One Hundred Poems of Tukaram is a translation of selected poems of Tukaram, originally composed in Marathi. Tukaram, hailed as one of the greatest sant, Indian equivalent for a saint, belongs to the Bhakti Movement that nourished Indian psyche for close to a millennium. Like his predecessors, Tukaram, too, used poetry as a means of expression of his love for his deity Lord Vitthal. However, the range and depth of Tukaram’s poetry is such that it touches upon and lightens up every possible aspect of human life. His penetrating insights are so ably complemented by his poetic innovations that he took Indian poetry to new heights in the times when the Indian society’s morale was at its lowest. Tukaram’s poems revived this almost dead society and made it survive for centuries to come. That’s the most important contribution of Tukaram’s poetry. And therefore its relevance in today’s turbulent times!
Chandrakant Kaluram Mhatre is a bilingual poet from Maharashtra State of India, writing in English as well as his mother-tongue Marathi. He is a translator of Marathi literature into English and is also a keen researcher of folk culture, language and literature.
The salient feature of all the Bhakti Poets has been the expression of their love for their deity in which the poet assumes the role of the beloved and addresses the deity as their supreme love. In this poem, Tukaram is expressing such a love for the Lord. He has, through his love, achieved unification with the Lord to such an extent that his distinct identity separable from the Lord does not exist. Tukaram brings this ultimate spiritual experience alive for his readers through his unique images which culminate in the final master image!