Lord Vithoba, is a Hindu god mostly worshipped by the people of Maharashtra. He is the incarnation of Lord Krishna. Vithoba is often depicted as a smiling handsome young man by keeping his two arms on his hip, and appears with his consort Mata Rukmini.
Pandharpur Vittal Rukmini Mandir is the main temple for Lord Vittal. Daily lot of devotees are visiting this shrine for getting the divine blessings of Lord Vittal. People in Pandharpur worship Lord Vittal as their Kula Deva along with their original Kula Devata. Lord Krishna took the incarnation as Vittal to visit his devotee Pundalik at his house.
According to famous legend, Pundalik didn’t respect his parents and disobeyed them. In course of time, due to the wish of the god, he has changed his mind and served his parents in a pleasing manner. He was a devotee of Lord Krishna. Due to his dedicated service to his parents, lord Krishna was pleased by his act and went to his house as Lord Vittal in order to see him. Since at that time, Pundalik was serving his parents, he put a stone in front of Lord Krishna and asked him to wait for some time. Lord Krishna kept his two arms in his hips and patiently waited for him for several hours.
After serving his parents, Pundalik worshipped Lord Vittal and he gave his darshan along with Mata Rukmani and blessed him for his noble act.
Vithoba is also known as Vitthala, Panduranga and Pandharinath.
After his death, Pundalik attained SALVATION and went to VAIKUNDA. Once, there lived some famous devotees of Lord Vittal in India, and attained SALVATION through their sincere devotion on the god. They are as follows:
3. Sakhu Bai
Though there are many temples dedicated to Lord Vithoba in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, however, the main centre of worship is Vithoba’s temple in Pandharpur. Several Vithoba temples are also found in Goa and Rajasthan. A Vittal temple is situated at Mulbagal, Karnataka. In Tamil Nadu, Vittal temples are situated in Srirangam, Thennangur and Govindapuram.
Some Pandharpur videos are also available in the websites. By looking at the videos, we will feel that we are worshipping the god directly in the Pandharpur itself.
In Vittal temples, the devotees are allowed to touch the feet of the god and the goddess Ma Rukmini and worship them. We can offer fruits and flowers and food items like mixed rice as naivedyam to the god. Whatever we offer, we must give it to him with utmost faith on him and with pure bhakti in our mind. We can recite the Stotras of Panduranga and perform puja in our home. Providing food to the poor people is also a kind of noble activity and it will please Lord Vittal.
It is a must for us to visit the Vittal-Rukmani temple at Pandharpur at least once in our life time, and to stay there for a few days, and can participate with the other local people in bhajans and pujas and peacefully and usefully enjoy our every moment of life in that holiest place.
Let us chant the glory of the god and be blessed.
“OM SREE VITTALARE NAMAHA”
“OM SREE MATA RUKMANI DEVIYE NAMAHA”
“OM SREE PUNDALIKARE NAMAHA”