Gyaneshwara (c.1275-1296) was the first, and some say the greatest, of the saints in the Maratha Varkari tradition. Also known as Gyanadeva. Born in 1275 in his mother’s village, Alandi, near Pune, this young saint achieved much in his short life taking his samadhi in 1296. He received his Kundalini awakening from his brother Nivritti, who had earlier received his awakening from a Nath yogi, Gahininath.
It is Gyaneshwara who provides a detailed description of the awakening of the Kundalini in the language of the ordinary people (Marathi) in the sixth chapter of the Gyaneshwari. After several centuries of handwritten manuscript copying, this sixth chapter had been removed from the text by the Brahmin pundits. Acting on a dream, the later Marathi saint, Eknath, revised the text to re-include the controversial sixth chapter and its description of Kundalini awakening.