Muktabai or Muktai was a saint in the Varkari tradition. She was born in a Deshastha Brahmin The conventional Hindu caste system divided society into four sects and Brahmin was known as the learned class who gained the knowledge of sacred texts written on Hinduismfamily and was the younger sister of Dnyaneshwar, the first Varkari saint. Muktabai wrote forty-one Abhang throughout her life span. "Tati ughada dnaneshwara" is one her most insightful works, being a conversation with saint Dnyaneshwar. It is considered to be a milestone in Marathi literature. According to Muktabai, the definition of saint is "Saint jene vahave; jag bolane sosave" or a saint is the one who can digest criticism of people.
According to Nath tradition Muktabai was the last of the four children of Vitthal Govind Kulkarni and Rukmini, a pious couple from Apegaon near Paithan on the banks of the river Godavari. Vitthal had studied Vedas Four ancient texts constituting the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduismand set out on pilgrimages at a young age. In Alandi, about 30 km from Pune, Sidhopant, a local Yajurveda Brahmin, was very much impressed with him and Vitthal married his daughter Rukmini.
After some time, getting permission from Rukmini, Vitthal went to Kashi(Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India), where he met Ramananda Swami and requested to be initiated into sannyas, lying about his marriage. But Ramananda Swami later went to Alandi and, convinced that his student Vitthal was the husband of Rukmini, he returned to Kashi and ordered Vitthal to return home to his family.
The couple was excommunicated from the Brahmin caste as Vitthal had broken with sannyas, the last of the four ashrams. Four children were born to them; Nivrutti in 1273, Dnyandev (Maauli Dnyaneshwar) in 1275, Sopan in 1277 and daughter Mukta in 1279. According to some scholars their birth years are 1268, 1271, 1274, 1277 respectively. It is believed that later Vitthal and RukminiRukmini
Also known as Ruciranana (meaning one with a beautiful face) and Vaidarbhi, Rukmini is the wife of Lord Krishna.. ended their lives by jumping into the waters at Prayag which is the confluence of three rivers, the Ganges, Yamuna, and the now extinct SaraswatiSaraswati
The name Saraswati is a combination of two Sanskrit words..., hoping that their children would be accepted into the society after their death.
Earlier the couple set out on a pilgrimage with their children to Tryambakeshwar, near Nashik, where their elder son Nivrutti (at the age of 10) was initiated into the Nath tradition by Gahininath. The paternal great grandfather of Dnyaneshwar had been initiated into the Nath cult by Goraksha Nath (Gorakh Nath). The orphaned children grew up on alms. They approached the Brahmin community of Paithan to accept them but the Brahmins It is one of the caste of Hindus. They are known for their knowledge of ancient, sacred scripturesrefused.
According to the disputed "Shuddhi Patra" the children were purified by the Brahmins on condition of observing celibacy. Their argument with the Brahmins earned the children fame and respect due to their righteousness, virtue, intelligence, knowledge and politeness. Dnyaneshwar became the student of Nivruttinath along with his younger siblings Sopan and Mukta at the age of 8. He learnt and mastered the philosophy and various techniques of Kundalini yoga.