Seven centuries ago Saint Dnyaneshwar wrote a commentary on Gita called Bhavarthadeepika, now popularly known as Dnyaneshwari after its author. He wrote it on the instructions of his Guru Nivruttinath who wanted to bring to the common man the Vedanta philosophy of Upanishads, hitherto available to only Sanskrit- knowing pundits. Since then Dnyaneshwari has been a timeless spiritual guide providing solace to the rustic folk as well as the educated elite. It is considered by many as one of the most important guides for spiritual aspirants seeking Self-Realization and moksha, offering them a choice of four spiritual paths depending upon their individual makeup.
Dnyaneshwar Maharaj naturally composed this work in contemporary Marathi in the traditional ovi style verse. To this day, melodious singing of these verses can be heard in Indian villages.
Dnyaneshwar Maharaj, taking into account that the reader would most probably be a rustic farmer or a villager, has used numerous similes and examples from nature and day-to-day life to explain the Gita shlokas. In this translation, meant for today’s well-educated reader, all superfluous similes and examples have been omitted to ensure a smooth flow of philosophical thought without digression. In addition, while maintaining the original order of the numbered verses the text has been paragraphed for a group of consecutive verses dealing with the topic under discussion providing headings and sub-headings to the paragraphs thus making the text easily tractable, permitting a convenient back-reference for a given topic.
Dnyaneshwari is not a book just to be read and kept aside. It is a guide, loaded with eternal wisdom, to be read over and over again – and each reading brings out an entirely fresh take on life.
Dr V. V. Shirvaikar, born in Goa in 1933, had his primary and secondary education in Goa. He then studied at the Wilson College in Bombay and did his Master’s degree in Nuclear Physics. He later joined the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Bombay where he was a research scientist, specialising in the Environmental Sciences, especially subjects related to safety from radioactive gaseous pollutants released from Nuclear plants, until his retirement in 1991. He did his Doctorate from University of Mumbai in 1972 while working at the Research Centre. He has authored several research papers in scientific journals, written several technical reports and guided research in his subject of specialisation. He was also connected with International Atomic Energy Agency, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, Bureau of Indian Standards and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute at Nagpur.
He developed high respect and an attraction towards Shri Shankar Maharaj when he happened to read the Marathi translation of Towards the Silver Crests of Himalayas and saw the photograph of Maharaj with his childlike face and remarkably big eyes. This attraction was fanned by Mr N. G. Date, a spiritualist from Malad (Bombay) who has been a catalyst to many in their spiritual path and with whom he came in contact by chance. Circumstances led to his being taken in his fold by Maharaj through another disciple in 1985, some 38 years after Maharaj took Samadhi.
Though Dr. Shirvaikar did initially keep in contact with the scientific work related to environment he now keeps himself busy with spiritual topics. He wrote several articles on spiritual topics for the quarterly periodical Sai-Arpan including a ten part series on Datta-Parampara and another ten part series on Teachings of Dnyaneshwari.
Dr Shirvaikar lives with his wife in Pune where he settled immediately after retirement from service. His two sons live in the USA.read more