Showing posts with label Chokamela. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chokamela. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Are The Mahar Among Jatis?

Traditional Indian society was made up of jatis ("births"), which were endogamous subgroups (i.e., marriages were only permitted between members of the same group by law).

The group's hereditary occupation, over which each group had a monopoly, was how these jatis were structured (and how their social rank was decided).

In Maharashtrian civilization, the Mahars were an untouchable jati, providing various tasks and labor for the landlord communities.

Chokamela, a medieval bhakti poet, and Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, a contemporary lawyer and social reformer, are two Mahars who are well-known.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - Who Was Chokamela?


 (died in 1338 C.E.) Poet and saint associated with the Varkari Panth, a religious order dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity Vithoba at his temple in Pandharpur, Maharashtra. 

Chokamela was born an untouchable Mahar, and he is the Varkari saints' sole untouchable. 

Despite Chokamela's great devotion to Vithoba, his low social position barred him from entering the god's temple since his presence would have made it unclean. 

Many stories in the hagiographical literature have Vithoba going outdoors to greet him. 

Chokamela's memorial shrine is located on the temple steps, the same steps that served as his life's border. 

Chokamela seems to have accepted the limitations imposed by his social position, although some of his poetry reflects social resistance. 

G. A. Deleury, The Cult of Vithoba, 1960; Eleanor Zelliot, “Chokamela and Eknath: Two Bhakti Modes of Legitimacy for Modern Change,” Journal of Asian and African Studies, Vol. 15, Nos. 1–2, 1980; and G. A. Deleury, The Cult of Vithoba, 1960.