India (1275 - 1296) Timeline
Yoga / Hindu : Advaita / Non-Dualist
Poems by Jnanadev
Books - Links
Jnanadev lived in the Maharashtra region of India.
Jnanadev's father initially left his wife to become a sadhu ascetic, but when his guru discovered that he had a wife, the guru insisted he abandon the renunciate life and return to his marriage. This entire drama was shocking to orthodox authorities and the family was generally shunned.
The couple had four children together, named Nivrutti (renunciation), Jnana (knowledge), Sopan (stairway), and Mukta (liberation). Jnanadev's sister, Muktabai, was a great poet and saint in her own right.
When the children were all very young, their parents died and the children had to survive by begging. Yet from this family a spiritual vision of the greatest depth emerged.
Though his life was extremely short, he composed four great works: the Jnanesvari, (a translation of the Bhagavad Gita into Marathi, along with a commentary that is still devoutly studied today for its wisdom and insight), the Amritanubhava, the Abhangs, (spiritual songs and poetry), and the Changadeva Pasashti (a story of conversion from hatha yoga to a more deeply philosophical approach to God).
He was a strong influence and inspiration for other poet-saints in the region who followed, such as Namdev and Janabai.
Traditionally Jnanadev is said to have felt he had completed his purpose in life and left the body in conscious mahasamadhi (the final spiritual union of a saint at death), exiting life at the young age of 22, having already been acknowledged as a great saint and poet.
Poems by Jnanadev
- Knowledge and Ignorance (from Amritanubhav)
- The Refutation of Knowledge (from Amritanubhav)
- The Union of Shiva and Shakti (from Amritanubhav)
Nondualility.com: Jnaneshwar: Amritanubhav
An extended excerpt from Jnaneshwar's poem Amritanubhav (The Nectar of Mystical Experience)
Jnanadeva, Spiritual Teacher
An extended exploration of the life and philosophy of Jnanadev.