A sample of Sant Tukaram’s poems

I will be adding more, and finding the names of his poems, but here is a sample of some of his shorter writings.

I was sleeping when Namdeo and Vitthal stepped into my dream.
“Your job is to make poems. Stop wasting time,” Namdeo said.
Vitthal gave me the measure and gently aroused me from a dream inside a dream.
Namdeo vowed to write one billion poems.
“Tuka, all the unwritten ones are your responsibility.”

To repeat Your name is to string pearls together.
The pleasure in your manifested form is always new.
I have ceased to desire the unembodied God.
Your worshippers do not seek liberation.
With You, it is still possible to give and to receive.
What use is the place where a dish sat when it is taken away?
Tuka says, “Give me the gift of freedom from fear.
After all, O Lord who pervades the world, I have given the world You.”

Without a worshipper, how can God assume a form and accept service?
The one makes the other beautiful, as a gold setting shows off a jewel.
Who but God can make the worshipper free from desires?
Tuka says, “They are drawn to each other like mother and child.”

I am not starved for want of food, but it is Janardana who deserves my
I have looked on God as one who sees everything, on bright and dark days, alike.
God is like a father with his child,
who both feels and gives pleasure at the same time.
Good acts and bad acts vanish.
Tuka says, “God’s glory alone is left.”

This is why I have left my house and gone to the forest.
My love will be spoiled by the evil eye.
I will lose my love for Him.
I will not listen to this doctrine of unity.
Tuka says, “This doctrine that God and I are one is false.
I will not let it interfere with me.”

Just beyond us we see that purple luster – how glorious!
With His noble crown of peacock feathers stitched together.
As you look upon Him, fever and illusion vanish
Adore then the Prince of the Yadavas, the Lord of Yogis.
He who filled with passion the sixteen thousand royal damsels,
Fair creatures, divine maidens.
He stands upon the river bank with the luster of one million moons.
It is fastened in jewels on His neck
And merges into the luster of His form.
This God who bears the wheel is the chief of the Yadavas.
Him the thirty three crores of demigods adore.
The demons tremble before Him.
His dark blue countenance destroys sin.
How fair are His feet with saffron stained!
How fortunate is the brick that is grasped by His feet!
The very thought of Him makes fire cool.
Therefore embrace Him with experience of your own.
The sages, as they see His face, contemplate Him in the spirit,
The Father of the World stands before them in bodily shape.
Tuka is frenzied after Him; His purple form ravages the mind.

If men are habitations of God, we should fall at their feet
But we should leave alone their habits and goals.
Fire is good to drive away cold
But you must not tie it up
And carry it around in a cloth.
Tuka says, “A scorpion or a snake is a habitation of Narayana;
You may worship Him from afar, but you must not touch Him.”

Brahma dwells in all things; there is no place void of Him.
Then, how can you say an image is not God?
If men have no faith, how much explanation is needed to move them?
They are infidels by their own inclination.
The faith which inspired the utterance of the saints
Finds no approval from contentious men.
Tuka says, “Possessing not the strong faith of the saints,
Wicked ones have brought charges against God.”

This merciful God will show Himself to each
In a form that each can comprehend.
I have embraced the feet on the brick,
Where the embodied and unembodied gods dwell together.
He is like sugar that is altogether sweet,
If part of it be set aside, it is not found defective.
Tuka says, “Whatsoever I do,
It is Hari on whom the experience rests.”

If the mind remembers the Father of Wisdom,
The Consort of Laxmi, what does it need more?
Who would share his mind with any other thoughts?
Panduranga is the perfect sum of pleasure.
We will sing and dance in time and clap our hands;
There is bliss among the company of Vaishnavas.
In a single pore of His body there are infinite worlds,
Yet we simple people have brought Him before us by faith.
We have treated the world as false.
Before us are no more fetters, but true liberation.
Tuka says, “I have found repose through the might of Him
To whose name I hold myself subject.”

We can now satisfy our desire
To sing His praises and gaze on His form!
Excellent is Panduranga, our dark blue God,
Lustrous and lovely.
He is the essence of all bliss.
His face is a treasure of perfect attainment.
Tuka says, “Doubt not there is no limit to His joys.”

He who worships shakti is verily molded out of sin.
O Panduranga, let him not contaminate me!
He is lustful and wrathful, a drinker of spirits,
Delighting in every vile offense.
Tuka says, “Without hesitation, he commits sin of any kind.”

To procure intelligence of past, present or future
Is an achievement of worthless people.
We servants of Vishnu ought to contemplate Him.
What is already ensured comes to pass in the course of fate.
To practice magic, to trade for reputation,
Puts a distance between us and Narayana.
Tuka says, “This world is overpowering;
The eight mystic powers are a grievous burden.”

Such is Vitthala’s name that it heals the disease of the world,
The sum of action stored up from the past.
If you utter it, you annihilate rebirth.
Guilt cannot dwell along with it,
The threefold fever passes away.
Tuka says, “Maya becomes your servant and falls at your feet.”

Vitthoba’s name is ever true and good and welcome.
It severs all ties, its praise is heard in both worlds.
He who has faith as one of his possessions
Profits by it very speedily.
Tuka says, “Simple though he may be,
He knows how to conquer time and death.”

Be assured that this perishable body will be destroyed.
Why then do you not chant His name?
Countless millions have been saved by His name;
It has given them a place in Vaikuntha.
There is nothing in the three worlds of such virtue as His name.
Why do you not constantly remember it?
Tuka says, “His name is more glorious than the Vedas.
Gopala has bestowed it on us freely.”

Teachers themselves do not understand the secret of the Vedas.
What authority do others possess?
The name of Vitthoba is easily mastered.
With one impulse it bears you over the sea of the world.
The wise know well that charms are impracticable,
Likewise acts and seasons prescribed.
Other men are all foolish.
Tuka says, “We have lost sight of the commandments
And the prohibitions; this path has been annihilated.”

Though you have mighty and powerful friends,
They cannot help you in your last hour.
Rather, utter the name of Rama.
Make this provision (the best of all provisions)
Or Yama will nash his teath and rend you.
Amass, if you will, crores of wealth;
It will not release you from the grasp of death.
No train of followers or host innumerable will save you.
Only ’till death appears you may waste your might.
Tuka says, “Good Sir, cut short the revolutions
Of birth and death!”

Consider him as a Brahmana beyond all doubt,
Vile though his birth may be,
Who utters correctly the name Rama Krishna
And remembers His deep blue form.
Peace, love and compassion are ornaments upon him,
His patience remains unbroken.
Tuka says, “The six enemies have altogether left him.
He is Brahma himself.”

The pleasure which His name gives –
Know that it is God himself.
I do not say this in ignorance
For I have the approval of the saints.
That he who chants the name needs any other means –
Do not say so.
Tuka says, “Through his word that man attains happiness
Whose father and mother both of them are pure.”

I had fallen into the eddy of the world.
I had been oppressed by care.
I had missed the path, and urgently had raised a loud cry.
I had been caught and imprisoned by the senses.
Tuka says, “All is well now, for I uttered the name of Vitthala.”

There is nothing else that I trust to,
I have made it my business to chant “Vithoba.”
I have girt up my loins and issued a challenge;
I will not allow time or death to stir against me.
With faltering speech, as best as you can, cry out Hari! Hari!
Tuka says, “We have discovered the true seed of all the Puranas.”

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