Muslim Marathi Sant Kavi Book Abstracts »

Chapter 1

Shah Muntoji Brahmini

Shah Muntoji Brahmini Known as Mrityunjay, Brahmini suggests that he hailed from the Bahamani family. Traditional biographies and in one particular book he is also referred to by the prefix Shah. Information about his life and times may be gleaned from work of Udhhav Chidghan,from the Bhaktavijay by Mahipati and the Poornananda Charitra by Hanumadatmaja. The last derives its information from the second and in turn the second derives its information from the first, and at each stage some additional information appears to have been added. It is said that once, while he was partaking of some fruit in his palace, he saw a beggar eating the plantain peels that he was discarding. Astonishingly, rough handling by servants wanting to evict him only seemed to arouse mirth in the beggar. When asked about the strange conduct, the man said it amused him to imagine the magnitude of punishment for actually eating the fruit if that for only eating the peel had been so severe! This reply urged Muntoji to introspection and awakened in him a sense of asceticism. He left home and went to Pandharpur where he happened upon a copy of the Viveksindhu and received in a dream the directive to seek spiritual guidance from Sahajanand.

On being directed by his guru, Muntoji settled down in Narayanpur wher he was readily accepted by the local Lingayat community, to whom he began to be known as Dynanasagar Ayya. His Samadhi is known as the Durgah of Murtuza Kadari. His death anniversary is observed annually in Muslim fashion (urus).

There exists a marked similarity of style between the Viveksindhu and a critique on the Gurugeeta written by Poornanada Narayan, a disciple of Sahajananda. Mrityunjay drew all of his spiritual inspiration from the Viveksindhu; several verses from his works are reproduced in this book. He was known as Dnyanasagarananda within the Ananda Cult, a fact that is clear from some verses in Poornananda’s Gurugeeta.

Mrityunjay discusses deep questions like spiritual experience and the exact nature of the self within the physical body. It appears Mrityunjay belonged originally to the Kadari school within the Sufi tradition.

Some researchers have suggested that Mrityunjay and Shah Muntoji were distinct persons, but the present essay argues against such hypothesis.

The period in which he lived is not known. But indirect evidence in other works suggests the period 1575 – 1650.

Of his disciples, Mudhaya appears to have been quite well known.

Dr. Dhere provides a brief description of his works.





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