The expansive love of Saint Tukaram Maharaj !

Once Saint Tukaram Maharaj guarded a sugarcane field on the outskirts of Dehu Village for few days. The owner of the field gave him a bundle of 25 to 30 sugarcane sticks in return. While Saint Tukaram Maharaj was on his way back home carrying along with him the bundle of the sugarcane sticks on his shoulders, the children playing along on the road along his route asked him, “ Tukoba, for whom have you brought so many sugarcane sticks ?” He replied, “Children these are for you. Bandu this sugarcane is for you, Gundu this one is for you, Dhondu this is for you..” and thus, he distributed almost all the sugarcane sticks to the children en-route to his home. By the time Tukoba reached his home, only one sugarcane stick was left on his shoulder and around it were the coils of the thick rope used for tying the bunch of sugarcane.

Seeing this Tukaram Maharaj’s wife Aawali got furious. As Tukaram Maharaj gave away all the sugarcane sticks to the other children on the way and kept nothing for his own children, His wife started scolding him furiously and in this anger bout she hit him with that sugarcane stick on his back. At that time the sugarcane stick was broken into three pieces. One was left in her hand and other two fell on the ground. Seeing this Saint Tukaram Maharaj quietly said to her, “Aawali, how much farsighted you are? Now you have made equal pieces of this sugarcane. The one left in your hand is yours and of the two pieces fallen on the ground, one is mine and other for the children.” Seeing His calmness his wife started repenting it.

Moral : As Tukaram Maharaj believed that this world itself is my home, he did not differentiate between his and others children.

(P.) Dr. Vasant Balaji Athavale (Year 1980)


God realisation possible only due to Sacrifice !

Saint Tukaram Maharaj had immense faith in Vitthal Deity. So, he could easily sacrifice almost everything. When people got to know about the greatness of Saint Tukaram Maharaj, they started honouring him. And so, he started going far away in a forest for meditation. Once Tukaram Maharaj did not return back home for 2 months. Once when Tukaram Maharaj’s wife was fetching water from the river, she met Him on the way. She immediately stopped him and said, “Why don’t you come home? What should we do?” Tukaram Said, “Pandurang Deity is my father and Rukmini is my mother. You also hold their feet so that Rukmini will provide you with food and clothes. On this, she said, “I will chant and remain in communion with God; but you return home.” Tukaram Maharaj said if you promise me so, then I will return. And so, his wife promised accordingly and both of them returned home. It was Ekadashi when Tukaram Maharaj returned home. Sitting next to the holy basil plant, he gave a spiritual discourse to his wife. His wife was influenced with it. The next day, she had a bath at the time of sunrise and then offered ritualistic worship to the Deities. She then invited the Brahmins at home and gave them food and all the offerings she had at home. Later in the afternoon, seeing that there was nothing left in the house to eat, she got worried. Having fasted the day before for the Ekadashi, she and her children were very hungry.

In this difficult time, the goddess appeared at the house of Tukaram Maharaj in the form a queen to test his faith. She said to him, “I heard that you have offered everything you had in the house to the Brahmin. If anything is left please give me some offerings too.” Hearing this, Tukaram Maharaj gave away one saree which was left in the house to her. When Tukaram Maharaj’s wife came to know about this, she got very angry. She started saying that with difficulty I made him come back home just yesterday after a period of two months. By giving me discourse he allured me. Offered everything to the brahmins. Children are hungry. She got very angry and took a stone to break the holy feet of God unto which she had offered obeisance and after which she had to face these difficult times. When Tukaram Maharaj asked, she told him the real reason. Hearing this, he asked her to hit that stone in his head. But she did not listen and she started walking towards the temple with the stone. Tukaram Maharaj followed her.

As soon as she entered the temple with the stone, Rukmini closed the door and Tukaram was left outside the temple. When Tukaram’s wife was about to hit the feet of the Pandurang deity with the stone, Rukmini asked her, “How have we offended you?” on this she replied, Children are crying with hunger at home. These holy feet have deceived us and so I am breaking them. Rukmini explained her everything and asked her to calm down. She told his wife I will provide you everything which you require for your household. Rukmini then offered her saree, blouse and bounty. Then she threw away the stone and held the feet of Rukmini and left home happily.

Tukaram Maharaj felt very bad that even after giving a discourse to his wife, she still became desperate and went to Rukmini and got bounty from her. He said to her, “You concealed the highest truth (merit). God realisation is achieved only by sacrificing accomplishment and wealth.” After that Tukaram Maharaj distributed away all the bounty she received from Rukmini to the poor people.

Reference : Dainik Sanatan Prabhat

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