Thursday, July 26, 2007



[Vithoba Che Navane Chang Bhala]

In the Aashad [usually July] it common scene in the Maharashtra , Pandharpur bound roads are filled with walkers called “Varkari” and this procession of human ocean is called “Dindi”. If we go southwards from solapur towards the Vidharbha area of Maharashtra at the distance of about 70 km. a small town on the bank of river chandarbhaga is located “Pandharpur” the abode of Lord Vishnu [Vithoba] . Pandharpur along with the Shridi is the most visited pilgrimage city of Maharashtra. There is a Hindi movie song

“Ye to sach hai ki Bhagwan Hai, Hai Magar Phir Bhi Anjaan Hai

Dharti Pe Roop Maa Baap Ka Us Vidhata Ki Pehchan Hai”

[It is true God is there though be are not aware of his presence but fact is that on the earth Mother and Father are not only the form of the God but in fact are the identification mark of presence of God]

Pandharpur’s Vithoba Temple is the living illustration of it. There was a young boy named Pundlik lived there, as to serve his old age mother and father he decided to give up his whole life. Lord Vishnu become pleased with obedience and devotion of boy towards the mother and father so decided to bless and appreciate the boy in person, he appeared in the city as “Vithoba”. The word about incarnation spread over the city and everybody went to see this but as the mother and father were ill so Pundlik prefer to stay at home. Days went by and some one asks Pundlik that Vithoba is waiting for him and is standing since so many days. Listening to this Pundlik took a brick laying near by him and throw it in the direction of Vithoba with the words “Take this and rest on it till I get free from serving my old aged mother and father.” The place where the brick landed is the present temple and Vithoba is waiting for Pundlik, the dutiful son, to find time for him.

Since the centuries wait is on and so is the worship. Many saint-poets of Maharashtra have sung in praise of Vithal. The compositions of Sant Gyaneshwar, Sant Eknath, Sant Namdev, Sant Tukaram and the poetess Mukta Bai, though written hundreds of years ago, are current even now. These compositions guide one to the path of piety, truthfulness, devotion and dedication.

Temple here is with the six gates, the entrance is the Namdev gate or payari [Steps] named after saint Namdev, in between this and exit known as Pachhim Dwar there lies as many as 25 small temples in the same premises. These temples includes Ganesh Mandir, Garud Mandir, Ekmukh Dattatraya Mandir, Satyabhama Mandir and Kanhopatra Mandir.

Vithoba Temple is the only temple where on behalf of Government of Maharshtra a special worship ritual is organized and usually chief Minister of state remains present for this. Though Kartik Ekadasi [11th day of Kartik Month] is also celebrated with same devotion of Aashad Ekadshi but it is Aashad Ekadashi on which more than 15 Lakhs of devotees not only from Maharashtra but all over the world present for the blessing from Vithoba and Rukma. The daily worship ritual at temple includes

Kakad Arati (Early Morning Prayers)

Mahapuja (Mega-Worship)

Mahanaivedya (Food offering)

Poshakh (putting the robe)

Dhoop Arati

Padya Pooja .

On the Aashad Ekadashi day [This year on 26th July 2007] atmosphere at Pandharpur is always filled with sounds of “Vithoba Che Navane Chang Bhala.”

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