1608-1649

Infinite bliss has filled my entire being. He has liberated countless . --------------------------------------In love with the Lord. clap and sing. O Lord. But it chose to be bound by getting entangled in "me" and "mine". For the seed of devotion has borne its fruit. Why need I now bother to contemplate on Thee? By the grace of Thy feet. we shall dance. The Lord is infinitely kindhearted. He fondly protects those who surrender themselves to Him."The soul was in truth free. The illusion of this world has been destroyed. when my entire being is engrossed in Thee alone? Nothing is now a barrier between Thee and me. says Tuka. The stream of love divine flows freely and I sing the Lord's Name unceasingly." --------------------------------------How can there be any room left for other desires. Ever merciful is He. Gone from my heart is the anguish of separation. Like a deer in pursuit of water. It tires itself out running after a mirage.

Tukaram Maharaj .souls in the past. The secret of love. And repeat constantly the Name bestowed by him. I ever bow to my beloved Satguru. --------------------------------------I laid my head on my Satguru's feet. Has been bestowed on me by Saints. I offered myself in homage. O Tuka. He blessed me with his love And lifted me unto him. says Tuka. With love and gratitude. He raised me with his own hands. of that am I certain. He will liberate me too. -.

" Tukaram Maharaj .

Tukaram was born in 1608. Tuka felt ashamed and embarrassed by his lack of ability to get enough food to save his wife's life. He became Tuka's secretary. which make them somewhat autobiographical. both his parents died. His second wife was younger than the first. He also had three sons. Her name was Jijabai (also called Avali). a Vaishnava bhakta. She began to consider God her enemy. they would lead the chorus in response. the family had a high social standing in the village. The abhangs express Tuka's feelings (whether elation or frustration) and philosophical outlook. they would often dance in ecstasy. The first was a Brahmin from Kadus named Gangadhar Maval. Savaji was his older brother and Kanhoba was younger. was a true man of God. and made Tuka's home life miserable. However. It is these abhangs for which Tuka is most famous. Shortly thereafter. they are focused on God and not Tukaram. Even though they were from the low born sudra caste. Tuka constantly sang the praises of God. Mahipati wrote his account in 1774. or Krishna.000 abhangs. Tuka composed over 5. in the small village of Dehu in the South Indian state of Maharashtra. Many of them speak of events in his life. but they don't have the artful imagery associated with poems. Initiation One thing that makes Tukaram unique among Indian saints is . he had two wives. Rakhumabai. died of starvation during a severe famine. It was the constant singing about God which led Tukaram to compose his abhangs. Tuka's life was full of difficulties.A Brief Biography Tukaram. Events in the Life of Tukaram Most of the biographical information we have about Tukaram comes from Mahipati's Bhaktalilamrita (chapters 25-40). During his life. and she constantly nagged Tukaram and complained about his inability to hold a job and properly support his family. Nonetheless. When Tuka led the kirtan. These began when his father became ill. Yet. Playing kartals and vina. His father was Bolhoba and his mother Kanakai. following Tuka everywhere and transcribing his abhangas. Tukaram had two principal disciples. They are often called poems. The abhangs are unique in the world of literature. who also helped write down Tuka's songs. more than a century after Tukaram's disappearance. and Tuka had to begin supporting the family at the young age of 13. The second was Santaji Teli Jaganade. Tukaram's problems only mounted. During his 41 years. They had no desire but to be with Tukaram. death of his family members and economic hardship seemed to plague him. The first. He had two brothers.

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