Sant Tukaram (1608–1645) was a prominent Varkari Sant (Saint) and spiritual poet during a Bhakti movement in India.
Sant Tukaram was born and lived most of his life in Dehu, a town close to Pune in Maharashtra, India. Kumar, Munshi, Kincaid and Parasanisa, consider him to be of the Vani or grocer caste. In accordance with an ancient Indian tradition, Tukaram's family name is rarely used in identifying him. His real name is Tukaram Vhilhoba Aambile. Rather, in accord with another tradition in India of assigning the epithet "sant" to persons regarded as thoroughly saintly, Tukaram is commonly known in Maharashtra as Sant Tukaram (संत तुकाराम). He is known as Bhakta Tukaram to southern Indian people.
Scholars assign various birth years to Sant Tukaram: 1602, 1608, 1618 and 1639 CE. The year of Sant Tukaram's death —1650 CE— is much more certain.
Sant Tukaram's first wife, Rakhumabai, died in 1602 in her early youth. Sant Tukaram and his second wife, Jijabai (also known as Avali), had three sons: Santu or Mahadev, Vithoba, and
Dilip Purushottam Chitre, a well known Marathi Scholar, identifies Tukaram as the first modern poet of Marathi. Chitre believes that Tukaram was the second saint after Sant Dnyaneshwar who denied caste hierarchy in Hindu religion and attacked rituals present in Hindu Dharma.
Spiritual life and poetry
Sant Tukaram was a devotee of god Vitthala or Vithoba, a form of Krishna.
Sant Tukaram is considered to be the climactic point of the Bhagabata Hindu tradition, which is thought to have begun in Maharashtra with Namdev. Dnyaneshwar, Namdev, Janabai, Eknath, and Tukaram are revered especially in the Varkari (वारकरी) sect in Maharashtra. Most information about the lives of the above saints of Maharashtra comes from the works Bhakti-Wijay and Bhakti-Leelāmrut of Mahipati. Mahipati was born 65 years after the death of Tukaram, (Tukaram having died 50 years, 300 years, and 353 years after the deaths of Ekanath, Namdev, and Dnyaneshwar, respectively.) Thus, Mahipati undoubtedly based his life sketches of all the above "sants" primarily on hearsays.
Namdev as Guru
Saint Tukarm accepted Sant Namdev as his Guru. One of his abhanga is proof for this.[नामदेवे केले स्वप्नामाजी जागे....सवे पांडुरंगे येवूनिया.] Namdev gave knowledge, who came along with Lord Vitthal in Dream of Tukaram. Sant Tukaram has also mentioned in one of his abhanga that his sadguru's name is 'Babaji Chaitanya'. [बाबाजी चैतन्य सांगितले नाम, मंत्र दिला राम कृष्ण हरी]