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Mahanubhava
Founder
Sarvajna Chakradhar Swami
Regions with significant populations
Maharashtra, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat
Scriptures
Leela Charitra, Siddhanta Sutrapatha, Bhagavad Gita
Languages
Marathi (Primary) • Sanskrit and others

Mahanubhava (also known as Jai Krishni Pantha) refers to Krishnaite Hindu denomination in India that was founded by Sarvajna Shri Chakradhar Swami (or Chakradhara), an ascetic and philosopher who considered as a reincarnation of Krishna by his devotees[1][2][3] Some sources list the founder as Govinda Prabhu with Chakradhara as its first "apostle".[4] Mahanubhava Sampradaya was formed in modern-day Varhad region of Maharashtra in 1267. It has different names such as Jai Krishni Pantha in Punjab and Achyuta Marga in Gujarat. Mahanubhava Pantha was also known as Paramarga by its followers in 13th century.[5]

In Mahanubhava, all members are accepted, irrespective of their castes, and the traditional ritualistic religion is rejected. Mahanubhava survives to the present. It teaches that Krishna is the only God.[6]

Sarvdnya Shri Chakradhar Swami

Shri Chakradhar propounded his philosophy like Shri Krishna from among the "Five Krishnas" (shri gopal krishna, shri dattatreya prabhu, shri chakrapani, shri govinda prabhu (gunḍam rāūḷ) and shri chakradhara swami).

Shri Chakradhar was born in Bharuch, Gujarat. Although he was a Gujarati by birth, he had excellent command of the Marathi. He moved among all sections of society. He discoursed his philosophy among the people in their own language. He used formulaic language full of meaning in a compact style. He exhorted his disciples to write only in Marathi.

Philosophy

One of the most important aspects of Mahanubhava is asceticism. The fourfold teachings are: non-violence, celibacy, asceticism and bhakti. And the different aspects of Gods incarnations to be worshipped are: name, form, activity, deeds, place, vachans (Shruti), memories (Smriti) and the blessing of God incarnate.

One can practice bhakti by memorising deeds of the almighty. The aspirant for salvation must sacrifice his country, village and his relations and offer his life to God. Chakradhara also taught the followers of Mahanubhava Sampradaya; when, where, how and how much alms they should be beg for.

The central theme of Mahanubhava was, "Feel the soul and not the body". Living the life of mendicant and practicing asceticism severely, the devotee should live according to principle, "God is mine and I am God’s". The core of his code of behavior is summed up in the following line for the benefit of his followers: "Even if the head is cut off, the body should worship God".

Besides teaching strict vegetarianism, the Mahanubhava Pantha forbids the use of alcohol and teaches non-violence.[6]

Literature

Main article: Leela Charitra

Mahanubhav's literature generally comprises works that describe the incarnations of gods, the history of the sect, commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita, poetical works narrating the stories of life of Shri Krishna and grammatical and etymological works that are deemed useful to explain the philosophy of Mahanubhava.

Leelacharitra is thought to be the first biography written in the Marathi language.[citation needed] Mahimbhatta's second important literacy creation was Shri Govindaprabhucharitra or Rudhipurcharitra, a biography of Swami's guru, Shri Govind Prabhu, in the form of 325 deeds. This was probably written in 1288, soon after the death of Shri Prabhu.

Apart from Leelacharitra, Keshobas (Keshavrajsuri) collected the Swami's aphoristic vachans or actually spoken words, known as Sutrapatha. Keshavrajsuri translated the "deeds" from Leelacharitra into Sanskrit in his work called "Ratnamala". Similarly he has written in Sanskrit Dristantstotarm based on Dristantpatha. The first Acharya of Mahanubhava is Nagdevacharya or Bhatobas. His biography was written by Narendra and Bhaidevbas in about 1308.

In this manner seven works which have been written are known as Satigrantha and they are accepted by the follower of the sect. These works and their writers are:

  1. Narendra : Rukminiswayamvara (1292)
  2. Bhaskarbhat Borikar : Shishupalvadha (1312)
  3. Bhaskarbhat Borikar : Uddhavgita (1313)
  4. Damodar Pandit : Vachhaharana (1316)
  5. Ravalobas : Sahayadrivaranana (1353)
  6. Narayanbas Bahahaliye : Riddhipurvarnana (1418)
  7. Vishvanath Balapurkar : Jnanaprabodha (1418).

History

It was Nagadeva who systematized Mahanubhava. Mahadamba was a leading poetess of the movement.[4] Mahanubhava Pantha followers worship Lord Krishna and other 4 gods namely Dattatreya, Chakrapani, Govinda Prabhu and Sarvajna Shri Chakradhara. They are fully vegetarian. They drink water by filtering it so as not to harm micro-organisms.

Publications

The Mahanubhava Panth publishes Mahanubhav Sandesh, a newspaper in Marathi and Hindi. There are plans to eventual expand the publication to an English edition.[7]

References

  1. ^ Doshi, Saryu (1985). Maharashtra. Marg Publications. p. 61. OCLC 473550290.
  2. ^ Feldhaus, Anne (1983). The religious system of the Mahānubhāva sect: the Mahānubhāva Sūtrapāṭha. South Asian studies, 12. New Delhi: Manohar. ISBN 9780836410051.
  3. ^ Priya, Kumar Ravi; Dalal, Ajit Kumar (2016-04-01). Qualitative Research on Illness, Wellbeing and Self-Growth: Contemporary Indian Perspectives. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-134-93347-1.
  4. ^ a b Indian History. Allied Publishers. 1988. ISBN 9788184245684.
  5. ^ S. G. Tulpule, Mahānubhāva pantha āṇi tyāce vāṅmaya (महानुभाव पंथ आणि त्याचे वाङ्मय), Venus Prakashan, Pune, 1976, pp2-3
  6. ^ a b "Mahanubhav Panth". Hinduism Facts | Facts about Hindu Religion. 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
  7. ^ "Mahanubhava Sandesh website". Archived from the original on 2015-05-30. Retrieved 2015-05-30.