Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pandharpur – The Vaikunth of Lord Vithoba

Pandharpur the sacred abode of Lord Vithoba is revered as the Vaikunth of Lord Vithoba. It is also famous as the “Dakshin Kashi” of India and is situated on the banks of the divine river Bhimarati which is also pertinently credited as Chandrabhaga, owing to the anecdote behind it. Interestingly according to mythology it was only after bathing in this holy river was the cursed Moon liberated from its curse. Since then the river started flowing around here in the shape of a crescent moon. It is also a prevalent belief that on his way to Lanka Lord Rama visited this holy river. Hence devotees consider themselves to be blessed by taking a dip in this holy river as they strongly believe by doing this they will absolve themselves from sins or curse if any.

Lord Vitthal is believed to be the reincarnation of Shri Krishna and is one of the many names of Vithoba which is derived from the Kannada word Vishnu. The name Vitthal is also interpreted by many as “The one standing on the brick”. This legendary deity standing on a brick stylishly resting his arms on the hips, is enshrined in a majestic temple on the river banks is also fondly called as Panduranga, Pandhairiraya, Vithai, Vithu-mauli. Rakhumai or Rukmini is the consort of Shri Vitthal and Bhakt Pundalik was an ardent devotee of Shri Krishna. Due to his close association with this shrine, Pandharpur is also know as Pundarika pura.

It is believed that this magnificent shrine dates back to the Yadav dynasty and was known to be a miniature then. It is assumed that in the 13th century with the wide spread of the Vitthala bhakti that the temple boundaries must have expanded. This ancient sanctuary covers a vast area and has a total of six gates. Saint Namdev was closely associated with this shrine and in his honor the eastern entrance to this temple is named as the Namdev gate. The entrance to the main temple is from the Namdeo-Payri.

Many noted saints like Namdev, Tukaram, Dnyaneshwar have written and sung the praises of the Lord Vitthal. Millions of Varkaris from all over Maharashtra walk bare foot to Pandhrpur dancing and chanting to the tunes of devotional songs to celebrate “Ashadhi Ekadashi and Kartiki Ekadashi” twice every year. One finds devotees flocking to this temple on Wednesdays and Ekadashis of every month as they are considered to be auspicious. Apart from Ashadhi and Kartitki Ekadashis, Magh and Chaitra Ekadashis are too celebrated with pomp and fare.

Pandharpur is a small town in the district of Sholapur in Maharashtra well connected by rail & road to practically to all the cities of Maharashtra.


Pandharpur

Few comments from youtube:


* Thank you for posting this. Tukaram ganapathi has sung these songs and they are really nice

* Bhooloka Vaikundam. Nice Song by Shri Thukaram Ganapathi Maharaj.

* This is not main virat or Murthi or main idol of Krishna in Phandarpur. In the video what is shown is a different one in the temple. See "vittal puja" in youtube and you will see the main idol. in Phardarpur temple the idol of Rukmini wife of Lord Krishna is not located along side of Sri Krishna's idol.


Vithal Puja



Live recording of Kakad aarti of the main deity in the main Vithhal temple at Pandharpur.

At 4.00 early in the morning the Kakad Aarti is performed. In a tranquil atmosphere one can hear the sweet melody of the instruments Choughada and Sanai playing.

The gates of the temple are opened for the gathered devotees. The priest then chants the mantras aloud to awake the Lord from his slumber.


After this prayer the priest washes the face of the Lord with water. The silver lamp with puree ghee is lit and along with the aarti and naivedya is offered to the deity. After singing a few aartis the priest then chants the Mantrpushpanjali. Then the deity is then all geared up for a bath, wherein the previous offerings of garlands and flowers are removed from the deity followed by padasanan which is done with milk and undressing the deity.

On completion of Ganpati, Kalash, Bell, Conch and Earth pooja, the Mahapooja is performed. The bathing rites are duly performed in the subsequent sequence, the deity is first bathed with hot water followed by curds, milk and panchamrit (milk, curd, ghee, honey, sugar) bath. In between butter-sugar with Tulsi leaves is offered to the deity and aarti is performed. After this honey and sugar is applied on the body of the deity and once again a hot-water bath is given.

Poorushsukta and other Vedic Mantras are chanted while making an offering of water and other things to the deity. After a luxurious bath, the Lord is dressed up in beautiful finery. Chandan, Kasturi tilak are applied to the forehead of the deity. After bedecking the deity with beautiful ornaments the mirror is shown to the Lord. Then dhoop, lamp and naivedya are offered. The priest then blesses all the devotees by sprinkling the auspicious holy water on them with which the Lord was bathed. Then again the aarti and Mantrapushpanjali are performed.

In this way each morning with complete dedication the Vithhal Pooja is duly performed in a very devotional way. The Darshan of the Lord at Mahapooja is incredibly pleasant and appealing which cannot be expressed in words but has to experienced by oneself.


The following comments are from youtube:

* it is a blessing for us who are settled abroad to have this beautiful darshan of shri vithal pandurang.god hari vithal bless you.jai hari vithal jai panduranga

* Thanka a lot for posting this!!! I am right now in US and find myself indeed lucky having Darshan of Vitthal. Thanks again!!!

* hari..u did really a very good job ..dear thanks a lot for this....keep it up ....vithhalachi krupa tuzhyavar aashich raho.. jai hari vithhal...

* Thanks a lot good job

* Thank you very much...God bless you!



5 comments:

  1. thank u....
    **** pandharpur Drashan *******

    .... jai- jai.... vithal rukmini......

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am born in maharashtra , Mumbai in 1955 I had visited Chardham amarnath Kumbhmela and all holy places except pandharpur I wish to visit in Holy shravan Month this year after visitng live darshan
    Bharat Pathak

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is the spiritual happyness, who holds your life in proper way. A huge power existance in Vithal bhagwans devoty.

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  4. i m born in Chennai but i got acquaintance with Pandarpur through many T.V. shows and my friends. I like Pandarpur very much and love Pandurangan bhajans also. But still i have not gone there for darshan. I am eagerly waiting for that golden opportunity.

    ReplyDelete