Showing posts with label Pandharpur. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pandharpur. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Is Vitthala?

 


Vithoba, the ruling deity of a well-known temple in Pandharpur, Maharashtra, is known by this epithet.

According to Deleury, the oldest attested name for the Pandharpur deity is Vitthala, which is a more literary form.


Kiran Atma


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Hinduism - Who Is Vithoba?

 


The presiding deity of the same-named temple in Pandharpur, Maharashtra; Vithoba's other epithets include Vitthala and Pandurang.

Vithoba was a deified hero who was assimilated into the larger Hindu pantheon as a form of the god Vishnu, according to some theories.

Vishnu is drawn to Pandharpur by the filial piety of a young boy named Pundalika, according to the temple's founding legend.

When Vishnu arrives, Pundalika is massaging his father's feet, and when Vishnu requests the hospitality due to any guest, Pundalika only stops long enough to throw a brick over his shoulder, allowing the god to stand out of the mud.

Vishnu becomes rooted to that spot and has remained there ever since, impressed that Pundalika's devotion to his parents exceeds even his devotion to God; Vithoba's image depicts him with his hands on his hips (still waiting, perhaps, for Pundalika).

Apart from this story, Vithoba has a surprising lack of mythic history, despite becoming a powerful regional deity.

The Varkari Panth religious community, Vithoba's devotees (bhakta), make pilgrimages to Pandharpur twice a year.

Pilgrims travel from all over the world to visit Pandharpur, which is located in the Bhima River valley on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border.

Individual pilgrims travel in small groups known as dindis, which are usually made up of people from the same neighborhood or area.

The dindis are organized into palkhis, which are led by a palanquin (palkhi) bearing the san dals of one of the Varkari poet-saints.

Each palkhi leaves from a location associated with a particular saint—for example, Jnaneshvar's palkhi leaves from Alandi, where he lived, and thus he and all the other saints are still symbolically traveling to Pandharpur twice a year.

Each of these palkhis follows a predetermined route, and pilgrims time their departure and arrival in Pandharpur to coincide with the eleventh day (ekadashi) in the bright half of Ashadh (June–July) in the summer and the eleventh day in the bright half of Kartik (October–November) in the fall.

Pilgrims liken their journey to a small stream merging with other streams, eventually forming a mighty river that flows into Pandharpur.

Pilgrims sing devotional songs composed by poet-saints such as Jnaneshvar, Namdev, Eknath, Tukaram, Chokamela, Gora, Janabai, and Bahina Bai while on their journey.

By walking in the footsteps of the saints before them and singing their devotional songs, the pilgrims are emulating them.

The pilgrimage ends with the entry into Pandharpur and the worship of Vithoba, but the journey itself is the most important part.

G. A. Deleury's The Cult Of Vithoba, 1960; I. B. Karve's "On the Road," Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 22 No. 1, 1962; and Digambar Balkrishna's Digambar Balkrishna's Digambar Balkrishna's Digambar Balkrishna's Digambar Balkrishna's Digambar Balkrishna Palkhi: An Indian Pilgrimage, edited by Mokashi, was first published in 1987.



Kiran Atma


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Hinduism - Who Was Muktibai?

 

Muktibai (1279–1297?)  was a poet and saint of the Varkari Panth, a religious group focused on the worship of the Hindu deity Vithoba at his temple in Pandharpur, Maharashtra today.

Muktibai was the sister of Jnaneshvar, the renowned Varkari instructor, according to legend.


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Hinduism - Who Is Jnaneshvar?


 (1275–1296?) Poet and saint who founded the Varkari Panth, a religious order focused on the worship of the Hindu deity Vithoba at his temple at Pandharpur, Maharashtra, in the present state of Maharashtra.

Jnaneshvar was an outcaste brahmin, according to legend.

Because his father was a lapsed ascetic—he left his wife to become an ascetic, only to return to his family at his guru's command—he received this punishment.

Jnaneshvar hailed from a devout family: his sister Muktibai is a Varkari deity in her own right, and his older brother Nivrttinath is said to be a "spiritual grandchild" of the legendary ascetic Gorakhnath.

Jnaneshvar spent most of his life in Alandi, according to Varkari legend, although the veracity of many of the events connected with his life is disputed—for example, he is believed to have had a buffalo recite the holy scripture known as the Veda in order to humble the local brahmin priests' pride.

The Jnaneshvari, a Marathi language commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, one of the most significant Hindu holy books, was Jnaneshvar's most famous work.

He's also known for his Vithoba adoration songs, which the Varkaris still sing today.

G. A. Deleury, The Cult of Vithoba, 1960; Justin Abbott and Narhar R. Godbole (trans. ), Stories of Indian Saints, 1982; and G. A. Deleury, The Cult of Vithoba, 1960.

 


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Hinduism - Who Was Gadge Maharaj?

  

 (18 At the Varkari Panth, a religious group focused on the worship of the Hindu deity Vithoba at his temple in Pandharpur in the contemporary state of Maharashtra, modern ascetic instructor and religious preceptor. 

The clay pot (gadge) that was his lone possession gave him his name, representing his rejection of all riches and worldly entanglements. 

Gadge was born into a washerman's caste, which is regarded as a low-status group since their daily labor exposes them to other people's unclean clothing. 

Gadge not only emphasizes the value of devotion to God, which is the characteristic of the bhakti (devotional) movement, but also argues for temperance, poverty, and vegetarianism in his teachings. 



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