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Mahanubhav (also known as Jai Krishni Pantha) refers to Hindu sects in India, started by Chakradhar Swami in 1267. Chakradhar Swami propagated a religious movement, as well as social movement, in which all members were accepted irrespective of their castes, and the traditional ritualistic religion was rejected.


Chakradhar Swami told his disciples that the lord takes avatars in all four yugas (same was said by Krishna in Bhagavad Gita: "dharma sansthaapnaarthay sambhavaami yuge yuge"). Accordingly, there is not a time in this world when an avatar is absent. But he told of only five of the innumerable avatars, namely: Krishna, Dattatreya, Chakrapani, Govindaprabhu, and Chakrdhar Swami (himself). Even knowing of one avatar, and walking on the path lightened by him, can lead to the ultimate bliss (moksha). There were only five, because these avatars fell in the guru parampara. Govindaprabhu was the guru of Chakradhar Swami. Chakrapani was the guru of Govindaprabhu. Dattatreya Prabhu was the guru of Chakrapani. Dattatreya Prabhu and Krishna are not said to have another avatar as guru.

His biography Lilacaritra, written by his disciples (Mahimbhatta), is one of the first known books or documents in Marathi. This scripture is said to contain all the secrets of the universe. 'Mahdaaisa, one of the sect's initial women disciples, is believed to be the first Marathi poetess.

Chakradhar Swami accepted Maharashtra as his karmabhoomi as this place had adhikaari purush that time. Hence Maharashtra has many teertha sthaan (holy places) of Mahanubhav Pantha.

Chakradhar Swami considered Maharashtra for his work because of Adhikari Jivas, mainly: Nagdev Acharya, Mhaibhatta, Baisa, Mahadaisa. This Pantha is a pantha of Parameshwara, who incarnated in every one of the Yugas . There are four Yugas:

1. Kruta yuga: Hans avatar (incarnation)
2. Treta Yuga : Dattatreya Prabhu (incarnation)
3. Dwapar Yuga: { Bhagavan Krishna }
4. Kali yuga: (3 avatars, namely: Chakrapani Maharaj, Govinda Prabhu Maharaj, Sarvagya Chakradhar Swami)

Out of all five avatars, two avatars are still present on earth, namely: Dattatreya Prabhu and Chakradhar Swami. The jiv-udharana (Moksha) is still given by these two avatars. The dnyan or knowledge of the god is called "Bramhavidya", which is given by Hans avatar in Kruta yuga in treta by Dattatreya Prabhu. In Dwapar Yuga by Krishna and in kaliyuga by Chakradhara Swami.


During the period when Chakradhar Swami preached his philosophy, there were number of religious and philosophical currents like Advaita of Shankaracharya, Vishishtadvaita of Ramanuja, Hathayoga of incarnation. According to it, there are five incarnations of God:

  1. Krishana Chakravarti (of Dwaraka)
  2. Dattatreya Prabhu
  3. Changdeva Raul (Chakrapani Prabhu)
  4. Gundam Raul (Govind prabhu)
  5. Chakradhar Swami .

These five incarnations are known as "Panchakrishna" (or "Five Krishnas"), and they are to be meditated upon forever.

The Mahanubhav philosophy says,"Panchakrishna" were the only God it never reside in other human beings.Other form of energies has no effect on Nature.So,if you have any dukha or problems in life you should always approach "Panchakrishna" i.e they mean to say all problems have one solution.Even if you got hurt in your right hand you should apply medicine on your left hand...this is true philosophy of Mahanubhav Panth.

Code of conduct[]

Chakradhar Swami propounded his philosophy like Krishna from among the "Five Krishnas". Although he was of Gujarati culture by birth, he had excellent command of the Marathi language. He moved among all sections of society. He discoursed his philosophy extremely effectively among the people in their own language. He used formulaic language full of meaning in a compact style.

One of the most important aspects of the philosophy propounded by him is asceticism.

His 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 Al-mighty. The aspirant for salvation must sacrifice his country, village and his relations and offer his life to God. Chakradhara Swami also taught the disciple of the sect when, where, how, how much alms they should be beg for. The central theme of his teaching 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 behaviour 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".


Mahanubhav 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 Krishna and grammatical and etymological works that are deemed useful to explain the philosophy of sect

Lilacaritra is thought to be the first biography written in the Marathi language. Mahimbhat's second important literacy creation was Shrigovindaprabhucharitra or Rudhipurcharitra, a biography of Swami's guru, Govind Prabhu, in the form of 325 deeds. This was probably written in 1288, soon after the death of Prabhu.

Apart from Lilacaritra, Keshobas alias Keshavrajsuri has collected the Swami aphoristic vachans or actually spoken words, known as Sutrapath which is always on the lips of the follower of Mahanubhav. Keshavrajsuri translated the some of "deeds" from Lilacaritra into Sanskrit in his work called "Ratnamala". Similarly he has written in Sanskrit Dristantstotarm based on Dristantpath. The first Acharya of Mahanubhava Sect is Nagdevachrya or Bhatobas. His biography was written by Narendra and Baidevbas in about 1308.

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

  1. Narendra : Rukaminiswayamvara (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 : Janaprabodh (1418).


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