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Story of Bahinabai – A Great Devotee of Vitthal and Sant Tukaram in Maharashtra

Bahina Bai (1628 – 1700) was a great devotee of Lord Vitthal and disciple of Sant Tukaram. Her devotion was the cause of great conflict and suffering in the early years of her marriage. Story of Bahinabai is one of suffering for the devotion of god. She is counted among one of the great Bhakti saints in Maharashtra.

Bahina Bai’s husband was jealous and he disapproved of her devotion to Sant Tukaram. One day he beat her mercilessly. The cow and calf that had been gifted to the family moaned and refused to eat.

The cow and calf were devoted to Bahina and took food only from her. Some days later the calf died, and Bahina was so distressed that she was in coma for eight days.

Later she had a vision of Sant Tukaram who blessed her and with a mantra. She became famous and attracted devotees.

Her husband became distressed all the more and decided to leave home and undertake sanyasa. But he fell ill. Unable to endure the pain, he prayed to Sant Tukaram.

An elderly person appeared and advised him to lead a spiritual life and treat his wife with respect. Bahina, on her part, resolved to pay more attention to her wifely duties.

After the transformation, the couple visited Sant Tukaram and took his blessings.

Bahina Bai later composed several songs on womanly virtues.

Source – Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume XI published by Indian Heritage Research Foundation.