Friends, by spiritual practice our mind becomes subtle, that is, it is able to make fine distinctions, and we are then able to understand the emotions that are beyond the intellect and the five senses. Some Saints tell about the past and future life of a particular person; this is called subtle knowledge. Saint Tukaram, although he lived and behaved like any other ordinary man, was a great Saint having such subtle knowledge. Now we will see how he used this subtle knowledge for the benefit of society.
Saint Tukaram lived in the village of Dehu. Once, there was news in Dehu village that an ascetic (sanyasi) was going to visit the village. To welcome the ascetic, the villagers built a big mandap (pandal). A huge crowd of villagers gathered to meet him. News had spread in the village that by meeting that ascetic all our wishes get fulfilled. When the ascetic came to the village, each and every one went to meet him, gave him offerings and took Prasad (Holy sacrament) and Holy ash from him. The villagers were asking the ascetic to help them to get rid of worldly problems. There were asking from him boons such as, let there be lots of money in my house, let the crops in my field flourish, etc. The ascetic was sitting with his eyes closed. Every person would come to him, pay obeisance to him and tell him all his personal and family problems. The ascetic would hear all their problems and apply holy ash to them. For that, people had to give him offerings. After that, the ascetic would bless them.
Tukaram Maharaj came to know about all this. He realised the hidden intentions of the ascetic and decided to meet him. There was huge crowd which had gathered for meeting the ascetic. Tukaram Maharaj somehow scrambled through the crowd and reached the ascetic. He sat in front of the ascetic. The ascetic was sitting with his eyes closed. He had not opened his eyes since the past one hour. The people were eagerly waiting for the ascetic to open his eyes, so that they are blessed with the Divine vision of the ascetic. However, Tukaram Maharaj knew that the ascetic was fooling the villagers.
After a while, the ascetic opened his eyes. On seeing Tukaram Maharaj sitting in front of him, he asked, “When did you come?” Tukaram Maharaj replied, “I came here when you were thinking that this village appears to be good and prosperous, the land appears fertile. Even the villagers are very innocent; they are giving me a lot of respect and also lots of offerings. If I buy a piece of land here, I shall be able to grow sugarcane crops on the land. This will bring me lots of money. I arrived when you were counting the amount of money that you will earn from your crops.” On hearing this, the fake ascetic was speechless. His face turned pale. He realised that Tukaram Maharaj had correctly judged his true intentions and now there was no hope for him to make a fortune in this village. Next day, before sunrise, he packed all his belongings and fled from the village.
Friends, you saw how Saint Tukaram saved the villagers from being cheated by the fake ascetic. Although God does not speak, God’s manifest form, that is Saints can speak. Saints can judge the exact intention of everyone’s behaviour. Hence, Tukaram Maharaj could read the hidden intention of fake ascetic and thus saved the villagers from being cheated.