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 poet is describing here the cultural phenomenon called "Vari" i.e. the on-foot pilgrimage to Pandharpur that Lord Vitthal's devotees (called as "Varkari) undertake twice a year. Despite the exhausting journey, the Varkaris experience ecstatic joy on reaching Pandharpur, the place of Lord Vitthal. And in here happens something miraculous, unseen and unheard of before: The Cosmic Union of all beings! Tukaram has depicted this exquisite experience in this poems vividly in the extended image of an army marching victoriously.