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Translations of  Tukaram

- Mahatma Gandhi

Translations of  Tukaram were done by Mahatma Gandhi in Yerwada Central Jail between 15-10-1930 to 28-10-1930.

1.Je ka ranjale ganjale
Know him to be a true man who takes to his bosom those who are in distress. Know that God resides in the heart of such a one. His heart is saturated with gentleness through and through. He receives as his only those who are forsaken. He bestows on his man servants and maid servants the same affection he shows to his children. Tukaram says: What need is there to describe him further? He is the very incarnation of divinity.


2.Papachi vasana nako davoo dola
O God, let me not be witness to desire for sin, better make me blind; let me not hear ill of anyone, better make me deaf; let not a sinful word escape my lips, better make me dumb; let me not lust after another's wife, better that I disappear from this earth. Tuka says: I am tired of everything worldly, Thee alone I like, O Gopal.


3. Pavitra te kul paawan to desh jethe Hariche daas janma gheti

Blessed is that family and that country where servants of God take birth. God becomes their work and their religion. The three worlds become holy through them. Tell me who have become purified through pride of birth? The Puranas have testified like bards without reserve that those called untouchables have attained salvation through devotion to God. Tuladhar, the Vaishya, Gora, the potter, Rohidas, a tanner, Kabir, a Momin, Latif, a Muslim, Sena, a barber, and Vishnudas, Kanhopatra, Dadu, a carder, all become one at the feet of God in the company of hymn singers. Chokhamela and Banka, both Mahars by birth, became one with God. Oh, how great was the devotion of Jani the servant girl of Namdev! Pandharinath (God) dined with her. Meral Janak's family no one knows, yet who can do justice to his greatness? For the servant of God there is no caste, no varna, so say the Vedic sages. Tuka says: I cannot count the degraded

4. Jethe jato tethe tu maajha saangaati
Wherever I go, Thou art my companion. Having taken me by the hand Thou movest me. I go alone depending solely on Thee. Thou bearest too my burdens. If I am likely to say anything foolish, Thou makest it right. Thou hast removed my bashfulness and madest me self-confident, O Lord. All the people have become my guards, relatives and bosom friends. Tuka says: I now conduct myself without any care. I have attained divine peace within and without.

5.Na kalataa kaay
When one does not know, what is one to do so as to have devotion to Thy sacred feet? When will it so happen that Thou wilt come and settle in my heart? O God, when wilt Thou so ordain that I may meditate on Thee with a true heart? Remove Thou my untruth and, O Truth, come and dwell Thou in my heart. Tuka says: O Panduranga, do Thou protect by Thy power sinners like me.

6. Muktipang naahi vishnuchiyadaasaa
To the servants of Vishnu there is no yearning even for salvation; they do not want to know what the wheel of birth and death is like.; Govind sits steadily settled in their hearts; for them the beginning and the end are the same. They make over happiness and misery to God and themselves remain untouched by them, the auspicious songs sing of them; their strength and their intellect are dedicated to benevolent uses; their hearts contain gentleness; they are full of mercy even like God; they know no distinction between theirs and others'. Tuka says: They are even like unto God and Vaikuntha is where they live.


7. Kaay vaanu aata
How now shall I describe (the praises of the good); my speech is not enough (for the purpose). I therefore put my head at their feet.The magnet leaves its greatness and does not know that it may not touch iron. Even so good men's powers are for the benefit of the world. They afflict the body for the service of others. Mercy towards all is the stock-in-trade of the good. They have no attachment for their own bodies. Tuka says: Others' happiness is their happiness; nectar drops from their lips.

8.Naahi santpan milat haati
Saintliness is not to be purchased in shops nor is it to be had for wandering nor in cupboards nor in deserts nor in forests. It is not obtainable for a heap of riches. It is not in the heavens above nor in the entrails of the earth below. Tuka says: It is a life's bargain and if you will not give your life to possess it better be silent.


9.Bhakt aise jaana je dehi udaas
He is a devotee who is indifferent about body, who has killed all desire, whose one object in life is (to find) Narayana, whom wealth or company or even parents will not distract, for whom whether in front or behind there is only God in difficulty, who will not allow any difficulty to cross his purpose. Tuka says: Truth guides such men in all their doings.

10. Ved anant bolilaa
The essence of the endless Vedas is this: Seek the shelter of God and repeat His name with all thy heart. The result of the cogitations of all the Shastras is also the same; Tuka says: The burden of the eighteen Puranas is also identical.


11. Aanik dusre naahi maj aata
This heart of mine is determined that for me now there is nothing else; I meditate on Panduranga, I think of Panduranga, I see Panduranga whether awake or dreaming. All the organs are so attuned that I have no other desire left. Tuka says: My eyes have recognized that image standing on that brick transfixed in meditation unmoved by anything.

12.Na milo khavaya na vadho santan
What though I get nothing to eat and have no progeny? It is enough for me that Narayana's grace descends upon me. My speech gives me that advice and says likewise to the other people -Let the body suffer, let adversity befall one, enough that Narayana is enthroned in my heart. Tuka says: All the above things are fleeting;my welfare consists in always remembering Gopal.


13. Maharasi shive kope to Brahman navhe
He who becomes enraged at the touch of a Mahar is no Brahmin. There is no penance for him even by giving his life. There is the taint of untouchability in him who will not touch a Chandal. Tuka says: A man becomes what he is continually thinking of.


14. Punya parupkaar paap te par pidaa
Merit consists in doing good to others, sin in doing harm to others. There is no other pair comparable to this. Truth is the only religion (or freedom); untruth is bondage, there is no secret like this. God's name on one's lips is itself salvation, disregard (of the name) know to be perdition. Companionship of the good is the only heaven, studious indifference is hell. Tuka says: It is thus clear what is good and what is injurious, let people choose what they will.

15. Shevatchi vinanawani
This is my last prayer, O saintly people listen to it: O God, do not forget me; now what more need I say, Your holy feet know everything. Tuka says: I prostrate myself before Your feet, let the shadow of Your grace descend upon me.

16. Hechi daan de ga devaa
O God, grant only this boon. I may never forget Thee; and I shall prize it dearly. I desire neither salvation nor riches nor prosperity; give me always company of the good. Tuka says: On that condition Thou mayest send me to the earth again and again.