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Saturday, June 8, 2024

Dehu – Sacred Land of Sant Tukaram Close to Pune

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Maharashtra is the land of many Bhakti poet-saints. Sant Tukaram of Dehu is among the tallest saints amongst them. He’s finest identified for his Abhangs that are fondly sung in live shows in addition to Kirtans.

Since most of their works are primarily accessible solely in Marathi, I’ve not learn them but. I do take heed to Abahngas on and off, purely for his or her devotional emotion. My seek for the translated works of Tukaram ji took me to his village in Dehu.

All I knew about Sant Tukaram was his picture carrying an Ektara in his arms, identical to Meera Bai who will need to have been his modern. My quest was to know him and his works.

Devotional Historical past of Dehu

Sant Tukaram lived within the first a part of the 17th CE. Dehu was already often called Sri Kshetra or a sacred place pricey to Pandurang Vithal. We all know that Pandharpur is the abode of Vishnu within the Swaroop of Vithal the place is worshipped together with his consort Rakhma. Then, how come Dehu got here to be often called sacred?

Dehu is situated on the banks of the Indrayani River and is related to the story of the arrival of Indra. It’s a tributary of the Bhima River on whose banks we discover the Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga.

Sant Tukaram is the eighth-generation descendant of Vishambhar Buva who lived in Dehu. He was an ardent devotee of Pandurang and used to go to Pandharpur each Ekadashi or the 11th day of every fortnight. Ekadashi as we all know is the day on which all Vishnu devotees quick or at the very least observe austerities.

As he grew previous, it turned troublesome for him to go to Pandharpur. He turned to Pandurang or Vithoba and sought his steering. Vithoba appeared in his dream and requested him to search for a spot the place he would discover Tulsi leaves, flowers, and Bukka, and dig there.  Vishambhar Buva went searching for the three issues within the morning.

In the midst of a Mango Orchard, he discovered three issues. When he dug up the place, he discovered the Murtis of Vithal and Rakma. Certainly, the Devta has determined to return to the devotee because the latter was incapable of touring anymore.

The Murtis have been formally put in and a temple was constructed round them, proper on the banks of the Indrayani river. The Murtis are thought of Swayambhu or self-manifested.

Sant Tukaram

Tukaram was born in a affluent home and discovered buying and selling and agriculture from his father. He misplaced his dad and mom early and took on the accountability of the household enterprise. He was excellent at it. Nonetheless, a sequence of sudden deaths within the household made him indifferent.

Sant Tukaram Portrait
Sant Tukaram

He sat and meditated on Bhangiri Hill for 15 days with out consuming something. When he got here down, he had the glow of a saint. He began composing and singing Abhangs or devotional songs. He was deeply influenced by the works of Sant Dhyaneshwar, Namdev, Eknath, and Kabir.

As soon as after a tiff, he threw all of the books of his Abhang within the Indrayani River, and sat on a stone by the river, to meditate. He sat with out meals and water for 13 days. His books floated atop the river with none harm. The identical stone is now enshrined in a temple.

It’s mentioned that Sant Tukaram, left this world, alongside together with his physique whereas singing kirtan. That’s the reason there is no such thing as a Samadhi of his anyplace.

Dehu thus is the place the place Sant Tukaram was born and lived all his life.

Visiting Dehu

Dehu is located near Pune, nearly 30 km. So, I took a cab and drove all the way down to this small city on the banks of the Indrayani River.

Gatha Mandir

Guided by Google, I first reached the comparatively new Gatha Mandir. Strolling by way of the stalls promoting sugarcane juice, I entered the premises in all white. On my proper was an enormous temple.

Gatha Mandir at Dehu
Gatha Mandir at Dehu

I questioned if Tukaram ji would have ever lived in such an opulent place. It jogged my memory of Kabir Chauraha in Varanasi, which was opulent for the simplicity we see in Kabir’s phrases.

Climbing the steps, flanked by two large elephant figures, I entered the massive octagonal corridor. Within the center, there’s a enormous Murti of Sant Tukaram made in Panchdhatu or an alloy of 5 metals. In a sitting posture, he’s seen engrossed in devotion, with Ektara in a single hand and Pothi or the manuscript in entrance of him.

Surrounding him are the chambers with marble partitions, with 4145 of his Abhangas written on them. 108 Namavali or names of Sant Tukaram additionally adorn the partitions. In between, there are work that depict a few of the scenes from his works. The works are unfold throughout two flooring.

Inside Gatha Mandir
Inside Gatha Mandir

On the primary ground, there’s a temple devoted to the Ishta of Sant Tukaram – Pandurang Vithal and Rakma Bai. You may stroll round and really feel the enormity of the work he has left behind.

I used to be reminded of Tulsi Das’s Temple in Varanasi and Valmiki Temple in Ayodhya, which has the entire of Ramcharitmanas and Ramayana written on their partitions.

There are large panels depicting the completely different avatars of Vishnu.

A board superbly describes Gatha Mandir:

  • Dana Tirtha of the rich
  • Cultural middle for the general public
  • Sacred place for the devotees
  • Wealth of the Varkaris
  • Delight of Maharashtra
  • Essence of India
  • Guiding Mild for everybody

Gurukul, Annapurna Bhavan and Gaushala

Near the Gatha Mandir, and inside its campus is a Sant Tukobaraya Gurukul for college kids. I didn’t go inside, however from the skin, it seemed fairly fashionable and well-maintained.

Little forward, there may be Matoshri Bahinabai Annapurna Bhavan which serves meals to the visiting devotees. You may donate however there is no such thing as a ticket to eat. On the primary ground of this corridor is one other corridor the place devotional gatherings happen. A continuous Sankirtan of Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari is broadcast for the remainder of the campus. I all the time like reside Kirtans. Watch this one from Ayodhya.

Little forward is a Shridhara Goshala or the cowshed, overlooking the river.

You miss the greenery and bushes round the primary Gatha Mandir, however I consider that it’s nonetheless a piece in progress and bushes will come up in time. For extra particulars have a look at their web site.

Vithal Mandir on Banks of Indrayani

Proper subsequent to the Gatha Mandir in Dehu, on the banks of Indrayani River is a small however previous temple devoted to Vithal and Rukmini. You have to take the steps down the ghat to achieve this temple. Stone pavilions exist across the temple for the pilgrims to take a seat and loosen up.

Indrayani River at Dehu
Indrayani River at Dehu

The small temple has the Murtis of Vithal- Rakma, the previous stone Murtis of Ganesh and Hanuman, and many bushes round. There weren’t many individuals right here. I discovered it a particularly peaceable place, good to take a seat and meditate or simply replicate. The calming water of Indrayani and the light gaze of Vithoba make you’re feeling part of the atmosphere.

A small store right here sells the small memento Murtis of Vithal-Rakma, Sant Tukaram, and Sant Dhyaneshwar Maharaj.

Jagatguru Sant Sri Tukaram Maharaj Samsthan

That is the primary temple that was constructed by Vishambhar Bhuva, the ancestor of Sant Tukaram. It’s a typical Maharashtrian-style temple in stone. An arch on the primary street tells you the route of the temple. A Mahadwar with a Murti of Sant Tukaram on prime welcomes you into the temple premises.

Shila Mandir at Sant Tukaram Samsthan
Shila Mandir at Sant Tukaram Samsthan

The very first thing I noticed contained in the temple was a small Hanuman temple. Then there’s a Ram Mandir. Within the center is a temple, with the Vithoba-Rakma Murti that was obtained at this spot. The temple is gorgeous with a lot of carvings. One can assume that it’s 200 years older than the instances of Sant Tukaram, making it a 15th CE temple.

Stone steps from the temple result in the river, although the entry from right here is just not open as of now. Within the hall surrounding the temple, you may see panels depicting the lifetime of Sant Tukaram.

Tukaram Maharaj Shila Mandir

This is a vital temple on the facet of the Vithoba temple. It enshrines the Shila or stone slab on which Tukaram Ji meditated for 13 days. No marvel, it’s a sacred spot for his devotees.

Handwritten Manuscript of Sant Tukaram
Handwritten Manuscript of Sant Tukaram

Within the nook, a small temple homes the handwritten manuscript of Tukaram ji’s works.

There’s a lamp submit or Deepshikha in typical Maharashtrian type and a Tulsi Vrindavan on the temple premises. Beneath a tree, there’s a Garuda temple.

Within the mandapa, you see the silver Palki. I assume it’s the one for Wari Pilgrimage. An ektara is hanging on the wall, however I couldn’t work out if it certainly belonged to Tukaram ji.

Journey Ideas for Visiting Dehu

Stamp Issued on Sant Tukaram
Stamp Issued on Sant Tukaram
  • Dehu could be very near Pune. You may simply do it as a day journey from Pune.
  • There are fundamental juice and fruit stalls round temples. I’m not positive of fine joints. I didn’t see any.
  • Entry to all of the locations is free. You supply what you want to supply.
  • Temples are open all through the day.

Temples appeal to enormous crowds on Ekadashi and on the day Wari Palki leaves for Pandharpur. So, plan accordingly.


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