The Sources of the Story of Puṇḍalīk

Ramchandra Chintaman Dhere

in Rise of a Folk God

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199777594
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919048 | DOI:

Series: South Asia Research

The Sources of the Story of Puṇḍalīk

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This chapter presents several Purāṇic and Purāṇic-style stories of Vaiṣṇava devotees named Puṇḍalīk, and shows that many of these stories were used in creating the Māhātmyas of Pandharpur and in piecing together the story of Puṇḍalīk, the filial devotee on account of whom Kṛṣṇa came to Pandharpur and became Viṭṭhal. Dhere also reviews the history of scholarship on Puṇḍalīk and considers the reasons why scholars would ignore the obvious fact that Puṇḍalīk's image is one of Śiva. Finally, Dhere discusses the Śaiva (Nāth) background of the earliest of the poet-saints devoted to Viṭṭhal, and the liberal Maharashtrian tradition of the unity of Viṣṇu and Śiva (Hari and Hara). Dhere traces this tradition ultimately to the ancient Pāśupata sect, which was once spread over all of India and later merged into new sects (Mahānubhāvs, Vīraśaivas, Nāths) that arose in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and became influential in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Keywords: Maharashtra; Karnataka; Pandharpur; liberal Maharashtrian tradition; India

Chapter.  8603 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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