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Essay On Sant Dnyaneshwar In Marathi Language

"Sant Dnyaneshwar" redirects here. For the film about his life, see Sant Dnyaneshwar (film).

Dnyaneshwar
ReligionHinduism
PhilosophyAdvaita, Varkari, Hinduism
Personal
BornDnyaneshwar
1275 CE
Apegaon, dist.Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India
Died1296 CE (Sanjeevan Samadhi at the age of 21)
Alandi
GuruNivruttinath (elder brother)
Literary worksDnyaneshwari, Amrutanubhav, Changdev Paasashti, Haripath, abhang devotional poetry
HonorsSant (Saint), Dev (God) and Māulī (Mother)
Dnyaneshawri is the first book to describe the translation of Bhagwat Geeta from Sanskrit to Marathi language through Owya (means poetic sentence).

Dnyaneshwar (IAST: Jñāneśvar), also known as Dnyandev or Mauli (1275–1296) was a 13th-century Marathisaint, poet, philosopher and yogi of the Nath tradition whose Dnyaneshwari (a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita) and Amrutanubhav are considered to be milestones in Marathi literature.

Biography[edit]

Background[edit]

"Like a good farmer giving up his old business and beginning something new every day, the man overpowered by ignorance installs images of gods, often and again and worships them with the same intensity. He becomes the disciple of the guru who is surrounded by worldly pomp, gets initiated by him and is unwilling to see any other person who has got real spiritual dignity. He is cruel to every being, worships various stone images and has no consistency of heart."

Dnyaneshwari

Dnyaneshwar was born in 1275 (on the auspicious day of Krishna Janmashtami) in Apegaon village on the bank of Godavari river near Paithan in Maharashtra during the reign of the Yadava king Ramadevarava.,[5] The kingdom enjoyed peace and stability until invasions from the Delhi Sultanate started in 1296 CE. Arts and sciences flourished under the patronage of the Yadava kings and Maharashtra attracted scholars from all over India. However, this period also witnessed religious degeneration, sectarianism, superstition and ritualism which involved animal sacrifices to many local deities. Dnyaneshwar would later criticise the religious degeneration of the day in his magnum opus Dnyaneshwari. According to B. P. Bahirat, Dnyaneshwar emerged as the first original philosopher who wrote in the Marathi language, in this era.

Biographical details of Dnyaneshwar's life are preserved in the writings of his contemporary Namdev and his disciples Satyamalanath and Sachchidanand. The various traditions give conflicting accounts of details of Dnyaneshwar's life. The date of composition of his work Dnyaneshwari (1290 CE), however is undisputed. According to the more accepted tradition on Dnyaneshwar's life, he was born in 1275 CE and he attained Sanjeewan(alive) samadhi in 1296 CE.

Early life[edit]

Dnyaneshwar's father Vitthalapant was the kulkarni (hereditary accountant, usually Brahmin, who maintained land and tax records in villages) of a village called Apegaon on the banks of the Godavari River in Maharashtra, a profession he had inherited from his ancestors. He married Rakhumabai, the daughter of the kulkarni of Alandi. Even as a householder, Vitthalapant longed for spiritual learning. His disillusionment with life grew as a result of the death of his father and because he had no children from his marriage. Eventually, with his wife's consent, he renounced worldly life and left for Varanasi to become a sannyasin (renunciate).

Vitthalapant was initiated as a sannyasin by his spiritual teacher, Ramashrama, who is also called Ramananda, Nrisimhashrama, Ramadvaya and Shripad in various sources. (He was not Ramananda, the founder of the Ramanandi Sampradaya.) When Ramashrama discovered that Vitthalapant had left his family behind to become a monk, he instructed Vitthalapant to go back to his wife and perform his duties as a householder. After Vitthalapant returned to his wife and settled down in Alandi, Rakhumabai gave birth to four children—Nivruttinath (1273 CE), Dnyaneshwar (1275 CE), Sopan (1277 CE) and Muktabai (1279 CE).

Orthodox Brahmins of the day saw a renunciate returning to his life as a householder as heresy; Vitthalapant and his family were persecuted because of this. Dnyaneshwar and his brothers were denied the right to have the sacred thread ceremony, which in Hinduism symbolises the right to read the Vedas.

Vitthalapant eventually left the town for Nashik with his family. One day while performing his daily rituals, Vitthalapant came face to face with a tiger. Vitthalapant and three of his four children escaped, but Nivruttinath became separated from the family and hid in a cave. While hiding in the cave he met Gahaninath, who initiated Nivruttinath into the wisdom of the Nath yogis. Later, Vitthalapant returned to Alandi and asked the Brahmins to suggest a means of atonement for his sins; they suggested giving up his life as penance. Vitthalapant and his wife gave up their lives, within a year of each other by jumping into the Ganges in the hope their children might be able to lead lives free of persecution. Other sources and local folk tradition claim that the parents committed suicide by jumping in the Indrayani River. However, orthodox Brahmins of the town still refused to accept the children as pure and suggested that they obtain a certification of atonement (śuddhi) from the pandits of Paithana, which was a centre of orthodox learning.

Writings[edit]

The Pandits of Paithana were struck by the spiritual learning and intellect of the four siblings and awarded them the certificate of purification. While returning to Alandi from the journey, the children halted at Nevase, where Dnyaneshwar composed Dnyaneshwari in the year 1290,[28] a commentary on Bhagavad Gita which later became a fundamental text of the Varkari sect. His words were recorded by Sacchidananda, who agreed to become Dnyaneshwar's amanuensis.Dnyaneshwari was written using the Ovi; a metre, which was first used to compose women's songs in Maharashtra, of four lines where the first three or the first and third lines rhyme and the fourth line has a sharp and short ending. According to W. B. Patwardhan, a scholar on Dnyaneshwar, with Dnyaneshwar the ovi "trips, it gallops, it dances, it whirls, it ambles, it trots, it runs, it takes long leaps or short jumps, it halts or sweeps along, it evolves a hundred and one graces at the master's command".

Having experienced the rigidity of the caste system and the dogmatism of scriptural learning, Dnyaneshwar was sympathetic towards issues of the common people. He chose the new vernacular Marathi language, as opposed to the classical Sanskrit language, as a means of expression so that spiritual learning could reach the masses who weren't well versed in Sanskrit. In the 13th century, his works presented a departure from the prevailing socio–cultural ethos of high–caste Hinduism, a trend which continued with other bhakti poets across India.

According to tradition, Nivruttinath was not satisfied with the commentary and asked Dnyaneshwar to write an independent philosophical work. This work later came to be known as Amrutanubhava. Scholars differ on the chronology of the Dnyaneshwari and Amrutanubhav. Patwardhan has argued that Amrutanubhav is an earlier text than Dnyaneshwari because the latter is richer in use of metaphors and imagery, and displays greater familiarity with many different philosophical systems, such as Samkhya and Yoga. However, both Bahirat and Ranade disagree with this view pointing out that in Amrutanubhava, author displays familiarity with involved philosophical concepts such as Mayavada and Shunyavada, and while the text has simpler language, it reveals Dnyaneshwar's "philosophical depth".

Dnyaneshwar's devotional compositions called Abhangas are believed to have been formulated during his pilgrimage to Pandharpur and other holy places when he got initiated in to the Varkari tradition.

Influences[edit]

The Mahanubhava sect and the Nath Yogi tradition were two prominent movements during Dnyaneshwar's time that influenced his works. Mahanubhavas were devotees of Krishna who disregarded the caste system, the Vedas and the worship of the deity Vitthala. Dnyaneshwar differed significantly from Mahanubhava’s religious precepts. His thought was founded on the philososphy of the later Vedic texts such as the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita, and devotion to Vitthala formed the cornerstone of the egalitarian Varkari sect founded by Dnyaneshwar. However, the literary style adopted by Mahanubhava writers influenced Dnyaneshwar’s works. According to R. D. Ranade, Dnyaneshwar "stands to Mahanubhavas just in the same relation which Shakespeare stood to Elizabethan writers".

Dnyaneshwar was initiated into the Nath Yogi tradition by his brother Nivruttinath,sometime after the death of their parents; Sopana and Muktabai were initiated into the tradition by Dnyaneshwar himself. Founded by Gorakshanath,[a] the Nath Yogi sect had introduced the system of Hatha Yoga, which emphasised on yogic poses and physical fitness. Gahaninath, a disciple of Gorakshanath, had initiated Nivruttinath into the Nath Yogi tradition. Dnyaneshwar's non-dualistic philosophy, usage of a vernacular language in his writing and an emphasis on yoga and oneness of Vishnu and Shiva were his inheritances from the Nath Yogi tradition.

The values of Universal brotherhood and compassion espoused in his works came from his interactions with the devotional Vitthala sect, a tradition which was already in existence during Dnyaneshwar's time.J. N. Farquhar also notes the influence of Bhagavata Purana on Dnyaneshwar's poetry.

Travel and samadhi[edit]

After Dnyaneshwar had written Amrutanubhav, the siblings visited Pandharpur where they met Namdev, who became a close friend of Dnyaneshwar. Dnyaneshwar and Namadev embarked on a pilgrimage to various holy centres across India where they initiated many people into the Varkari sect; Dnyaneshwar's devotional compositions called Abhangas are believed to have been formulated during this period. On their return to Pandharpur, Dnyaneshwar and Namadev were honoured with a feast in which, according to Bahirat, many contemporary saints such as "Goroba the potter, Sanvata the gardener, Chokhoba the untouchable and Parisa Bhagwat the Brahmin" participated. Some scholars accept the traditional view that Namdev and Dnyaneshwar were contemporaries; however, others such as W. B. Patwardhan, R. G. Bhandarkar and R. Bharadvaj disagree with this view and date Namdev to the late 14th century instead.

After the feast, Dnyaneshwar desired to enter into sanjeevan samadhi, a practice to sum up the life after entering into a deep meditative state. Preparations for the Sanjeevan Samadhi were made by Namdev's sons. Regarding Sanjeevan Samadhi, Dnyaneshwar himself has emphatically talked about relation between higher awareness and light or pure energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation.[50] On the 13th day of the dark half of the Kartik month of the Hindu Calendar, in Alandi, Dnyaneshwar, then was twenty one year old entered into sanjeevan samadhi. His samadhi lies in the Siddhesvara Temple complex in Alandi. Namdev and other bystanders grieved his passing. According to tradition, Dnyaneshwar was brought back to life to meet Namdev when the latter prayed to Vithoba for his return. Dallmayr writes that this testifies to "the immortality of genuine friendship and companionship of noble and loving hearts". Many Varkari devotees believe that Dnyaneshwar is still alive. They opposed a plan by archaeologists to insert a thin fiber optic camera into the chamber more than forty years ago.[citation needed]

Miracles[edit]

Many miracles came to be associated with Dnyaneshwar's life, one of which was the revival of his disciple Sachchidanand's corpse. During Dnyaneshwar's visit to Paithan, to obtain a certificate of purification, he was confronted with a man who violently lashed at an old buffalo. When Dnyaneshwar expressed concern for the animal he was ridiculed by Brahmins for being more concerned about a beast than the teachings of the Vedas. Dnyaneshwar retorted that the Vedas themselves held all life to be sacred and a manifestation of the brahman.[b] The outraged priests pointed out that his logic implied that beasts should be able to learn the Vedas as well. An undeterred Dnyaneshwar then placed his hand on the buffalo's forehead and it started reciting a Vedic song. According to Fred Dallmayr, the story signifies that "divine is not a property of the learned elite; rather, it is a spread out gift, a largesse, over all creation".

Dnyaneshwar was challenged by Changdev, an accomplished yogi who rode on a tiger with his magical powers, to replicate this feat. Dnyaneshwar humbled Changdev by riding on a moving wall.[c] Dnyaneshwar's advice to Changdev was given in 65 verses called the Changdev Pasasthi. Changdev became a disciple of Dnyaneshwar's sister Muktabai.

Philosophy[edit]

Ontology and epistemology[edit]

"The absolute does not prove or disprove itself with the help of any norems or methods of knowledge... The lamp light up at midday neither dispels darkness not spreads light."
"It is the pure knowledge itself that is not enlightened by any other knowledge or darkened by ignorance. But can the pure consciousness be conscious of itself? Can the eye–ball perceive itself? Can the sky enter into itself? Can the fire burn itself... Therefore, that which is pure consciousness itself, without the quality of being conscious is not conscious of itself.

Amrutanubhava.

Dnyaneshwar takes up the examination of being or brahman[d] in Amrutanubhava. He considers being to be the substratum of thought which enables thought and cognition. Since being is prior to thought and concepts, it is distinct from Kantian categories, and methods of thought such as epistemological analysis cannot be applied to it. Dnyaneshwar believes that reality is self–evident and does not require any proof. It antedates dualistic divisions into knower and known, existence and nonexistence, subject and object, knowledge and ignorance.

Dnyaneshwar highlights the limitations of the traditional epistemological methods (pramanas) used in Indian philosophy.[e] He points out that any perception is validated only by another deeper understanding, while in establishing the rationality of reason, reason itself is transcended. Dnyaneshwar even cautions against reliance on scriptural testimony, which is accepted as a valid source of knowledge by philosophers of Vedanta and Mīmāṃsā schools of philosophy. Scriptural validity, to him, stems from its congruence with experiential truth and not vice versa.

Ethics[edit]

Dnyaneshwar's moral philosophy comes out in his exposition of the 13th of Bhagavad Gita, in his commentary on the book Dnyaneshwari. He considers humility; non–injury in action, thought and words; forbearance in the face of adversity; dispassion towards sensory pleasures; purity of heart and mind; love of solitude and devotion towards one's Guru and God as virtues; and their corresponding moral opposites as vices. A pessimistic view of one's life is considered as a necessary condition for spiritual growth in Dnyaneshwari. Dnyaneshwar writes that saints do not perceive distinctions and are humble because they identify all objects, animate or inanimate, with their own Self.

Devotion to Guru occupies an important place throughout the commentary. Many of its chapters begin with an invocation to his Guru Nivruttinath, who is eulogised by Dnyaneshwar as the person who helped him "cross the ocean of existence". The discussion on virtue and vices continues in his elucidation of the 16th chapter of Bhagavad Gita, where virtues and vices are called divine heritages and demonic heritages respectively. Divine heritage comprises fearlessness, which comes from a belief in unity of all objects; charity; sacrifice,[f] which comes from performing one's duties and compassion in addition to virtues already enumerated; while demonic heritage consists of six vices— ignorance, anger, arrogance, hypocrisy, harshness and pride.

The doctrine of Karma Yoga in the Bhagavad Gita is resurrected in Dnyaneshwari and its utility as a means of achieving actionlessness through action and in establishing a harmony between the two is examined. In the fourth chapter, the ideal karma yogi's actions are compared to the apparent movement of the Sun, which while appearing to rise and set is actually stationary;[g] similarly, a karma yogi, though appears to act, doesn't really act. Performance of one's duties, acting without egoism, renunciation of the fruits of one's actions and offering one's actions to God are four ways which, according to Dnyaneshwar, result in actionlessness and Self–realisation. Dnyaneshwar's metaphysical conclusion that the world is a manifestation of the divine, and not an illusion, also creates an ethical framework which rejects renunciation and recommends performing one's duties and actions in the spirit of worship.

Traditional Indian scriptures see Ṛta, a Hindu theological term similar to dharma, as a natural law that governs both the cosmos and human society. Performance of one's duties to uphold social institutions, such as marriage and family, thus becomes imperative, and duty overrides individual freedom. Dnyaneshwar is in agreement with tradition; he believes that divine order and moral order are one and the same and are inherent in the universe itself. He, therefore, recommends that all social institutions be protected and preserved in their totality. However, when it comes to the institution of caste, his approach becomes more humanitarian and he advocates spiritual egalitarianism.

Reception and legacy[edit]

Elements of Dnyaneshwar's life and writings, such as his criticism of parochialism of the priestly elite, celebration of the family life and spiritual egalitarianism, would shape the culture of the Varkari movement.[84] According to Dallmayr, Dnyaneshwar's life and writings have "developed into primary examplars of genuine religiosity for the Varkari movement, as well as crucial sources and focal points of bhakti devotion". Devotees of the Varkari sect in the Hindu Shaka month of Ashadh join an annual pilgrimage called the Wari with symbolic Sandals (called Paduka in Marathi) of Dynaneshwar carried in a palkhi, ' from Dnyaneshwar's shrine in Alandi to the Vitthala temple in Pandharpur .[86] The Padukas (sandals) of Dnyaneshwar are carried in a Palkhi (palanquin) for the Dnyaneshwar inspired works of later poet saints of the Varkari movement. His philosophy of chidvilas was adapted by Varkari writers, such as Namdev and Eknath, to their own works. Amrutanubhava's influence is visible in Eknath's Hastamalak and Swatmsukha. Tukaram's works imbibe and explain Dnyaneshwar's philosophical concepts such as the refutation of Mayavada. Many writers, beginning with Eknath, wrote commentaries were written on Amrutanubhava. However, prominent historians of Indian philosophy such as Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Surendranath Dasgupta who were primarily focused on Sanskrit texts, ignored Dnyaneshwar because his works were in Marathi.

Works[edit]

Undisputed authorship

  • Dnyaneshwari or Bhavarthdipika (1290 CE)
  • Amrutanubhava or Anubhavamrita (1292 CE)
  • Changdev Pasashti (1294 CE)
  • Haripath
  • Abhangas

Works attributed to Dnyaneshwar

Drushtanta and First Picture[edit]

Shri Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj has given Drushtant to Sant Gulabrao Maharaj Gulabrao Maharaj when he was just 19 years old and given him mantra of his own name (Swanaam). After that Drushtant, the first ever photo picture of Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj has been drawn by an artist based on the directions of Gulabrao Maharaj. Even today one can see the same photo-frame at Samadhi Temple Alandi, Maharashtra. Sant Gulabrao Maharaj is also known as Pradnyachakshu Madhuradwaitacharya Pandhurangnath Maharaj.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes

Citations

The siblings Muktabai, Sopan, Dnyaneshwar and Nivruttinath seated on the flying wall greet Changdev seated on a tiger. In the centre, Changdev bows to Dnyaneshwar.
Dnyaneshwar's palkhi (palanquin), carrying the sandals of the saint, in silver cart pulled by Oxen on a journey from Alandi to Pandharpur.
  1. ^Matsyendranath is often called the founder of the Nath Yogi sect. However, his historicity is uncertain.
  2. ^According to Jeaneane D. Fowler, former Head of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Wales, brahman is the "ultimate Reality, the Source from which all emanates, the unchanging absolute".
  3. ^The story of the holy man riding a tiger /lion and the other encountering him on a moving wall has been found in many other religions including Buddhism, islam and Sikhism[60]
  4. ^Amrutanubhav doesn’t explicitly use the word brahman.
  5. ^Sense–perception (pratyaksha), inference (anumana), scriptural testimony (shabda), ananlogy (upamana), presumption (arthapatti) and non–apprehension (anupaladbdhi) are the six sources of knowledge accepted to varying degrees in various schools of Indian philosophy.
  6. ^According to Dnyaneshwar, true sacrifice is one in which there is no yearning for results of one's actions and in which the sattva dominates.
  7. ^Ranade is struck by the reference to the heliocentric model in Dnyaneshwari. He writes that, "It is a matter of great astronomic interest that this mystic philosopher should have put forth a heliocentric theory at a time when heliocentrism was hardly recognised in Europe. This is, however, by the bye.".
  1. ^Karhadkar, K.S. (1976). "Dnyaneshwar and Marathi Literature". Indian Literature. 19 (1): 90–96. JSTOR 24157251. 
  2. ^Shri Jnāneshvar, (Writer, in Marathi); Pradhān, V.G.(translator); Lambert, H.M.(Editor and Introduction) (1987). Jnāneshvari : Bhāvārthadipikā. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press. p. xvii. ISBN 978-0887064883. 
  3. ^"Samadhi - State of self realization, enlightenment". Yogapoint.com. Retrieved 12 August 2017. 
  4. ^Callewaert, Winand M.(Editor); Digby, Simon(Author) (Author) (1994). According to tradition : hagiographical writing in India, Chapter To ride a tiger or a wall. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. pp. 100–110. ISBN 9783447035248. Retrieved 18 July 2017. 

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Sant Dnyaneshwar

Sant Dnyaneshwar rendered the Dnyaneshwari, the original Marathi scripture, at Newase village in Ahmednagar District. Dnyaneshwari is a critical discourse on the Bhagavad Gita by Sant Dnyaneshwar.

The great Mahabharata war took place between the Pandavas and their cousins, the Kauravas, some 5,000 years ago at Kurukshetra. Faced with the might of the huge Kaurava army, Arjuna lost his nerve to fight against his own kith and kin. At that moment, Krishna who was the charioteer of Arjuna, exhorted him on the battlefield to perform his duty as a Kshatriya and fight without worrying about the consequences.

Krishna's advice in the Bhagavad Gita is a small chapter in the Mahabharata, comprising 700 shlokas or verses in Sanskrit.

Sant Dnyaneshwar realised that the Gita's teachings could be read and understood only by a small Sanskrit-knowing elite. Dnyaneshwar, under the advice of his guru, Nivrathinath, rendered a Marathi version of the Gita known as Dnyaneshwari. It contains more than 9,000 verses called ovies. So Sant Dnyaneshwar brought the teachings of the Gita within reach of the common man. Dnyaneshwari was composed around the twelfth century, when Dnyaneshwar was only 16 years old. Teen-ager Dnyaneshwar lived and attained samadhi in Alandi at a tender age of twenty-one. and left this mortal world. Dnyaneshwari has since been translated into several Indian languages.

Dnyaneshwar presented his work to his guru Nivrathinath and sought his blessings. He did this through a poem of just nine verses called Pasayadan. Pasayadan literally means a request, asking for boons from God. In the Pasayadan, Dnyaneshwar asked nothing for himself but he prayed for the well- being of entire mankind.

In the second verse of Pasayadan Dnyaneshwar requests the Lord to grant him a boon which will remove all evils from wicked persons, putting them on a righteous path. The evils in human beings are indulgence, anger, greed, ride; Kama, Krodh , Lobh , Matsar and Ahankar . He prayed that these evils be replaced by kindness, humility, tolerance, forgiveness and devotion and surrender to God.

Dnyaneshwar says, let the people of the world be happy and let them do good deeds to make others happy. Dnyaneshwar says that while flowing streams provide water needed for life, the banyan tree provides shade and shelter from the sun's heat, without any expectations. Being good and doing good to others without evil thoughts or expectations of rewards, is the first step towards spiritual attainment.

Next, Dnyaneshwar requests God to remove ignorance from our lives and replace it with enlightenment and divine light to achieve our goal, to let everyone adhere to his swadharma or his own sacred duty towards others. If everyone sticks to swadharma there will be no conflict and happiness will prevail. Dnyaneshwar requests God to fulfil the genuine desires and aspirations of all. All pious persons who perform their duty without any expectations or returns, will ultimately desire to become one with the Supreme.

       

             AVATAR MEHER BABA

 

Merwan Sheriar Irani was born February 25, 1894, in Poona, India, into a Zoroastrian family. His father, a genuine seeker for God, was informed by the Spiritual Hierarchy that God Realization would come to him through his son. He came out of his desert retreat, married and established a family. Merwan, his second son, was an exceptionally fair and loving boy in all respects, and everyone recognized his high destiny. He attended the Christian High School and Deccan College. Meher Baba, as he came to be called by his disciples, took up his avataric duties early in 1922 after seven years of intense work with the

five Perfect Masters of the time.Hazrat Babajan, the aged woman master of Poona, initiated his spiritual awakening in January, 1914,by kissing him on the forehead.

Almost immediately he entered into a transcendental state of mind out of touch with normal gross consciousness. He scarcely ate or slept for nine months.

Dazed and apparently insane, he made his way during the next year to Shirdi Sai Baba, the chief of the five Perfect Masters, who acknowledged him publically as the Sustainer of the Universe, and sent him to Upasni Maharaj. As soon as that master saw the young man approaching, he picked up a stone and threw it with great force. It struck him on the forehead exactly where the old woman had kissed him. Thus began a painful five-year process of regaining normal consciousness while retaining his divine state.

During the 1920's he gathered and rigorously trained his inner circles of disciples while founding an active spiritual community in Ahmednagar, India, with schools, hospitals and other public service projects. In the middle of the decade he became silent and never again uttered a word. For 44 years he communicated by spelling words on an alphabet board and through hand gestures, including two important books, God Speaks and Discourses.

In 1931 he came to the West for the first time, traveling on the same ship that took Mahatma Gandhi to the Round Table Conference in London. During that voyage, he became Gandhi's spiritual adviser. In England and America he gathered a select group of western disciples, some of whom joined him in India later on. He visited his disciples in the West a half dozen times before the Second World War.

During the 1940's he traveled all over India in his work with the poor, with lepers, with the insane and with masts, a category of mentally disturbed people seldom found in the West whose afflictions come from unwise use of powerful spiritual practices, overwhelming and unbalanced love for God, or enthrallment by a sudden vision of Divinity. He set up temporary mad and mast ashrams in every part of the country where he contacted and served them in his own silent way.

He established two places of pilgrimage outside of India during the 1950's, Meher Spiritual Center, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, U.S.A., and Avatar's Abode, near Brisbane, Australia. It was necessary to spill his blood in America, he said, and while there to dedicate his center, major bones were broken and his face severely smashed in an car accident. A few years later he suffered a similar fate in India.

He became well known in the West during the 1960's by opposing the use of LSD and other drugs in the quest for spiritual experiences. In the last years he largely withdrew from public life and intensified his work in seclusion, announcing in the fall of 1968 that his work was completed 100% to his satisfaction. On January 31, 1969, one month before his 76th birthday, he left his body, which now lies in the tomb near Ahmednagar, a place of pilgrimage for those who love him.

He said that his tomb, called his samadhi, takes the place of his physical body. For a period of 100 years, entering his samadhi is equal to coming into his physical presence. Many pilgrims take advantage of this opportunity to keep his company. After 70 years, he said, his samadhi will be the most frequented place of pilgrimage in the world.

 

ShriAnand Rishiji Maharaj

 

Land of Ahmednagar is made holy by many saints born on this land. One  of them is jain  saint ShriAnand Rishiji Maharaj. Postal department has issued a multi-coloured of Rs. 4/- stamp in honour of renowned Acharya Anand Rishiji Maharaj on 9th august 2002. Acharya Anand Rishiji Maharaj was one such soul, whose contributions in the social and educational spheres have been a prolific and significant as his spiritual guidance to his followers. He was born at Shiral Chichondi ,Tal. Pathardi,Ahmednagar (Maharashtra) in August 1900 and received initiation from Ratan Rishiji Maharaj at the age of 13, thereby formally committing himself to a life of spiritual pursuits and service to humanity.

He Mastered the Jain Scriptures as well as ancient philosophical texts of Sanskrit language. His teachings were deep rooted in love, non-violence and tolerance. He was proficient in nine languages and wrote extensively in Marathi and Hindi. He had founded numerous educational and religious institutions and also rejuvenated many ailing institutions and founded magazines. He was bestowed with the title of "Acharya" in the year 1965 and left for his heavenly abode in the year 1992. News Courtesy: Mr. Sudhir Jain, The place Anand Dham is developed in his memory. Many social activities are arranged in his memory.

                                                                     

                                                                         

           

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