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Sant Tukaram

17th century, Maharashtra.

Tukaram was a Vani by caste. The Brahmins of Dehu, could not accept him as a devotee of Lord Vitthala. Initially, Tukaram had to face resistance from the higher classes. Though, later many Brahmins acknowledged his stature, and became his followers. In his life time, most of his followers were Brahmnis.

It would not be incorrect to say that Tukaram was the finest gem of the varkari sect, started by Dnyaneshwar. He wrote about 5,000 abhanga, and is one of the greatest poets in Marathi literature.

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Life

Tukaram was born in Dehu. Like his father, he became a Vani, and ran his father's shop. He was married at a very young age and soon his wife died. He then married Awali.

During an epidemic, he lost his parents and some children. This was a great shock for Tukaram. He lost interest in material world. His shop ran into losses and had to close it too.

Tukaram had now turned inward. He would go on hills and meditate. He considered Babaji Raghavachaitanya as his Guru. He started writing abhangas and preaching the common people.

Many of the Brahmins could not accept these activities of Tukaram. They threw all the abhangas written by Tukaram in the river. Tukaram faced their anger and hatered. Soon he was able to influence them into the path of devotion. He found many followers: men and women from high and low castes.

When his fame reached far and wide, Shivaji Maharaj went to see him. When Shivaji Maharaj offered riches, and gold, Tukaram declined it.

The above event must have hurt Awali, as she was a simple woman, with simple expectations from life. She puts the woes of the families of such great saints, who had to suffer because of their selflessness.

_mÂ`m _m`]m[{, ]a{ Zmhr H${b{
[Xar ]m§Yr`{b{, n^H$ma`mÀ`m
VwQH$mMr drUm, Ë`mbm Xm{Z Vmam
H$naVr `{aPma`m, [§TarÀ`m
VwH$`mMr H$m§Vm, gm§J{ bm{H$m§àVr
]mB _mP{ [Vr, d{S{ Pmb{

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Poems

*    dj dëbr, Amåhm gm{`ar dZMa{ *    AmZ§XmM{ Sm{hr AmZ§X Va§J
*    ^{Qr bmJr Ordm bmJbrg{ Amg *    H$_m{nXZr H$m` OmU{ Vm{, [na_i
*    O{W{ OmVm{ V{W{, Vy _mPm g§JmVr *    AUwanU`m Wm{H$Sm
*    H$m` dmZy _r



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dj dëbr, Amåhm gm{`ar dZMa{
[jr hr gwñda{, AmidrVr
`{U{ gwI{ éM{ {EH$m§VMm dmg
Zmhr JwU Xm{f A§Jm `{Vr
AmH$me _§S[ [wÏdr AmgZ
a_{ V{W{ _Z H¬rSm H$ar
hnaH$Wm ^m{OZ, [adUr ndñVma
H$am{Zr àH$ma, g{dm{ éMr
VwH$m åhU{ hm{` _Zmgr g§dmX
Am[ybmMr dmX, Am[Umgr
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AmZ§XmM{ Sm{hr AmZ§X Va§J
AmZ§XMr A§J, AmZ§XmM{
H$m` gm§Jm{ Omb{, H$mhrMr`m]mhr
[wT{ Mmbr Zmhr, AmdSrZ{
J^©mM{ AmdSr, _mV{Mm Sm{him
V{W{Mm nOìhmim, V{W{ n]§]{
VwH$m åhU{ V¡g{, Am{Vbmg{ Rgm
AZw^d gargm, _wadmbm
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H$_m{nXZr H$m` OmU{ Vm{, [na_i
^_a gH$i, ^m{JrVg{
V¡g{ VwO Rmd{ Zmhr, VwP{ Zm_
AmåhrM V{ à{_, gwI OmUm{
VwH$m åhU{ _w·Vm\$i, ne§[r [m{Qr
Zmhr Ë`mMr ^{Qr, ^m{JVr
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^{Qr bmJr Ordm bmJbrg{ Amg
[mh{ am̧nXdg, dmQ VwPr
[¡mnU©_{Mm M§Ð_m MH$m{am OrdZ
V¡g{ _mP{ _Z, dmQ [mhr
nXdmirÀ`m _yim b{H$r Amgdbr
[mhV Ag{ dmQybr, [§TarMr
^yH${br`m ]mim AVr em{H$ H$ar
dmQ [mh{ [ar, _mCbrMr
VyH$m åhU{ _O bmJbrg{ ^wH$
Ymdm{Zr lr_wI, Xmdr X{dm
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O{W{ OmVm{ V{W{, Vy _mPm g§JmVr
Mmbndgr, hmVr Yam{Zr`m
Mmby OmVm dmQ{, VwPmMr AmYma
gd©hr nZYm©a, VwÂ`m [m`r
]m{by OmVm ]ai, H$nagr V{ ZrQ
Z{br bmO nYQ, H${b{ X{dm
AdK{ OZ _O, Pmb{ bm{H$[mi
gm{`a{ gH$i, àmUgI{
VwH$m åhU{ AmVm, I{iVm{ H$¡mVwH${
Pmb{ VwwP{ gwI, A§V]m©ô`
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H$m` dmZy _r `m g§VmM{ C[H$ma
_O nZa§Va, OmJndVr
H$m` Úmd{ ô`gr, ìhmd{ CVamB©
R{ndVm hm [m`r, Ord Wm{Sm
ghO ]m{bU{, nhV C[X{e
H$am{Zr gm`mg, neH$drVr
VwH$m åhU{ dËgm, Y{Zwd{À`m nMÎmr
V¡g{ _O `{Vr, gm§^mirV
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AUwanU`m Wm{H$Sm,
VwH$m AmH$mem `{ìhSm
nJiwZr gm§Sb{ H$b{da
^däa_mMm AmH$ma
gm§Srbr nÌ[wQr
Xr[ COibm KQr
VwH$m åhU{ AmVm
Cabm{ C[H$mam[waVm

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