Day 8, Sanctum 6 - Vitthala Krishnar Sanctum

Vitthala Krishnar is also known as panduranga, vitthala, or vithoba.

In Marathi 'vitt' refers to brick, hence, the name vitthal or vitthala refers to the one who stands on the brick. Lord Vitthal is Lord Vishnu's incarnation.

The face of Shri Vitthal is long, cheeks are bulky, his eyes are looking horizontally straight. He wears Makar kundal in his ear. A Kaustubhmani is there around his neck like a necklace, and he has a srivatsam (mole) on his chest. Angads are there on his both arms and on his both wrists he has Manibandhs.

Shankaracharya wrote a Pandurangashtak, in which he describes Vitthal as “Nitamba Karabhyam Druto Yena Tasmat”, नितम्बःकराभ्यांधृतोयेनतस्मात् ।

Shri Vitthal put both hands on his waist. In his right hand, he has a Kambal and on the left hand, he has Shankha. On his chest, there is Vakshasthalam, which is the residence of Rukmini Devi. There is Vastra around his waist. His Vastra extends up to his feet. On his left leg, there is a sign of touch of a daasi. Thus this sculpture is standing on a brick.

Pandharpur is the only fortunate place where one can touch Lord's feet or keep one's forehead upon Lord's feet. (in Srirangam, we are not allowed to touch lord Vitthal Krishnar's feet)

He is the Lord who came for a devotee named Pundalik. Pundalik was devoted to his parents. He used to take care of his parents as children and fulfilled all their wishes.

Lord decided to test Pundalik’s devotion towards his parents. So, one day he came to Pundalik’s house. He called out to him “Pundalik! Pundalik was so much involved in serving his parents, that he did not notice who had come to meet him, but, shastras say Atithi Devo bhava, अतिथि देवो भव | 'atithi' refers to 'guests who don't come on a fixed date, Devo bhava means ' they represent gods', hence Atithi Devo bhava means gods come in disguise of our guests, so we have to treat them with lots of love and respect as we treat our deities...

Pundalik knew this prior, so, he asked the guest (Lord Krishna) to stand on the brick outside, and that he would meet him once, his service for his parents is over...

Lord did as per his say. Pundalik came out after some time and found the guest standing on the brick.

On enquiring, the guest revealed his true form,i.e., the Lord gave his Viswaroopa seva to Pundalik...

Lord was pleased with Pundalik's devotion towards his parents..Hence asked him to ask for a boon, and Pundalik asked Lord, that it would be great if you could remain in this form so that, all your devotees could touch and worship you...Lord smiled and granted the boon asked by Pundalik...

With those words, Bhagwan remained in that form forever. To this day, millions of devotees have darshan of Shri Vithoba and remember Pundalik’s inspirational devotion for his parents.

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