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Temples & Legends Of Maharastra
Index Of Maharastra Preface
Kulapati's Preface The Author
Morgaon - Moreshvar

Kolhapur - Mahalakshmi

Tuljapur - Bhavani Ganagapur - Dattatreya
Pedhe - Parashurama Bhimashankar - Bhimashankar
Tryambakeshvar - Trymbak Khandoba - Jejuri
Pandhapur - Vitthal Glossary
Biblography  
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Temples & Legends Of India
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Somanatha

PANDHARPUR - VITTHAL

The Padmapurana contains a section of 'Panduranga- Mahatmya' pertaining to Pandharpur and its deity Vitthal. The Panduranga-Mahatmya narrates the mythological legend regarding how and why Vitthal came to the kshetra. One evening Vishnu was moving about in the gardens of his mansion when he noticed a lady approaching. When she came nearer he recognised her as none else than Shachi, the wife of Indra, the Lord of the Heavens. He wondered what business that fair lady had. Her coming all alone, without her usual regal paraphernalia was strange. While he was thus trying to make things out, Shachi was standing near him. The expression in her eyes startled Vishnu, but he collected himself and welcomed her. The fair lady was impatient of all small talk, brushed aside all formalities and without much ado came out with her real intention. She had found that the charms of the Lord of Vaikunth were irresistible. A good and loyal wife as she was, she had tried to check the rebellious thoughts. But the temptation had proved too much for her and there she was! This was an extremely embarrassing situation. Vishnu could not, even out of considerations of policy, hope to elope with Indra's wife and get away with it. He rejected her advances but told her that her desire would be fulfilled in the next birth, Vishnu would become Krishna and Shachi would become Radha. Thus would her lust be satisfied. Shachi accordingly became Radha, and Vishnu as Krishna entertained her. The scene now shifts to Dwaraka. Their meetings were frequent although surreptitious. The game was not quite safe and soon the worst befell the two lovers. Rukmini once saw the two of them together. She had of course heard of Radha and the days of childhood that Krishna had spent with her in Mathura, but she had no idea that Krishna was still attached to her and so she was extremely furious and greatly disappointed. Instead of making a fuss over the incident she decided to punish him in a silent but more effective manner. Without notifying anybody she left Dwarka and travelled to Dindirvana. Here she undertook a severe penance with the object of winning Krishna back to her. But it was not at all necessary. Her absence was noted soon enough and the repentant husband at once instituted a search for the deserter. He went to various places but found no trace of her. When his search in the northern regions proved fruitless, he turned towards the south. Soon he came upon Dindirvana and found his wife seated in an isolated spot in the thick of the jungles. Her eyes were closed in meditation and she never noticed anybody approaching her. Krishna went near her and tried to woo her favour back, She did not recognise him and when he waxed more eloquent administered him a sharp rebuff. The god thereupon decided to launch a counter-tapa and stood before her with his arms resting on the hips, eyes looking straight in front. He is standing there for twenty-eight, ‘yugas' or ages. And the two of them would have stood there for longer also but for the intervention, albeit unintentional, of one Pundalik.

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Temples on the banks of the Bhima, Pandharpur
About Padharpur
Introduction
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