FAMILY OF JNANESWARA MAHARAJ
who occupied the highest seat among the saints of Maharashtra had a glorious
past and an illustrious history. He was born to orthodox parents, renowned for
their spiritual wealth and sublime religious culture. He was the contemporary of
king Ramadeva Rao of Devagiri and was born in the saka year 1197. He was the
second of the four children born to Vithalpant and Rakhumabai, the others being
Nivritti - the eldest, sopan the third, and
Mukta Bai - the last. They were born in the town of Alandi situated on the bank
of river Indrayani. Harihara pant, the grandfather of Jnaneswar held the post of
Kulakarni at Apegaon situated near Paithan, a great city famous as a cultural
centre then. Vitthal pant was a great scholar, whose mastery over classics
brought him many admirers. And also a woman of wealth and chastity. It so
happened that he developed unquenchable thirst for yatra to holy kshetras.
Leaving his town Apegaon, he toured several places like Dwaraka, Somnath etc.
and came to Alandi on his way back home. By chance he came into contact with
Siddhopant, a prominent Kulakarni of his day. That providential meeting ended in
making him a grihasti. Siddhopant drawn by his scholarship volunteered to offer
his daughter Rakhumabai to him in marriage. The young scholar was in a dilemma;
for he was no match to that family of position and status. Just then he had a
dream in which Lord Vithal of Pandhurpur advised him to accept the offer.