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Dear devotees,


Pamho. Agtsp! /images/graemlins/smile.gif


I'm trying to figure out whether Tukarama (the 16th century devotee from Maharasthra) was a personalist or impersonalist. I did a Vedabase search and Srila Prabhupada has spoken highly of him, although infrequently. SP even said that Tukarama was a disciple of Lord Caitanya. But some of Tukarama's abhangas have a tinge of impersonalism and since I can't read Marathi, I can't tell if they have been translated correctly or are translated by someone with a motive. Also, what about Namdev? Was he an impersonalist?


I have a great affection for Lord Vittala and it would practically kill me to find out that his most famous devotees are indeed impersonalists! /images/graemlins/frown.gif


Thanks in advance. Hare Krsna!


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Judging from these poems, I would say he is a personalist




I have become mad after Thee, 0 God.

I am vainly looking in the various directions for Thee.

I have left off all Samsara and the worldly manners.

My eyes pine after seeing Thy form, of which my ears have heard.

The very foundations of my life are shaken,

and I pant without Thee as a fish without water" (Abg. 2210).


"Are You engaged elsewhere to attend to a devotee's call ?

Or, are You fallen asleep?

You may have been caught in the meshes of the Gopis' devotion,

and may be looking at their faces!

Are You engaged in warding off some dangers of Your devotees?

Or, is the way far off, that You have to cross?

Do You see my faults that You do not come?

Tell me the reason, 0 God.

My life is really oozing out of my eyes," says Tuka (Abg. 1019).


"My mind is fixed on Thee, as a beggar's mind is fixed on rich food.

My heart is set on Thy feet, and my life-principle is dwindling.

As a cat sits looking at a ball of butter ready to pounce upon it,

so do I sit waiting for Thee, my Mother" (Abg. 3018).


"As verily, a young girl,

who is going to her father-in-law's house,

wistfully casts her glance at her home,

similarly do I look at Thee

and wish to know when I shall meet Thee.

As a child that misses its mother,

or as a fish that comes out of water,

similarly do I pant after Thee," says Tuka (Abg. 131).


"Shall I ever be fortunate to enjoy Thee without a moment's respite ?

When, 0 when, shall I enjoy that mental state?

Shall I ever be so fortunate as to reap the divine bliss?

Will ever God be pleased to give it to me?" (Abg. 2377).


"I ask everybody I meet, will God help me?

Will God have compassion on me, and save me from shame?

Verily, I have forgotten everybody,

and my only business is to think about God.

Shall I ever be fortunate to see

one who will be able to tell me when I may meet God?" (Abg. 689).


"Shall I ever be able to reach Thee like the Saints of old?

When I think how the Saints of old have known Thee,

I suffer from extreme restlessness. I am a bondsman of my senses.

They, on the other hand) were filled with happiness.

I cannot curb a single sense. How shall I be able to curb them all?

If Thou leavest me at this stage, I shall be as good as nought" (Abg. 319).

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I think I read about him but for conformation...


Is he the devotee of Pandu Rangalu Vittal?


If he is I think he is fond of Vishista advaita, where Pandu Ranga is everything yet different from him.


I don't think he is an impersonalist because at the end he goes to Vaikunta with out dying.


But then again he makes things appear like magic and says it is krishna not him.


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I've read those abhangas that do seem to imply that he was a personalist, but then I've also read abhangas like this:


"If you meditate on the name of Govinda,

then you will become Govinda yourself.

There will be no difference between you and God.

The mind will be filled with joy,

and the eyes will shed down tears of love".(Abg. 3366)


And that is what worries me! Is it a bad translation? Does he mean something other than "becoming Govinda yourself" and I'm just not getting it?


>Is he the devotee of Pandu Rangalu Vittal?




One thing that also bothers me is that there does not seem to be any lineage currently from him even though he had 2 disciples. Does anyone know about modern day followers of Tukarama or Namdev?


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in His introduction to Srimad Bhagavatam:


"The Lord extensively traveled all over the southern part of India. The great saint of Maharastra known as Saint Tukarama was also initiated by the Lord. Saint Tukarama, after initiation by the Lord, overflooded the whole of the Maharastra Province with the sankirtana movement, and the transcendental flow is still rolling on in the southwestern part of the great Indian peninsula."


It does not seem that Prabhupada would include Tukarama and speak so highly of him if he were a mayavadi.


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re: LE's posts


>It does not seem that Prabhupada would include Tukarama >and speak so highly of him if he were a mayavadi.


Yes that is what I'm hoping also. But Srila Prabhupada did not appear to say anything about Namdev and yet Namdev and Tukarama are supposedly connected. Supposedly God came to Tukarama with Namdev and said that Namdev promised to write Him a billion abhangas, but was 55 million short and asked Tukarama to write the remaining 55 million. However, many of the abhangas attributed to Namdev's followers (Janabai, etc) seem to be impersonalist. (Supposedly Namdev composed many abhangas, but he left it to his followers like Janabai to write them down.)


>Not sure if any of this helps you.


That Srila Prabhupada spoke highly of him definitely helps, but that his disciples or grandisciples were inspired by Tukarama does not necessarily help. There are many who find inspiration in Mirabai and yet many Gaudiyas say that she is not bonafide (meaning she should have found a guru, meaning why didn't Caitanya and his followers ever speak about her, etc.) Also, in the absence of HDG, so many of his disciples think so many odd things, who can tell whether what they think is true or not! Anyway, that's an entirely different thread. /images/graemlins/wink.gif


Did any of our Gaudiya acaryas (pre-Srila Prabhupada) ever write about Tukarama? I guess I will have to track down some sort of Marathi-speaking sadhu who believes in personalism. /images/graemlins/smile.gif






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who is Lord Vittala? and what does the word Vittala mean.


in a bhagan i heard the words

Vittala Vittala Vittala

Hari om Vittala


but i was not sure the meaning

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I strongly feel that Tukarama must be personalist. He always considered himself to be very lowly compared to Vithu (or Vitthala or Vishnu). Almost the whole of the rural Maharashtrians are the followers of Tukaram and Namdev. Tukaram was initiated in his dream by a brahmin namely, Babaji Chaitanya, but I am not sure whether, one can say that Babaji Chaitanya is the same as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Till today, Maharashtrians believe that, he ascended to Vishnuloka in an aerial chariot. In fact, he had foretold his wife (Aavli or Jijabai) about his plan of departing to Vishuloka and had asked her to join him. She had refused to join him thinking that Vishuloka or Vaikuntha was some nearby village where he could be going for his routine Kirtana. Tukaram is very highly respected saint in Maharashtra. It is also true that he had met Samartha Ramdas SWami, the spiritual master of Shivaji.

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Tukaram was initiator of sankirtana movement in this age.


He was initiated by Lord Chaitanya. Thats says it all basicly who he is.


I followed a link above this to read more about his lifetime, I can' prove athenticity of the stories but some of them little bit "off" from what what we know about pure devotees. But in anycase i'm not a judge to that, I just acustomed to receive confirmation from 3 different sourses to be sure.



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Here is my understanding of the name Vittala:


Vithu in Marathi and Kannada mean Vishnu. The suffixes "ba" or "la" indicate tenderness and reverence. (So Vithoba = Vittala, although Vithoba also supposedly means "he who stands on a brick" which the Vittala deity is shown doing.) Rukmini is called Rakhumai in Marathi.


But I'm just a Western person with only an amateur background in Marathi, so please forgive me for any mistakes.


PS. After stonehearted and LE's pleas to get a login, this "cool guest" will now be known as tukadasi. /images/graemlins/wink.gif


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I want to taste sugar; I don't want to be sugar.

- Can water quaff itself?

- Can trees taste of the fruit they bear?


He who worships God must stand distinct from Him

- so only shall he know the joyful love of God;

- who says that he and God are one,

- that joy, that love shall vanish instantly away.


Pray no more for utter oneness with God.

- Where were the beauty ,

- if the jewel and the setting were one?

- The heat and the shade are two,

- If not, where were the comfort of the shade?

- Mother and child are two,

- If not, where were love?

- When after long been sundered, they meet

- What joy do they feel, the mother and the child!

- Where were the joy, if the two were one?

Pray then, no more for the utter oneness with God"


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I do not want to provoke a discussion for the sake of discussion, but I would like to ask you why the tree and the fruit are not one?


If we take this scenario to a step further, the tree comes forth from a seed and the fruit comes forth from a tree.


If that is true, can't we say that the potential of a tree and the fruit and the tree that comes from the fruit's seed exists in the first initial seed?


So, can't we say that they are one reality?


The impersonalist theory simply says that the tree, the seed and the fruit are one due to this reason. Just like the material world, the living entity and the supreme entity are one.


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The Original words are


Govinda, Govinda

Mana Lagla Ase Chhanda

Mag Govinda te Kaya, Bhed Nahi DEVA taya.


A rough translation..


Govinda , Govinda

When mind is possessed by these words(lagla - attached with,

Chhanda - Hobby)

and when all your body sings Govinda Govinda,

God (Govinda) assumes your body as his body

So if u get pain, e gets pain, when somebidy beats and you get marks, bruses on your body, the same is replicated on His body.

Remember the words- God assumes it.

And there are many examples where God has shown this special mercy.


He was in no way connected to Lord Chaitanya, because he was born 110 years after Lord Chaitanya's departure.

And he did not travelled outside Maharashtra State.


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Vittala means Sri hari standing on a brick


Brick in Marathi - Vit

and the one who is standing on it.


This is the story about Pundalika (Lord Balrama's Incarnation)when Sri Hari came to meet him, he advised him to stand on a brick for a moment, till he finished his Nitya Karma (Service to his Parents).

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