By Swami Harshananda
Nivrttināth (A. D. 1273-1297)
Nivrttināth (also called Nivṛtti) was the eldest son of Viṭṭhala Pant and
Rakhumābāī. Sant Jñāneśvar (or Jñāndev) and Sopān were his younger brothers, and, Muktābāī, younger sister.
Once, when Viṭṭhala Pant was passing through the forest around the Brahmagiri (near Nāsik) along with his family, a tiger appeared before them. In the resultant confusion, Nivṛttināth entered into a nearby cave where a great yogi, Gayanīnāth, was eagerly waiting for this illustrious disciple. He initiated Nivṛtti into the secrets of yoga and ātmajñāna (Self-knowledge).
After returning home safely, Nivṛtti (as per the directions of his own guru) initiated Jñāneśvar also.
It was due to his direction and inspiration that Sant Jñāneśvar gave his Marāṭhī discourses on the Gitā and also wrote the book Bhāvārthadīpikā or Jñāneśvarī. His another work, Amrtānu-bhava, also was composed at the command of Nivṛttināth. This work of Jñāneśvar praises his guru highly.
Nivṛttināth was one of the pioneers in the composition of Marāṭhī abhaṅgas. The general philosophy of his, as reflected in these abhaṅgas is, that desire is the root-cause of our bondage. This can be destroyed only by the knowledge of the ātman, which again can be got only by the grace of the guru.
See also jñāneśvar, sant.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore