Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wari : Religious 250-km walkathon full of purity and devotion, a tradition of 1000 years

Palkhi, a unique feature of Maharashtrian culture, is a 1000-year-old tradition followed by the warkaris (people who follow the wari, a fundamental ritual). People collectively go singing and dancing, chanting Dnyanba-Tukaram in what are called as Dindis (organised group of warkaris) to the holy town of Pandharpur in Hindu months of Ashadh (June-July) and Karthik (November-December).
Since every year the "palkhi" travels by my office and each time my heart get filled with due respect to these warkaris whose souls are filled with devotion and harmony.

You must wondering about the term wari and warkari. A warkari (pilgrim) is a person who makes a circular pilgrimage (a wari). In this case, it is usually from his/her home, in a Maharashtrian village to the Vithal temple in Pandharpur and back.


(Person Carrying the holy water)

There are two separate Palkhis - Tukaram Palkhi from Dehu and the Dnyaneshwar Palkhi from Alandi. both the Palkhis meet in Pune for a brief halt and then diverge at Hadapsar to meet again at Wakhri, a village nearby to Pandharpur.

(Chopdar - A man who leads the Dindi, small section of the wari)

(Tukaram Palkhi )
(Tired Bullaks are getting changed with fresh new bullaks)
(Warkaris - Full of enthusiam)
(Tal- An instrument used for devotional songs)
(Warkaris)
(Warkari carrying a holy plant of Tulsi)
(Wari)

(Wari)

The devotion and harmony that characterises the pilgrimage has drawn many atheists as well. Noted Marathi writer P L Deshpande, himself a non-believer, says, "Touching the tired feet of a warkari is more devotional than touching the feet of Lord Vithoba." This procession of palkhis to Pandharpur is more than just a pilgrimage; it represents a tradition that unites diverse people.

(Warkari carrying a Tanpura - An Musical instrument)

When a person makes a pilgrimage, he learns an important lesson in life, that persons and situations cannot affect a person who keeps the faith. Dindi makes a man samarth with increased self esteem.

According to me Warkaris are the true example of Simple living and high thinking.

7 comments:

Gaurav said...

Hey Abhijeet ,

This was good post. I wish with modernisation and changing times, these old world traditions do not disappear...

I think Tukaram was as great a Marathi (Indian) as Shivaji was ..but wonder why Tukaram has almost but faded from popular public memory!!

Gaurav said...

Hey Abhijeet ,

This was very good post. I wish with modernisation and changing times, these old world traditions do not disappear...

I think Tukaram was perhaps as great as Shivaji was ..but wonder why Tukaram has almost but faded from popular public memory!!

Innocent Warrior said...

Hi Gaurav,

I am really thankful to you for your support.

Tukaram and Shivaji belong to same time of the history.

One was the benchmark for Bravery and one was benchmark for devotion.

I think we ourself are responsible for not publising our religions to outside world.

This is the small attempt through my blog to publish the diffrent shades of indian culture.

Love and Peace,
Abhijeet Rajwade

SAYALI said...

Hi Abhi,
Its really great try of yours to preserve our traditions and information. As I am a teacher I can tell you that you have done a very good job.
Its really great to see, think and collect more and more information about PALAKHI. But as a CITIZEN we shoud take some actions regarding cleanliness and safty at that particular time.

Innocent Warrior said...

Thanks Sayali for your Support!!!

pras said...

Dear Abhi,
My late maternal grandfather was a devout warkari and never missed ashadhi wari till he has strength.
it was a really good post.

Innocent Warrior said...

Hey, its really nice to know that you have belong to such family who follow this spiritual tradition.

Thanks,