Hari Bhakta Parayana Shri.Tukaram Maharaj Ajegaonkar was born in the year 1910. He was the son of Shri.Keshavguru Ajegaonkar a renowned "Vedic Scholar" and disciple of Swami Vasudevananda Saraswati who belonged to Datta Sampradaya (also known as Tembe Swami, a contemporary Saint who belonged Sai Baba's period and believed to be Guru Bandhu of Shri.Sai Baba). He belonged to Rigvedi Brahmin family.
Shri.Tukaram Maharaj Ajegaonkar was the staunch disciple of Sant Das Ganu Maharaj. He and his wife Smt.Ramabai Ajegaonkar (now 95 years) lived for several years in the company of Sant Das Ganu Maharaj and attended Rama Navami Utsav regularly at Shirdi.
As per the instructioins of Shri Sai Baba, Sant Das Ganu Maharaj travelling across the length and breadth of Maharashtra performing Kirtans and went in search of Life History of Saints. During this period, he came to a place known as "Ajegaon" in Hingoli Taluk of Marathwada Region. He met one Shri.Keshavguru who was a devotee of God Keshvaraj's idol. He belonged to Rigvedi Brahmin family. His fore fathers were "Kulaguru" i.e, Guide Priests for all religious rituals performed by Namdev Maharaj family. This Idol of Keshavraj was found in a River during Namadev's time and he used to feed milk to the Idol. Sant Das Ganu Maharaj took Shri.Tukaram, the third son of Shri.Keshavguru as his disciple at a very tender age of 8 years and he performed Kirtan infront of Shri Sai Baba during Ramanavami Festival in the year 1918 just before Baba took Maha Samadhi. Sai Baba felt very happy and blessed Tukaram Buva by placing His hand on Tukaram's head. After Baba's Samadhi, Das Ganu trained the young lad in Kirtan and sent him to get trained extensively for about 15-20 years under various Guru's at different places like Indore, Varanasi, Baroda and Pune. Thus, he made Tukaram Buva an accomplished Kirtankar. The same boy became popular as Hari Bhakta Parayana Tukaram Buva Ajegaonkar. He started performing Kirtans along with Das Ganu Maharaj and his famous disciple Shri.Damodar Vaman Atawale (popularly known as Damu Anna) in Shirdi during Ram Navami festival. Shri.Damodar Vaman Atawale passed at a very young age in the year 1924. From then onwards, Shri.Tukaram Buva started performing Kirtan along with Das Ganu Maharaj. He independently performed Kirtan in Shirdi at the age of 15 years (Ref:Shri Sai Leela Masik, 1925).
Shri.Das Ganu Maharaj performed Kirtan upto the age of 70 years. After the year 1935 or 1940, Shri.Tukaram Buva continued the Kirtan tradition left over by Das Ganu Maharaj. He continued the tradition of Kirtan along with the legal heir of Das Ganu Maharaj Shri.Anant Damodar Atawale till 1988.
He continued the tradition of Das Ganu Maharaj and performed over ten thousand of Kirtan programmes in Marathi and Hindi all over India for more than 65 years.Thus he followed the Ramadasi Tradition and took alms for his livelihood. During the last 20-25 years of his life, people could see him in Loincloth (dhoti) and Towel. He learnt Sanskrit Scriptures, Vedas etc. under the tutelage of Pandit Shri.Rajeshwar Shastri Dravid. He learnt Music under the guidance of Pandit Vinayak Rao Patwardhan who was the Principal of Gandharva Mahavidyalay, Pune. He passed away peacefully in the year 1991 at the age of 81 years.
His sons Shri.Madhavrao Tukaram Ajegaonkar (Kirtankar) and Shri.Prabhakar Tukaram Ajegaonkar are continuing the legacy left over by their father and performing Kirtans all over India and abroad as well.
(Source: Shri.Madhavrao Tukarampant Ajegaonkar S/o.Late Shri.Tukaram Maharaj Ajegaonkar)