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Thursday, 19 December 2019

Margazhi Blogotsavam: Day 3: Pundalik: The One for Whom The Lord Waited

A devout couple Janudev and Sathyavathy lived in a place called Dandirvan in Maharashtra. Their only son called Pundalik (also Pundarik) began ill-treating them after his marriage. To escape from this misery, the parents decided to go on a pilgrimage to Kashi. Pundalik and his wife insisted on accompanying them. The aged parents would walk with the other pilgrims while Pundalik rode on horseback with his wife. Pundalik made his parents groom the horse every night, while he relaxed.

One night, they reached Sage Kukkutswami’s ashram. The next day, at dawn, Pundalik saw some beautiful women in dirty clothes enter the sage’s ashram. They cleaned the floor, washed the sage’s clothes, and fetched water for him. When they came out after a while, their dirty clothes had been replaced by spotless ones!

When this happened again the next day, Pundalik gathered the courage to ask the women who they were. They replied, “We are the holy rivers of India – Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati…Our clothes are dirty because of taking up the sins of pilgrims who bathe in us. By serving Sage Kukkutswami, we cleanse ourselves and our clothes become spotless again.”

Then they gave him a scornful look and said, “But you are the greatest sinner because you are ill-treating your parents, and hurting them by your behavior!”

Hearing this, Pundalik was shocked into a realization of his misdeeds and had a sudden change of heart. He returned to Dandirvan a changed and pious man and began to serve his parents with deep love and devotion.

One day, Pundalik was busy caring for his ailing parents, when someone came to his door, calling out his name.

“Who is it?” asked the busy Pundalik.

“I’m Krishna, and I’ve come to see you,” a sweet voice replied.

“I’m serving my parents; I can’t come to see you right now. Here, stand on this,” said Pundalik and threw a brick for Krishna to stand on, since the ground outside was wet and muddy.
Image courtesy: Bhakti Maarga Nederland
With a sweet smile playing on His lips, hands on His hips, Sri Krishna stood on the brick, waiting for Pundalik to come and see Him! In Marathi, ‘Veet’ means ‘brick’ and ‘Thala’ or ‘Obha’means ‘standing’. That’s how this form of Krishna came to be known as Vitthala or Vithoba. 

A little later, Pundalik came out begging the Lord’s pardon. Pleased with Pundalik’s devotion to His parents, Krishna offered him a boon. Pundalik had only one request, “Please stay in this place, and bless all those who come here seeking You!”And so it came to be, that Vitthala stayed on in that place called Pandharpur where today a temple stands on the banks of the river Chandrabhaga.

Sri Vitthala at Pandharpur
 Pundalik is the founder of the famed Varkari sect that later saw the emergence of revered saints like Dnyaneshwar and Tukaram. Till today, Pundalik retains his prime position, coming even before the Lord Himself, with devotees raising the slogan, “Pundalika varadey - Hari Vithal!” (Meaning: Pundalik – the one who got the boon from Hari Vithal!) Till today, a visit to Pandharpur is incomplete without visiting the temple of Pundalik located a little away. 

Can we be like Pundalik, and mend the hurtful behaviors we may have acquired over time? 

Like Pundalik, can we care for our parents with love and selfless devotion?
Can we wait patiently with a smile like Vithala for good things to come to us?

And in case this internal cleansing feels very difficult, can we at least go on a pilgrimage to Pandharpur, or any other holy kshetra, praying for the Lord’s help in our transformation?
To listen to an abhang praising the form of Vitthala, visit this link.


  1. Awesome. My children love this blogotsavam..
    We wait eagerly for you to publish every evening.
    Well written.
    The questions at the end are so good...

  2. In spite of knowing this story earlier, your blog has rejuvenated my mind....your questions at the end give a true meaning ....

    1. ☺️☺️🙏🏼 that means my purpose is being served well!



  4. Children life is futile without serving parents who sacrifice their lives to bring up their children's

  5. I went to pandarapura but dint visit pundalik temple .... Alas

  6. Super Anu. Very very nice. God bless you .

  7. Thank you Anu.I am sharing these with my Son. He likes to read spiritual literature.

  8. Serving parents with devotion is akin to serving the Almighty Himself. 🙏🙏 Yes very moving story of Lord's kindness


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