Narayan Wamanrao Tilak – Marathi Poet from Maharashtra

Narayan Wamanrao Tilak (1861-1919) and Laxmi bai Tilak (1868-1936):

Narayan Waman Tilak was a renowned Marathi poet and a social reformer. He is loved throughout Maharashtra as “the poet of children and flowers”. He was born in a Hindu Chitrapavan Brahmin family in Karajgaon village in Ratnagiri District of Maharashtra, India on 6th December 1861. Some of the literature on His life mentions that he was disliked by his father, because he was born with feet first. (It was considered a bad omen among the Indian culture in those times.) During his education, he learned Sanskrit literature extensively. He later married to Manakaranika Gokhle. Her married name was Lakshmibai Tilak.

After his eduction, he took up several jobs in different places in Maharashtra such as a teacher, Hindu priest and a press compositor. In 1893, Tilak was traveling in search of a new job by train from Nagpur to Rajanandgaon Sansthan –which was a princely state in the Central Province of India in those times. During the travel in train, he met a Christian missionary, after some conversation, he presented Tilak a copy of the Bible and whispered a “prophesy” in Tilak’s ears that Tilak “would come under of grace of Savior Jesus in less than two years.”

Tilak was as such very disappointed with the Hindu caste system, the emphasis of rituals and ceremonies in Hinduism. He was drawn to the teachings of the Jesus Christ in Gospels and after series of life changing events, he decided to be a follower of Jesus Christ in 1895. When Lakshmi bai heard about his decision, she was stunned. This led to a separation between the couple for some time. But she too started studying the Bible on her own and felt the same interest and affection. She too accepted Jesus as her Personal Savior and God in the 1900. The couple resumed their married life together. After accepting Christianity, Tilak mostly lived in the town of Ahmadnagar and served the local church as a preacher for about 24 years, until his death in 1919.

Christian Work of Tilak

Tilak introduced using “Bhajans” and “Kirtan” in to the Marathi church enriching their devotional life by the art form familiar to them. “He never gave up his Indian cultural birth right but brought the riches of Hindu heritage in to the Church.” (link).  Narayan Wamanrao Tilak has written more than 2100 poems, some of them comprising over hundreds of lines. He also started to compose in Marathi an epic titled “Khristayana” describing the works of Jesus Christ in a native Indian form. However, he died after finishing only ten of its chapters. Lakshmibai later completed the epic by adding to it 64 chapters of her own.  Laxmi bai also worte her autobiography called “Smruti Chitre” which was a masterpiece in Marathi literature. It was published in 1934-1937 in 4 parts.

Narayan Waman Tilak’s work in Christian literature and poetry in Marathi language has been immense, yet, much forgotten over the period of time. However his legacy and Christian influence still lives on in many lives he touched through the Love of Jesus Christ….

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13 Comments

  1. Nilesh Raibole
    February 17, 2011
    Reply

    Its realy very great. thanks.
    woud you please so any Poetry written by narayan waman tilak?

  2. ashish
    July 15, 2011
    Reply

    narayan wamanrao tilak he was introduced christ using bhajans & kirtan & he share the gospel to unreached people , we have learn his life how to share gospal to unreached people.. & proclaim the Gods word in unbeliver ………….

  3. Shrikant Deshpande
    December 19, 2012
    Reply

    Please send me lyrics / text of poem Kshano kshani pade uthe paribale, a poem of Narayan Waman Tilak.

  4. Vaishali patil
    December 24, 2012
    Reply

    Its great to read about N.V.TILAK and his wife ‘s dedication and service towards God in that era. The very strong point of his service for Christ was that his himself wrote the poems and bhagans in marathi which obviously touched the local peoples. He is the best example for us.

  5. yogesh
    March 12, 2014
    Reply

    kshano kshani pade pari udhi bale hi kavita post karu shakata ka?

  6. VINCENT JAIWANT
    August 2, 2014
    Reply

    Narayan Waman Tilak was a great example of believer and follower of GOD JESUS CHRIST he took 2 years to accept JESUS that means it was not an emotional decision but the divine calling of God.

  7. parag
    December 15, 2014
    Reply

    Pls. Send me poem KSHANO- KSHANI PADE .. PLS. PLS. Send me this poem ..

  8. parag
    December 15, 2014
    Reply

    My email- rupa5597@gmail.com

    Pls.send me poem kshanokshani pade uthe hi poem pls. Pls. Mala mail kara.

    • Satish Gurav
      June 7, 2015
      Reply

      क्षणोक्षणी पडे, उठे, परि बळे, उडे बापडी,
      चुके पथहि, येउनी स्तिमित दृष्टिला झापडी.
      किती घळघळा गळे रुधिर कोमलांगातुनी,
      तशीच निजकोटरा परत पातली पक्षिणी.

      म्हणे निजशिशूंप्रती, अधिक बोलवेना मला,
      तुम्हांस अजि अंतीचा कवळ एक मी आणला,
      करा मधुर हा! चला, भरविते तुम्हा एकदा,
      करी जतन यापुढे प्रभु पिता अनाथां सदा!

      अहा! मधुर गाउनी रमविले सकाळी जना,
      कृतघ्न मज मारतील नच ही मनी कल्पना,
      तुम्हांस्तव मुखी सुखे धरुन घांस झाडावरी
      क्षणैक बसले तो शिरे बाण माझ्या उरीं

      निघुन नरजातिला रमविण्यांत गेले वय,
      म्हणून वधिले मला! किती दया! कसा हा नय!
      उदार बहु शूर हा नर खरोखरी जाहला
      वधुनी मज पाखरा निरपराध की दुर्बला!

      म्हणाल, भुलली जगा, विसरली प्रियां लेकरां
      म्हणून अतिसंकटे उडत पातले मी घरा,
      नसे लवहि उष्णता, नच कुशीत माझ्या शिरा,
      स्मरा मजबरोबरी परि दयाघना खरा.

      असो, रुधिर वाहुनी नच भिजो सुशय्या तरी
      म्हणून तरुच्या तळी निजलि ती द्विजा भूवरी.
      जिवंत बहु बोलकें किति सुरम्य ते उत्पल,
      नरे धरुन नाशिले, खचित थोर बुध्दिबल.

      मातीत ते पसरिले अतिरम्य पंख,
      केले वरी उदर पांडुर निष्कलंक,
      चंचू तशीच उघडी पद लांबवीले,
      निष्प्राण देह पडला! श्रमही निमाले!

      – ना.वा.टिळक

  9. sandeep gunjal
    March 24, 2015
    Reply

    please send me khanokshani pade uthe tari pade poem ..please

  10. sandeep gunjal
    March 24, 2015
    Reply

    please send me poem lyrics kshanokshani pade uthe tari pade

  11. Usha Rainer
    May 4, 2015
    Reply

    Praise God, The Lord Jesus Christ for His love for His people. I came to know
    Christ from Hindu background. He is my God and my Lord.

  12. Satish Gurav
    June 7, 2015
    Reply

    क्षणोक्षणी पडे, उठे, परि बळे, उडे बापडी,
    चुके पथहि, येउनी स्तिमित दृष्टिला झापडी.
    किती घळघळा गळे रुधिर कोमलांगातुनी,
    तशीच निजकोटरा परत पातली पक्षिणी.

    म्हणे निजशिशूंप्रती, अधिक बोलवेना मला,
    तुम्हांस अजि अंतीचा कवळ एक मी आणला,
    करा मधुर हा! चला, भरविते तुम्हा एकदा,
    करी जतन यापुढे प्रभु पिता अनाथां सदा!

    अहा! मधुर गाउनी रमविले सकाळी जना,
    कृतघ्न मज मारतील नच ही मनी कल्पना,
    तुम्हांस्तव मुखी सुखे धरुन घांस झाडावरी
    क्षणैक बसले तो शिरे बाण माझ्या उरीं

    निघुन नरजातिला रमविण्यांत गेले वय,
    म्हणून वधिले मला! किती दया! कसा हा नय!
    उदार बहु शूर हा नर खरोखरी जाहला
    वधुनी मज पाखरा निरपराध की दुर्बला!

    म्हणाल, भुलली जगा, विसरली प्रियां लेकरां
    म्हणून अतिसंकटे उडत पातले मी घरा,
    नसे लवहि उष्णता, नच कुशीत माझ्या शिरा,
    स्मरा मजबरोबरी परि दयाघना खरा.

    असो, रुधिर वाहुनी नच भिजो सुशय्या तरी
    म्हणून तरुच्या तळी निजलि ती द्विजा भूवरी.
    जिवंत बहु बोलकें किति सुरम्य ते उत्पल,
    नरे धरुन नाशिले, खचित थोर बुध्दिबल.

    मातीत ते पसरिले अतिरम्य पंख,
    केले वरी उदर पांडुर निष्कलंक,
    चंचू तशीच उघडी पद लांबवीले,
    निष्प्राण देह पडला! श्रमही निमाले!

    – ना.वा.टिळक

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