Q: sa.mjiiva~nasamaadhi

aklujkar at unixg.ubc.ca aklujkar at unixg.ubc.ca
Thu Apr 10 16:28:22 UTC 1997

Shin Young Yoo <ysyoung at giaspn01.vsnl.net.in> asked: >Could anyone explain
a qurious term "sa.mjiiva~nasamaadhi",
referring to the after-death state of J~naneSvara. Where and how the term
was used?<

I do not know when or where the term was first used. However, I do know,
however, that in the official publications of the J;nane;svara Sa.msthaana
at Aa..landii the term is being increasingly used.

Its spelling in the message reproduced above should be -vana-, not va~na.

My guess would be that the term started its life as sajiiva- or
sajiivana-samaadhi and has relatively recently been corrupted to
sa.mjiivana-. It is almost a universal belief among the followers of
Maharashtrian Sants that J;naane;svara (more authentic name J;naana-deva)
chose his hour of departure from ordinary mortals, entered the place where
his samaadhi/monument is now located, and asked that it be covered. Under
the covering slabs, he is believed by his devotees to be still 'living.' He
is thus probably unique among the Sants in being held as one who departed
from the ordinary world but did not cease to be a living presence *with the
same body.* The place of his samaadhi is considered to be jaag.rta or
'alive, charged with his saintly presence' (which is not unusual in the
case of Sants) in an immediate and physical sense (which, however, is
unusual). J;naana-deva devotees do not speak of his death. In fact, some
officials of the Sa.msthaana and many Aa..landii locals objected to the
'death' part when J;naana-deva's periodwas specified in a publication of
the Indian Philosophical Congress (held at Pune in Nov 96) with something
like 'birth 1275 A.D., death 1296 A.D.' Thus, J;naana-deva departs
sajiiva/sajiivana and remains sajiiva/sajiivana.

Why do I consider corruption of sajiivana into sa.mjiivana probable?
General decline of knowledge of Sanskrit has made ordinary Marathi speakers
oblivious to distinctions such as sa and sam. The use of sa.mjiivana (which
too is a perfectly good Skt word meaning 'rejuvenating') is found in some
abha:nga compositions. I recall the famous singer Bhimsen Joshi singing an
abha:nga with words like " samaadhi-saadhana sa.mjiivana naama"  in his
highly popular Santa-vaa.nii program.  While this use of sa.jiivana is
appropriate in its context, it could have led to an overapplication outside
the context of the song.

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list