The famous temple of Lord Vitthal at Pandharpur. Lakhs of people gather here to see the great worship. Who is Shri Vitthal and where is his temple? Let’s know who is Sri Hari Vitthal and what is his story ?
Who is Hari Vitthal ?
There is a famous temple of Lord Krishna in Pandharpur, Maharashtra. Here Shri Krishna is seated in the form of Shri Hari Vitthal and along with him Lakshmi Avatar Mata Rukmaniji is also worshipped.
Story of Vitthal Roop
In the 6th century, there was a saint Pundalik who was a great devotee of his parents. His presiding deity was Shri Krishna. There is a long story behind parents being devotees. There was a time when he left the devotion to his presiding deity and even threw his parents out of the house, but later he repented and got engrossed in the devotion of his parents. At the same time, he also started worshiping Shri Krishna.
Shri Krishna came to bless
Pleased with his devotion, one day Shri Krishna appeared at the door with Rukmani. Rukmini wanted to see who is that devotee for whom Sri Krishna has himselfed dressed so well, so she joined Krishna. Then the Lord called him affectionately and said, ‘Pundalik, we have come to receive your hospitality.’
At that time Pundalik was pressing his father’s and mother’s feet and his back was towards the door. Pundalik said my father is sleeping, so right now I am not able to welcome you. You will have to wait till morning. That’s why you stand on this brick and wait and they get engrossed in pressing their feet again.
Lord obeyed the order of devotee
The Lord obeyed the order of his devotee and stood on the bricks by keeping both hands on the waist and joining the feet. Because of standing on a brick known as Vitth in marathi, he was called Vitthal and this form of his became popular. He is also called Vithoba. After his father woke up, Pundalik started looking towards the door, but by then the Lord had taken the form of an idol. Pundalik made Vitthal form sit in his house.
The famous temple of Vitthal
This place is called Pundalikpur or Pandharpur in Apabhramsh form, which is the most famous pilgrimage of Maharashtra. Pundalik is also considered the historical founder of the Varkari sect, which worships Lord Vitthal. There is a memorial of Bhaktaraj Pundalik here. A fair is held here every year in memory of this incident.