Vithoba
The following represents the most comprehensive account of Lord Vithoba on the Internet. Please feel free to link to it and/or paraphrase the information provided here.

Vithoba History
Vithoba was first worshiped as a pastoral god as early as the 6th century and is associated mainly with Vishnu, Krishna (an avatar of Vishnu), Shiva, and sometimes Buddha who is the ninth incarnation of Vishnu. Vithoba wears a cone shaped crown, which is widely interpreted is the Shiva Linga symbol. Vitthala is depicted as a young black/dark boy standing on a brick with arms in the “akimbo” position adorned with: a necklace made of tulsi beads(The tulsi plant is dear to Krishna), fish shaped earrings, holding a conch (shankha) with his left hand, and a lotus flower (chakra) with his right hand.

vithoba photo

Vithoba is also known as Vitthala, Panduranga, Pandharinath, Hari and Narayan. The derivation of the name “Vitthala” is a composite of “vittha” which means ignorance and “la” which means accepts and together means a person who accepts innocent people who are not very knowledgeable. The other theory is that that “Vitthu” is a derivation of Vishnu and “la” meaning father. The alternative theory is that the name is composed of two Sanskrit words for brick “vit” and standing “thal” and hence “one standing on brick. The brick iconography represents the simple village life and Vithoba is often praised as the protector of the poor.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vithoba

Legend of Vithoba – Story of Pundalik
In the 5th/6th century there was a man named Pundalik who worshiped Vishnu and lived with his parents in a forest known as Dandivana. He was a worshiper of Vishnu and was also great son and took great care of his parents. When he married he started to neglect his parents and focused more on his wife. Tired of their son’s ill treatment towards them Pundalik’s parents decide to leave for a pilgrimage to Kashi by foot – a city surrounded by legend that states that if you “die in Kashi you will attain salvation and emancipation from the cycle of life” and as such many Hindus would visit Kashi when they felt that they were going to die soon. When Pundalik and his wife hear about this news they decide to go on this pilgrimage as well and join a caravan headed to Kashi, however unlike his parents, they decide to use a horse as a means of transportation rather than go by foot. Shortly Pundalik meets with his parents at one of the resting camps and forces them to take care of his horses and do other tasks. His parents are greatly upset with this and regret going on the pilgrimage in the first place. Wherever the caravan stopped for the night, Pundalik made his parents do various tedious tasks.

One day the caravan reached Kukkutswami’s Ashrama. Kukktswami was known as a great sage in India at the time. The group decide to spend a couple of nights at the Ashrama as they were all exhausted from the journey so far. As the party slept, Pundalik remained awake as he could not sleep. As Pundalik lie awake he sees a group of beautiful young women in soiled clothes enter the ashram. These women clean the floors, fetch water and wash the sage’s clothes. After they have finished their chores, they go to the prayer room. When the women reappear after prayer, their clothes are spotlessly clean. Shortly thereafter they all vanish as inexplicably as they had appeared. Pundalik was hypnotized by these women. He wanted to know more about them so the next time that he saw them he asked them who they were. These women told Pundalik that they were the manifestation of the holy rivers of India where pilgrims visit to wash away their sins e.g. Ganga, Yamuna, etc. They continued and told him that he was a great sinner since he was treating his parents very poorly. Pundalik was taken aback by their comments and it brought a transformational change in him. He realized he was treating his parents very poorly and started to become the devoted son that he once was. His parents now rode the horses while he and his wife walked beside them. Pundalik and his wife now convinced his parents to return back to Dandivana where he would take care of them for the rest of their lives.

The appearance of Krisha, Vishnu, and Vithoba
Story 1: Krishnas’s appearance as Vithoba

Meanwhile in Dwarka, the Kingdom of Krishn, Krishna’s milkmaid consort Radha had arrived. She went to see Krishna and sat on his lap while not honoring Rukmini, Krishna’s wife (*note that the alternative version to this is that Krishna missed Radha and brought her back to life and Rukmini was not pleased with this). Krishna did not acknowledge Radha’s disrespectful behavior towards Rukhmini and as such Rukhmini left Dwarka in anger and went to the forest of Dandivana. Krishna was saddened by her leaving and went to search for her.

In Dandivana, Krishna found Rukhmini resting near Pundalik’s house and managed to calm her down. After he settled his dispute with his wife Krishna took the form of Vithoba and went to visit Pundalik who was attending to the needs of his aging parents. Pundalik was aware that Vithoba was present however he made a lifelong commitment to tend to the needs of his parents above all else as long as he can and this was his number one priority. Pundalik then threw a brick towards Vithoba and asked Vithoba to stand on it and wait for him to finish taking care of his parents. Vithoba (Krishna) was not offended and did not mind the delay. After Pundalik’s duty towards his parents was done he asked Vithoba for forgiveness and to remain on the brick and bless all of his devotees. Vithoba told Pundalik that he was not upset for the delay and was extremely happy with Pundalik’s love and devotion for his parents.

vithoba photo

Story 2: Vishnu’s appearance as Vithoba

Lord Vishnu is aware about Pundalik’s devotion to his parents and he is impressed. He leaves Vaikuntha for Dandivana with the intent to bless him. Vishnu arrives at Pundalik’s place of residence and knocks on his door but realizes Pundalik is busy serving his parents. Pundalik is well aware that God is at his door however he is committed to his parents and wants to complete his duties first. Pundalik then throws an earth brazen brick towards Vishnu and asks him to stand on the brick and wait for him. Vishnu is not upset but extremely happy that one of his devotees is very committed to the well being of their parents. Pundalik finishes his tasks and comes out and apologizes to Vishnu and as such Vishnu grants a boon. Pundalik then asks Vishnu to stay on Earth and bless all his true devotees. Vishnu agrees and then takes the form of Vithoba and a temple is built in Vishnu’s honor.

vithoba photo with vishnu

Legend of Vithoba – The Story of Eknath
Eknath was a poor Maharasthran man who lived in a village near Pune in the state of Maharastra. He devoted 24 hours a day to worshiping Krishna. He had lost his father and brother and the only person he had left was his mother who was sick and on the verge of death. Krishna was very concerned and thought that he was Eknath’s only relative and as such decided to visit and console him at his village. When Krishna arrived at Eknath’s residence he took the form of Vithoba. He noticed that the door was open because Eknath had no need to lock the door as he had nothing to steal. Vithoba walked towards Eknath and stood right behind him and told him “your mother is going but your Vithoba is here”. Eknath was aware that Vithoba was present but would not look at him as he was taking care of his mother. There was not a chair, mat, nor a stool that could be given to Vithoba as Eknath was that poor. Eknath did however have a brick which he used to place a lamp on. He gave Vithoba that brick and told him to stand on it until he is finished taking care of his mother. Vithoba then stood on this brick and waited for Eknath to complete his duties.

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Shri Vitthal Hindu Mandir was founded with the purpose of preserving Hindu culture and to bring people together.

 

Shri Vitthal Hindu Mandir (SVHM) is a Temple (mandir) and a Community Center located in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. The mandir is a registered non-profit charitable organization (Registration #00998070-37) founded for the sole purpose of promoting Hindu philosophy and culture and bringing communities together. It lays emphasis upon rich Indian traditions and culture. As proud Hindus we feel a need to introduce our glorious past to the new generations and to all those interested in the religious heritage of India.

We wish to achieve this purpose by presenting the literary work of our great saints such as Jnyaneshvar, Eknath, Namdev, Tukaram, and many others. In doing so we wish to follow the tradition of Bhakti-marg as advocated by these visionary thinkers. The temple welcomes people from all communities to pursue its noble cause and so far it has received an encouraging response. There are several projects undertaken by the temple that provide different facilities to the Hindu community and foster a spirit of unity.

 

Vithoba
The following represents the most comprehensive account of Lord Vithoba on the Internet. Please feel free to link to it and/or paraphrase the information provided here.

Vithoba History
Vithoba was first worshiped as a pastoral god as early as the 6th century and is associated mainly with Vishnu, Krishna (an avatar of Vishnu), Shiva, and sometimes Buddha who is the ninth incarnation of Vishnu. Vithoba wears a cone shaped crown, which is widely interpreted is the Shiva Linga symbol. Vitthala is depicted as a young black/dark boy standing on a brick with arms in the “akimbo” position adorned with: a necklace made of tulsi beads(The tulsi plant is dear to Krishna), fish shaped earrings, holding a conch (shankha) with his left hand, and a lotus flower (chakra) with his right hand.

vithoba photo

Vithoba is also known as Vitthala, Panduranga, Pandharinath, Hari and Narayan. The derivation of the name “Vitthala” is a composite of “vittha” which means ignorance and “la” which means accepts and together means a person who accepts innocent people who are not very knowledgeable. The other theory is that that “Vitthu” is a derivation of Vishnu and “la” meaning father. The alternative theory is that the name is composed of two Sanskrit words for brick “vit” and standing “thal” and hence “one standing on brick. The brick iconography represents the simple village life and Vithoba is often praised as the protector of the poor.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vithoba

Legend of Vithoba – Story of Pundalik
In the 5th/6th century there was a man named Pundalik who worshiped Vishnu and lived with his parents in a forest known as Dandivana. He was a worshiper of Vishnu and was also great son and took great care of his parents. When he married he started to neglect his parents and focused more on his wife. Tired of their son’s ill treatment towards them Pundalik’s parents decide to leave for a pilgrimage to Kashi by foot – a city surrounded by legend that states that if you “die in Kashi you will attain salvation and emancipation from the cycle of life” and as such many Hindus would visit Kashi when they felt that they were going to die soon. When Pundalik and his wife hear about this news they decide to go on this pilgrimage as well and join a caravan headed to Kashi, however unlike his parents, they decide to use a horse as a means of transportation rather than go by foot. Shortly Pundalik meets with his parents at one of the resting camps and forces them to take care of his horses and do other tasks. His parents are greatly upset with this and regret going on the pilgrimage in the first place. Wherever the caravan stopped for the night, Pundalik made his parents do various tedious tasks.

One day the caravan reached Kukkutswami’s Ashrama. Kukktswami was known as a great sage in India at the time. The group decide to spend a couple of nights at the Ashrama as they were all exhausted from the journey so far. As the party slept, Pundalik remained awake as he could not sleep. As Pundalik lie awake he sees a group of beautiful young women in soiled clothes enter the ashram. These women clean the floors, fetch water and wash the sage’s clothes. After they have finished their chores, they go to the prayer room. When the women reappear after prayer, their clothes are spotlessly clean. Shortly thereafter they all vanish as inexplicably as they had appeared. Pundalik was hypnotized by these women. He wanted to know more about them so the next time that he saw them he asked them who they were. These women told Pundalik that they were the manifestation of the holy rivers of India where pilgrims visit to wash away their sins e.g. Ganga, Yamuna, etc. They continued and told him that he was a great sinner since he was treating his parents very poorly. Pundalik was taken aback by their comments and it brought a transformational change in him. He realized he was treating his parents very poorly and started to become the devoted son that he once was. His parents now rode the horses while he and his wife walked beside them. Pundalik and his wife now convinced his parents to return back to Dandivana where he would take care of them for the rest of their lives.

The appearance of Krisha, Vishnu, and Vithoba
Story 1: Krishnas’s appearance as Vithoba

Meanwhile in Dwarka, the Kingdom of Krishn, Krishna’s milkmaid consort Radha had arrived. She went to see Krishna and sat on his lap while not honoring Rukmini, Krishna’s wife (*note that the alternative version to this is that Krishna missed Radha and brought her back to life and Rukmini was not pleased with this). Krishna did not acknowledge Radha’s disrespectful behavior towards Rukhmini and as such Rukhmini left Dwarka in anger and went to the forest of Dandivana. Krishna was saddened by her leaving and went to search for her.

In Dandivana, Krishna found Rukhmini resting near Pundalik’s house and managed to calm her down. After he settled his dispute with his wife Krishna took the form of Vithoba and went to visit Pundalik who was attending to the needs of his aging parents. Pundalik was aware that Vithoba was present however he made a lifelong commitment to tend to the needs of his parents above all else as long as he can and this was his number one priority. Pundalik then threw a brick towards Vithoba and asked Vithoba to stand on it and wait for him to finish taking care of his parents. Vithoba (Krishna) was not offended and did not mind the delay. After Pundalik’s duty towards his parents was done he asked Vithoba for forgiveness and to remain on the brick and bless all of his devotees. Vithoba told Pundalik that he was not upset for the delay and was extremely happy with Pundalik’s love and devotion for his parents.

vithoba photo

Story 2: Vishnu’s appearance as Vithoba

Lord Vishnu is aware about Pundalik’s devotion to his parents and he is impressed. He leaves Vaikuntha for Dandivana with the intent to bless him. Vishnu arrives at Pundalik’s place of residence and knocks on his door but realizes Pundalik is busy serving his parents. Pundalik is well aware that God is at his door however he is committed to his parents and wants to complete his duties first. Pundalik then throws an earth brazen brick towards Vishnu and asks him to stand on the brick and wait for him. Vishnu is not upset but extremely happy that one of his devotees is very committed to the well being of their parents. Pundalik finishes his tasks and comes out and apologizes to Vishnu and as such Vishnu grants a boon. Pundalik then asks Vishnu to stay on Earth and bless all his true devotees. Vishnu agrees and then takes the form of Vithoba and a temple is built in Vishnu’s honor.

vithoba photo with vishnu

Legend of Vithoba – The Story of Eknath
Eknath was a poor Maharasthran man who lived in a village near Pune in the state of Maharastra. He devoted 24 hours a day to worshiping Krishna. He had lost his father and brother and the only person he had left was his mother who was sick and on the verge of death. Krishna was very concerned and thought that he was Eknath’s only relative and as such decided to visit and console him at his village. When Krishna arrived at Eknath’s residence he took the form of Vithoba. He noticed that the door was open because Eknath had no need to lock the door as he had nothing to steal. Vithoba walked towards Eknath and stood right behind him and told him “your mother is going but your Vithoba is here”. Eknath was aware that Vithoba was present but would not look at him as he was taking care of his mother. There was not a chair, mat, nor a stool that could be given to Vithoba as Eknath was that poor. Eknath did however have a brick which he used to place a lamp on. He gave Vithoba that brick and told him to stand on it until he is finished taking care of his mother. Vithoba then stood on this brick and waited for Eknath to complete his duties.


Vithoba Songs
Enjoy various devotional songs for Lord Vithoba.

Vitthala Aarti

Vitthal Vitthal Vitthala Hari Om Vithala

Vitthal Vitthal Vitthala Pandurang Vithala

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Shri Vitthal Hindu Mandir Inc.
5359 Timberlea Blvd. Unit #10, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L4W 4N5
Phone: 905.290.8321
Fax: 905.488.9037
E-Mail: info@shrivitthal.com
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Sant Tukaram
Sant Tukaram was a prominent Varkari Sant and spiritual poet during a Bhakti movement in India. He was a devotee of Lord Vithoba and during his 41 years, Tukaram composed over 5,000 abhangs. Many of them speak of events in his life, which make them somewhat autobiographical.

Sant Tukaram

Tukaram is considered one of the greatest poet’s in the Marathi language and comparable to Shakespeare in English. Tukaram’s genius partly lies in his ability to transform the external world into its spiritual analogue. There is no other Marathi writer who has so deeply and widely influenced Marathi literary culture since.

Sant Tukaram

Sant Tukaram Biography
Sant Tukaram was born around the 1600’s and lived most of his life in the small village of Dehu, a town close to Pune in Mahārāshtra, India. He was of the lower Sudra class in the traditional Indian Caste System. Tukaram was born to a couple with the family name “More”, the descendent of the Mourya Clan (Āmbile) with first names Bolhobā and Kanakāi. In accordance with an ancient Indian tradition, Tukaram’s family name is rarely used in identifying him. His real name is Tukaram Vhilhoba Aambe and he was a devotee of Vitthala.

Sant Tukaram’s first wife, Rakhumābāi, died in 1602 in her early youth due to starvation during a famine. Sant Tukaram and his second wife, Jijābāi (also known as Āvali), was much younger than his first wife had been and together they had three sons: Santu or Mahādev, Vithobā, and Nārāyan.

Tukaram’s troubles started with the illness of his father, due to which he had to start supporting his family at the tender age of thirteen. Shortly thereafter, both his parents died. Tukaram’s problems only mounted; death of his family members and economic hardship seemed to plague him. Tukaram himself died in 1650.

Tukaram Movie

Sant Tukaram Abhang