Understand The Depth Of Bhakti At Palki Of Panduranga

The Pandurang is also known as Vithoba, Vitthal and mainly worshipped in Maharashtra and Goa. There are many opinions on the origin of the lord Pandurang. According to some the Vitthal is the form of Vishnu. There are a few who differs. Because, the main shrine of the lord at Pandharpur is encircled by the Shiva temples. There is also an opinion that lord Pandurang is the manifestation of local legends. The main deity at Pandharpur is depicted with a lingam and that is why the Shaiva connection gets prominence. In Hindu Mythology, there is also a manifestation of Harihar and it is a combination of the Lord Vishnu with Lord Shiva. It is probably a unique deity where two entirely different cults mingled the Shakta’s and the Vaishnava's. The priests of Pandharpur, of course dismisses the proposal and declares that Vithoba or the Pandurang is a separate God.


Benefits of worship

There are entirely two different sects are involved in the identification of the lord itself and naturally, the ways of worship are different. But, in the Hindi religion most of the gods are assigned with specific duties. So, the war god will ensure war winning. But, wherever the Vishnu form is worshipped the primary prayer is the salvation of the self always. The worshipping is therefore, has one meaning to the bhakti marga disciples, their prayer is to meet the lord rather their soul to get released and mingle with the eternal soul of the lord itself.


How to worship

The lord is worshipped throughout the day. The puja starts in the early morning around 3 am with aarti, this is the wake-up call to the lord. The next is bathing the deity in panchamrita and after that the deity is back to the temple to meet the devotees. The third puja starts in the noon. The deity is dressed up and bhog is served. In the afternoon at sunset the dinner is served and in the night after the fifth rite the deity is put to sleep.

Festivals based on

The main festival is in the month of Asadh that is in the month of June-July and famous in the whole of Maharashtra in the name of Palki. Palki is the palanquin upon which the deity of Vitthal or Pandurang was originally taken to Pandhrpur. Around a million devotees take part in this journey from Alandi and Dehu now a part of greater Pune to Pandharpur. Thre is one major festival again in the month of Magh and Chaitra.

Regions where the Panduranga is worshipped

The lord Pandurang is worshipped mainly in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh.