPTER 15 : THE SUPREME PERSON
CHAPTER 16 : DIVINE AND DEMONIACAL ENDOWMENTS
CHAPTER 17 : THREE KINDS OF FAITH
CHAPTER 18/1 : RELEASE THROUGH RENUNCIATION
CHAPTER 18/2 : RELEASE THROUGH RENUNCIATION
CHAPTER 18/3 : RELEASE THROUGH RENUNCIATION
Offered at the feet of my Guru Shri Shankar Maharaj. Alakh Niranjan.
V.V. Shirvaikar, Pune, Feb. 1999
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