Tuesday, February 23, 2010


The big influence on your blogger came from Sant Tukaram from Dehu of Maharshtra. Many phrases and idioms were used assuming that they came from old wisdom of the language. It was much later revealed that they came from ABHANGA's composed by Tukaram. OVI and ABHANGA are two poetic forms predominantly coming from Marathi. They can be some what compared with two liners and four liners used in Hindi by stalwarts like Sant Tulsidas, Kabirdas etc. " Pran jai per vachan na jai ( PROMISE TO BE KEPT AT COST OF LIFE )" has become proverb by repeated use but its origin is to be found in RAM CHARIT MANAS. Similarly " GATH PADLI THAKA THAKA" ( TIT FOR TAT )has become proverb in Marathi but its origin is to found in an Abhanga by Sant Tukaram. A famous composition credits SHLOKA to pandit Waman, ABHANGA to Sant Tukaram, ARYA to Pandit Moropant and OVI to Sant Jnaneshwar. Note the difference between Pandits who use more defined meters (VRUTTA)and Sants who use rather flexible meters (CHHANDA). The influence of Sant composition is of course much large based because of this fact. Sant compositions are simple in language citing examples of the day to day life, enlightening people in their devotion and duties alike. In enlightenment they had attained realised state for themselves beyond any doubt. They effortlessly compose something very elaborately explained in SANSKRIT by stalwarts like Shankracharya. Knowledge with compassion made Saints stand apart from only Scholars. In Maharashtra Sant Tukaram always come paired with Sant Jnaneshwar. No Warkai (pilgrim of Pandharpur) undertake the trek without chanting " Jnanoba Mauli Tukaram ". Jnaneshwar came from 12th century and Tukaram from 16th century. The tradition of pilgrimage to Pandhrpur is from much earlier period. No one is sure about its begining. The time of Sant Eknath came between Sant Jnanewhwar and Sant Tukaram. He is credited to come out with purified version of Jnaneshwari. Yet the honour of following name of Guru of the Guru Jnaneshwar goes to Sant Tukaram. No honour in the world could be greater than this. The Crembridge and Oxford universities may boast of the centuries of degree education but Marathi saints have matched them in imparting life education through their compositions. Sant Tukaram had been a fascinating subject alike to scholars and simpletons from past and present. If England had societies devoted to Wordsworth, Marathi had societies devoted to Tukaram. Today the maximum web search is for Sant Tukaram amongst all Marathi Literary figures.

This is a subject that cannot be fitted in a day's entry of Blog. So this topic is also to be continued.

Arvind M Khare ( Arman )

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