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Tukaram was born in modern day Maharastra state of India. His complete name was Tukaram Bolhoba Ambiye. The year of birth and death of sant Tukaram has been a subject of research and dispute among 20th-century scholars. Sant Tukaram was born to Kanakar and Bolhoba More and scholars consider his family to belong to the Kunbi  caste. Tukaram's family owned a retailing and money-lending business as well as were engaged in agriculture and trade. Both his parents died when Tukaram was a teenager.
Sant Tukaram's first wife was Rakhama Bai , and they had a son named Santu. According to RD Ranade, Tukaram's spiritual teacher was Babaji Chaitanya , who himself was fourth generation disciple of the 13th-century scholar Jnanadeva. According to some scholars, Tukaram met Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj — a leader who challenged the Mughal Empire and founded the Maratha kingdom ; Hindvi Swarajya     Their continued interaction is the subject of legends. Tukaram died in or 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.
Tukaram's work is known for informal verses of rapturous abandon in folksy style, composed in vernacular language, in contrast to his predecessors such as Dnyandeva or Namdev known for combining similar depth of thought with a grace of style.
In one of his poems, Tukaram self-effacingly described himself as a "fool, confused, lost, liking solitude because I am wearied of the world, worshipping Vitthal Vishnu just like my ancestors were doing but I lack their faith and devotion, and there is nothing holy about me".
Tukaram Gatha is a Marathi language compilation of his works, likely composed between and Ranade states there are four major collations of Tukaram's Abhanga Gathas.
Numerous inconsistent manuscripts of Tukaram Gatha are known, and scholars doubt that most of the poems attributed to Tukaram are authentic. The first compilation of Tukaram poems were published, in modern format, by Indu Prakash publishers in , subsidized by the British colonial government's Bombay Presidency. 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. Early 20th-century scholars on Tukaram considered his teachings to be Vedanta -based but lacking a systematic theme.
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.
He says little about cosmogony, and according to him, God realizes Himself in the devotion of His worshippers. Likewise, faith is essential to their realization of Him: 'It is our faith that makes thee a god', he says boldly to his Vithoba. Late 20th-century scholarship of Tukaram, and translations of his Abhanga poem, affirm his pantheistic Vedantic view. All sciences have proclaimed that God has filled the whole world. The Puranas have unmistakably taught the universal immanence of God.
The sants have told us that the world is filled by God. Tuka indeed is playing in the world uncontaminated by it like the Sun which stands absolutely transcendent". Scholars note the often discussed controversy, particularly among Marathi people, whether Tukaram subscribed to the monistic Vedanta philosophy of Adi Shankara.
When salt is dissolved in water, what is it that remains distinct? I have thus become one in joy with thee [Vithoba, God] and have lost myself in thee. When fire and camphor are brought together, is there any black remnant left? Tuka says, thou and I are one light. However, scholars also note that other Abhangas attributed to Tukaram criticize monism, and favor dualistic Vedanta philosophy of the Indian philosophers Madhvacharya and Ramanuja.
He who calls himself Brahma and goes on in his usual way, should not be spoken to and is a buffoon. The shameless one who speaks heresy in opposition to the Vedas is an object of scorn among holy men. The controversy about Tukaram's true philosophical positions has been complicated by questions of authenticity of poems attributed to him, discovery of manuscripts with vastly different number of his Abhang poems, and that Tukaram did not write the poems himself, they were written down much later, by others from memory.
Tukaram denounced mechanical rites, rituals, sacrifices, vows and instead encouraged direct form of bhakti devotion. Tukaram encouraged kirtan as a music imbued, community-oriented group singing and dancing form of bhakti. Tukaram accepted disciples and devotees without discriminating gender. One of his celebrated devotees was Bahina Bai , a Brahmin woman, who faced anger and abuse of her husband when she chose Bhakti marga and Tukaram as her guru.
Tukaram taught, states Ranade,  that "pride of caste never made any man holy", "the Vedas and Shastras have said that for the service of God, castes do not matter", "castes do not matter, it is God's name that matters", and "an outcast who loves the Name of God is verily a Brahmin; in him have tranquility, forbearance, compassion and courage made their home".
David Lorenzen states that the acceptance, efforts and reform role of Tukaram in the Varakari-sampraday follows the diverse caste and gender distributions found in Bhakti movements across India. Tukaram's effort at social reforms within Varakari-sampraday must be viewed in this historical context and as part of the overall movement, states Lorenzen.
Tukaram was a devotee of Vitthala or Vithoba , an avatar of God Vishnu , synchronous with Krishna but with regional style and features. According to Richard Eaton, from early 14th-century when Maharashtra region came under the rule of the Delhi Sultanate , down to the 17th-century, the legacy of Tukaram and his poet-predecessors, "gave voice to a deep-rooted collective identity among Marathi-speakers". It is they who helped to bind the Marathas together against the Mughals on the basis not of any religious ideology but of a territorial cultural identity".
Mahatma Gandhi , in early 20th century, while under arrest in Yerwada Central Jail by the British colonial government for his non-violent movement, read and translated Tukaram's poetry along with Upanishads , Bhagavad Gita and poems by other Bhakti movement poet-sants. Saintliness is not to be purchased in shops, nor is it to be had for wandering, nor in cupboards, nor in deserts, nor in forests.
It is not obtainable for a heap of riches. It is not in the heavens above, nor in the entrails of the earth below. Tuka says: It is a life's bargain, and if you will not give your life to possess it, better be silent. The essence of the endless Vedas is this: Seek the shelter of God and repeat His name with all thy heart. The result of the cogitations of all the Shastras is also the same.
Tuka says: The burden of the eighteen Puranas is also identical. Merit consists in doing good to others, sin in doing harm to others. There is no other pair comparable to this. Truth is the only freedom; untruth is bondage, there is no secret like this. God's name on one's lips is itself salvation, disregarding the name is perdition. Companionship of the good is the only heaven, indifference is hell. Tuka says: It is thus clear what is good and what is injurious, let people choose what they will.
Tukaram's life was the subject of 68th issue of Amar Chitra Katha , India's largest comic book series. Government of India Issued rupees Silver commemorative coin in The 18th-century biographer Mahipati , in his four volume compilation of the lives of many Bhakti movement sants , included Tukaram. Mahipati's treatise has been translated by Justin Abbott. A translation of about 3, poems from Tukaram Gatha in English was published, in three volumes, between and , by Fraser and Marathe.
Arun Kolatkar published, in , six volumes of avant-garde translations of Tukaram poems. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the Marathi film, see Sant Tukaram film. For the Kannada film, see Santha Thukaram. For the Marathi film, see Tukaram film.
For the Tamil film, see Thukkaram. Dehu , near Pune  Maharashtra , India. Teachers Acharyas. Adi Shankara. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Tantra Shakta. Major texts. Supreme deity. Important deities. Holy scriptures. Related traditions. India portal Hinduism portal. Ranade January SUNY Press. The Marathas — Cambridge University Press. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Contribute Help Community portal Recent changes Upload file. In other projects Wikimedia Commons.
Kanada , Prashastapada.
Sant Eknath Abhang