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DNYANESHWARI (Jnanesvari)
(THE PHILOSOPHICAL PART)

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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.
Omitting unnecessary similes (for modern reader) and further omitting the traditional obeisances made to various deities and his Guru, only 5752 ovis (verses) have been used out of the total 9032 ovis, reducing the material by about a third.

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)

Being a commentary on the Gita, Dnyaneshwari also has 18 chapters.
 

CHAPTER 1 : ARJUNA’S DESPONDENCY

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
 

The philosophical part really starts in chapter 2. In this text however, Chapter 1 has been included giving a brief background of the situation on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.


Offered at the feet of my Guru Shri Shankar Maharaj.  Alakh Niranjan.
V.V. Shirvaikar, Pune, Feb. 1999


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Links to comments and to the Chapters of the Dnyaneshwari:
Portal           Biography Saint Dnyaneshwar           Prologue             Shri Shankar Maharaj
Dnyaneshwari - Chapter:  1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    11    12    13/1    13/2    14    15    16    17    18/1    18/2    18/3

 Copyright  V.V. Shirvaikar                        Email:  vshirvaikar@yahoo.com


Last update of the text: 2004-APR-04.