Mahanubhav (also known as Jai Krishni Pantha) refers to Hindu sects in India, started by Sarvadnya Shri Chakradhar Swami (or Chakradahrara) in 1100-1200. Shri 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. Some sources list the founder of Mahanubhava as Govinda Prabhu and Chakradhara as its first "apostle". The religion survives to the present. It teaches that Krishna is the only God.
Shri Chakradhar Swami told his disciples that the lord takes avatars in all four yugas. 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: Shri Krishna, Shri Dattatreya Prabhu, Shri Chakrapani Prabhu, Shri Govindaprabhu, and Sarvadnya Shri 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. Govind Prabhu was the guru of Shri Chakradhar Swami. Shri Chakrapani Prabhu was the guru of Shri Govindaprabhu. Shri Dattatreya Prabhu was the guru of Shri Chakrapani Prabhu. Shri Dattatreya Prabhu and Shri Krishna are not said to have another avatar as Guru.
The biography of Chakradhar Swami Leela Charitra (लीळाचरित्र), written by his disciple Mhaimbhat, is first biography written in Marathi. This scripture is said to contain all the secrets of the universe. 'Mahdaaisa', who borned in jalna district of Maharashtra one of the sect's initial women disciples, is believed to be the first female Marathi poet. Shri 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. Sarvadnya Shri Chakradhar Swami considered Maharashtra for his work because of Adhikari Jivas, mainly: Nagdev Acharya, Mhaibhatta, Baisa, Mahadaisa. This Pantha is a pantha of Parameshwara (God)|Parameshwara, who incarnated in every one of the Yugas. There are four Yugas:
Out of all five avatars, two avatars are still present on earth, namely: Shri Dattatreya Prabhu and Shri 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 Shri Dattatreya Prabhu in treta yuga. In Dwapar Yuga by Shri Krishna and in Kaliyuga by Shri Chakradhara Swami.
During the period when Sarvadnya Shri Chakradhar Swami preached his philosophy, there were number of religious and philosophical currents like Advaita of Shankaracharya, Vishishtadvaita of Ramanuja, hathayoga of Nath Sect and to some extent bhakti tradition of Vitthal from Pandharpur. As Chakradhar Swami attempted and develop and propagate his own philosophy. The philosophy of Chakradhar Swami is based on Dualism (dwaita) and it regards the soul, deity, the world of appearance, and God as four distinct constants. Also the world of appearance is regarded as materialistic, God as eternally free, deity as ever-bound and soul as ethereal. The dualism between soul and God is clearly understood as a constant in this philosophy. It is believed that the original purity of soul is revealed when the slough of ignorance over it is removed. This normally does not happened because of the obstruction of materialistic life. In order to free from this imbroglio, there is no other way to submit to Almighty God. The Almighty is all-pervasive, without beginning, eternal, permeated with joy. The ever-bound deities cannot proffer the experience of eternally ethereal almighty God. Salvation (moksha) is possible only by removing the slough of ignorance. Salvation is attainable in two ways, one through knowledge and one through Bhakti or devotion to God. God who is without bodily attributes, or any forms, assumes incarnation in order to grant salvation of his devotee. He grants his association which is liberating.
The Mahanubhav philosophy accepts the concept of incarnation. According to it, there are five incarnations of God. 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. These Pachakrishnas are the Incarnations of the Parambramha Parameshwara (God).
Sarvadnya Shri Chakradhar Swami propounded his philosophy like Shri Krishna from among the "Five Krishnas". Although he was of Gujarati 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's 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 Shri Krishna and grammatical and etymological works that are deemed useful to explain the philosophy of sect
Leelacharitra is thought to be the first biography written in the Marathi language. Mahimbhat's second important literacy creation was Shri Govindaprabhucharitra or Rudhipurcharitra, a biography of Swami's guru, Shri Govind Prabhu, in the form of 325 deeds. This was probably written in 1288, soon after the death of Shri Prabhu.
Apart from Leelacharitra, 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 Leelacharitra 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 Bhaidevbas 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:
This is a small village in Jalna district, population around 1500. Surrounded by hills, 196 houses, it is a very clean, green, peaceful village. Pilgrims from different parts of Maharashtra come here to worship. Villagers are very loving and helpful. Mate Patil is the common surname in this village. People living in this village belongs to Mahanubhav Panth and they pray Krishna's 'Panch Avatar'. Here, every festival is uniquely celebrated.
It was Nagadeva who systematized Mahanubhava. Mahadamba was a leading poetess of the movement.
The Mahanubhava Panth publishes Mahanubhav Sandesh, a newspaper in both Hindi and Marathi. There are plans to eventual expand the publication to an English edition.