Pundalik and Lord Vitthal (Vithoba) (Panduranga) (Pandharpur) story | Why Rukmini and Vitthal (Krishna) were separated | Why do we need to serve our parents

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Bhagavan Lord Sri Krishna (Panduranga) (Vitthal) (Vishnu) (Rama) (Trivikrama) and Goddess Sri Rukmini (Lakshmi) blessings to you and your family!

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Just before going to “Pundalik and Lord Vitthal (Vithoba) (Panduranga) (Pandharpur) story | Why Rukmini and Vitthal (Krishna) were separated | Why do we need to serve our parents“, let us know a brief, basic and very important information.

Lord Vitthal names is pronounced in different ways in different parts of India like Vitthala, Vittala, Vithoba, Panduranga, Pandurang, etc.

Every person by birth becomes debtor for his / her parents without whom the very existence on this earth would not have been possible.

Similarly, we humans also become debtor for Devatas (Demigods), for all the Panchabhutas, rains, nature etc. and rishis for giving us Mahabharata, Ramayana, Puranas, Shastras (Hindu Texts) etc.

Of these, the debt of parents cannot be paid back easily and is virtually impossible. Hence one needs to at least do ‘seva’ (serve) to them, listen and adhere to their words and give them a lot of respect.

This is the least one can do to them in this Kali Yuga. Our Puranas also show that one can attain Mukti / Moksha just by doing seva (serving) to parents.

Information about Pundalik and Lord Vitthal (Vittala) (Vithoba) (Pandharpur) story is as given below:

Once upon a time, there used to live a great devotee of Lord Sri Vitthal or Panduranga or Vithoba or Krishna. He had a wife, who deserved to be his wife. This had a son named Pundalik, who had all kinds of evil passions.

In the attraction for a mere attractive woman, Pundalik forces his parents out of his house, does not love his own wife and finally looses all his money.

The attractive woman, whose love he thought was eternal, left him once his money was over.

In the sorrow of being apart from the attractive woman, he walks into a forest and finally reaches a lonely ashram (hermitage) of a great person by name, Kukkuta Swamy Muni.

Pundalik sees the following wonder when he reaches the place:

Three very ugly looking old females, suffering from multiple terrible diseases and disorders, will be cleaning the ashram (hermitage).

After doing all the cleaning, these old females go inside the ashram (hermitage) and to Pundalik’s surprise, three very beautiful and young ladies, with the brilliance of Sun come out of that ashram (hermitage).

Out of his usual attraction to women, he goes and holds the hand of one of the women and immediately she turns ugly like before.

The woman tells Pundalik “Because people like you who take dip in our holy waters everyday, we get these ugly forms and have to bare with such dreadful diseases. We are Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati”.

Woman continues: “Everyday we clean the ashram (hermitage) of Kukkuta Swamy Muni and have his darshan to relieve the loads of sins you humans leave with us and get back our divine body.”

That woman again gets the darshan of Kukkuta Swamy Muni and all the three leave the place (They wondered why a common human, that too a bad person, was able to see them in human form at the first place).

Pundalik, just to see what is there inside, goes into the ashram (hermitage). He sees nothing great — no jewels, no big furniture nothing. Pundalik sees a person totally immersed in pressing the legs of his father.

The person was totally engrossed in it and the only other thing he had in mind was the thought of Lord Shiva.

Seeing Kukkuta Muni, Pundalik asks him many questions about the woman etc., but sees that the Muni (Monk) gave back no reply, since the Muni was totally engrossed with the seva (serve) to his father.

Not able to bear the rejection, out of ego, Pundalik tries to kick the Muni and immediately falls on the ground loosing both his legs. Pundalik cries for help and the Muni gets disturbed by his cries and attends to his help.

Pundalik begs the Muni to pardon him and the Muni immediately pardons him. Pundalik realizes all the mistakes he has done in his life and asks the Muni for prayaschittam (expiation).

The Muni says that there is nothing that can help him except the seva (serve) to his parents and even a vicious person can achieve Mukti / Moksha by serving his parents.

Immediately Pundalik, pulling himself with his hands, sets off in the search for his parents, whom he drove away from his house. Pundalik truly and whole heartedly repents for his mistakes and continues his journey to his parents.

Pundalik does not think about food, water, his bleeding legs, the only thing he has in his mind is to search for his parents, beg them to pardon him and do their seva (serve).

Pundalik does not care about thorny paths, heat of the Sun, steep mountain cliffs etc. and continues his journey. When he falls off a cliff, Lord Sri Krishna (Vitthal / Vithoba / Panduranga) used to catch him safely and let him move on.

At all the stages, Pundalik’s heart was filled only with the want of doing seva (serving) to his parents, and hence Lord Sri Krishna (Vitthal / Vithoba / Panduranga) used to help him all along.

Finally, Pundalik reaches the ashram (hermitage) of his parents and falls on their feet. He begs them to pardon him for being so cruel to them and pleaded them to grant him the chance of doing their seva (serve).

The parents immediately pardon Pundalik and Pundalik again gets back his legs. From that day on wards, Pundalik always used to be busy doing seva (serve) to his parents and always think of Lord Sri Krishna (Vitthal / Vithoba / Panduranga) in his mind.

Unable to bear the separation from his devotee, one day Lord Sri Krishna (Vitthal / Vithoba / Panduranga) comes to see Pundalik. Lord Sri Krishna waits at the door of Pundalik’s ashram (hermitage) and calls for him.

Pundalik sees Lord Sri Krishna (Vitthal / Vithoba / Panduranga), the ‘paramatma’ (The Supreme God) for whose darshan even great Munis spend their entire lives in tapas, standing at his door. But Pundalik was at that time pressing the feet of his parents, who were asleep, with legs on his lap.

Lord Sri Krishna (Vitthal / Vithoba / Panduranga) asks Pundalik to come and take Him inside. Pundalik, seeing the Bhagavan Lord Sri Krishna becomes very happy, but asks Him to wait a bit, since he cannot stop seva (serve) to his parents and he will come after taking their permission.

Lord Sri Krishna (Vitthal / Vithoba / Panduranga) waits at the door and by being touched by Lord Sri Krishna’s lotus feet, Lord Sri Indra Deva who was lying in the form of a stone because of the curse of Lord Shiva, takes back His original form and leaves to Indra Loka (Swarga Loka).

Meanwhile, Pundalik’s father wakes up and asks him what happened. Pundalik says that Lord Sri Krishna (Vitthal / Vithoba / Panduranga) had come, but he was unable to receive him.

Immediately Pundalik’s father runs to receive the Bhagavan Lord Sri Krishna (Vitthal / Vithoba / Panduranga), but does not see Him. He then asks Pundalik to call Lord Sri Krishna.

Lord Sri Krishna (Vitthal / Vithoba / Panduranga) appears immediately on the call of Pundalik and blesses with Mukti / Moksha for Pundalik, his wife and his parents.

Lord Sri Krishna (Vitthal / Vithoba / Panduranga) also stays permanently at the house of Pundalik to bless his devotees and it became the well known ‘Kshetram’ (devoted place) of Pandharpur.

The Kshetra is so ancient that the legs of the Pandharinath’s (Lord Sri Krishna / Sri Vitthal / Sri Panduranga / Sri Vithoba) idol / deity are half eroded just by the touching of devotees!

Why Rukmini (Rakhumai) and Vitthal (Krishna) were separated (Another legend) : One day Lord Sri Krishna, the king of Dwarka, was feeling lonely and remembered his early days in Mathura.

Lord Sri Krishna especially remembered his love for Gopikas (milkmaids), Gopalakas (cowherds) and Radha. Though she was no more, Lord Sri Krishna wanted to see her again.

By the divine power of Lord Sri Krishna, he brought Radha back to life and seated her by his side. At the same time, his consort Goddess Sri Rukmini Devi entered the room.

When Radha did not get up to pay her respects, Goddess Sri Rukmini left Dwarka in anger and hid in Dandirvana forest. After a few days Lord Sri Krishna left in search of Goddess Sri Rukmini Devi.

(Note : Kindly note that Goddess Sri Radha Devi and Goddess Sri Rukmini Devi are the avatars of Goddess Sri Lakshmi Devi and there is no difference between them.)

(Also please remember that these are only vidambana / pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna, Goddess Sri Radha Devi and Goddess Sri Rukmini Devi to teach us lessons, as we humans very easily understand thinks wrongly in Kali Yuga.)

Lord Sri Krishna first went to Mathura, then to Gokula. Lord Sri Krishna met Gopikas (milkmaids) and Gopalakas (cowherds) there. They also joined the search. They went to Mount Govardhana in search of Goddess Sri Rukmini Devi.

At last they all reached the banks of river Bhima or Bhimrathi or Chandrabhag or Chandrabhaga in present day Maharashtra (Sholapur district). Lord Sri Krishna left his companions at Gopalpura, and he himself entered the forest of Dandirvana to search for Goddess Sri Rukmini Devi.

At last Lord Shri Krishna found Goddess Shri Rukmini Devi and pacified her. Lord Sri Krishna and Goddess Sri Rukmini (Rakhumai) came to Pundalik’s ashram (hermitage). But at that time Pundalik was busy attending (doing seva / serving) his parents.

Though Pundaleeka knew that Lord Sri Krishna had come to see him, Pundaleeka did not get up to welcome Lord Sri Krishna, rather his duty towards his parents was paramount to him.

But Pundalik threw a brick outside and told Lord Sri Krishna to stand on that brick. Impressed by Pundalik’s devotion to his parents, Lord Sri Krishna didn’t mind the delay and immediately stood on the brick.

Lord Sri Krishna was standing on a brick waiting for Pundalika. When Pundalika came out and begged Lord Sri Krishna’s forgiveness, Lord Sri Krishna did not get upset, but replied that he was satisfied with his love for his parents.

Lord Sri Krishna commanded to worship Vithoba or the God standing on a brick. In Marathi Vithoba means someone who stands on a brick. In Marathi Vit (वीट) means brick and obhe or ubhe (उभे) means stand, and obha or ubha (उभ / उभा) means standing.

A magnificent and divine temple has been built at the place where Lord Sri Krishna and Pundalik met. Inside the temple is an deity of Lord Sri Krishna (Vitthal or Vittala or Panduranga or Vithoba) standing on a brick. Next to him is a deity of Goddess Sri Rukmini Devi (Rakhumai).

We can also find Goddess Sri Satyabhama Devi and Goddess Sri Radha Devi deities in the temple premises of Pandharpur.

Covering a vast area, the temple has a total of six gates. The eastern entrance to this temple is called Namdev Gate (after the great Vaishnava saint of the 13th century).

The sanctum sanctorum enshrines the standing deity of Lord Sri Vittala (Vitthal or Panduranga or Vithoba) also known as Pandharinath. The temple has inscriptions dating back to the 13th century, the origin of the temple dates back to the 6th century.

Let’s know more info about Bhagavan Sri Krishna by clicking the below link:

About Bhagavan Lord Sri Krishna

List of demons killed by Lord Krishna

To know more about “Lord Sri Vishnu stories, information, facts, significances, etc.“, please click the below link:

Lord Sri Vishnu stories, information, facts, significances, etc.

Continue reading about Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma) :

Rivers information in Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma)

Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma) information, facts, etc.

Mahabharata information, facts, significance, importance etc.

Ramayana information, facts, significance, importance, etc.

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