16th July 2019
Inspiring devotion of Tukaram Maharaja
So, the part of the preparation, this morning chanting, we prepared the previous day, so that we could chant better, chant attentively during the morning hours. So, I would say, for me, I have prepared. I did the preparation, of my this morning chanting yesterday as we visited Dehu Gaon, the birth place of Tukaram. Yesterday, as we visited Dehu Gaon, the Dehu village, of course, we had several hundreds of devotees with us. We were remembering and sharing the memories of Tukaram, so that is inspiring, that has become an inspiration for this morning's chanting. As I was chanting today, this morning, I was remembering our visit to Dehu Gaon, the life of Tukaram Maharaja. Hari Hari!
So, this is certainly Lord's arrangement. Lord sends His pure devotees into this world and the way they live their lives and their dealings and thoughts and acts and all their dealings, whatever they do, becomes an inspiration, a glaring example for the whole world to follow.
Does Vaikuntha exists?
So many ask this question; we all have that question. So, yesterday we were there, we visited the Vaikuntha Viman landing spot and then we remembered the whole episode how Tukaram boarded that plane. While leaving his last words were, he had compiled four thousands abhangas. The last abhanga he recited that he compiled and spoke, sang, as he sat on the plane.
ami jati amchya gava amcha rama rama ghyava
This was his last abhang wherein he sings, "I am going back to home, please, accept my Ram Ram Ram Ram, I am going." He went, the aircraft, Vaikuntha Viman departed and he never returned. Now, these villagers, of course, they were thinking that Tukaram will make a few rounds up there and will come back.
ami jati amchya gava amcha rama rama ghyava
His gaon is right here. But they were disappointed. They were waiting and waiting for hours, for days, but Tukaram never returned as the aircraft never returned, went back to home, back to Vaikuntha or back to Goloka. So, he is giving some proofs like this. You want a proof of Vaikuntha or Vaikuntha exists and people go back to home? Look, there is life of Tukaram or departure of Tukaram, he left for Vaikuntha. Hence, there is no samadhi of Tukaram also. In Alandi there is a Samadhi but there is no samadhi of Tukaram or anywhere on this planet, there is no samadhi of Tukaram. This is another amazing thing, with his own body, he departed. So, it is an amazing evidence of the existence of Vaikuntha of devotees leading the life of devotion, they do go back to home, back to Vaikuntha or Goloka.
kirtaniya sada hari
Tukaram Maharaj always chanted the holy names of Panduranga, Panduranga, jai jai Ram Krishna Hari. So, it was difficult for him to stop singing and chanting. For us, it's difficult to chant, utter these names, But Tukaram, once he started chanting and singing, he would just go on and on and on and he was unstoppable. So, he was always doing as is expected by Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He gave goal to His devotees, kirtanya sada harih! And Tukaram Maharaja, yet, another example of someone who did kirtaniya sada hari all the times.
Then one morning, a person, he was not a gentleman, he was an anti-party, he was an offender, he had come to Tukaram's home. He inquired, "Tukaba, are you here?" So, the family members told, "No, he would be just now coming. Please hold on, just wait here." So, after some time, Tukaram returned. During the morning hours, he had gone to the fields to take care of his body, pass stool. Coming back, and this person who was vaisnava aparadhi, Tukaram aparadhi, he saw Tukaram returning. Seeing he had lota in his hand, in Tukaram's hand, he asked, "Did you take bath?" "No, not yet." "And you are chanting, doing harinama, kirtana, without taking bath? Such a fool you are! Offender! You do not know the basic rules how to keep clean, ‘suchi’, and then begins the process of worship or chanting or dharmic activities he performed."
So, Tukaram said, "I am sorry, I, it’s very difficult to follow, for me to follow this rule and only after I have taken my snana, my bath and then I begin my singing or remembering or worshiping. "And Tukaram Maharaja said, "You know, I am not able to stop chanting. It's beyond me. Something within me is forcing me, dictating me, prompting me to chant and I just cannot stop. If you wish, you could try stopping my chanting." Then there is this person, the aparadi, the karmakandi, paakhandi, he stepped forward and he held the neck of Tukaram tight so that he does not chant but the chanting did not stop. Now, not only his mouth was chanting, Tukaram's whole body was chanting. From the pores of his body there was the trance of the holy name of the Lord. His body was trembling and vibrating and singing was on and neither Tukaram was not able to stop chanting on his own and neither any external forces or parties were able to stop that chanting because, in fact, personalities like Tukaram, of course, nobody's body chants, its soul chants.
So, Tukaram's soul is chanting and he is chanting and chanting and never stopping. So, this way we also heard and remembered how Tukaram Maharaja was always doing his kirtaniya sada hari activity or process. Now, we also remembered, one thing, there are karmakandis and pakhandis and hypocrites and offenders; offenders of the vaishnavas, aparadis and nama aparadis. And Tukaram was becoming popular and well known, he was loved by all and they were not very happy with the name, fame, glory of Tukaram Maharaja.
Similar to what they did to Sri Namacarya Srila Hari Das Thakura, a prostitute was sent to Tukaram, like was sent to Hari Das Thakura. And the prostitute tried her best and she could not succeed as Tukaram was busy absorbed in bhajan with his veena in one hand, chipdya- some kind of kartal, and he is absorbed and singing, ‘Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari, Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari.’
So, what could the poor prostitute do? Tukaram was fully absorbed and fully satisfied within chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no vacancy with something external or outside. Tukaram was calm and just happily chanting. So, prostitute did all that she could do, was dancing and trying to get the attention of Tukaram but she failed. She surrendered unto Tukaram Maharaj, begged for forgiveness for such an offensive attempt to cause his fall down but there was no way maya could, prostitute could cause his fall down. He is like achyuta, he is with achyuta, he is stuck with achyuta, infallible. So, it was not possible, so, very similar to what happened to Namacarya Srila Hari Das Thakur and a prostitute that happened not far from here, Dehu Gaon with Tukaram Maharaj, very same thing. We should be contemplating upon, take inspiration to keep chanting Hare Krishna and we you are not alone and then you could become victorious.
yatra yogesvarah krsno
yatra partho dhanur-dharah
tatra srir vijayo bhutir
dhruva nitir matir mama(BG 18.18)
There is victory and no defeat. So, Tukaram Maharaj became victorious and prostitute also became victorious in a sense, she surrendered unto Tukaram Maharaj and she had a glorious life then onwards. Tukaram Maharaj was free from kamini, kama vaasna and also free from kanchan, the gold or the wealth.
One time, Shivaji Maharaj wanted to send or he did send a special gift, some clothes and ornaments. He had sent his rajadhuta or messenger,Tukaram Maharaj was out of station, was not in. So, his wife, Tukaram's wife accepted all the gifts. She started wearing ornaments and putting clothes on and giving, "okay my dear, you take this" to son and daughter, and wearing makeup and they were really happy, seeing they've never experienced any expensive clothing and ornaments. But Tukaram arrived and he said "No, no, no what are you doing?" and took all those, took away all those ornaments and clothes from children and from wife and returned, "You take them, we don't need this kind of gift and have no interest in this.
Wealth of others is like dirt or pebbles or rock, no interest, no attempt to enjoy or exploit wealth like this. So, this is Tukaram.
na dhanam na janam na sundarim kavitam va jagad isa kamaye ( Siksastakam verse 4)
We are praying. Tukaram's prayers were already heard and he had no interest in dhanam the wealth and janam the following and sundarim beautiful women, the opposite sex, he had no interest whatsoever. He has only interest in Krishna's name and that is wealth, right? That is the wealth.
Golokera prema dhana, dhan, said dhan, prem dhana, so Tukaram had dhana, so he was the wealthiest person in Dehu, in the world in fact. So, he was not, no interest in wealth or this, that. Jai Tukaram Maharaj ki, jai!
So, Shivaji Maharaj did want to give some wealth or some gifts, some gold. So, he thought he is not accepting this, maybe he is thinking others would watch him and he does not want others to see while he is receiving these valuable gifts and ornaments, so let us do this hiding when there is no one around on the wealth available, or made available, then certainly he will grab it. So, thinking so, now that is a little different strategy of Shivaji Maharaj and his gifts deliverers or messengers. So, what they did was one early morning, they went to Indrayani Ghat. They knew that Tukaram Maharaj comes there during the dawn time and there is less light and to take bath. So, they placed gold and ornaments and wealth like that, displayed it and they thought for sure he will be by himself, no one will be able to see him taking it or accepting. So he would go for it but that did not happen. When Tukaram went he saw all ornaments there. They are dazzling, shining golden ornaments. So, Tukaram Maharaj left that place and went to an another ghat to take snana that morning. Another said, "oh, you are taking bath here today? Why not your ghat, every morning you have been in such and such ghat but today you are bathing here?" He said, "I think someone has passed stool there.”
The stool also has complexion like gold. So, he wanted to stay away from the stool, golden stool and so he was fully detached and no hankering, no liking, no wanting wealth like this because he was fully satisfied chanting:
Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa
Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma
Rāma Rāma Hare Hare
And it is possible to be fully satisfied by chanting. How do we know? We know from life of Tukaram. He was happy, fully satisfied. What was the cause of his satisfaction? Joy and the holy name, in another word, Lord's name, Lord's pastimes, Lord's darsana, Lord's service until the Lord.
harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha
harer namaiva kevalam This we can understand from. Kindly, Lord has sent such saints, Sant Tukaram in this world. Residence of Pune, Punnya Nagri are very fortunate. Tukaram birth place is just around the corner from here. So, we should make Tukaram a hero and follow the example of Sant Tukaram Maharaj ki, jai! Yesterday also we said that Tukaram Maharaj was a, householder, not a sannyasi like ourselves, like me or Radhanath Maharaj or Gopal Krishna Maharaj. He was a grihastha. Devotees have made a congregation so for them they could see how another grihastha, the special one from their town, from Pune, Dehu, not two towns, they are the same town, so, study his life and teachings, follow his footsteps and make your life perfect, especially by chanting the holy name of the Lord the way Tukaram chanted or relished chanting.
Okay, time has come to stop.
Hari nama sankirtan ki, jai!
Sant Tukaram Maharaj ki, jai!
Srila Prabhupada ki, jai!
Gaura bhakta vrnda ki, jai!