Literary works[ edit ] Sant Tukaram composed Abhanga poetry, a Marathi genre of literature which is metrical traditionally the ovi meter , simple, direct, and it fuses folk stories with deeper spiritual themes. The known manuscripts are jumbled, randomly scattered collections, without chronological sequence, and each contain some poems that are not found in all other known manuscripts. Edwards wrote, Tukaram is never systematic in his psychology, his theology, or his theodicy. He oscillates between a Dvaitist [Vedanta] and an Advaitist view of God and the world, leaning now to a pantheistic scheme of things, now to a distinctly Providential, and he does not harmonize them.
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His parents were poor farmers and were known to be poor and charitable. Their family deity was Vithoba or Panduranga. His wife and son died of starvation in a famine in the region. His second wife was Jeejabai. Devoted to spiritual thought, Tukaram found it difficult to make his way through his worldly responsibilities as a trader and farmer. He studied the written works of Jnaneswar, Namdev and Eknath, the foremost Bhakti saints of Maharashtra.
Tukaram received his spiritual guidance from Shri Raghava Chaitanya. It is said that he received this vigorous and very detailed and specific guidance in his dreams.
Subsequent to intense contemplation in isolation, Tukaram began to compose his abhangs, devotional stanzas or poetry, to convey his bhakti to Panduranga. He felt that he could not focus on God if he continued with his material world. He wished to remain away from his worldly life and took up the path of singing and chanting the glory of Panduranga. Being able to visualize the deity everywhere and in every object, he surrendered completely to the aspect of devotion. He challenged the times of those days and the aspect of condemning human discrimination was of utmost importance in his abhangs.
He declared that hatred of humans because of their birth, caste, class, wealth and religion could not lead one to realization of God. He faced enmity, jealousy, hatred and discrimination from the learned and from others due to aspects of birth, caste and wealth. A splendid narration is that in which Tukaram is forced to discard and throw away his abhangs written on palm-leaf manuscripts into the Indrayani River.
He does so at the steps of the river near Dehu village. He claimed that the responsibility now lay with Panduranga, since the abhangs were written as offerings to Him. In a miracle, Panduranga himself is said to have met Tukaram at the steps of the Indrayani River and affirmed that the abhangs would return from within the waters.
And, they did. It was the times and rule of Chatrapati Shivaji, and the great King did meet Tukaram and sought spiritual and ethical guidance. This meeting of the two great sons of Maharashtra is also termed as the meeting of bhakti devotion with shakti strength. This is only a very brief introduction to the greatness and wisdom and clarity of Sant Tukaram Maharaj.
There are several better writers and knowledge-seekers who have described his life, writings and thoughts in much more detail.
Sant Shri Tukaram Maharaj's Abhang Gatha
Below is the link to the Tukaram Gatha in pdf and you can download it for free. Link — Tukaram Gatha in pdf Sant Tukaram CE was one of the greatest saints of India, and as such he has influenced and is still influencing the devotional and spiritual world of people of Maharashtra. Sant Tukaram was an ardent devotee of Lord Vitthal of Pandarpur. He began intensive studies of the writings of all Varkari saints right from Sant Jnandev to Sant Eknath. This strengthened his devotion towards Lord Vithal. The most important aspect of the literary study had on Tukaram was that he could overcome his reclusiveness and began to mingle with people striving towards their upliftment.
Tukaram Gatha in pdf – Download Poems of Sant Tukaram Maharaj in pdf format