Chokhamela was a saint in Maharashtra, India in the 14th century. He belonged to the Mahar caste, considered "untouchable" in India in that era, he was born at a village in Deulgaon Raja Taluka of Buldhana district. He lived at Mangalvedha in Maharashtra, he wrote many Abhangas. He was one of the first Dalit poets in India. Chokhamela lived with his wife Soyarabai and son Karmamela in Mangalvedha. Chokhamela's task was to work in farms of uppercast people; as a lower-caste person, Chokha was forced to live outside the town in a separate settlement for members of the untouchable caste. His family followed varkari sect. Soyarabai - Wife Nirmala - Sister and her husband Banka Karmamela - SonHe was initiated into bhakti spirituality by the poet-saint Namdev. Once when he visited Pandharpur, he listened to Sant Namdev's kirtan. A devotee of Vitthal alias Vithoba, Chokha was moved by Namdev's teachings, he moved to Pandharpur. The traditional story is that the upper castes here did not allow him to enter the temple, nor did they allow him to stand in the door of the temple, so he instead built a hut on the other side of the river Chandrabhaga.
While working on construction of a wall in Mangalvedha, near Pandharpur, the wall fell down, crushing some workers. Chokha was one of them, his tomb is in front of the Vitthal temple, where it can be seen to this day. According to a legend the bones of the dead Chokhamela were still chanting Vitthal, Vitthal yearning to visit the Vitthal temple; the bones were buried at the footsteps of the Vitthal temple. In early 20th century, the Dalit leader B. R. Ambedkar attempted to visit the temple, but was stopped at the burial site of Chokhamela and denied entry beyond that point for being a Mahar. Sant Chokhamela information in Marathi - he is a great sant from Maharashtra. On the Threshold: Songs of Chokhamela, translated from the Marathi by Rohini Mokashi-Punekar. B. R. Ambedkar dedicated his book The Untouchables: Who are They and Why They Became Untouchables to the memory of Chokhamela and Ravidas. Chokhamela by Punekar Chokhamela and Eknath: Two Bhakti Modes of Legitimacy for Modern Change - Zelliot Chokhamela: The Pioneer of Untouchable movement in Maharashtra - Prof. Nimavat
Eknath was a prominent Marathi sant and religious poet of the Varkari sampradaya. In the development of Marathi literature, Eknath is seen as a bridge between his predecessors—Dnyaneshwar and Namdev—and the Tukaram and Ramdas; the precise dates of his life are uncertain but it is traditionally held that Eknath lived during the last three-quarters of the sixteenth-century CE. Legend says that he was born to a Marathi Deshastha Rigvedi Brahmin family that worshiped Ekvira as their family deity at Paithan, that his parents died while he was young and that he was raised by his grandfather, Bhanudas, a sant revered by the Varkari sect; some sources say. It is possible, but not certain, that Eknath's guru, was a Sufi. Once, was invited by a Mahar to eat at his house. Eknath accepted, quoting a verse from the Bhagavata Purana – "A dog-eating outcaste, who has made an offering to God of his mind, his words, his actions, his property and his life, is to be considered far superior to a Brahman, although gifted with the twelve characteristics of a Brahman, has turned away from the feet of God.
The former purifies his whole family, not so the latter puffed up with pride". The Brahmins were enraged. Eknath submitted himself to the penance imposed by them. However, he accepted the invitation again; this time, he was saved by the God Vitthal from being ostracized. According to this legend, Vitthal took the form of Eknath and went to the Mahar's house instead of him, he wrote a variation of the Bhagavata Purana, known as the Eknathi Bhagavata, a variation of the Ramayana, known as the Bhavarth Ramayan. Eknath wrote Rukmini Swayamwar Hastamalak, comprised 764 owees and based on a 14-shlok Sanskrit hymn with the same name by Shankaracharya, his other works were the Shukashtak, the Swatma-Sukha, the Ananda-Lahari, the Chiranjeewa-Pad, the Geeta-Sar, the Prahlad-Wijaya. He introduced. Vasudeva Bhagavatism Citations Bibliography Eknath - A Translation from Bhaktalilamrita by Justin E. Abbott at archive.org Shri Eknathi Bhagwat at archive.org
Mahipati was a Marathi language hagiographer who wrote biographies of prominent Hindu Vaishnava sants who had lived between the 13th and the 17th centuries in Maharashtra, India. He worked for some time as a scribe for the village of Taharabad in Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra and for a Mughal landlord. Although he played down his abilities, his hagiographies of the Varkari sants, based at least in part on earlier works by Nabhadas and Uddhava Ciddhan, are still considered to be the most authoritative. An English translation of Bhaktavijaya written by Mahipati around 1762, was published under the provisions of the will of Justin E. Abbott in 1933. Notes Citations
Kirtan or Kirtana is a Sanskrit word that means "narrating, telling, describing" of an idea or story. It refers to a genre of religious performance arts, connoting a musical form of narration or shared recitation of spiritual or religious ideas. With roots in the Vedic anukirtana tradition, a kirtan is a call-and-response style song or chant, set to music, wherein multiple singers recite or describe a legend, or express loving devotion to a deity, or discuss spiritual ideas, it may include dancing or direct expression of bhavas by the singer. Many kirtan performances are structured to engage the audience where they either repeat the chant, or reply to the call of the singer. A person performing kirtan is known as a kirtankara. A Kirtan performance includes an accompaniment of regionally popular musical instruments, such as the harmonium, the veena or ektara, the tabla, the mrdanga or pakhawaj and karatalas or talas, it is a major practice in Hinduism, Vaisnava devotionalism, the Sant traditions and some forms of Buddhism, as well as other religious groups.
Kirtan is sometimes accompanied by acting. Texts cover religious, mythological or social subjects. Kirtan has Vedic roots and it means "telling, describing, reporting"; the term is found as Anukirtan in the context of Yajna, wherein team recitations of dialogue-style and question-answer riddle hymns were part of the ritual or celebratory dramatic performance. The Sanskrit verses in chapter 13.2 of Shatapatha Brahmana, for example, are written in the form of a riddle play between two actors. The Vedic sacrifice is presented as a kind of drama, with its actors, its dialogues, its portion to be set to music, its interludes, its climaxes; the root of kirtan is kirt. The root is found in the Samhitas, the Brahmanas and other Vedic literature, as well as the Vedanga and Sutras literature. Kirt, according to Monier-Williams contextually means, "to mention, make mention of, name, recite, relate, communicate, celebrate, glorify".kirtan, sometimes referred to as sankirtana, is a call-and-response chanting or musical conversation, a genre of religious performance arts that developed during India's bhakti devotional traditions.
However, it is a heterogeneous practice that varies regionally according to Christian Novetzke, includes varying mixture of different musical instruments, oration, audience participation and moral narration. In Maharashtra for example, states Novetzke, a kirtan is a call-and-response style performance, ranging from devotional dancing and singing by a lead singer and audience, to an "intricate scholarly treatise, a social commentary or a philosophical/linguistic exposition", that includes narration, humor and entertainment – all an aesthetic part of ranga of the kirtana. Kirtan is locally known as Abhang, Samaj Gayan, Haveli Sangeet, Harikatha; the Vaishnava temples and monasteries of Hinduism in Assam and northeastern, called Satra, have a large worship hall named Kirtan ghar – a name derived from their being used for congregational singing and performance arts. In regional languages, Kirtana is scripted as Bengali: কীর্তন. Musical recitation of hymns and the praise of deities has ancient roots in Hinduism, as evidenced by the Samaveda and other Vedic literature.
Kirtan were popularized by the Bhakti movement of medieval era Hinduism, starting with the South Indian Alvars and Nayanars around the 6th century, which spread in central, northern and eastern India after the 12th century, as a social and congregational response to Hindu-Muslim conflicts. The foundations of the Kirtan traditions are found in other Hindu scriptures such as the Bhagavad-gita where Krishna describes multiple paths to spiritual freedom, including karma marga, jnana marga and bhakti marga. Kirtan relates to the bhakti marga tradition of Hinduism. References to Kirtan as a musical recitation are found in the Bhagavata Purana, an important Vaishnava text. Kirtan is practiced as a kind of theatrical folk song with call-and-response chanting or antiphon; the ancient sage Narada revered as a musical genius, is called a kirtankar in the Padma Purana. The famous story of Prahlada in the Avatara Katha mentions kirtan as one of nine forms of worship, called the nava vidha bhakti along with shravanam, pada sevanam, vandanam, dasyam and atmanivedanam.
The so-called Naradiya Kirtan divides kirtan into five parts: naman, chanting, katha or akhyan and a final prayer for universal welfare. Kirtan as a genre of religious music has been a major part of the Vaishnavism tradition starting with the Alvars of Sri Vaishnavism sub-tradition between the 7th to 10th century CE. After the 13th-century, two subgenres of kirtan emerged in Vaishnavism, namely the Nama-kirtana wherein the different names or aspects of god are extolled, the Lila- kirtana wherein the deity's life and legends are narrated; the Marathi Varkari saint Namdev used the kirtan
In Hinduism, a sampradaya can be translated as ‘tradition’,'spiritual lineage' or a ‘religious system’. It relates to a succession of masters and disciples, which serves as a spiritual channel, provides a delicate network of relationships that lends stability to a religious identity. Sampradaya is a body of practice and attitudes, which are transmitted and reviewed by each successive generation of followers. Participation in sampradaya forces continuity with the past, or tradition, but at the same time provides a platform for change from within the community of practitioners of this particular traditional group. A particular guru lineage in guru-shishya tradition is called parampara, may have its own akharas and gurukulas. By receiving diksha into the parampara of a living guru, one belongs to its proper sampradaya. One can not become a member by birth, as is the case with a seminal, or hereditary, dynasty. Membership in a sampradaya not only lends a level of authority to one’s claims on truth in Hindu traditional context, but allows one to make those claims in the first place.
An quoted verse from the Padma Purana states: Mantras which are not received in sampradaya are considered fruitless. And another verse states: Unless one is initiated by a bona-fide spiritual master in the disciplic succession, the mantra he might have received is without any effect; as Wright and Wright put it, If one cannot prove natal legitimacy, one may be cast out as a bastard. The same social standard applies to religious organizations. If a religious group cannot prove its descent from one of the recognised traditions, it risks being dismissed as illegitimate. There are examples of teachers who were not initiated into a sampradaya, Ramana Maharshi being a well-known example. A sannyasin belonging to the Sringeri Sharada Peetham once tried to persuade Ramana to be initiated into sannyasa, but Ramana refused. According to the Padma Purāṇa, one of the eighteen main Purāṇas, there are four Vaishnava sampradayas, which preserve the fruitful mantras: All mantras which have been given not in an authorised Sampradāya are fruitless.
Therefore, in Kali Yuga, there will be four bona-fide Sampradāyas. Each of them were inaugurated by a deity, who appointed heads to these lineages: During the Kali yuga these sampradāyas appear in the holy place of Jaganatha Puri, purify the entire earth. Various sampradayas emerged from these four. There are other sampradayas, such as Swaminarayan Sampradaya, which are not linked to these four sampradayas; the lineage of Sri Bramha Madhava Gaudiya Sampradaya founded by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu falls under the lineage of Bramha sampradaya. There are three main saivite sampradayas known as "Kailasa Parampara" - Nandinatha Sampradaya, Adinath Sampradaya and Meykanda Sampradaya. In Balinese Hinduism, Dutch ethnographers further subdivided Siwa into five – Kemenuh, Mas and Petapan; this classification was to accommodate the observed marriage between higher caste Brahmana men with lower caste women. The Nandinatha Sampradaya traces its beginning to at least 200 BCE, its founder and first known spiritual preceptor was the Maha Rishi Nandinatha.
Nandinatha is said to have initiated eight disciples and sent them to various places to spread the teachings of non-dualistic Shaivism all over the world. Saiva Siddhanta Church of Hawaii identifies itself as principle monestory of lineage. Spiritual lineage of the Nandinatha Sampradaya: Maharishi Nandinath→ Tirumular→→→ unknown→Kadaitswami→ Chellappaswami→ Siva Yogaswami→Sivaya Subramuniyaswami → Bodhinatha Veylanswami Tamil Shaiva Siddhanta philosophy is known as the descedent from the teaching of Sanatkumara, one of the Kumaras.(Sanatkumara→Satyanjana Darshini→Paranjyoti rishi→Meykandar. Nandinatha and Meykandar Sampradayas are associated with the Shaiva Siddhanta while Adinath Sampradaya is associated with Nath Shaivism. Other popular Saivite sampradayas are Veerashaiva Samprdaya, Lingayat Sampradaya and Srouta Sampradaya Dashanami Sampradaya, "Tradition of Ten Names", is a Hindu monastic tradition of ēkadaṇḍi sannyasins associated with the Advaita Vedanta tradition, they are distinct in their practices from the Saiva Tridaṇḍi sannyāsins or "trident renunciates", who continue to wear the sacred thread after renunciation, while ēkadaṇḍi sannyāsins do not.
The Ekadandi Vedāntins aim for moksha as the existence of the self in its natural condition indicated by the destruction of all its specific qualities. Any Hindu, irrespective of class, age or gender can seek sannyāsa as an Ekadandi monk under the Dasanāmi tradition; the Ekadandis or Dasanāmis had established monasteries in Nepal in ancient times. After the decline of Buddhism, a section of the Ekadandis were organized by Adi Shankara in the 8th century in India to be associated with four maṭhas to provide a base for the growth of Hinduism. However, the association of the Dasanāmis with the Sankara maṭhas remained nominal. Adi Sankara founded four Maṭhas to develop his philosophies. One each in the north, south and west of the Indian subcontinent, each headed by one of his direct disciples. According to Nakamura, these mathas contributed to the influence of Shankara, "due to institutional factors"; the mathas which he built exist until today, preserve the teachings and influence of Shankara, "while the writings of other scholars before him came to be forgotten with the passage of time".
The table below gives an overview of the four A
Vithoba known as Vitthal and Panduranga, is a Hindu deity predominantly worshipped in the Indian state of Maharashtra. He is considered a manifestation of the god Vishnu or his avatar, Krishna. Vithoba is depicted as a dark young boy, standing arms akimbo on a brick, sometimes accompanied by his main consort Rakhumai. Vithoba is the focus of an monotheistic, non-ritualistic bhakti-driven Varkari faith of Maharashtra and the Haridasa faith. Vitthal Temple, Pandharpur is his main temple. Vithoba legends revolve around his devotee Pundalik, credited with bringing the deity to Pandharpur, around Vithoba's role as a saviour to the poet-saints of the Varkari faith; the Varkari poet-saints are known for their unique genre of devotional lyric, the abhang, dedicated to Vithoba and composed in Marathi. Other devotional literature dedicated to Vithoba includes the hymns of the Haridasa and the Marathi versions of the generic aarti songs associated with rituals of offering light to the deity; the most important festivals of Vithoba are held on Shayani Ekadashi in the month of Ashadha, Prabodhini Ekadashi in the month of Kartik.
The historiography of Vithoba and his cult is an area of continuing debate regarding his name. Various Indologists have proposed a prehistory for Vithoba worship where he was previously: a hero stone, a pastoral deity, a manifestation of Shiva, a Jain saint, or all of these at various times for various devotees. Though the origins of both his cult and his main temple are debated, there is clear evidence that they existed by the 13th century. Vithoba is known by many names, including: Vitthala, Pandharinath and Narayan. There are several theories about the meanings of these names. Varkari tradition suggests that the name Vitthala is composed of two Sanskrit-Marathi words: viṭ, which means'brick'. Thus, Vitthala would mean'one standing on a brick'. William Crooke, supported this explanation; the prescribed iconography of Vithoba stipulates that he be shown standing arms-akimbo upon a brick, associated with the legend of the devotee Pundalik. However, the Varkari poet-saint Tukaram proposed a different etymology—that Vitthala is composed of the words vittha and la, thus meaning'one who accepts innocent people who are devoid of knowledge'.
Historian Ramakrishna Gopal Bhandarkar offers yet another possibility—that Vitthu is a Kannada corruption of the name Vishnu adopted in Marathi. The suffixes -la and -ba were appended for reverence, producing the names Vitthala and Vithoba; this corruption of Vishnu to Vitthu could have been due to the tendency of Marathi and Kannada people to pronounce the Sanskrit ṣṇ as ṭṭh, attested since the 8th century. According to research scholar M. S. Mate of the Deccan College, Pundalik—who is assumed to be a historical figure—was instrumental in persuading the Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana alias Bittidev to build the Pandharpur temple dedicated to Vishnu; the deity was subsequently named as a derivative of Bittidev, by the builder-king. Other variants of the name include Viṭhurāyā, Viṭhāī; the people of Gujarat add the suffix - nath to Vitthala. The additional honorific suffix -ji may be added, giving the name Vitthalnathji; this name is used in the Pushtimarg sect. Panduranga spelt as Pandurang and Pandaranga, is another popular epithet for Vithoba, which means'the white god' in Sanskrit.
The Jain author-saint Hemachandra notes it is used as an epithet for the god Rudra-Shiva. Though Vithoba is depicted with dark complexion, he is called a "white god". Bhandarkar explains this paradox, proposing that Panduranga may be an epithet for the form of Shiva worshipped in Pandharpur, whose temple still stands. With the increasing popularity of Vithoba's cult, this was transferred to Vithoba. Another theory suggests that Vithoba may have been a Shaiva god, only identified with Vishnu, thus explaining the usage of Panduranga for Vithoba. Crooke, proposed that Panduranga is a Sanskritised form of Pandaraga, referring to the old name of Pandharpur. Another name, Pandharinath refers to Vithoba as the lord of Pandhari. Vithoba is addressed by the names of Vishnu like Hari and Narayana, in the Vaishnava sect. Reconstruction of the historical development of Vithoba worship has been much debated. In particular, several alternative theories have been proposed regarding the earliest stages, as well as the point at which he came to be recognised as a distinct deity.
The Pandurangashtakam stotra, a hymn attributed to Adi Shankaracharya of the 8th century, indicates that Vithoba worship might have existed at an early date. According to Richard Maxwell Eaton, author of A Social History of the Deccan, Vithoba was first worshipped as a pastoral god as early as the 6th century. Vithoba's arms-akimbo iconography is similar to Bir Kuar, the cattle-god of the Ahirs of Bihar, now associated with Krishna. Vithoba was later assimilated into the Shaiva pantheon and identified with the god Shiva, like most other pastoral gods; this is backed by the facts that the temple at Pandharpur is surrounded by Shaiva temples (most notably of the dev
Pandharpur Wari or Wari is an annual pilgrimage to Pandharpur - the seat of the Hindu god Vithoba in the Indian state of Maharashtra, in honour of the deity. Palakhis carrying the paduka of various saints - most notably Dnyaneshwar and Tukaram - from the Varkari sect, are taken from their respective shrines to Pandharpur; the tradition is more than 700 to 800 years old. Dnyaneshwar's palakhi leaves from Alandi; this March on foot from various locations in Maharashtra to Vithoba temple, attracts a total of over a million pilgrims. The journey takes 21 days. Numerous palakhis join the main Tukaram and Dnyaneshwar palkhis that starts from Dehu and Alandi respectively; the wari culminates at the Vithoba temple on Ashadhi Ekadashi. Devotees from Maharashtra and nearby areas set out for Pandharpur, wearing holy basil beads and singing the glories of Vithoba and songs like "Gyanba Tukaram", commemorating the saints. Upon reaching Pandharpur on Ashadi Ekadashi, these devotees take a holy dip in the sacred Chandrabhaga River/Bhima River before proceeding to visit the Vitthal temple.
There are various views on the origins of the Wari. Devotees of Vitthal were holding pilgrimages prior to the 14th century. According to one theory, the father of the Varkari saint Dnyaneshwar began the Wari to visit Pandharpur in the month of Ashadha and Kartik; the Wari is regarded to exist for more than 800 years. Another theory credits the saint Tukaram to have started the pilgrimage, they used to journey to Pandharpur by foot for fifteen days, reaching Pandharpur's Vithoba temple on Ashadhi Ekadashi. The tradition of carrying the paduka of the sants was started by the youngest son of Tukaram, Narayan Maharaj, in 1685. Further changes were brought to the pilgrimage in the 1820s by descendants of Tukaram and a devotee of Dnyneshwar called Haibatravbaba Arphalkar, a courtier of Scindias,the Maratha rulers of Gwalior. Haibatravbaba is credited with the organization of the wari in use today; this involved carrying the paduka in a palkhi, having horses and organizing the devotees or varkaris in dindis.
The Varkaris - whose patron deity is Vithoba - undertake the annual pilgrimage to Pandharpur, reaching there on Ashadhi Ekadashi, the eleventh lunar day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month of Ashadha. Pilgrims carry palanquins of the saints from their samadhi shrines; this is said to be the World's largest and oldest people movement where people gather on a specific day every year and perform a walk of a distance of around 250 km. Pandharpur Ashadi Ekadashi Wari journey has been honoured by World Book of Records, London under the title'One of the Most visited places in a day'; the Wari begins on the 8th/9th lunar day of the waning moon in the Hindu month of Jyeshtha and reaches a day before Ashadhi Ekadashi at Pandharpur. People from various castes and socio-economic backgrounds participate in the Wari, with the common goal to reach Pandharpur. Along with the Dindi procession, service to the poor and needy, like Amrut Kalash, Narayan seva, medical help and building and repairing of rural infrastructure, is done.
This is known as Seva dindi. From last two years "Niramal Wari" has started to keep all villages clean during the possession of Wari, it is believed that participation in Ashadi Dindi and Seva Dindi helps an individual in many ways by bringing good health, peace & prosperity in his life. Chanting the continuous glory of the God in the Ashadi Dindi procession and Seva Dindi purifies an individual, there is an inner cleansing that takes place in Mind and Spirit and the participants tend to lose their individual identities and experience bliss, it helps us understand the true purpose of Life. There are two routes. Dehu - Pandharpur and other Alandi - Pandharpur; the pilgrims known as "warkaris" starts the main pilgrimage from Dehu in Pune district on foot, carrying the palkhi of Saint Tukaram, a renowned devotee of Lord Vitthala, a form of lord Vishnu. It is known as Sant Tukaram’s Palkhi procession, it starts from Dehu & reaches Pandharpur via Akurdi, Loni Kalbhor, Varvand, Indapur, Akluj & Wakhri respectively.
The pilgrims starts from Alandi in Pune district on foot, carrying the palkhi of Sant Dnyaneshwar’s Palkhi and reaches Pandharpur via Pune, Jejuri, Taradgaon, Natepute, Velapur, Shegaon & Wakhri to Pandharpur. Both the palkhis meet at Pune at Wakhari and further meet just before Pandharpur. Besides these, two more Waris viz the Chaitra and Maghi Ekadashis are deemed to be important; the two are attended by devotees from neighbouring Karnataka. The Dnyaneshwar Palkhi is managed by the descendents of Haibatraobua Arphalkar who started the palkhi in Modern times, the hereditary Chopdars, Alandi Devasthan trust; the whole procession divided into sub groups called Dindi. Most dindis are registered with the Palkhi organizers. There are more than 200 Dindi on each route; each dindi has between 500 members. The palkhi is at the centre of the Wari procession and around half the number of Dindi are ahead of the palkhi and the other half are behind. All Dindis are assigned their number and position in the procession and the sequence is followed.
The numbers are mentioned. There are many unregistered