Who was Tukodi Maharaj? Why was he called 'Rashtrasant'?
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The saintly Tukdoji Maharaj started on his journey 0f Sadhana and Tapasya pretty early in life. He spent much of his early life in the deep jungles of Ramtek, Salburdi, Ramdhighi and Gondoda. Born in 1909, Tukdoji came from a poor family in Amravati district's Yavali village, Maharashtra and soon he came to be known as the spiritual saint from Maharashtra.

Tukdoji’s birth name was Manik. Right from childhood, Manik spent most of his time in the temple, singing bhajans (devotional songs) rather than studying. He learned the art of playing “khanjiri” (an instrument of about 6 inches diameter with the diaphragm of thin animal skin, played by one of the palms and held in other). Manik would amuse the people by singing his own instant compositions on the rhythm of khanjiri.

Manik accepted the great saint of Varkhed Shri Adkoji Maharaj as his Guru. His guru gave him the title of “Tukdoji”. Tukdoji was a bachelor, however, his life was dedicated for the services of the masses irrespective of caste, class, creed or religion.

In 1941, Tukdoji Maharaj took part in a 'Quit India' movement. He strongly opposed the inhuman oppressive measures adopted by the British. In 1942, he was arrested and imprisoned in Nagpur and Raipur Central Jails.

He was also given the title of 'Rashtrasant' by the then President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad. Dr Prasad was impressed by Tokdoji’s work. Saint Tukdoji Maharaj was also one of the founder Vice Presidents (VPs) of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a right-wing Hindu organisation.

After the independence of India, Tukdoji continues working for the betterment of the less-privileged. He worked with the villagers in road construction, village-sanitation and other activities.

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