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Pandharpur Mahatmya (importance)

The pauranik (mythological) relevance and importance of Pandharpur Pandharinath or Vitthal is not God of only Varkari culture in Maharashtra but is God of many Vaishnava its from places like Karnataka, Andra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Utter Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh etc, Vitthal is not confined only to the Marathi culture. Many saints around the country have mentioned the importance of devotion of this God Vitthal. The ancient tradition of Shri Vitthala’s worship could be traced back to the Hindu philosophical scripture like Upanishad. There is story of King Janshruti in 4th chapter of Chandogya Upanishad. Once he listened whisperings of swans while resting under a starry sky. These flying swans were some seers. One swan praised the beauty of moonlight while the other said the fame of king Janshruti is more comforting than the moonlight. Other swan said that there was a person greater than King Janshruti whose name was Raikava. He was an owner and driver of a bullock cart but was an enlightened person. King Janshruti after listening this fact started a search for Raikava. In the last he found Raikava in Kashmir. King Janshruti had mentioned about his visit to Pandharpur when he was on the way to search for Raikva.

' Tatto nivritta ayatah pashyanbhimarathitate| Dvibhujan vitthalam vishnum bhuktimuktipradayakam| Yatra bhimarthitire bindumadhava sandnitah| Harih sa vartate$dyapi bhuktimuktiprado nrunam ||’

Shri Vitthal-Rukmini Temple

Varahsanhita in Paddyapuran explains the significance of God Pandurang or Vitthal. This is comprised of 32 chapters (adhyayas).This is a kind of dialogue between Sootarishi and his followers. There is a reference that it was first narrated by Lord Shankar to Devi Parvati. Then Rishi Narad told that to Shesh. Pandurang mahatmya throws light on how Pandurang/Vitthal came in Pandharpur. It tells about the history and significance of Lord Vitthal’s standing on brick in Pandharpur. How river Bhima originated? It also informs about the various God and deities in Pandharpur. Pandharpur is a sort of design in which Lord Vitthal is situated at the center. Other centers are at the point of the triangle. Pandharpur is as holy as Kashi, Neera Narasingpur is as Prayag and Korti or Vishnupad is like Gaya. So the blessings of the pilgrimage of these three places could be gained by visiting Pandharpur. The rituals of Kashiyatra and Gayashraddha could be performed here. All this types of secrets are mentioned in this Varahsanhita of Paddyapuran.

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ISKCON Pandharpur