Sant Tukaram Jayanti
Sant Tukaram Jayanti is observed on the second day of the krishna paksha (winding down period of moon) in the falgun or phalugna month (february – march) according to customary Marathi calendar. Sant Tukaram is best known for his Abhanga devotional poetry and community-oriented worship with spiritual songs known as kirtans.
Tukaram’s stature in Marathi literature is comparable to that of Shakespeare in English or Goethe in German. He could be called the quintessential Marathi poet reflecting the genius or the language as well as its characteristic literary culture.
In 2022 Saint Tukaram Jayanti will be observed on Sunday, 20th March.
Sant Tukaram Life
Sant Tukaram was one among the great bhakti sages and Marathi poet of 17th century, he is also known as Tuka, Tukobaraya, Tukoba in Maharashtra. His full name was Tukaram Bolhoba Ambile was born in Dehu, a town close to Pune in Maharashtra. His guru was bhakti movement Saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Sant Tukaram was great writer he has written several poems on god and social life called as Abhanga. His Gatha is a precious treasure of the Marathi language. He was against hypocrisy and superstition in the society and stressed that devotion (Bhakti) should be coupled with morality.
The Lord pulled Tukaram towards Himself by putting him through severe misfortunes, wife and mother died in a famine, second wife tortured him as much as she could. Tukaram tried his hand in several ventures of trade, but always came back either with empty hands or with a loss, as he would be very kind and honest to his customers. Troubles and miseries tortured him, at last his Guru Chatanya give him the name of Bhagwan Vitthal and he started composing the Abhangas in the praise of Bhagwan Vitthal.
Lord Vitthala is the form by which Sri Krishna is worshipped in Maharashtra. He composed 4000 Abhangas in Marathi in the praise of Bhawan Vitthal. Tukaram denounced mechanical rites, rituals, sacrifices, vows and instead encouraged direct form of bhakti (devotion).
He spent most of his later years in devotional worship, community kirtans and composing Abhanga poetry. According to Sant Tukaram, there is no reference of any caste hierarchy mentioned in the Vedas. Tukaram’s kiratans and Abhangs exposed the evils of the time’s society, social system, and Maharajs. As a result of this, he encountered some resistance from society and some individuals.
Soon his fame reached Shivaji. The young leader could not stop himself and joined Sant Tukaram in hari kirtan. Shivaji Maharaj was so much impressed and moved by the Bhajans of Tukaram that he, for the moment, wanted to give up his kingdom and take to Bhajan and follow Tukaram. But Tukaram dissuaded him from doing so, he reminded Shivaji of his duty to his subjects .
Sant Tukaram died at the age of 42, leaving his teaching in the form of Abhangas guiding the people of today’s generation. It is said that Lord Vishnu sent His own chariot and servants to bring Tukaram to His abode. The spot from where Tukaram was taken to Vaikuntha is now the site of Vaikunth Gaman Sthan temple.
Tukaram puts bhakti at the centre of his spiritual life
In one of his verses, Saint Tukaram declares that Bhaktimarg is “the only way to God in this age“. Another provides a succinct statement of his philosophy of religion: “God has no form, nor any name, nor any place where he can be seen; but wherever you go, you see God.”
How Sant Tukaram Jayanti is observed
Saint Tukaram Jayanti is observed in all parts of Maharashtra. On the day, devotees gather at Tukaba Mandir and at scared places at afternoon and perform different puja and rituals as a sign of appreciation to grate Sant.
Vithoba temple at Dehu village in maharashtra is the origin of Sant Tukaram Maharaj and thousands of people pay respect to Siant Tukaram here on the day. Many programs are organized here to educate people about Saint Tukaram’s preaching.
Suggested Read: Sant Kabir Jayanti