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Friday, July 19, 2013

Ashadi Ekadasi=Pundalik Varade Hari Vithal !

Today is Ashadi Ekadasi or Shyani Ekadashi. Shirdi Majhe Pandarpura Sai Baba Ramavara. (Shirdi is my Pandarpur and Sai Baba is the presiding diety) is one of the arati sung in Shirdi. Sai Baba also respected Vitthoba a lot. Das Ganu wanted to go to Pandarpur on a pilgrimage and Baba dissuaded and said Shirdi is Pandarpur. There are many instances in Sai Satcharitra where mention of Pandarpur is made.

Pilgrims and devotees of Lord Vitthal known as Warkari will gather at Pandarpur. Lord Vishnu or Vitthal will take rest beginning today for nearly 4 months ending on Kartick Ekadashi (in November) or Devathuni Ekadashi. Pilgrims or Warkari begin their journey on foot from Alandi on Jyestha Krishnapaksh (10th June) and terminate their Padayatra on Ashadi Ekadasi Skula Ekadashi (July) at Pandarpur. On their journey they pass through Shirdi and after taking Sai’s blessing continue their onward yatra or wari. 
Chapter 4 of Sai Satcharitra gives us enough information that Sainath is Lord Pandarinath. Chapter 7 of Sai Satcharitra tells us about Nana Saheb Chandorkar. He got an order for transfer to Pandarpur. His devotion to Sai Baba bore fruit, as he got an order to and stay at Pandarpur which is regarded as Bhuvaikunta – Heaven on earth. He wanted to give a surprise visit at Shirdi, his Pandarpur and salute his Vithobha (Baba) and then proceed further. Baba then said to Mhalsapthi and others saying “Let us all four do some Bhajan, the doors of Pandhari are open let us sing merrily”. The Song being “I have to go to Pandharpur and I have to stay on there, for it is the house of my Lord.”
Let us all imagine that we are at Pandarpur today mentally and enjoy the nectar of Vitthal and Sai Darshan. 

This day, a huge yatra or religious procession of pilgrims known as Pandharpur Ashadi Ekadasi Waari Yatra [4]culminates at Pandharpur, in Solapur district in south Maharashtra, situated on the banks of the Bhima River. Pandharpur is main center of worship of the deity Vithoba, a local form of Vishnu. Thousands of pilgrims come to Pandharpur on this day from different parts of Maharashtra. Some of them carry Palkhis (palanquins) with the images of the saints of Maharashtra. Dnyaneshwar's image is carried from AlandiTukaram's from DehuEknath's from Paithan,Nivruttinath's from TrimbakeshwarMuktabai's from MuktainagarSopan's from Sasvad and Saint Gajanan Maharaj from Shegaon. These pilgrims are referred to as Warkaris. They sing Abhangas (chanting hymns) of Saint Tukaram and Saint Dnyaneshwar, dedicated to Vithoba.


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