Three centuries after Jnaneshwar, devotional poetry had another full flowering in Western India. Tukaram Maharaj was a merchant and householder who seemed to fail at everything. Bankruptcy, the death of his first wife during a famine, and castigation by the Brahmin orthodoxy forced him into isolation and there he poured out his longing and devotion in hundreds of songs. At first regarded as mad, musicians, singers, and ordinary villagers began to gather around him by the hundreds to hear his kirtans, celebrations of the Name of God. Tukaram s songs seem to have possessed some magical ability to exactly capture the devotional, egalitarian feeling of the community of bhaktas. In this brilliant pioneering study of Tukaram by the philosopher and mystic R. D. Ranade, written in the 1930s, Ranade describes what he refers to as the Hegelian dialectic of Tuka s life and poetry: his withdrawal from society, his dark night of the soul, and his emergence from humiliation, confusion and doubt into the state of mystical knowledge and inner joy. While Jnaneshwar always writes from the lofty mountain top of spiritual realization, Tukaram takes us with him on the journey itself, with all its subtle ordeals and breakthroughs. Tukaram is an important poet, one whose stature in Marathi literature is comparable to that of Shakespeare in English. Ranade s study is an indispensable introduction.
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5ake Abhangas able afraid asks Tuka Babaji become Bhakti bliss bodily body Brahmin caste child compassion dance date of Tukarama’s death Dehﬁ desires devo devotee divine dost dream ťake egoism ence eyes ﬁnd ﬂowers Gatha give God's God’s Name Guru hands happiness heart heaven hitherto holy Iﬁanadeva inﬂuence Kirtana live look Lord Magha Mahipati Maratha meditate merely merged merit mind mother mystical experience Namadeva Name of God nectar never ocean one’s Pandavas Pandharapﬁr Pandhari Paramartha praise rama Ramadasa realisation Saints sake Samadhi Samsara says Tuka Abg says Tukarama seen servants sing sins Sivaji sleep sorrow speak spiritual aspirant stands sweet teaching Thee things Thou art Thou hast Thy feet Thy name tion treasure tree Tuka says Tukarama says Tukarama tells unreal utters the name vainly Varkari Vedas verily Vidura vision Vitthala ward whole world wife words worldly worship