[INDOLOGY] Tukaram and the name Tuka

Ashok Aklujkar ashok.aklujkar at gmail.com
Sat Apr 4 17:52:57 UTC 2015

I think Marathi tukå/tukaa is related to Skt (stoka -->) toka, meaning 'little one, child'. The final vowel has been lengthened in Tukaa-raama as in several other Marathi names aatmaaraama (<-- aatma(n) + raama), dattaaraama (<-- datta + raama), raajaaraama (<-- raaja(n) + raama), ;saantaaraama (<-- ;saanta + raama), perhaps also sakhaaraama (<-- sakha <-- sakhi(n) + raama), baataarama (<-- baat(a) + raama), thaapaaraama (<-- thaap(a) + raama) and ma:ngaaraama/ma:nghaaraama. 

Semantically, the formation of Tukaa-raama, meaning 'Little/young/younger Raama", would be similar to that in: Hindi "Cho.taalaala/Cho.telaala", English "Little Johny”, etc. 

I think it is more likely that the name of the sant(a)/saint has made the name Tukaa-raama popular, not the name of the deity Tukaa.ii. 


> On Apr 4, 2015, at 6:43 AM, Martin Gansten <martin.gansten at PBHOME.SE> wrote:
> ...  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).
> 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.

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