ACK-052 & 053: Tukaram; Shrenik and The Hidden Truth

An out of print ACK

#68 Tukaram


A great saint who lived only for his God vittala -an incarnation of Lord Krishna, who in turn, is considered to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu- in Hinduism. He faced varieties of difficulties with astonishing patience. He refused diamonds and opals offered by Shivaji Maharaj himself. He is also believed to be spiritual guru of Shivaji. His devotional songs are an invaluable contribution to Marathi spiritual literature.

Biography

Tukaram was born in 1608, in the small village of Dehu in the West Indian state of Maharashtra to Bolhoba and Kanakai a couple belonging to the lower Sudra* class. He had two other brothers. Despite their lower class status the family was well to do and enjoyed good social standing in the village. Tukaram's troubles started with the illness of his father, due to which he had to start supporting his family at the tender age of thirteen. Shortly thereafter, both his parents died. Tukaram's problems only mounted; death of his family members and economic hardship seemed to plague him.

Tukaram was married twice, his first wife Rakhumabai died due to starvation during a famine, his second wife Jijabai or Avali as she was called, was much younger than his first had been and had little patience with his devotion and for God and she nagged him continuously. He had three sons. Tukaram was initiated without any intermediaries as the other saints usually were. He dreamt that he was initiated by the Lord Hari himself dressed as a Brahman.

Tukaram continuously sang the praises of the Lord, he sang it in the form of abhangs which he wrote. These were in his mother tongue Marathi. The abhangs express his feelings and philosophical outlook. During his 41 years, Tukaram composed over 5,000 abhangs**. Many of them speak of events in his life, which make them somewhat autobiographical. Yet, they are focused on God, Pandurang, and not Tukaram. His abhangs became very popular with the masses of common people. It was this very popularity that caused the religious establishment (the high caste Brahmins) to hate and persecute Tukaram as, he was causing them to lose their power over the people.

There are many miracles attributed to Tukaram.

(~Biography from Oldpoetry.com)

*Tukaram’s family belonged to the Kshatriya (warrior) caste. His forefathers had embraced martyrdom while fighting the enemy on the battlefield. The family was also very cultured and religious. Worship of Lord Vithoba had been its hallmark for generations together and so was the annual pilgrimage to Pandharpur. The family also had the distinction of being mahajans (money-lenders). It owned farmland engaged in money-lending and trade. The family owned two wadas (houses) at Dehu: one for residence and the other, in the marketplace, for trade and business. It enjoyed the respect of the villagers and also of those living in the immediate environs. They were called kunbis (farming community), because they engaged in agriculture and vanis (trading community) because of trading. However, Tukaram abjured all these, because of which he came to called gosavi (someone like a fakir). Nevertheless, ‘Gosavi’ was never the surname of the family. It was ‘More’ and ‘Gosavi’ was an honorific.
The vaishya (trader) community had come to be included among the shudras (the lowest in the social scale) about the time of the Bhagawad-geeta and during Jnanadev’s time, the Kshatriyas were also being counted among the shudras. Only two castes (Varna) had remained: the Brahmins and the shudras. Thus Tukaram also came to be called a shudra.

**Abhang means 'indestructible'. A true Abhang is supposed to carry in its lyrics, the ageless truths of life and spirit that know no death. Not every devotional song in Marati is an Abhang either.

Many many thanks to “Anonymous friend” for providing ACK scan.
*************************************************************************
#322 (#730) Shrenik and The Hidden Truth

Inside cover story

The two Jain tales in this Amar Chitra Katha deal with Shrenik and Jinadatta whose stories teach the importance of bring astute and insightful without necessarily indulging in shrewdness or deceit.

Jain monks took a keen interest in the spiritual emancipation of the common people. To make their terse philosophy intelligible and interesting to any ordinary individual, they used the medium of stories. Thousands of such didactic stories in Sanskrit and Prakrit have come down to us.

‘Shrenik’ is retold from Harishena’s Bhrihat Katha Kosha (10th century) and ‘The Hidden Truth’ from Rajashekara’s Vinoda Katha Sangraha (14th century).

Many many thanks to “Apoorva Chandar” for providing ACK scan.

People who read this post also read :



10 comments:

Samik January 20, 2009 at 1:54 PM  

I thought I had read most ACK's, but these I have never read. Thank you for uploading these. Also can you tell me the difference between ur normal downloads and the HQ ones? My connectivity doesnt let me download the HQ ones, i was wondering what is the difference

Anonymous January 20, 2009 at 7:36 PM  

This is a great job you guys are doing here! I havent seen any of these ACK titles before. Waiting for many more titles.

Prabhat's Books and Comics January 21, 2009 at 4:18 AM  

Samik: Welcome! Normal links are 1024x768 pixels which is good for present time & comfortable size for downloading. HQ has more pixels, which will be helpful in future. You will not need to search these comics again.
When mostly of us switch to modern monitors from 800x600 resolution, now feel that many old comics should be rescanned. That is why, when possible posting HQ too.

Anonymous: Welcome! Our plans of future posting are in detail explained in comment section of earlier posts. Visit regularly.

adibud34 January 21, 2009 at 8:42 AM  

Loved "Shrenik"! Thanks a lot, Prabhat, Apoorva, and Anon. "Tukaram" I don't know, but thought the guy was very unfair to his wife (both wives actually). I know one person like that in real life - the fellow had a wife and two kids, and suddenly one day he became a "bhakta" of some "guru", and then one day went home and prostrated himself in front of his wife calling her, 'Mother.' And then of course, he dumped his family and lives in his "guru's" ashram! I always wonder, why such people have families when they don't have the guts to be responsible for them! But I suppose at least Tukaram didn't go join some "fake guru"!

Anonymous January 21, 2009 at 11:36 AM  

Fantastic! Simply awesome:)

Apoorva Chandar January 21, 2009 at 11:42 AM  

thanks for the Tukaram ACK.good one...

The Comic Project January 21, 2009 at 11:40 PM  

One of my favourite stories ..

ruchi January 22, 2009 at 4:27 AM  

thank you for the wonderful uploads.......keep upp the good work....you are doing a great job apoorva

ruchi January 22, 2009 at 4:36 AM  

prabhat juz read ur previous comments.... aaaaaaawwwww bless you...you are a star and a true gentleman...someone sure is lucky to have you....
god bless you....i will be there for you !

muuuuuuuuuuuuuaha

ps.. we have been having around -5 a few weeks back..yest it was -2 brrrrrrrrrrr

Prabhat's Books and Comics January 22, 2009 at 6:22 AM  

adibud34: Welcome! I agree with you that one should fulfill his responsibility.

But it is also a very interesting fact:
Many great persons like Buddha, Jesus Christ, Valmiki, Tulshi Das left their family members and we respect them. :)

Anonymous: Welcome! My appeal to all Anonymous friends, pls write your name or nick name.

Apoorva Chandar: Welcome! And thank you (form me & all visitors) for your selfless effort.

TCP: Welcome!

Ruchi: You are welcome!

Post a Comment

About this blog

Our goal is rediscovering historical facts & mythological details, and share with all.

All materials used here, for informational purpose only.


PBC

Our e-mail: historymythology@gmail.com