मराठी मुख्य सूची|मराठी साहित्य|अभंग संग्रह आणि पदे|संत बहिणाबाईचे अभंग|
संत बहिणाबाईचे अभंग
संत बहिणाबाईचे अभंग

संत बहिणाबाईचे अभंग

संत बहिणाबाई ही तुकारामांची शिष्या. तुकारामांनीं तिला गुरूपदेश दिला होता. तुकाराम महाराजांनीं वैकुंठगमन केल्यावर बहिणाबाईची निष्ठा पाहून तिला साक्षात दर्शन दिलें होतें. तुकाराम महाराजांविषयीं प्रत्यक्ष माहिती असलेल्या कवयित्रीचे हे अभंग आहेत. तिनें आपले गुरु तुकाराम महाराज व त्यांचीहि गुरुपरंपरा आपल्या अभंगांत सांगितली आहे. यामुळें या अभंगांना विशेष महत्त्व आहे.

Most of what we know of Bahina's life comes from her poetry. She composed 473 abhangas, brief devotional hymns in the Marathi language of Maharashtra. The first 116 of her songs narrate her present life and give a brief description of 12 previous lives; this part of her work is usually called her Atmanivedana, the story of her gradual complete self-dedication to Vishnu. In her 70s and preparing for her final death, Bahina told her story in verse to her son, who wrote it down.

Bahina was born to a brahmin family and, at the age of 5, was married to a 30-year-old brahmin, a widower and relative. When she was 9, Bahina, her immediate family, and her husband had to leave their village because of a family quarrel. After a long journey and two years in a town where her husband performed religious services, the family arrived in the holy city of Kolhapur. There Bahina heard the devotional verses of the Varkari teacher Tukaram (c.1608-1650), recited not in the Sanskrit of brahmin worship, but in the vernacular and so accessible to all.

This experience was to determine the rest of Bahina's life. Although a member of the highest (brahmin) caste, she wished to become a follower of Tukaram, of the lowest (shudra) caste; the wife and daughter of priests committed to upholding the ancient rituals wished to become a bhakta who chooses pure devotion over ritual. Her Atmanivedana tells the result.

Following the narrative section of her work are over 350 abhangas on various devotional matters: on the life of bhakti (devotion), on true brahminism, on the duties of a wife. Bahina's modern editor has arranged her poems by topic; we don't know when or in what order these were written.

Some writers on the teacher Tukaram have said that Bahina translated a Sanskrit holy work into Marathi at Tukaram's request. If so, she had received a more classical education than most brahmin women --- an unusual, but not unheard of, situation. What is clear from her poems is her willingness to question received wisdom, to express her doubts about the teachings she heard --- both priestly and bhakti.

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Last Updated : January 02, 2008

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