[INDOLOGY] Tukaram and the name Tuka

Martin Gansten martin.gansten at pbhome.se
Sat Apr 4 13:43:50 UTC 2015

Thank you, Madhav. I'm not sure if your reply reached the Indology list, 
so I'm copying it below. I find it prompts two more questions: first, 
whether Tukā was a common name before the time of Tukārām, or whether 
people bearing the name today are largely named after him. (Or perhaps 
after the goddess -- is it a name used by both sexes?) And second, 
whether any Dravidian scholar on the list can confirm or deny the 
development śukra > tukka (in one or more Dravidian languages -- I'm not 
sure the same sound laws apply everywhere).

'My' author is typically called Tuka, with a single k and short a. In 
one place, however, I did notice the Devanāgarī spelling Tuvaka, where I 
suspect the -vaka may be a misreading for -kka (which in some forms of 
the ligature would look very similar).

Martin Gansten

Madhav Deshpande wrote:
> Tukā/Tukārām is still a common personal name in Marathi.  While the 
> origin of the name Tukā is not quite clear, there is a popular goddess 
> in Maharashtra named Tuḷjā Bhavānī, also known as Tukāi (Tukā + āi), 
> where "āi" is the Marathi word for mother, and the first part "Tukā" 
> in her name is explained traditionally as being made up of "tu" (you) 
> + "kā" (why), and there is a story saying someone asked this goddess 
> "why did you come, O Mother", which gave her the name Tukāi. Another 
> explanation I have heard is that "tukka" is the Dravidian form of 
> Sanskrit śukra, and since Friday (śukravāra) is auspicious for this 
> goddess, she came to be known as Tukkāi. While this may not be a true 
> historical explanation of the name Tukāi, the name of this goddess may 
> have made the name Tukā popular in Maharashtra.
> Madhav Deshpande

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