Jai Jai Ramakrishna Hari “… The Lord’s Name is eternal ………………..rest all is ephemeral” Bhaktha Tukaram

When one thinks of  the holy place Pandharpur , mind races to have darshan of Lord Vittala and when the quest  to know about  his devotees begin  ,  the  biography of the great saint Santh Tukaram  brings tears .

Santh Tukaram appeared  during  the year 1608 A.D in   a  small village  Dehu in Poone  district which is about 41 kms from Ahobila Mutt, Pune .     and  seven miles from another important place  Alandi—the place honored by the Samadhi of  another  great saint Jnaneshwar.

Tukaram  from his childhood  worshiped  Lord Vittala  of Pandharpur.  

His  Elders  constructed a  small temple of their own  and dedicated it  to  Lord Vittala .  His  family members, since many generations, had  participated in  the ‘Wari’ of Pandharpur, i.e., the annual pilgrimages to Pandharpur on the eleventh day of the month of Ashadh (June-July) and again on the eleventh day of the month of Kartik (October-November).

jai vittal

 When  Tukaram  was about seventeen years, he lost his parents and  about that time, his elder brother left the village and went to Varanasi seeking spiritual salvation.The  next few years,  were almost cyclonic in their effect for Tukaram. 


Taking advantage of his state of mind, the debtors would not repay whatever was  due to him and the creditors began to trouble  him for the money due to them.

Tukaram tried his hand in several ventures of trade and came back either with empty hands or with a loss as he was a man of simplicity and humane to the core .

He was robbed of everything by confidence-tricksters who gave him gilt brass ornaments in exchange for all the money he had with him.


He was a  simple person who could not see others unhappiness  people .One  occasion, returning home, he came across a poor man  along with his family starving. He could not see  their plight . He  just gave away the profit as well as the principal which his wife had borrowed for some petty business.

Seeing his  behaviour , Tukaram was not entrusted with anything valuable when he went far from home.

Tukaram’s  wife Jijabai helped him  again and again to set up a small shop in his own village, but she was always convinced by Tukaram that serving all  the beings , no matter it was fellow human beings , animals , insects etc  was his only goal . Tukaram used to sit in the shop doing  kirtan and being very kind and honest to his customers. As usual due to his  compassion  to his fellow humans , he became bankrupt very soon as he never thought of himself and family .


 Sant  Tukaram saw  Lord Panduranga in all creatures. Once he was asked to guard a corn field. He liked this job as it did not hinder with his habit of Namakirtan on Lord Panduranga. The birds would see human presence and fly away without touching the corns. But as Tukaram got immersed in his abhangs, the birds started to feed on the corns. Seeing Panduranga in all the birds, he, instead of scaring the birds away, fed the birds with more corns from the field that he was supposed to guard, thus gaining the wrath of the owner.


During  the years 1629 and 1630, the country was  facing  severe famine.   It was most difficult period  The promissory notes  dues for  the family became dead letters of credit as nothing could be realised  during the  famine.


Tukaram   lost his people and cattle  .Very upset he  went into the Bhamnath forest nearby. For fifteen days he stayed there  meditating on the Supreme Lord   without  any basic needs .jai jai jai


 He realised the true knowledge with his penance . The revelation made  Tukaram  more aware of the purpose of his life .He slowly withdrew his  love for his household, wife and  relations.

He gathered all the promissory notes  and threw them into the Indrayani river, in spite of the protests of his relatives.


He reconstructed the temple which had fallen into disrepair and began to spend his  entire time in  Naama Kirtan. His mind  was  now steady fast with total surrender  .

As a result of his whole-hearted devotion ,  Tukaram was rewarded with Guru Upadesh.

As elders say , SathGuru visited  Tukaram  in a dream. Tukaram describes this, as the greatest event of his life, thus

“The Sadguru came to me in a dream and was really very kind to me, though  I had done nothing to deserve it. He met me when I was going to the river for a bath and placed his hand on my head and blessed me  and advised me to do Japa …….of  Jai jai Ramakrishna Hari.   Tukaram’s joy knew no bounds.

Tukaram began to spend his life more and more in devotional practices, study of the  works of  great saints Jnanadev, Namdev and Ekanath thus getting inspired to pen Abhangs 

Whenever Tukaram began to perform  Kirtan, people began to flock in large numbers considering  him as a  realised saint and give  him all the  respect.


This was  resented by a small number of people  who sent a report against Tukaram to Rameshwar Shastri  regarded as a learned Scholar during those  times . Due to his standing in society , he forced Tukaram to stop all those activities which will pull crowds due to his kirtans .He instructed him to stop  penning abhangs and,  that  he had already made,  should be drowned in the  nearby Indrayani river.

Tukaram held all  elders  in great reverence,. He was sad . He immediately brought out of his home all the  works , bound them together, tied a big stone round the bundle, and threw it into the river in presence of the village elders .


Tukaram’s traducers, who were jealous of him, were greatly pleased. Tukaram did not mind their taunts. He thought , was it a big fault for  merely, singing the praise of Lord in his  abhangs as advised by Lord himself .

 Dejected , Tukaram  sat on the bank of the river Indrayani praying  to  Lord Panduranga to forgive him and show some way out as  Naama sanKirtan was his breath . For thirteen long  days he thus sat unmoved  without water, food or sleep seeking Lords guidance .

On the  fourteenth  day, one of Tukaram’s followers, in a dream, saw  Lord Panduranga advising him to fetch  the Abhangs composed by Sant Tukaram  floating on the surface  which was intact.” .

Tukaram was moved by the mercy of Lord and  thus in ecstasy he  delivered  Abhangs  blaming himself for doubting the word of Lord and  putting Him to so much trouble of having to preserve the poems in water for thirteen days.


By this  divine incident, Tukaram’s name and fame spread far and wide. Materially he  remained poorer but spiritually richer . He was always  in  Naama sanKirtan and he earned nothing.Whatever LORD arranged was his meal and wherever he moved he comforted himself under trees , ashrams , temples no matter where he was . It was Naama sankirtan always .

The great Maharashtra King  Shivaji was a great admirer always supporting his devotional services .

Tukaram always advocated Saguna Bhakti in the form of repeating His Name and in the form of  singing LORD’s  praises. He said  Bhakti was the higher form of devotion and service  was even higher than Mukti.


Many wonderful events  have occurred in  Sant Tukaram’s life. His fame spread throughout the land, but he himself remained unaffected by all that. He knew the exact time when he would depart from this world. He grew weary of living and thought his time was being wasted in attending to the wants of the body when it should have been better utilised in Kirtan, Bhajan and praise of Vithoba.

He prayed to the Lord that he might be taken away soon to His lotus feet where he could remain worshiping Him continuously for ever and anon.


 Once  Tukaram’s  told his friends that he would be going away to meet Vittala  in a few days.  No one believed his words .Finally that day arrived . He called all the villagers for a Akhanda sankirtan . The night  was splendid . Many came to  hear his kirtans and the last kirtan before  was memorable in many respects as the  subject was Harikatha.

Tuakaram  continued ..my brothers and sisters …

“Harikatha is like the union of three holy rivers—Lord, the devotee and His holy  Name.


By  participating in this kirtan   one’s sins are burnt  and one is purified.

And my children ….

Even the pebbles lying around here  become holy and fit to be worshiped. 


“Though you all bear the responsibilities of family life, never ever  forget our Lord Panduranga.


Never forget to worship Him and sing  his  praises.

Pandharpur is very near you.

It is the Vaikuntha on this earth.

Please  Go and worship the Lord there. It is my experience that the Name of the Lord alone will save you at the time of death.


All of you have protected and maintained me in your midst for such a long time. I can never repay you and I am very grateful to you.

I shall ever pray to Vithoba to bless you all and take you all to heaven after this life. This is my goodbye to you all and this is my advice to you.

I prostrate before you and beseech you with tears never to forget the Name of the Lord. Always do Kirtan and Bhajan of Lord Narayana.

Do not be anxious about your material welfare.

The Lord will look to it.

This is all ephemeral. The Lord’s Name is eternal.

Depend on it only, live and  sing the praises of the Lord.

Do Japa of Ramakrishna Hari and He will always save you.

This is my last request and advice to you.”

 The Lord’s Name is eternal rest all is ephemeral

Thus passed away one of the great saints of Maharashtra with Lord’s Name of his lips, singing praises of Him.


Tukaram left this world  during  the year 1649the second day after  the Holi festival   . Every year  the  day  of his disappearance popularly known as Bheej is  remembered at the banks of the river  dehu . 

Thousands  of devotees assemble near to this holy place


   This place  is located inside  Military area. We were fortunate to be here unexpectedly during our Pandharpur yatra  few years back .


The  vehicles had to be parked before one enters the military area .  From the parking area, the temple is about 3-4 kilometres.

Most of the devotees join  singing bhajans holding Tulasi pots on their hand, some  playing tambura , kartaal etc.  


It is usual practice of the devotees to fast on that day and have prasadam only after taking Sant  Tukaram’s blessings.


  Along with us, other devotees joined and within no time, the bus was jam packed.  The bus was however parked at a distance of about  one kilometer.  The entire place was charged up in devotional fervor.


A devotee was singing Abhangs and was so glad to share the meanings and the  essence of the various  teachings of Santh Tukaram  which am reproducing ….

Tukaram Maharaj prays to  LORD  to grant him a boon of being small  as a small ant ……………gets a grain of sugar to eat.
A giant elephant is made to bear pricking of the weapon by its controller.
Tukaram Maharaj says, he who has a great ego undergoes great troubles.
He asks us to understand the benefit of not having an ego.
There is no happiness greater than the peace of mind.
Everything else causes sorrow.
Therefore make your mind peaceful to see the inner light.
One with a mind agitated by anger and lust has to suffer ensuing restlessness.
A peaceful mind is free from such sufferings.
One, who is able to control his sense-organs, is capable of forgiving others.
Such a person gains recognition and establishes his relation with Lord Vittala.
Even if a huge agricultural field has been inherited then that won’t give harvest unless it is cultivated.
Tukaram Maharaj says, one should understand this fact without burning one’s heart.


Pandavas were sent to exile in the woods but they held Lord Vittala in their hearts. Pralhada was tortured by his father but still he meditated on Narayana in his mind. Sudama, a brahmin, was afflicted by poverty but he did not forget Narayana. Tukaram Maharaj says,

O Lord Vittala we should not forget you even at the time of being under the mountain of miseries…


A donkey that is made to have bath in a sacred river does not become a horse. He, who does not have a pure mind, does not listen to any good advice.

Even if a sweet juice is fed to a snake, there won’t be any reduction in its poison.


There are many who proclaim themselves as saints. How can we accept unless we see their behaviour.

There appears a stream of water only for a while after it rains.

Later not a drop of water is seen.

A particle of snow appears like a diamond as long as it does not meet a hammer.


Dogs barking at an elephant develop pain in their mouths. The elephant is least affected by this. Monkeys mocking at tiger invite disaster for their lives. Tukaram Maharaj says, he who mocks at saints will lose his face.


A monkey puts its hand in a vessel containing peanuts. After taking peanuts in its hand it cannot take out its hand as the mouth of the vessel is not big enough.

The monkey for the sake of handful of peanuts does not go away and is caught.

A parrot sits on a string laid by the hunter. The string inverts its position and so is the parrot. Due to high voltage fear the parrot firmly grasps the string and forgets that it has two feathers to fly away.


The parrot is caught ultimately. Tukaram Maharaj says that it is not surprising if creatures without brains behave like this. It is surprising to see human beings forgoing their greatest interest for a pittance.


Earn money through an honest business.

Spend money for noble cause by maintaining equanimity of mind. Work for others’ welfare. Dont say harsh words for others. Consider others’ ladies like your mother and sisters.

Show kindness to all beings.

Rear cows and other cattle. Make possible arrangements for drinking water at remote places for quenching the thirst of people.

Dont harm others. He, who abides by the above teaching, spreads good name of his parents all around.

The virtue of renunciation that is required for realising Panduranga is also acquired through such actions..


A creeper of nectar will bear fruits of nectar. This will also result in continuous rise in the seeds of nectar. Like this association with good people results in all round increase of happiness. From a seed originates a tree.

From a tree countless seeds originate.

Who would like to be crucified on a cross of sandalwood? Similarly none would like to remain tied in the chain of gold. Similarly whatever knowledge one gains is a burden if that raises one’s ego.


A dead tiger filled with stuff appears like a tiger. Actually it is not a tiger. A coin with gold plating is not a coin of gold. This fact is clear if it is observed closely. A monkey dances as per the training of its master, it does not have any talents of its own.

Tukaram Maharaj says, he who keeps stock of absurd virtues has to suffer embarrassment.

The best worship of Lord Vittala can be performed by the mind. There is no need of instruments and implements for performing a puja.


The purpose of worship is to understand the mind, to understand the truth.

The final benefit or loss will be caused by the mind.

Mind is the seed that gives birth to the tree of action.

He, who has merged his identity with the Lord Vittala,
cannot see others suffering. Tukaram Maharaj says, making the mind calm is the true worship.


Tukaram Maharaj says, let us be equanimous in happiness and misery.

There is no discrimination for devotees in the eyes of the Almighty. He is waiting for those who have devotion in their minds.

He eats coarse grain offered by Vidura.

He protects Prahalada in the house of demons.


He helps Rohidas to dye clothes.

He helps Kabir to weave cloth.

He helps Sajan Butcher selling meat.

He helps Sawata Mali in petty agricultural operations.

He helps Narhari in performing chores of a goldsmith.

He helps Chokhamela for grazing cattle.

He drives the chariot of Arjuna.

He eats with great love dry food offered by Sudama.


In the homes of milkmen he does the task of maintaining cows

 He acts as a doorkeeper for King Bali. He repays loan of Yekoba.

He takes birth as a human being for the sake of Rishi Amba.

He drinks a glass of poison for Meerabai.

He becomes a low breed person to pay off loan of Damaji.

He carries earth for Gora Kumbhar.

He repays loan of Narsi Mehta.

He is still standing on a brick for Pundalik.

Parents of Pundalik are great to have such a great son.


Thanking Supreme Lord for the wonderful company , we  joined the ocean of ecstasy relished by great devotees of Lord Vittala …

 Tukaram’s abhangs was  being played everywhere through the sound systems.  There is another arc with the beautiful words “ JNAN,BHAKTI,VAIRAGYA TUKARAM”.  The crowd reminded us of Brahmotsava celebrations in Tirumala.  


Amidst  the sea of devotees more than  a lakh of devotees ready to witness that miracle which happens every year at noon.   A big cut-out of Lord Pandurangan from a distance attracted everyone’s attention.


On the way, we could have sparsham of Tukaram’s padhukas which were placed in a palanquin.   Unmindful of the scorching heat and clasping each other’s hands we proceeded to Tukaram’s Samadhi mandir. On the left side, we have darshan of   Indrani river which was witness to the various incidents in Tukaram’s life flowing peacefully. 

Many pilgrims were purifying themselves in the water.  This  river which flows past Alandi, brings Jnanadev’s blessings too along with her to this place.  Pilgrims who have a holy dip are benefited with Jnanadev and Tukaram Maharaj’s grace.


Sant Tukaram like Nammazhwar was the only person who left to SriVaikuntam with this mortal body.   Elders reveal Lord  arranged  Garuda vahanam and singing the praises of the Lord , while everyone was watching, Sant Tukaram embarked on the Garuda vahanam and ascended to Srivaikuntam. 


He promised his followers that on every disappearance day which falls on the second day after Holi ,popularly known as Bheej, he would come from Vaikuntam exactly at noon in the form of a gentle breeze to this place and bless the devotees.  Because of the gentle breeze, the leaves of the tree which was a witness to the incident gently move and the leaves fall.

To enable the assembled devotees who stand far away from the tree, the temple authorities have tied a red flag as an indication.  When the breeze gently blows, the red flag moves which can be witnessed by everyone.  The assembled devotees continuously sing the abhangs and as noon approaches, the fervor and intensity of the bhajans increases.  Words cannot describe the sight. One has to personally witness this incident. We were there … to receive Our Bhaktha Tukaram’s blessings …What a journey it was ..

Sadhu Satsangh  ki Jai ..

Bhaktha Tukaram ki Jai


Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics/ Videos  :

Credits to all Lord Vittala devotees who uploaded in social media /Google pics



3 thoughts on “Jai Jai Ramakrishna Hari “… The Lord’s Name is eternal ………………..rest all is ephemeral” Bhaktha Tukaram

  1. Hari Om! Adiyens only desire that these 2 words are on my lips as adiyen passes through archiradi marga “VITTALA PANDURANGA…”As well said, this is Eternal while others are Ehemeral

  2. Reblogged this on kazhiyur varadan's blog and commented:

    To enable the assembled devotees who stand far away from the tree, the temple authorities have tied a red flag as an indication. When the breeze gently blows, the red flag moves which can be witnessed by everyone. The assembled devotees continuously sing the abhangs and as noon approaches, the fervor and intensity of the bhajans increases. Words cannot describe the sight. One has to personally witness this incident. We were there … to receive Our Bhaktha Tukaram’s blessings …What a journey it was ..

    Sadhu Satsangh ki Jai ..

    Bhaktha Tukaram ki Jai

  3. Thanks a lot for superb depiction of sant Tukarams infinite love and devotion to Lord vitalla and pray for his blessings to purify our life via unconditional love and faith to lord and his devotees

    On Wed, Jul 25, 2018, 7:45 PM kazhiyur varadan’s web blog wrote:

    > Kazhiyur Varadan posted: “When one thinks of the holy place Pandharpur , > mind races to have darshan of Lord Vittala and when the quest to know > about his devotees begin , the biography of the great saint Santh > Tukaram brings tears . Santh Tukaram appeared during the year” >

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