[Advaita-l] Guru - Sishya relationship of Sri j~nAnEshvara and Sri nivrittinAtha

Venkata sriram P venkatasriramp at yahoo.in
Wed Apr 24 05:30:28 CDT 2013

As both Nivritti and Jnanadev were very young, did Nivritti attain realization and then initiate Jnanadev ? Do we infer that Nivritti asked Jnanadev to compose Gita commentary after Jnanadev's enlightenment, and hence Nivritti's enlightenment prior to that?
It is said that all the 4 ie., nivrittinAth, jnanadev, sopan, muktabai were siddha purushas and they never received any formal education.  The sampradAya says that jnanadeva was Vishnu swarupa; nivruttinath was shiva swarupa; sopana was brahma swarupa and muktabai was shakti swarupa.
jnAnEshO bhagavAn viSNuH nivruttirbhagavAn haraH
sOpAnO bhagavAn brahmA muktAkhyA brahmachitkaLA
Also, even before their arrival at Paithan, nivruttinath had attained nirvikalpa Samadhi, who by that time was hardly in his teens.  It was observed that there was no yajnOpavita on his shoulder and when the Brahmins asked about his sadAchAra and anuSTAna, he replied that he is in his yOga-charya and attained shiva jnAna.  Having said thus, replied that of what use is the yajnOpavita after attained the state of Supreme Bliss. He is beyond the dualities of vidhi & nishedha of shAstra maryAda. Nivruttinatha had already established in non-dual bliss and transcended the shAstra maryAda. 
It is said that both nivruttinath and jnanadev have interesting discussions on the necessity of observance of dharma and the dictates of vidhi & nishedha.  Jnanadeva quotes the sloka from BG “yadyad Acharati shrESTaH…..” to support his view of dharmAcharaNa.  He presents the chAtur-varNa model of swa-dharmAcharaNa.  Infact, Jnanadeva was of the view of observance of swadharma as per the chAturvarNa and prohibited shUdrAs from studying Vedas & Upanishads. 
Thus, to show the way of AtmOddharaNa to shUdrAs & common folk, he started the sankirtana / bhajana sampradAya which insisted on the nAma japa of “rAma-kriSNa-hari” and said that in this kali yuga, the bhakti yoga is suitable for all the common masses. 
2. In the Abhangas that I read, Jnanadev gives all the credit to Nivritti as his Guru. Are there any more accounts of how Nivritti taught Jnanadev? My question pertains to the method of their teaching? Jnanadev refers to the Grace of his Guru only. But, it does not appear to be the known Upanishadic method. 
If the disciple is ripe and mature enough, just a side glance of brahmaniSTa guru is more than enough to untie the knot of hridaya-granthi and release him from the samsAra.  There are several types of guru-dikshas like sparsha, driSTi, smaraNa etc. 
Like Acharya Sankara, Jnanadeva, too, was a bhakta, yogi, advaitin – all rolled into one. 
A  peep into his work “chAngdeva pAshaSTi”,  which touches the adhyAsa tattva, one can say that he was an advaitin and a great admirer of Acharya Sankara. Influenced by the “saundaryalahari” of Acharya Sankara, he wrote “amritAnubhava” which depicts his knowledge of shAktAdvaita. His work “hari-pAth” emphasizing the vittala bhakti, is an insight into the jnanadeva’s philosophical vision of bhakti-rasa.   
A peep into his commentary of Bhagavatgita, describes how dexterously he expounds the yogic secrets of nAtha sampradAya. 
Needless to say, he opined for bhakti-rasa and was highly influenced by kriSNa prEma like Sri Madhusudana Saraswati. 
Thus, he can be described as “antaH shAktAH bahiH shaivAH lOkE to vaiSNavOttamaH”.   His teachings of bhakti, nama japa & sankirtana are for common folk; his yOga-mArga is only for select few. 

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