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    Ashadhi Ekadashi is a auspicious day of God Shri. Vitthal and is a festival of religious procession which is celebrated during the months of June-July.As per the Marathi calendar, it is Aashaadh Shukla paksha.

    People consider the two eleventh days, "Ekadashi", of every month to be of special significance.And the eleventh day (bright) of Ashadh is known as the great Ekadashi or Maha Ekadashi.

    This period coincides with the rainy season and is also known as Chaturmas .Ashadhi Ekadashi is a fasting day and on this day people go walking in a huge processions from Alandi to Pandharpur,singing the Abhangas (devotional songs) of Vithoba,Saint Tukaram and Saint Dnyaneshwar.

    The yatra starts from Alandi and ends on Guru Poornima day at Pandharpur.The feast of Ashadhi Ekadashi is celebrated with great devotion at Pandharpur,for the "Darshana"(to see the divine grace of the God) of Shri.Vitthal-Rakhumai".

    Thousands of devotees go in procession to Pandharpur,from different parts of Maharashtra, some carrying palanquins with the images of the great saints of Maharashtra.

    Saint Dnaneshwar's image is carried from Alandi, Tukaram's from Dehu, Eknath's from Paithan, Nivruttinath's from Trimbakeshwar, Muktabai's from Edlabad and Sopan's from Sasvad. He is the idol of knowledge. Another interpretation is that the word Vitthal is said to be derived from the Marathi word Vit, meaning brick.The reason behind the brick will be explained later in this article. Ba is used to denote father in Marathi

    On this day Lord Vishnu falls asleep to wake up four months later on Prabodhini Ekadashi in the Kartik month that is why this Maha Ekadashi is also known as Shayani Ekadashi.
    Lord Vithoba is a form of Lord Vishnu, Lord Narayana or Lord Krishna . It is believed that Lord Krishna had incarnated at the end of Dwarpa Yuga on the eighth day of the dark fortnight in the holy month of Shravan (As per the Hindu calendar).
    Devotees lovingly address him as Mauli, Pandharinath, Pandurang,Vitthal etc.Lord Vishnu is the name for Vitthal in Kannada language(southern parts of India). The worship of Lord Pandurang is mainly derived from the Puranas.
    His worship has been made well-known by the poems, kirtans and the great saints of Maharashtra from the 13th through the 17th centuries.The great saints were Saint Namdev,Saint Tukaram, Saint Dnyaneshwar, Saint Eknath and Pundalik.

    As per the legend,Pundalik,was the devoted son of Janudev and Satyavati,who ill treated them after his marriage.Annoyed with his behaviour, the parents left for the pilgrimage to Kashi ,Varanasi etc.
    Pundalik and his wife also joined them and continued with their harassment to them.Pundalik made his old parents walk while he and his young wife rode on a horse.On the way, they reached the hermitage of the sage, Kukkutswami.
    All of thyem being tired of journey, decided to rest for some days there.The next morning,just before the dawn,Pundalik saw a group of beautiful, young women dressed in dirty clothes who entered the hermitage.They cleaned the floor,washed the Sages clothes and did other such jobs.
    On finishing their jobs, they went to the prayer room and came out with spotlessly clean clothes and they disappeared.Pundalik was very happy to see all this but thought he was dreaming.The next day when the incident was repeated,he talked to the women, Who are you ?
    They replied,We are Ganga, Yamuna and all the holy rivers of India.People wipe away their sins by taking a bath in us.But you are a biggest sinner,because of the way you treat your parents.
    Pundalik was shaken with their statement. He realized his mistake and wanted to improve his ways.He soon started serving his parents well and looked after all their needs and comforts.
    Lord Vishnu was extremely pleased by s eeing Pundaliks sincere devotion towards his parents.He left his abode Vaikauntha-Lok to bless Pundalik.
    Lord Vishnu came to Pundalik house and knocked his door.Pundalik was engrossed serving his parents and his devotion to his parents was so sincere that he wanted to finish his duties first and then attend to whoever was at the door.
    Pundalik tossed a brick(Vit) towards the door to offer a platform to stand for the guest.The Lord Vishnu was very much pleased with Pundalik's devotion to his parents and he waited for him on the brick.
    Pundalik apologised for keeping him waiting,but the Lord instead offered him to get a boon to be fulfilled. Pundalik soon requested him to remain on earth and bless all his devotees.His wish was granted and the Lord remained behind and is known as Vithoba(Lord who stands on a brick).
    This form of the Lord Vishnu is Swayambhu(came into existence on its own).He is always seen accompanied by his consort Rakhumai or Rukmini.

    ^^^^^Pictures Of Pandharpur^^^^

    Pundalik serving to his parents and Vithoba on Brick

    The Holy River Chandrabhaga at Pandharpur

    'Wari'- Devotees Walk from Alandi to Pandharpur

    The Holy of Vithoba at Pandharpur

    ~~~~~~~ MORE ~~~~~~~

    Ashadhi Ekadashi
    Ashadi Ekadasi, also spelt as Ashadhi Ekadashi, is the most important Ekadasi vrata observed as first Ekadashi. It falls on eleventh day in bright half of Ashad Maas . Ashadi Ekadashi 2010 date is July 21. Also popular as Devshayani Ekadashi or Sayana Ekadasi or Harisayani Ekadashi or Harivasara Ekadasi, Ashadi Ekadasi marks the celebration of Pandharpur Palki Yatra in Vithoba Temple in Maharashtra. 17-days long Ashadi Waari Palki Yatra concludes on Ashadi Ekadasi day in Pandharpur Vithal Temple.
    As per many legends associated with Ashadi Ekadasi, Lord Vishnu goes on to Yog nidra (cosmic meditation) on this day for four months. These four months holy period is observed as Chaturmas Puja . Sri Maha Vishnu opens his eyes and gets up from the cosmic sleep on Utthana Ekadasi (Dev Prabodhini Ekadashi) which is also popular as Kartik Ekadashi . In Pandharpur Vithoba Temple, Kartik Ekadasi Yatra is another important pilgrimage festival.

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