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History of Shri Vitthal Rukhmini temple

Many questions have been asked about how God Vitthal Rukhmini Temple was built at Pandharpur. So following is the history of Shri Vitthal Rukhmini mandir at Pandharpur. This story has many references to Hindu Sanskrit texts. 

Pandharpur-Vithoba-Temple

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कथा श्री विठ्ठल-रुक्मिणीची  pandharpur vitthal history in marathi

पूर्वी पुंडलिक नावाचा विष्णुभक्त होऊन गेला. तो, पत्नी व आई- वडिल सत्यवती आणि जानुदेव यांच्या बरोबर दिंडीरवन नावाच्या जंगलात रहात होता. पुंडलिक हा सत्गुणी पुत्र होता, पण त्याच्या लग्नानंतर तो आपल्या आई वडिलांना वाईट वागणूक देऊ लागला. या वागणुकीला कंटाळून ते काशीला जाण्यासाठी निघाले. हे जेव्हात्याच्या पत्नीला समजले, तेव्हा तीही तिकडे जाण्यासाठी निघाली.

ती पतीसमवेत, घोड्यावर ते आई-वडिल ज्या समूहाबरोबर जातहोते, तेथे पोहोचले. वाटेत ते एका आश्रमाजवळ पोहोचले, जो’कुक्कुटस्वामीं’चा होता. तेथे त्या सर्वानी एक-दोन दिवसथांबण्याचा निर्णय घेतला.

त्या रात्री सारे झोपी गेले, पण पुंडलिकाला झोप लागेना. पहाटेत्याला अस्वच्छ वस्त्रातील काही तरुण स्त्रीया आश्रमात येताना दिसल्या. त्यांनी आश्रम स्वच्छ केला, पाणी आणून, स्वामिंचेकपडे धुतले. आणि त्या बाहेर आल्या व पुंडलिकाजवळून जाऊनत्या अदृश्य झाल्या. पुढील पहाटेही त्याला तेच दिसले. पुंडलिकाने त्यांच्या पायाशी जाऊन त्या कोण आहेत हे सांगण्याची विनंतीकेली. त्या म्हणाल्या, की त्या गंगा, यमुना आणि इतर पवित्रनद्या आहेत जिथे भाविक आपली पापे धुतात. त्यामुळेच होतातत्या अस्वच्छ. “आणि तू आई-वडिलांना वाईट वागणूक दिल्याने, महापापी आहेस.” असे त्या म्हणाल्या.

यामुळे त्याच्यात पूर्ण बदल झाला आणि तो चांगला व आज्ञार्थी पुत्रझाला, व तो त्यांचा आदर राखू लागला. तेव्हा त्याने आई-वडिलांनाविनंती केली, की यात्रा सोडून त्यांनी पुन्हा दिंडीरवनात यावे.

एके दिवशी, द्वारकाधिश श्रीकृष्ण (भगवान श्री विष्णु) एकटेअसताना, त्यांना मथुरेतील दिवसांची आठवण होते. त्यांना आठवतात त्या गोप-गोपिका आणि राधा. जरी ती मृत होती तरी, त्यांनी स्वतःच्या दिव्य शक्तींनी तिला पुन्हा जिवंत करूनस्वतःजवळ स्थानापन्न केले. तेव्हाच रूक्मिणी कक्षात आली, आणि राधाने उभे न राहून त्यांचा निरादर केल्याने रूक्मिणीनेरागाने द्वारका सोडली व दिंडीरवनात अज्ञातवासात आली. नंतरभगवान श्री विष्णु तिच्या शोधार्थ प्रथम मथुरा नंतर गोकूळला गेले, गोपाळांना भेटले. मग त्यांनीही शोध सुरू केला. ते शोधार्थगोवर्धन पर्वतावर गेले.

शेवटी ते भीमा (किंवा चंद्रभागा) नदीतिराजवळ आले. सोबत असलेल्या गोपाळांना ‘गोपाळपूर’ येथे सोडून स्वतः दिंडीरवनजंगलात तिच्या शोधार्थ निघाले. आणि तिथे रूक्मिणी सापडल्यावर, तिचा राग शांत केला. नंतर रूक्मिणीसह तेथेच असलेल्या पुंडलिकाच्या आश्रमात आले.

पण तेव्हा पुंडलिक आपल्या आई-वडिलांची सेवा करीत होता. जरी त्याला माहित झाले, की भगवान श्री विष्णु स्वतः भेटायला आलेआहेत, तरी आई-वडिलांच्या सेवेसमोर त्याने तात्काळ भेटण्याचेनाकारून एक वीट त्यांच्याजवळ फेकली, त्यावर उभे राहण्यासाठी.

पुंडलिकाची आपल्या आई वडिलां विषयीची श्रद्धा पाहून भगवान श्री विष्णुने विलंबाची पर्वा केली नाही. विटेवर उभे राहून पुंडलिकाचीवाट पाहिली. नंतर पुंडलिकाने देवाची क्षमा मागून अशी विनंतीकेली की, त्यांनी भक्तांसाठी तेथेच असावे. आणि भगवान श्री विष्णुने तसे वरदान दिले. तेव्हापासून भगवान श्री विष्णु आहेत विठ्ठल या अवतारात!

विठ्ठल म्हणजे असा जो विटेवर उभा आहे. ( विठ्ठल – विट + ठल (उभा ठाकणे) )

आषाढी एकादशीचे महत्व
आषाढ महिन्यातील (जून-जुलै) शुक्ल/शुद्ध पक्षातील आकरावीतिथी ही प्रथमाएकादशी / महा एकादशी / देव-शयनी एकादशी म्हणून ओळखली जाते. हा मोठा पवित्र दिवस आहे. या दिवशी उपवास केला जातो. या दिवसा पासून चातुरमास (चार महिन्यांचा काळ) सुरू होतो, तो कार्तिकी एकादशीला संपतो.

अशी मान्यता आहे की या दिवशी भगवान विष्णु हे, क्षीरसागरातशेषनागावर, योगनिद्नेस जातात. आणि योगनिद्नेतून बाहेर येतात ते कार्तिकी एकादशीला (प्रबोधिनी एकादशी). या काळातमांसाहार वर्ज्य केला जातो.

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The Story of Shri Vitthal Rukhmini

Once upon a time, there was a follower of Lord Vishnu, named Pundalik. He was living with his wife and parents Janudev and Satyavati, in a forest called Dindirvan.

Pundalik was a devoted son but soon after his marriage, he began to ill-treat his parents. To escape from this misery, the parents decided to go on a pilgrimage to Kashi. When Pundalik’s wife learnt about this, she also decided to go. She and her husband joined the same group of pilgrims on horseback. While the son and his wife site on the horseback, his parents walked. Every evening when they camped for the night halt, the son forced his parents to look after horses and do other work.

The poor parents cursed the day they decided to go on a pilgrimage.

After travelling for some days, these people reached the ashrama of the great sage Kukkutswami and decided to spend a couple of nights. They were all tired and soon fell asleep except Pundalik who could not sleep.

In the evening, Pundalik saw a group of women dressed in dirty clothes enter the ashrama, clean the floor, fetch water and wash the Kukkutswami’s clothes. Then they entered the inner room of the ashrama and came out in beautifully clean clothes and passing near Pundalik, they vanished.

Next night he saw the same sight again. Pundalik threw himself at their feet and begged them to tell who they were. They said they were Ganga, Yamuna and other holy rivers of India in which the Pilgrims bathed and washed off sins. Their clothes became dirty by the sins of the bathing pilgrims. “And because of your ill-treatment of your parents,” they said, “You are the greatest sinner.”

This brought a complete change in Pundalik and he became the most devoted son. Now the parents’ rode the horses while the son and his wife walked by their side.

One day it so happened that Lord Krishna, while feeling lonely, was reminded of his early days in Mathura. He particularly remembered his sports with the cowherd boys and his love, Radha. Though she was dead, he longed to see her again. By his divine powers, he brought her back to life and seated her by her side. Just then his wife, Rukmini, entered the room. When Radha did not rise to pay her respect, Rukmini left Dwarka in anger and hide in Dindirvan forest.

Later, Lord Krishna set off in search of Rukmini with cowherd boys, after searching at Mathura, then to Gokul and Mount Govardhan, at last, they reached the banks of the river Bhima (now it is called as Chandrabhaga in Pandharpur). At last, he found her and managed to calm her. Krishna and Rukmini came to Pundalik’s ashrama.

But at that time Pundalik was busy taking care of his parents. Pundalik refused to pay his respect to the god before completing his duty towards his parents. However, he threw a brick for Lord Krishna to stand upon till he completes his duty with his parents. Impressed by Pundalik’s devotion to his parents, Lord Krishna did not mind the delay. Standing on the brick he waited for Pundalik.

When Pundalik came out and begged God’s pardon and requested Him to remain there for the devotees, Lord Krishna accepted it as he was pleased with Pundalik’s love for his parents.

Since then Lord Krishna is present as Vithoba, Vitthal or Pandurang who stood upon a brick in Pandharpur.

Importance of fasting and Ashadhi Ekadashi

Ashadhi Ekadashi is also known as Shayani Ekadashi (sleeping eleventh) or Maha-Ekadashi (great eleventh) or Prathama-Ekadashi ( first eleventh) or Padma Ekadashi is the eleventh lunar day (Ekadashi) of the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha) of the Hindu month of Ashadha (June – July). Thus it is also known as Ashadhi. This holy day is of special significance to Vaishnavas, followers of Hindu preserver god Vishnu.

On this day idols of Vishnu and Lakshmi are worshipped, the entire night is spent singing prayers, and devotees keep fast and take vows on this day, to be observed during the entire chaturmas, the holy four-month period of the rainy season. These may include, giving up a food item or fasting on every Ekadashi day.

It is believed that Vishnu falls asleep (called – Yoga-Nidra) in Ksheersagar  (ocean of milk) on Shesha nāga (snake). Thus the day is also called Dev-Shayani Ekadashi (god-sleeping eleventh) or Hari-shayani Ekadashi (Vishnu-sleeping eleventh) or Shayana Ekadashi. Vishnu finally awakens from his slumber four months later on Prabodhini Ekadashi – eleventh day of bright fortnight in the Hindu month Kartik (October-November).

This period is known as Chaturmas (four months) and coincides with the rainy season. Thus, Shayani Ekadashi is the beginning of Chaturmas. Devotees start observing the Chaturmas vrata (vow) to please Vishnu on this day.

A fast is observed on Shayani Ekadashi. The fast demands self-denial from all grains, beans, cereals, certain vegetables like onions and certain spices and all kinds of eggs and non-veg.

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