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Jñāneśvar

Jñāneśvar or Jñānadeva (1275–96). Marātḥī Hindu writer and yogi.

Jñāneśvar was one of four children. The eldest brother, Nivṛattināth, became a yogi of the Nāth sect (according to one tradition) and instructed Jñāneśvar, thus enabling him to be a yogi and attain knowledge. This tradition is mentioned in Jñāneśvar's composition on the Bhagavad-gītā, where he lists the previous gurus as Ādināth, Mīnanāth, Gorakshanāth, Gainināth, and Niv-ṛattīnath before himself.

In the year 1290, at the age of 15, Jñāneśvar composed his Marāthī commentary entitled Bhāvārtha-dīpikā (The Lamp of Plain Meaning) on the Bhagavad-gītā. It is the most revered work in Marāthī literature. Jñāneśvar is himself revered as a divine figure. Other important works attributed to him are Amṛatānubhava, Yogavāsistha, and Advaitanirupana. He gave up his life, following the yogic tradition, after burying himself alive in 1296. See also EKNĀTH.

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