By Swami Harshananda
Nivṛttināth lived in A. D. 1273-1297. Nivṛttināth also called as 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.
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, Amrtānubhava, was also 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. His general philosophy, 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.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore