It was Ekadasi and Sant Tukaram had arrived at Vithoba temple in Pune. Devotees were glad that they could hear the bhajans sung by Sant Tukaram. Shivaji unexpectedly came to the temple to hear bhajans as he got to know the arrival of Sant Tukaram. Shivaji Maharaj considered Sant Tukaram as his guru like Samartha Ramadas.
It was not a safe place for Shivaji to stay at the temple as the enemy king was bent on capturing him. Having known Shivaji’s presence, the enemies thought that this was the right time to capture him at the temple. When the bhajans were going on, Shivaji’s bodyguard told him that it was not safe for him to stay there as the enemies had come to know of his presence at the temple.
Shivaji at once went to Tukaram to take leave, but Sant Tukaram unaware of the situation asked Shivaji to take Prasad after bhajan and then leave. Tukaram said that Lord Vittala would take care of everything. Shivaji decided that he would not disobey his Guru’s words and submitted himself completely at Lord Vitthala’s Feet. Tukaram continued singing bhajans with great devotion when one of his disciple came to him and said that they were surrounded by enemies eagerly waiting to capture Shivaji.
Realizing the gravity of the situation, heart overwhelming with devotion and eyes filled with tears, Tukaram invoked Lord Vitthala through four beautiful abhangs, asking the Lord to take care of the entire situation. It is said that at that time, the enemies who had surrounded the temple saw Shivaji on a horseback disappearing into the forest. The enemies at once went behind Shivaji. It was Lord Vitthala who had taken on the form of Shivaji who disappeared into the forests.
In the meantime, the real Shivaji after taking Prasad and blessings of Tukaram escaped. Tukaram who came to know about the situation shed tears in ecstasy thinking about the mercy of Lord Vitthala.
[Shivaji Maharaj was the greatest among the Maratha king warrior born in 1630]
Where there is unconditioned devotion and complete surrender, “I shall look after your Yoga-Kshema”, says Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Geeta.
[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]