Lord Sriman Narayana incarnated as Lord SRI RAMAR to personally demonstrate the world the teachings of Vedas and adhere to the path of DHARMA in all circumstances. Azhwars, acharyars, and innumerable saints and advanced devotees like Tyagarajar, Bhakta Ramadas, Kabirdas, Tulsidas, Kambar and countless worshipped Lord Rama who personally blessed them all…
. Our elders suggest us to read Srimad Ramayanam, especially the first sargam in Sundara kaandam for self realisation .
The great saint Swamy Nammazhwar in his emotional out pourings “Thiruvaimozhi 7-5 reveals “kaRpaar Ramapiraanai allaal maRRum kaRparO?…” meaning …
Why should anyone wish to learn anything but Sri Rama?
Sri Rama ruled the entire world from Ayodhya for 11,000 years and when he was reminded by Brahma through Dharmaraja to return to Sri Vaikuntam,
Lord Rama shed all the royal robes and walking barefoot from the royal palace, clad in pure white holding dharbha reached the banks of Sarayu to ascend to Sri Vaikuntam.
The Lord took everything (the Grass, the creeping ant, the living and non-living, everyone and everything, – both animate and inanimate- all that was born or created by Brahma- all that existed in His Ayodhya to the supreme position (moksham).
That was Lord SriRama so merciful and compassionate that He took ALL (irrespective of their jnanam, bhakti, knowledge, scholarship, or even an inclination to think of moksham) out of His own unlimited compassion .
Kulasekhara Azhwar confirms this in Peria Thirumozhi “ Andru Saraasarangalai Vaikunthathuku Yetri….”.
Lord took the entire living and non-living thing to Sri Vaikuntam. Once again Mother Andal glorifies Lord Rama as “Manathukku Iniyaan”-the one who is dear to heart.
One is reminded with the divine incident when Sage Valmiki requests Narada to name a person who is known for having all the sixteen opulent qualities. Narada unhesitatingly replies that Lord Sri Rama, the Emperor of Ayodhya is the embodiment of all the sixteen qualities.
Among the sixteen great qualities
and .we humans get attracted to the quality of Daya(compassion) as it is only due to Lords mercy , our pile of sins are forgiven and thus redeemed from the cycle of birth and death.
Lord Rama exhibited this quality of dhaaya to many of the humans .
Ayodhya vaasis, Kakasuran, the rakshasa who attacked him in Panchavati , Kaikeyi and most of the characters in the Ramayana ….
It is said Once , Parvati devi questions ParamaShiva as to on whom he contemplates while meditating. ParamaShiva replied that he always keep chanting the most sacred naama of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.- the sweetest name RAAMA .
ParamaShiva emphasizes the importance of the innumerable names of the Lord composed by Bheesmacharyar known as Vishnu Sahasranama stotram.
Parvati devi out of motherly compassion questions Parama Shiva as to what is the alternative if a person is not able to chant the entire thousand names of the Lord.
ParamaShiva answers that uttering the holy name of SRI RAMA will bestow the benefit of reciting the entire thousand names of Lord Sri Hari.
Such is the power of RAAMA NAAMAM.
Sri Rama Rama Rameti, Ramey Ramey Manoramey; Sahasrenama tattulyam, Rama Nama Varanane
In Varanasi, ParamaShiva personally utters the Tharaka mantram in the ears of the person leaving this mortal body and ensures that the jiva atma attains moksham. When Bharata along with raja maatas and entire retinue met Sri rama in Chitrakoot, Bharata abuses his mother for her sinful action and seeks pardon from Lord .
Lord Rama chastises Bharata for accusing Mother Kaikeyi and remained untainted with her behaviour.
He showed the same respect to her. Indra’s son Jayantan was captivated by Mother Sita’s looks .
He took the form of a crow and while Lord Rama and Sitadevi were resting in Chitrakoot, he inflicted injury on Sita maata by perching her .
Lord Rama who was lying on Sitadevi’s lap was fast asleep, Mother Sita endured the pain without disturbing the Lord . But the evil Kakasuran took it as an advantage and continued with his evil act until Lord Rama got up.
Lord Rama was furious with Kakasuran and as he did not have Kodhandam with HIM at that time, HE took a grass, uttered Brahmastram and aimed at Kakasuran which chased him until he fell down on the same rock where Sita and Rama were resting.
Mother Sita out of compassion slowly turned him towards Lord Rama’s holy feet and made him seek refuge.
The most compassionate Lord, who is spared his life by defacing his eye.
Lord Rama’s daya gunam was exhibited. Spatik shila in Chitrakoot is the place where this incident took place. While in Panchavati, when 14000 rakshasas headed by Kara and Dhooshana attacked , Lord Rama killed everyone but spared one rakshasa as he donned a saree and escaped.
Lord Rama’s dhayaa gunam was so much that even though he knew him to be an enemy, he spared him because he was in woman’s attire! Lord Rama performed the final rites to Jataayu, the eagle king who fought valiantly with Ravana and tried to rescue Sita .
Lord Rama affectionately took the ailing Jatayu in HIS arms and conferred moksha .The holy place where Lord Rama completed his incarnation is glorified as Gupthar Ghat located in Faizabad about 15 kms from Ayodhya. Driving past the military areas in Faizabad roads really grand , we reached Gupthar Ghat in half an hour’s time from Ayodhya few years ago as a part of our Sri Rama Anu Yatra .
River Saruyu also known as River Gargha considered as Sage Vasishta’s daughter was very calm.
The bathing ghats at River Saruyu are meaningfully constructed and are well maintained. Few years back , as a part of our Sri Rama Anu Yatra , after purifying ourselves in the sacred waters and offering morning oblations, Adiyen was engaged in routine morning rituals when a group of devotees headed by Sri Gomadam Swami of Sri Rangam reached the banks of Sarayu .
Looking at us near the ghat, they chose to have bath in the same place. When we approached Swami to pay our respects, the revered swamin was delighted to know about our trip and blessed us.
He said that it was due to the divine will of the Lord that we drove all the way from Ayodhya to have holy bath in Saruyu at this place because usually devotees have bath in Ayodhya itself .
Swami mentioned about the greatness of Gupthar Ghat….
More details of this holy place at this appended link :
The month of ( March – April ) in tamil (Panguni ) is sacred as it is the appearance month of – Lord Ranganatha on Panguni Revathi and Goddess Sri Ranganayaki Thayar on Panguni Uthiram both occur during this month.
This is the only day on which the Divya Dampatis of Srirangam are seen together in Utsavam.
The Utsavam takes place at the royal court located at the western entrance of the great Temple of Lord Ranganatha.
Interestingly, this is the only entrance which does not have a Rajagopuram.
Incredibly Swamy Ramanuja chose this blessed day for reciting the wonderful hymns the Gadya Trayam- Saranagathi gadyam, Sriranga gadyam and Vaikunta gadyam, unambiguously outlining the doctrine of Surrender .
(SharaNagati-which is atma Vivaham) wedding of the jivAtma to the paramAtma.
On this day Panguni Uttaram , Swamy Ramanuja gathered all his disciples and approached the great Temple of Lord Ranganatha.
Our Paramacharya was greatly moved by the majestic sight of the Divya Dampatis beautifully decorated in Utsavam at the Royal Court .
As a result of this Anubhavam, Swamy Ramanuja poured out his heart in an extremely soulful, highly intimate, and deeply intense SharaNagati ( TOTAL SURRENDER ) in the Sharanagati Gadyam and the Sri Ranganatha Gadyam.
The most important and the oldest Brahmotsavam called as “Adi Brahmotsavam” is performed during this month for 10 days and culminates on the next day of Panguni Uthiram.
During this brahmotsavam, Lord Ranganatha marries Kamalavalli Nachiyar of Uraiyur divyadesam.
Many devotees make it a point to have darshanam of Lordships on this day specially to have kataksham by Divine Parents .
Few days before Panguni Uthram(when Asilesha star is in ascendant), Lord Namperumal visits Goddess Kamalavalli Nachiyar at Uraiyur and marries the princess..
And , only on this day, Perumal gives darshan with Kamalavalli Thayar at Uraiyur for one full day.
Incidentally this is the place where our great Thiruppan Azhwar appeared .
On the 9th day of Brahmotsavam, the serthi (divine union) takes place at Srirangam.
On this day alone, Namperumal gives darshan along with Ranganayaki Thayar.
An interesting event cherished as ” Pranaya Kalagam Uthsavam ” takes place on Panguni Uthiram day morning and in the night , Gadyathrayam (threee gadyams) are recited in presence of the Supreme Lordships which is followed by Thirumanjanam (Holy abhishekam) to Namperumal and Ranganayaki Thayar .
Thirumanjanam is performed for 18 times reminding us of Swamy Ramanujar’s visits to Thirugoshtiyur. which are sequel to this sweet visit.
Our Mother Sr Ranganayaki comes to know of LORDs visit to Uraiyur nachiyar and gets upset. ( a vatsalya bhava )
The dramatic events on the Panguni Uthiram day unfold as Sri Ranganachiyar vents her Pranaya Kobam on Lord Namperumal and how Lord pacifies her and how in the end the divya dampathis join together to bless the devotees makes this festival a feast to the soul .
In the morning hours , Lord aware of Goddess mood goes around the four mada streets without any musical instrument being played ( Nadaswaram ) to collect kanikai ( gifts ) from devotees and thus gives darsanam to everyone .
The devotees are given an opportunity to serve Rajadhirajan (Lord of the Universe) with offerings . He stops at every house asking His devotees to support Him when He faces the queen Goddess Sri Ranga Nachiyar.
With the temple elephant (Andal) leading the way followed by the vedic pundits reciting dhivya prabhandha goshti LORD enters the temple and walks towards the sanctorium (sannidhi) of Goddess (Thayar) after literally moving around for three hours around the prakarams.
When Sri Ranga Nachiyar understands that Lord Ranganatha coming towards Her, the temple doors are shut.
For the next couple of hours, Pranaya Kalagam Uthsavam (household quarrel between the Lord and His consort) takes place that is wonderfully enacted by Arayar swamy..
The conversations between Namperumal and Ranganayaki Thayar are communicated through Arayar swami (for Namperumal) and through Pandari swami (for Ranganayaki Thayar) and they never face each other during this kalagam Utsavam .
The Lord pleads innocence and tries to appease the goddess in many ways but all his submission is out rightly rejected .
Few questions asked by Goddess make this utsavam very interesting …
Goddess questions Lord about his scratch marks on His Thirukkazuthu (neck) and reason for His Thirukkangal (eyes) becoming so red.
She also asks why His Thiruman kappu ( Tilak ) and His Thirukkuzal (hair) are all messed up.
She also goes on to ask Him why His Thiruvadharam (lips) are white and ……
why He has kungumappoo (Saffron powder) all over his Thirumeni (body),
His ThiruvadigaL (lotus feet) are red.
Hence, She was very unhappy because of HIS indifference to her .
The Lord out of divine love responds back to each question.
My dear …. Listen …
Being the protector of the universe (Jagadhrakshakan), riding the horse in the night and fighting against all evil forces to protect my devotees I had to be awake and thus the eyes have become red.
These Hair locks are messed up because of the fierce winds which faced me while I was galloping on the horse.
And listen dear ….
This Thiruman kappu had dissolved because of the harsh sun rays during my horse ride
And my lips are white because i was fighting against the asuras (demons) with single pointed concentration
My neck was scratched by those thorns while I was riding through thick forests to fight the same Asuras.
Lord further continues .. my .dear Listen , these legs were red because I had to ride the horse with the feet tightly hooked in the stirrup and finally this kungumappoo is all over my body because the Devathas were happy and praised us after the victorious campaign by showering me with flowers.
Thus, Lord submits to Goddess that He was late because of all the battles he had to wage with the Asuras and due to this calamity he had lost the ring in the river Kollidam while returning.
And had to get a new ring and some flowers before he meets Her.
This caused Him to be late.
Goddess is still not convinced and refuses all His gifts and flowers and commands him to never come inside and return back to Uraiyur where HE had been a couple of days ago.
Lord Namperumal with a very innocent look replies saying that He doesn’t know the place called Uraiyur and has never been there. Ranganayaki Thayaar asks the Lord to prove His statements.
To prove his innocence Lord offers to put His hands in a vessel full of snakes ,
cross any ocean of Goddess choice ,
and offered to promise on His devotees that He has never seen Uraiyur.
Sri Ranga Nachiyar rebukes HIS explanations. She replies /.
He, the one who sleeps on a bed of Adhi Sesha ( Serpent bed ) would never be harmed by any snakes. He, the one who lies in the great milk ocean (ThiruppArkadal) and for whom the river Yamuna parted to let Him through as baby Krishna will have no problem crossing any ocean.
Also, HE, whose lotus feet are sought after by all His devotees would never be betrayed by them. Unmindful , she exhibits her annoyance of Pranayakalpa by throwing milk, curd, butter and flowers on Him .
Lord Ranganatha now pleads innocently then says that He has come to meet Her after going through such difficulties and She is not letting Him in. He says He feels very depressed and embarrassed as She shut the door in His face. The Lord says – “andha avamanam umakku andri yamakku illai” meaning “this embarrassment is not for me but for you.”
Seeing the Lord is feeling very sad, our great Nammazwaar, acts as the mediator and approaches mother Sri Ranganayaki and says that if the supreme Lord and Goddess are upset against each other, then that would be the end of all known universe (Pralayam).
He requests Mother and prays that the Lord is for all and She has to understand that He is sought after by all and so She should be able to let Her Azhagiya MaNavalan go to His devotees too as well for granting their prayers and uplift them finally So, He humbly requests that Sriranganachiyar forgive the Lord and allow Him to enter Her premises.
Goddess Ranganayaki understands Nammazwars reasoning and commands Her assistants to let Her Lord enter inside. Lord Ranganatha and Ranganayaki come together and exchange garlands, Kasturi Thilakam, turmeric and necklaces making a benchmark of a divine couple .
As soon as the door is opened, Lord Azhagiya Manavalan is delighted and rushes in to be with His consort. A beautiful scene transpires here.
The Lord does not go immediately to our Sri Ranganayaki sannidhi . But rather goes to the mudhal mandapam and stands there, as if to ascertain whether our Thayar has really accepted and forgiven him.
Lord sends his vastram across to Thayar, which is accepted by the Thayar. After this the Lord then directly heads towards and Thayar Sannidhi and then he seats directly across Sri Ranganayaki Thayar.
Now our Aranganathan looks at our Lokamatha Thayar’s eyes directly as if to ask “why did you make me go through this struggle” and Thayar in turn asks him “Why did you go away without telling me”.
At this point of time other than the Sri Ranganayaki’s Archakas and our Sriranganathan’s Archakas, no one is allowed to be present.
Thus sweet conversation takes place between our Lord Aranganthan and Ranganyaki Thayar as it would take place between any husband and wife.
After they have talked for a long time, our Azagiya manavalan asks Thayars permission to go and complete the Panguni uthram thirunal as several devotees are waiting.
Thayar replies that how can she let him without having performed any upacharam. She then gets delicious and sumptuous “Akkara adasil” ( Sweet pudding ) prepared for him, with copious amount of milk, rice, dhal ( lentils ) , jaggery and lots pure ghee.
Both our Lordships now grace together and have the delicious “Akara adisil” ! The happiness of the Lord and Thayar can be seen in the eyes of lord who cannot take his eyes away from the Thayar! After this beautiful sight, the lord then decides to head towards the beautifully renovated Panguni Uthram mandapam. As soon as our Azagiya manavalan reaches the mandapam in the afternoon, our Thayar immediately, but silently and surreptitiously enters the mandapam as if she doesnt want anybody to talk about or ask her about what had happened .
After this the Lord and Ranganayaki Thayar give darsanam to several devotees who have thronged to see them. It has to be mentioned that here only the Thayar is adorned with a garland and not then Lord himself!
Also, Namperumal doesn’t face the audience but looks uninterruptedly at Thayar.
The recitation of the Gadhya Thrayam begins at about 11 P.M. . Those heavenly chants fill the air with beatitude and immense happiness.
At this time the whole srirangam is very festive and people make sweets and savories as if there is a marriage in their own house.After all, it is a happy and beautiful unification between the Royal couple! The Gadhya Thrayam starts with the chant of “Vaikunta Gadhyam” and then proceeds with the “Sri RangaGadhyam” and at last ends with the beautiful chant of the “Sarangadhi gadhyam”!
Lord Namperumal (Sri Ranganathar) and Peria pirattlar (Sriranga nachiar) are seated together. Lord (naMperumAL) is standing majestically as usual and more beautiful and graceful today due to the compassionate looking pirAtti and is enjoying the beauty of Her Lord without taking Her eyes off Him even for a second This was the right opportunity for LokaAcharyar Swami Ramanuja to ask for favors from our DIVINE PARENTS.
He submits to the LOTUS FEET through his divine outpourings Gadyatrayam. Swamy Ramanuja worshipping them, submits his deep fear of samsara (association with the body in a cycle of births) and begs the Lord to save him. Swamy Ramanuja surrendered his all to the Lord and begged Him to be his sole savior. In the Three Gadyaas, Swamy Ramanuja’s prayed swamies innermost feelings of deep devotion to the Lord break all restrictions and flow freely towards the Lord and His consort.
These are prima facie a spontaneous outburst of devotional experience and not coldly labored compositions. The inner voice of the devotee addresses Sri and the Lord and they do reply clearly through the same inner voice.
In the Saranagati gadya, Swamy Ramanuja first addresses Sri as the mother of the Universe, as his own mother, and as the loving consort of his Lord, and seeks her intercession on his behalf. This is itself a saranagati addressed to the mother.
Happy at being addressed this, Sri replies ‘So be it’; “let your prapathi bear the proper fruit of being accepted as a devoted servant” The commentators have it that this assurance is not only for the Acharya but for all his spiritual progeny. The boon that Lord granted to Swamy Ramanuja applies to his spiritual heirs. It is worth noting that once he gets the assurance from Sri of her sure mediation, he addresses himself directly to the Lord seeking Him as the sole savior.
The LokAcharya then addresses the Lord speaking of His incomparable glory, “His immense wealth, His power, His retinue, His divine weapons, His beautiful ornaments, His loving consorts, of His infinite compassion and other admirable qualities words which are a rhapsody of devout fervor which can come only from the very depth of a realized soul. Swamy Ramanuja holds out prapathi as the highest message he had for his followers.
The Sriranga gadyam is a shorter piece and is essentially the same as the Saranagati gadyam.
It is addressed directly to Sriranganatha.
are the words of the acharya.
To the seeker of salvation who has taken to the path of Prapathi, it is essential that he should spend his time in devoted service of the lord; in serving his devotees; by meditating on Him and singing His praise; by repeatedly uttering the Dvaya mantra (this is an enjoyable and sweet pastime).
The acharya gives expression to all these, briefly, in confidence to the lord at Srirangam. His intention is that this short text may be repeated easily in the presence of the Lord by devotees intent on the fruit prayed for.
Immensely pleased , Lord assures Swamy Ramanuja that He and all his disciples will be surely uplifted for attaining the paramaporul Moksha for sure .
Later, Thirumanjanam to Namperumal and Thayar are performed for 18 times. This signifies Sri Ramanujar’s visit to Thirugoshtiyur to learn the dwayam mantra artham. All the upacharams are performed for 18 times.
Later, saatrumarai goshti is done at Udayavar (Ramanujar’s )sannidhi in the early hours. At about 7 A.M. the next day, Perumal reluctantly leaves thayar and goes back on Goratham.
After all this, the Lord then requests Thayar’s permission to go and complete the remaining procession.
At this request, our Ranganayaki thayar’s face drops and looks downcast, which indicates her reluctance to part with the Lord at this point of time.
But , thayar then mentions that First she will leave and return back to her Moolasthanam after which the Lord can start.
This shows the patience, forbearance and the humility of our beloved Thayar.
The Lord then starts to leave towards the “Goratham (Chariot), before which he peeps into Sri Ranganyaki Thayrs sannidhi, as if to take a glimpse of his beloved wife and say “Bye” before proceeding . After this the Lord starts for the procession.
Anywhere in the world a woman has to undergo lot of troubles and hardships and still put up a smile to make everyone in her family happy.
On Panguni Uthiram day, only Thayar sannidhi is kept open and it is not possible to have Sri Ranganathar(moolavar) darsanam on that day.
All adiyars know that the Lord and Thayar are above all such domestic quarrels taking place in our lives all the time.
We also know that He is the fountainhead of all things in the universe and there is nothing like He should be going after several women etc. when He himself is paramporul ( The ultimate ) .
Secondly the big question will Thayar ever quarrel with the Lord? So what is the significance ??
Elders clarify that the significance of all this drama is that Namperumal and Thayar are doing a play act to demonstrate to ordinary mortals like us how to run the household with harmony in the face of upsets. They also show the deep love , mercy and compassion true ladies have and why we have to give the ladies great respect and exalted position in our society.
Azhwar describes Srirangam as the abode of the supreme Lord who had sixteen thousand devi’s (as he married all of them in His Krishnavataram by their deep devotion and request ).
When he has already taken sixteen thousand consorts which Sri Rukmini Devi whole heartedly accepted, where is the question of getting upset about one Kamalavalli nachiyar of Uraiyur .
Our Perumal is Paramatma and the jivatmas represented by Thayar are all wedded to Paramatma with Thayar doing the purushakaaram(bridge between Perumal and the fallen souls)
Andal nachiyar explains:- “Peyyu ma mukil pol vanna, un pechum seikaium engalai Maiyal erri mayakka un mukam maya mandiram than kolo”
Hey, dark skinned Lord, your words, acts and your innocent looking face are all designed to cast a spell over us. The Lord will always cast his spell over His devotees to protect them. And Maya Jagan Mohini Thayar always assists Him in his spell!
When the Lord knows that Nachityar is upset with him, He is planning to pacify her indicating thereby that all of us should try earnestly to take care of the ladies’ concerns.
In this entire drama, what stands out is the “Paraspara Anyonyam” of the Divya Dampathis.
When Thayar is angry Lord understands and adopts a seemingly submissive posture. And Thayar relents when overlooking the factthat it is the only day in a year she is with Him and He has been to another nachiyar.
She sets an example of kindness and forgiveness for all the womenfolk.
When Thayar allows Lord to enter Her Sannadhi, He at first stops at first mantapam and sends His Vastram to her. He does not rush in all the way. Thayar also understands His intention and accepts the vastram.
She knows He will be hungry and gets a sumptuous Akkara Adisil ( sweet pudding) prepared for Him. In these days of hurried life when both the partners sometime go to work, can you imagine such understandings .
She silently follows Him so that the devotees do not smell any difference between them! It is truly amazing that Divya Dhampathis had set examples which are relevant even today………
Let Lord Ranganatha protect us
Let Shri Ranganachiyar bless us always …
Sri Ranga MangaLa nidhim karuna nivAsam Sri Venkatadhri SikharAlaya KaaLamegham Sri Hastigiri Siksrojvala Paarijatham Sreesam namAmi Sirasa yadhusaila dheepam Seeking the Lotus feet of Narayana
Nathamuni already in that bliss imagined that Lord Rama with his brother Lakshmana and Mother Sita is have come to grace him .He fainted at a place in a divine bliss and reached Lord’s abode on an Ekadasi day.
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 and 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).
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 .
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. And……. “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 day ( March 20 2022 this year ) 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
Pilgrimage to Pandharpur near Sholapur in Maharashtra and having darshan of Lord Vittal is incomplete without mentioning the great devotee Pundalikan.
Pundalaikan who hailed from southern part of India undertook a pilgrimage to kasi along with his parents and family . As his old parents couldn’t withstand the long journey they camped on the banks of Bhima river in the present Pandharpur.
As there was no improvement in their fitness and due to their old age , they decided to stay there forever serving LORD and his devotees .
Pundalikan was a caring and obedient son .
Always in the service of his parents chanting the holy name he continued to start a fresh life being at this new place.
The Divine Name of ‘ Jai Jai Ramakrishna Hari Jai Jai Vasudeva Hari’ ever reverberating in this holy town made him swoon into transcendental bliss .
Pundalikan was so concerned that he changed the course of the river so that it would pass by his hut to enable his parents for taking their daily bath .
Even today we can see the shape of this river looks like a crescent of moon and hence the river came to be known as “Chandrabhaga” river.
All compassionate Lord Krishna in Dwaraka, wanted the world to know about this great devotee Pundalikan who was serving his parents with utmost sincerity .
The cheerful obedience mixed with devotion attracted Lord personally to visit his hut to bless him. It was a direct meeting of the great Lord with his favorite devotee .
Lord arrived near his hut silently and was immersed in listening to his devotees Nama sankirtana.
Lord walked inside his hut like a normal man and looking at his devotee called him.
Pundalikan was engrossed in the Holy name and was serving his old parents by comforting their legs .
The voice was melodious …… unheard ….
My son !!
Lord once again called
Pundalik was in trance and that bliss he was already enjoying the holy name in his transcendental mood and hence he did not want to come out of that mood ..
and he did not want to disturb his old parents sleep as they too were engrossed in the Holy name ..
He attempted to whisper slowly his helplessness ,that he couldn’t come and receive the honorable guest due to his position .
He requested him to please wait .
He presumed that once his parents were fast asleep he could take leave from them and attend the respected guest .
He innocently requested the revered guest to rest .
Lord replied , I find only bricks around . Any way as desired by his devotee he just stood on a small brick which was lying nearby.
The demigod Indra to atone for his brahmahathi dosham immediately took the form of brick awaiting Lord’s arrival so that the Lord would place HIS lotus feet. The divine incident was happening at the great devotees hut.
Once he observed that his parents were fast asleep , he comforted them and looked around .
Pundalikan had a glance of the wonderful darshan .
Lord Krishna as Vitthala, standing on a brick, hands on hips, with a smile on his lips.
He scanned the lovely form further . His eyes were starving for that darshan .Torrent of tears flowed ..Speechless . His soul now rejoiced in pure love ..
His breath that was synchronized with the holy name could swim deep in that ocean of sheer bliss ..
My Lord !! Vittala…
Nothing more ..Let this remain with me .
..Oh ! Lord …
Ocean of Compassion … You came to see this worm …
LORD ! Please forgive me for asking you to stand on the brick ..
Pundalikan was inconsolable ….
Lord Panduranga, Lord Vittala the enchanter of the Universe, wearing ‘Makara Kundala’ (fish shaped ear stud) in his ears, …….
Peethambara (clad in yellow silk), wearing exquisite royal ornaments, a bewitching smile playing on His lips and having the insignia of Goddess Lakshmi on His chest, two palms on His hips was looking at Pundalikan ..
Pundalik was overwhelmed and touched .
He submitted to LORD for HIM to stay there forever.
Lord with a enchanting smile replied ..
My dear son !
Now and forever will I remain on this brick standing to see all my children seeking me…
Rukmini ,SAtyabhama arrived later , assumed the same posture of Lord and blessed Pundalikan.
AT the behest of Pundalikan, Lord resides here and gives darshan to millions of devotees . As Lord stands on Vittu(brick) , HE is glorified as as Vittalan.
The place where the Lord stands is the present temple.
The Saints like Namdeo, Dnyaneshwar to Tukaram wove their life around Vitthala and saw in Vitthala their brother, father, friend and a compassionate Lord who could bless them with ultimate salvation.
“Vittala ” is our Compassionate Lord who mingled with all the devotees by taking various roles like a cobbler, barber, servant, potter, gardener thus assisting his devotees in household chores and helping them in their own spiritual up liftment and seek salvation
Pundalikan and his parents attained Lord’s feet after the divine darshan . The Pundalika Temple is about half a km from the Vitthal Temple.
This temple marks the spot where Pundalika, the Lord’s devotee, spent the last years of his life and also is the place of his Samadhi. It is on the riverbank of Chandrabhaga.
Great Bhagavathas have composed wonderful Naama sankirtana which swoon even a rock to breath the holy name and reach HIS holy abode ..One such kirtan is presented below sung by Sri Kadyanallur Rajagopal feeds the soul with a grand feast of holy names .The lyrics is shared below for the feel …
Shanka Chakra Dhara Vaijayanthi Dara Pithambaradara Govardhanodhara Tulasimala Shobhita Gala Garuda Gamana Hari Pankaja Nabha Vittala Yere Pandhari Raya Mastaka Linga Swaroopa Linga
Roopa Banga Sajjana Sangha Yadukula Thilaka Manmatha Janaka Pathitha Pavana Dena Dayalo Vittala Yere Pandhari Raya