Yesterday was the Devashayani Ekadashi and we call it the big Ekadashi. This is the day of Pandharupur Vari, Pandarpur Pilgrimage, the time to meet Vitthala. Lord Shrikrishna is known as Vitthala. He is black, and I don’t’ know what magic HE has, everybody in Maharashtra is mad today to meet HIM. The pilgrims go walking to reach Pandharpur.
I am in a small city, Maharashtra and though I can’t reach to Pandharpur, I decided to go to Vitthala temple in Dhule. I decided to wake up and reach there at 5 to 6 AM. But I couldn’t manage it, I reached in the scorching sun at almost 11 AM. Before going there, I was tensed and a big irritated due to some problems. My two wheeler also had problems. And somehow, I just went in Not – So – Devotional mood.
When I reached the area near the temple, the Divine words of Saint Tukaram Maharaj – his Abhanga reached my heart and at the very moment, I forgot everything before going to temple. The heart was full of love of Lord Vitthalla suddenly, couldn’t think anything.
When I was about to enter the queue for Darshana, a little girl asked me to buy a garland for Vitthala, price was 10 Rs. At one moment I felt it too much. But, the thought I can give a garland of beautiful flowers on Ekadashi made me feel so different and special, to Dearest Lord Krishna, what should I think for then! I bought that garland and that girl smiled so beautifully that I couldn’t resist myself capturing her smile.
Then after bare feet walking a small distance in scorching sun for some minutes and I would meet Lord Vitthala. I was so eager; never felt such eagerness to meet someone. I couldn’t walk bare feet, the hot soil was burning my feet. I felt really sad, why am I so delicate! L We - educated people, don’t walk bare feet even in the home. I couldn’t walk properly and the pain I couldn’t bear. For moments I felt distance between us is never going to end. HE is just few minutes away and I can’t ever reach HIM. This is really our life. HE is really within us. But we never experience HIS love, never reach HIM, and never realize HIM. Sometimes the extra unnecessary, knowledge, the logic and doubts become the biggest obstacle in the path of devotion – Bhaktiyoga. Everybody could tolerate that pain and walk somehow, why only can’t me? But people like me, don’t have the habit of such pains. I had to stop for a while finding some shadow.
And, somehow I reached and what a great love of Lord Vitthala today. I got some moments to look at HIM, to give the garland to the boy standing there and the boy gave the garland immediately inside the temple. I felt Vitthala accepted my little love.
When I came out, there was not scorching sun, clouds came all of a sudden and everything became cool and the pain my feet were feeling, oh that just just vanished. It became a sweet pain. How? Was the Vitthala testing my feelings? But HE knows our feelings more than ourselves. HE has accepted us, in fact never left us. Or was HE also desperate to meet me and all the devotees, so HE was restless and heat was increasing in the environment, when we meet HIM, he felt the bliss. The feelings of love can’t be explained by Gyana and logic.
And, later while returning, captured some natural emotions of natural people there.
It’s really boring to bring politics here, but the hypocrisy I noticed is, the pseudo secular party like NCP was welcoming the devotees. This made me remember the banners I saw in Pune few years back. Vatican Blessed Ms Sonia Maino’s picture was welcoming all the Varkaris and devotees to Pandharpur. The real power is in the unity. It won’t take even minutes to see all the pseudo secular parties talking Extreme Hindutva if they see vote bank in Hindus. Anyway, this issue is really disturbing. Let the selfishness of politics not spoil the devotion of Devashayani Ekadashi.
While returning to home, I followed some unusual path, to avoid crowd and lost the way to return home. Some moments, I felt where I am going,…and then found the right path reaching home. When this situation happens I feel, same happens in spirituality, nothing is difficult but sometimes we just forget the path and then start feeling problems. The right path is always there, maybe we are moving in the wrong direction. When I tried to move on the right direction, I got the main road easily, solution of all problems in life.
I thought that, what picture should I bring to share on Gurukripa? Due to crowd I couldn’t capture Vitthala’s smile. There are other temples of Vitthala but today there must be crowd everywhere. And at the very moment, I was near a Vitthala Temple which did not have any crowd and it was just near my home, but don’t know how did I forget it. No need to tell, I got the smile of Vithhala here. He was so smiling, I think, on my pain …the sweet pain of love.