Maharashtra is the land of many Bhakti poet-saints. Sant Tukaram of Dehu is likely one of the tallest saints amongst them. He’s finest recognized for his Abhangs that are fondly sung in concert events in addition to Kirtans.
Since most of their works are primarily obtainable solely in Marathi, I’ve not learn them but. I do hearken to Abahngas on and off, purely for his or her devotional emotion. My seek for the translated works of Tukaram ji took me to his village in Dehu.
All I knew about Sant Tukaram was his picture carrying an Ektara in his fingers, identical to Meera Bai who should have been his up to date. My quest was to know him and his works.
Devotional Historical past of Dehu
Sant Tukaram lived within the first a part of the seventeenth CE. Dehu was already referred to as Sri Kshetra or a sacred place pricey to Pandurang Vithal. We all know that Pandharpur is the abode of Vishnu within the Swaroop of Vithal the place is worshipped along with his consort Rakhma. Then, how come Dehu got here to be referred to as sacred?
Dehu is situated on the banks of the Indrayani River and is related to the story of the arrival of Indra. It’s a tributary of the Bhima River on whose banks we discover the Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga.
Sant Tukaram is the eighth-generation descendant of Vishambhar Buva who lived in Dehu. He was an ardent devotee of Pandurang and used to go to Pandharpur each Ekadashi or the eleventh day of every fortnight. Ekadashi as we all know is the day on which all Vishnu devotees quick or no less than observe austerities.
As he grew previous, it grew to become tough for him to go to Pandharpur. He turned to Pandurang or Vithoba and sought his steerage. Vithoba appeared in his dream and requested him to search for a spot the place he would discover Tulsi leaves, flowers, and Bukka, and dig there. Vishambhar Buva went on the lookout for the three issues within the morning.
In the course of a Mango Orchard, he discovered three issues. When he dug up the place, he discovered the Murtis of Vithal and Rakma. Certainly, the Devta has determined to come back to the devotee because the latter was incapable of touring anymore.
The Murtis have been formally put in and a temple was constructed round them, proper on the banks of the Indrayani river. The Murtis are thought-about Swayambhu or self-manifested.
Tukaram was born in a affluent home and realized buying and selling and agriculture from his father. He misplaced his mother and father early and took on the accountability of the household enterprise. He was superb at it. Nevertheless, a sequence of sudden deaths within the household made him indifferent.
He sat and meditated on Bhangiri Hill for 15 days with out consuming something. When he got here down, he had the glow of a saint. He began composing and singing Abhangs or devotional songs. He was deeply influenced by the works of Sant Dhyaneshwar, Namdev, Eknath, and Kabir.
As soon as after a tiff, he threw all of the books of his Abhang within the Indrayani River, and sat on a stone by the river, for meditating. He sat with out meals and water for 13 days. His books floated atop the river with none injury. The identical stone is now enshrined in a temple.
It’s mentioned that Sant Tukaram, left this world, alongside along with his physique whereas singing kirtan. That’s the reason there isn’t a Samadhi of his wherever.
Dehu thus is the place the place Sant Tukaram was born and lived all his life.
Dehu is located near Pune, nearly 30 km. So, I took a cab and drove right down to this small city on the banks of the Indrayani River.
Guided by Google, I first reached the comparatively new Gatha Mandir. Strolling by means of the stalls promoting sugarcane juice, I entered the premises in all white. On my proper was an enormous temple.
I puzzled if Tukaram ji would have ever lived in such an opulent place. It jogged my memory of Kabir Chauraha in Varanasi, which was approach opulent for the simplicity we see in Kabir’s phrases.
Climbing the steps, flanked by two large elephant figures, I entered the massive octagonal corridor. Within the center, there’s a big Murti of Sant Tukaram made in Panchdhatu or an alloy of 5 metals. In a sitting posture, he’s seen engrossed in devotion, with Ektara in a single hand and Pothi or the manuscript in entrance of him.
Surrounding him are the chambers with marble partitions, with 4145 of his Abhangas written on them. 108 Namavali or names of Sant Tukaram additionally adorn the partitions. In between, there are work that depict a number of the scenes from his works. The works are unfold throughout two flooring.
On the primary ground, there’s a temple devoted to the Ishta of Sant Tukaram – Pandurang Vithal and Rakma Bai. You possibly can stroll round and really feel the enormity of the work he has left behind.
I used to be reminded of Tulsi Das’s Temple in Varanasi and Valmiki Temple in Ayodhya, which has the entire of Ramcharitmanas and Ramayana written on their partitions.
There are large panels depicting the completely different avatars of Vishnu.
A board fantastically describes Gatha Mandir:
Dana Tirtha of the rich
Cultural heart for the general public
Sacred place for the devotees
Wealth of the Varkaris
Delight of Maharashtra
Essence of India
Guiding Gentle for everybody
Gurukul, Annapurna Bhavan and Gaushala
Near the Gatha Mandir, and inside its campus is a Sant Tukobaraya Gurukul for college kids. I didn’t go inside, however from the skin, it appeared fairly trendy and well-maintained.
Little forward, there’s Matoshri Bahinabai Annapurna Bhavan which serves meals to the visiting devotees. You possibly can donate however there isn’t a ticket to eat. On the primary ground of this corridor is one other corridor the place devotional gatherings happen. A continuous Sankirtan of Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari is broadcasted for the remainder of the campus. I all the time like reside Kirtans. Watch this one from Ayodhya.
Little forward is a Shridhara Goshala or the cowshed, overlooking the river.
You miss the greenery and timber round the primary Gatha Mandir, however I imagine that it’s nonetheless a piece in progress and timber would come up in time. For extra particulars have a look at their web site.
Vithal Mandir on Banks of Indrayani
Proper subsequent to the Gatha Mandir in Dehu, on the banks of Indrayani River is a small however previous temple devoted to Vithal and Rukmini. It is advisable take the steps down the ghat to achieve this temple. Stone pavilions exist across the temple for the pilgrims to take a seat and chill out.
The small temple has the Murtis of Vithal- Rakma, the previous stone Murtis of Ganesh and Hanuman, and many timber round. There weren’t many individuals right here. I discovered it an especially peaceable place, excellent to take a seat and meditate or simply replicate. The calming water of Indrayani and the light gaze of Vithoba make you’re feeling part of the surroundings.
A small store right here sells the small memento Murtis of Vithal-Rakma, Sant Tukaram, and Sant Dhyaneshwar Maharaj.
Jagatguru Sant Sri Tukaram Maharaj Samsthan
That is the primary temple that was constructed by Vishambhar Bhuva, the ancestor of Sant Tukaram. It’s a typical Maharashtrian-style temple in stone. An arch on the primary highway tells you the path of the temple. A Mahadwar with a Murti of Sant Tukaram on prime welcomes you into the temple premises.
The very first thing I noticed contained in the temple is a small Hanuman temple. Then there’s a Ram Mandir. Within the center is a temple, with the Vithoba-Rakma Murti that was obtained at this spot. The temple is gorgeous with numerous carvings. One can assume that it’s 200 years older than the occasions of Sant Tukaram, making it a fifteenth CE temple.
Stone steps from the temple result in the river, although the entry from right here is just not open as of now. Within the hall surrounding the temple, you possibly can see panels depicting the lifetime of Sant Tukaram.
Tukaram Maharaj Shila Mandir
This is a vital temple on the facet of the Vithoba temple. It enshrines the Shila or stone slab on which Tukaram Ji meditated for 13 days. No surprise, it’s a sacred spot for his devotees.
Within the nook, a small temple homes the handwritten manuscript of Tukaram ji’s works.
There’s a lamp publish or Deepshikha in typical Maharashtrian model and a Tulsi Vrindavan on the temple premises. Beneath a tree, there’s a Garuda temple.
Within the mandapa, you see the silver Palki. I assume it’s the one for Wari Pilgrimage. An ektara is hanging on the wall, however I couldn’t work out if it certainly belongs to Tukaram ji.
Journey Ideas for Visiting Dehu
Dehu may be very near Pune. You possibly can simply do it as a day journey from Pune.
There are fundamental juice and fruit stalls round temples. I’m not positive of excellent joints. I didn’t see any.
Entry to all of the locations is free. You supply what you want to supply.
Temples are open all through the day.
Temples entice big crowds on Ekadashi and on the day Wari Palki leaves for Pandharpur. So, plan accordingly.