The Spiritual Journey According to Sant TukaRama of Maharashtra – Mystic Verses

Words Are the Only Clothes I Wear

“Words are the only jewels I possess.
Words are the only clothes I wear.
Words are the only food that sustains my life.
Words are the only wealth I distribute among people.
Says Tuka, witness the Word – He is God.
I worship Him With my words.”

– Sant TukaRama

Tukaram Freed From Karma

“God is now my sanchit, prarabdh and kriyaman karmas;
They are of no consequence to me anymore;
I am freed from the effects of age and death.
In unity as in diversity, the Divine is all pervading.
The omnipresent Lord, O Tuka, is ever at play within me.”

– Sant TukaRama

Contemplating God In Meditation

“We must forget bodily consciousness like a deer which is infatuated by music.
We must look up to God, as the young ones of a tortoise look up to their mother.
As a fountain rises upwards, even so must one’s spirit rise to God.
One should entertain no idea whatsoever, except that of God.”

– Sant TukaRama

Chanting God’s Name as a Bhakti Practice

Simran: The art of remembering God by repeating his name verbally, or repeating it within as in Manas Jappa: a mental or internal repetition done “with the tongue of thought”.

“A single word said with an attentive mind is better than a thousand when the mind is far away.” (Evagrius)

The sole way to the realisation of God, according to Tukarama, is the constant repetition of God’s name:

“Sit silent,” says Tukarama, “compose thy mind and make it pure, and then happiness will know no bounds. God will certainly come and dwell in his heart. This will be the result of thy long effort. Meditate time after time on God’s name …… says Tuka, "that this will surely come to pass, if thou hast one-pointed devotion” (Abg.1132). “The uttering of the name of God is indeed an easy way for reaching Him. One need not go to a distant forest. God will Himself come to the house of a devotee. One should sit at a place, concentrate his mind, invoke God with love, and utter His name time after time. I swear by God’s name,” says Tuka, “that there is no other way for reaching God: indeed, this is the easiest of all ways” (Abg. 1698). “If we only utter the name of God, God will stand before us. In that way should we meditate on Him.” (Abg. 2021). There are always difficulties which intervene before God is reached. These are dispelled by the power of devotion. “The Name will lead to God if no obstacle intervenes. A fruit becomes ripe on a tree only if it is not plucked” (Abg. 695). “The ship of God’s name,” says Tuka, “will ultimately carry one across the ocean of life. It will save both the young and the old” (Abg. 2457). “The whole body feels cool when one meditates on the Name. The senses forget their movements… . By the sweet nectar-like love of God, one is full of energy and all kinds of sorrow depart immediately” (Abg. 1543).

– TukaRam, edited by R.D. Ranade, SUNY Press, NY

Repeat the Name of God

“He who utters the Name of God while walking,
gets the merit of a sacrifice at every step.
Blessed is his body. It is itself a place of
pilgrimage. He who says ‘God’ while doing his
work, is always merged in samadhi.
He who utters the Name of God
while eating, gets the merit of a fast
even though he may have taken his meals.
He who utters the Name of God without
intermission receives liberation while living
[jiva mukti, liberation of the soul].

"Can one be entangled in the mire of
When the Name of the Lord is constantly
on his lips?
One who ceaselessly meditates on Him,
While walking, talking, eating or sleeping,
While engaged in worldly duties,
The Lord is with him at all times.

"Repeat constantly the Name of the Lord,
And know that devotion is indispensable
for deliverance.
Thus the devotee becomes the Lord
And thus has the Lord become Tuka.”

(gatha 4161)

Third Eye – Inner Visions of Light

“The soul has been cast in the human body,
It reveals itself as the light of the eye.

To realize the Lord,
Saints and Masters denote landmarks;
Whoever turns attention inward,
Captures these inner signs.

He perceives the vast Parbrahm,
Intensely hard to cross.

I shut off outer communication,
And still myself at the eye center;
I gaze at the inner sky, O Tuka, and lo!
The Supreme Spirit comes to dwell within.”

Inner Sound and Light

“Tuka is absorbed in the surging wave
of Sound Divine;
Its resplendence spreads through his
innermost being.
The Lord has made His home in me,
The lamp of eternal Light has been
The all-pervading Sound, O Tuka, is
the Lord Himself.”
(chhandbadh gatha)

“In contemplation of the Lord,
My body and mind are transformed;
What can I now say, what can
I convey?
For the 'I’ that was, has become
the Lord Himself.
My soul and the Lord are united;
The creation has become the Lord
Tuka has nothing more to add; in
Divine bliss,
His soul has embraced the Lord.”

(gatha 4077)

– Sant TukaRama

God As Mother — The Feminine Divine in the World Scriptures and Spiritual Classics

As one whom his mother comforts,
so will I comfort you;
You shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
(Hebrew Bible, Isaiah 66.13)

Wisdom (Sophia) cries out in the street;
in the squares she raises her voice…
(Book of Proverbs, 1:20, Hebrew Bible)

Just now my mother, the Holy Spirit, took me by one of my hairs and brought me to Tabor, the great mountain.
(Jesus in, The Gospel of the Hebrews. Note: “ruach” is a Hebrew word for spirit and is feminine)

I rested on the Spirit of the Lord, and She lifted me up to heaven. (Odes of Solomon, 36: 1, James Charlesworth translation, Jewish Christian psalms)

A cup of milk was offered to me, and I drank it in the sweetness of
the Lord’s kindness.
The Son is the cup, and the Father is He who was milked; and the Holy
Spirit is She who milked Him;
Because His breasts were full, and it was undesirable that His milk
should be ineffectually released.
The Holy Spirit opened Her bosom, and mixed the milk of the two
breasts of the Father.
Then She gave the mixture to the generation without their knowing,
and those who have received it are in the perfection of the right
The womb of the Virgin took it, and she received conception and gave
So the Virgin became a mother with great mercies.
And she labored and bore the Son but without pain, because it did not
occur without purpose.
And she did not require a midwife, because He caused her to give life.
(Odes of Solomon, 19: 1–9, James Charlesworth translation, Jewish Christian psalms)

Three powers came forth from him; they are the Father, the Mother, (and) the Son, from the living silence, what came forth from the incorruptible Father. These came forth from the silence of the unknown Father.
(Gospel of the Egyptians, Gnostic Gospel, Nag Hammadi Library)

Behold, I have revealed to you the name of the Perfect One, the whole will of the Mother of the Holy Angels, that the masculine multitude may be completed here, that there might appear in the aeons, the infinities and those that came to be in the untraceable wealth of the Great Invisible Spirit….
(The Book of the Sophia of Jesus Christ, Gnostic Gospel, Nag Hammadi Library)

For I am the first and the last.
I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin.
I am the mother and the daughter.
I am the members of my mother.
I am the barren one
and many are her sons.
I am she whose wedding is great,
and I have not taken a husband.
I am the midwife and she who does not bear.
I am the solace of my labor pains.
I am the bride and the bridegroom,
and it is my husband who begot me.
I am the mother of my father
and the sister of my husband
and he is my offspring.
I am the slave of him who prepared me.
I am the ruler of my offspring.
But he is the one who begot me before the time on a birthday.
And he is my offspring in (due) time,
and my power is from him.
I am the staff of his power in his youth,
and he is the rod of my old age.
And whatever he wills happens to me.
I am the silence that is incomprehensible
and the idea whose remembrance is frequent.
I am the voice whose sound is manifold
and the word whose appearance is multiple.
I am the utterance of my name……..
I am the hearing that is attainable to everything;
I am the speech that cannot be grasped.
I am the name of the sound
and the sound of the name.
(Thunder, Perfect Mind, Gnostic Gospel, Nag Hammadi Library)

The Radhasoami Faith recognizes three Grand Personages and a sincere and affectionate disciple the fourth, namely,

1. The Supreme Father,

2. The Supreme Mother or Original Spirit or Word Current emanating from the Supreme Father,

3. The Supreme Son or Sant Sat Guru, the representative of the Supreme Father in human form.

4. The disciple or the son or human spirit.
(“Radhasoami Mat Prakash” by Huzur Maharaj Rai Salig Ram, Sant Mat and Radhasoami, India)

I am Father and Mother of the world.
Bhagavad Gita 9.17, Hindu)

I’m Thy child O Thou, my Father and Mother!
(Adi Granth, Sikh and Sant Mat)

Thou art Father, Mother, Friend, Brother.
With Thee as succorer in all places, what fear have I?
(Adi Granth, Sikh and Sant Mat)

That breast of Thine which is inexhaustible, health-giving, by which Thou nursest all that is noble, containing treasure, bearing wealth, bestowed freely; lay that bare, Sarasvati [divine Mother], for our nurture.
(Rig Veda 1.164.49, Hinduism)

Love, the divine Principle, is the Father and Mother of the universe, including man.
(Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Science)

Mother Earth have pity on us and give us food to eat! Father, the Sun, bless all our children and may our paths be straight!
(Native American Religions. Blackfoot Prayer)

O Mother of Imupa, advocate for the whole [feminine] world!
What a remarkable Mother I have!
O Mother, a pillar, a refuge!
O Mother, to whom all prostrate in greeting
Before one enters her habitation!
I am justly proud of my Mother.
O Mother who arrives,
Who arrives majestic and offers water to all!
(African Traditional Religions. Yoruba Prayer, Nigeria)

The Valley Spirit never dies.
It is named the Mysterious Female.
And the Doorway of the Mysterious Female
Is the base from which sprang Heaven and Earth.
It is there within us all the while;
Draw upon it as you will, it never runs dry.
(Tao Te Ching 6, Taoism)

Divine Mother, with the language of my soul I demand realization of Thy presence. Thou art the essence of everything. Make me see Thee in every fiber of my being, in every wisp of thought. Awaken my heart!

Divine Mother, open wide the bud of my devotion and release its fragrance, that it may spread from my soul to the souls of all others, ever whispering of Thee.

Divine Mother, I have heard Thy voice whispering in the fragrance of the rose. I touched Thy tenderness in the softness of the lily. In the whispers of my devotion, it was Thy love that answered.

In the temple of my earthly mother’s love I will worship the incarnated love of the Divine Mother.

Cosmic Mother, take this darkness away! When I sit with eyes closed, enveloped in self-created shadows, cause Thou to blaze upon me in splendor the aurora of intuition.

In the hall of creation, 0 Divine Mother, everywhere I hear the rhythm of Thy foot-steps, dancing wildly in the booming thunder and softly in the song of atoms.

I laugh at all fears, for my Father-Mother, beloved God, is attentively awake and present everywhere with the deliberate purpose of protecting me from the temptations of evil.
(verses from, Metaphysical Meditations, by Paramhansa Yogananda, SRF Books)

The thundering resonance of the Word
has liberated me while living -
Now I am entitled to serve the Lord!
How can I ever repay you, 0 my benefactor?
You are my Mother, you are my Father,
you are my generous Lord.
(Sant Namdev)

TO YOU the Lord we pray.
Soul and body are your gifts to us.
You are the Mother, and the Father,
We are your children,
With your grace,
There are countless blessings.
(Guru Arjan, Adi Granth, Sukhmani Sahib)

With hands joined in prayer
I beseech you, Radhasoami,
to listen to my supplication.
You are the true Lord, my benevolent Master!
You are Father, you are Mother,
you are the Creator of all beings.
Be merciful to me, accept me
and set me free from the snare of Kal.
(Swami Ji Maharaj, Sar Bachan Poetry)

Thou art my beloved Mother,
Thou art my only shelter;
I long for Thee,
I await Thy arrival, 0 Lord.
Thou alone art my Father,
Thou alone my loving Son,
Thou art my closest Friend and Relative.
My heart and my soul I lay
At Thy lotus feet, 0 Lord.
The whole creation without Thee,
Says Tuka is a barren desert.
(Sant Tukarama, Gatha. 2607)

Thou art our kind and affectionate Mother, O God, and bearest all our burdens. We know no fear, nor any anxiety……I cannot know the night from day, and the unceasing illumination exists at all times.
(Sant Tukarama)

Thou art our merciful Mother, O Vitthala, a shadow to thy suppliant; the milk of love ever flows in thy breast, thy sight is pure and sweet as nectar. O Mother Vitthala is like a cool shadow; her breast is ever filled with love; seated in her lap I shall seek her bosom and drink as much as I desire. 0 yield the milk of thy mercy and nourish my frame; a stream of nectar flows from thee. My spirit cannot contain this joy; what is the whole sea compared to it?
(Sant Tukarama)

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Merged Into the Ocean of Oneness

The Bhakta devotee Sant Tukarama saw God everywhere and within everyone. The viewer and the image, the lover and the object of worship, the drop and the ocean have become one:

“All of humanity has become God;
My virtues and defects have both been removed.
Sublime beyond words, it is indeed a blessing;
In this great triumph, my heart is at peace.
The reflection in the mirror appears a separate being,
But the viewer and his image are one and the same.
When it merges into the Ocean, O Tuka,
The streamlet becomes the Ocean itself.”

– Sant Tukarama, Gatha 3132

Tukaram’s Infinite Bliss

Infinite bliss has filled my entire being,
The stream of love divine flows freely
And I sing the Lord’s Name

I lead a life eternal that cannot ever ebb,
I repeat ever and again the Name of
the Lord;
To me, this shore of the ocean of life
And the other one, O Tuka,
Are truly one and the same.

(Gathas of Sant Tukaram)

Contemplating God In Meditation According to Sant Tukarama: ‘We must forget bodily consciousness like a deer which is infatuated by music. We must look up to God, as the young ones of a tortoise look up to their mother.’… 'As a fountain rises upwards, even so must one’s spirit rise to God. One should entertain no idea whatsoever, except that of God.’
—  from the hymns of Sant Tukarama