Question on Jnaneshvari

Christian Lee Novetzke cln4 at COLUMBIA.EDU
Sat Mar 27 01:48:45 UTC 1999

Harry Spier,

This is strange.  If you have a chance, check _The Jnaneswari_ edited with
satIp and translated by R.S. Lokapur, published by Nishant Prakashan,
Belgaum, 1997.  Here the order is the same as you have found it in Pradhan
and Lambert.  However, in a note about these two verses Lokapur writes, "In
the accepted text of the Bhagavadgita this sloka [rudrANAm...] is numbered
23 and vedAnAm... is 22.  In K [_Jnaneshwari_.  P.N. Kulkarni, ed.  Shivaji
University, Kholapur.  1993.]  and many other Mss also this standard order
(i.e. the slokas and the relevant ovIs) is maintained." (571)  I checked in
a few other places.  The order in these translations with commentary all
have these two shlokas in the same order as they are found in the Gita,
i.e. 22=vedAnAm and 23=rudrANAm:

_Jnaneshwari_.  Bhagwat, R.K., trans.  1979.  Madras:  Samata Books.  He
uses Bhide's version (see below) of the Jn for his translation.

_Jnaneshwar's Gita_.  Swami Kripananda, trans.  1989.  Albany:  SUNY.  I'm
not sure this is even a translation.  The preface says that Kripananda does
to the Jn was Bly did to Kabir.  The puzzling thing is that as Bly reworded
Tagore's version, K. supposedly rewords Pradhan and Lambert's version.
However, K. doesn't use the same *order* of those two verses that P and L

_Jnaneshwari_.  Yardi, M.R., trans.  1991.  Pune:  Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.
Of the two (or one?) translators above, Yardi is most explicit about the
issues concerning recensions of the Jn text.  His translation is based on
N. Sakhare's _Sartha Jnaneshwari_, which is the text accepted most by
Warkaris.  It is interesting that, as he says in his own words, "In the
absence of such a critical edition" he should choose the edition "which is
accepted by a majority of the Warkaris."  (xvi)  Yardi does note that S.N.
Banhatti of the Bhandarkar Institute did complete a critical edition of the
Jn up to the 12th chapter.  If you have a friend in Pune, maybe see if you
can have someone check this, probably to be found as _Shri Jnanadevi
(Adhyaya barava)_, Pune, 1967.  I would imagine it conforms to the Gita's

In addition, one Marathi version of the _Jnaneshwari_ that is generally
considered authoritative, the _Sartha Jnaneshwari_ edited with commentary
by S.V. Dandekar (1986, Swananda Prakashan, Pune) keeps the Gita's order of
the two shlokas, as does Bhide's very popular pocket version of the
_Jnaneshwari_ with satIp, first issue in 1928, most recent in 1998.
Dandekar draws his version from an old manuscript he found and believed to
be authoritative.

So Lokapur, and Pradhan and Lambert, seem to be the only two who keep this
inversion of verses 22 and 23.  Lokapur says he uses, as his title page
reads, "Text as adopted by V.K. Rajwade".  V.K. Rajwade and S.V. Dandekar
(just mentioned above), both Warkaris involved in creating critical
editions of the works of Marathi sants, each believed to have found the
oldest manuscript available of the Jn.  So Lokapur is pointing out that he
used Rajwade's rather than Dandekar's manuscript.  Perhaps Pradhan and
Lambert also used Rajwade's text?  I don't own their version so I can't

My guess then is that the inversion occurs in the manuscript found by
Rajwade and hence all translations based on Rajwade's manuscript contain
the inversion (except for, curiously,  Kripananda's version).  On the other
hand, all versions based on Dandekar's version have the verses in the same
order as they appear in the Gita.  As to other versions culled from old
manuscripts, I hear there are at least two others, but I don't know
anything about them.  This also should indicate that there is no "Marathi
original" really, but just opinions about which version is the Marathi

I hope this is helpful and I haven't confused the issue.  I've got a cold
so I have a lot of time to kill sitting in my New York apartment.

Christian Novetzke
Columbia University

At 02:51 PM 3/26/99 EST, you wrote:
>In the english translation of the Jnaneshvari.  (translated from the
>Marathi by V.G. Pradhan and edited by H.M. Lambert) in chapter 10
>between Jnaneshwars verses 203 and 208 are inserted verses 22 and 23 of
>the Bhagavad Gita (from Radhakrishnan's translation)  but they are in
>the reverse order that they appear in the Bhagavad Gita proper.  This
>makes them agree with Jnaneshwar's verse commentary as written in this
>Could someone possibly tell me. If verses 204 through 208 in this
>translation agree with the Marathi original.  And also in the Marathi
>original are the sanskrit verses from the Bhagavad Gita usually inserted
>and if so is it usual to reverse verses 22 and 23 in chapter 10.
>Thank You
>Harry Spier
>Get Your Private, Free Email at

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