The Vedicization of Viṭṭhal

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 Vedicization of Viṭṭhal

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This chapter, which has been abridged from the Marathi original, presents a variety of attempts that Brāhmaṇ pandits and Vedic scholars have made to induct Viṭṭhal and his cult into more Brāhmaṇical-orthodox, Sanskritic, and even Vedic traditions. The chapter discusses a ritual that was performed until very recently to purify Viṭṭhal from the pollution arising from repeated contact with his many devotees of various castes; the life story of an extremely orthoprax worshipper of Viṭṭhal, who was so insistent on purity that he deprived the god of a water-offering and left him thirsty; a scholarly attempt to interpret a particular Vedic hymn as referring to Viṭṭhal; the performance of Vedic sacrifices in Pandharpur; and the proliferation of Sanskrit and Marathi manuals giving instructions for performing Brāhmaṇical pilgrimage rituals there.

Keywords: Sanskritic traditions; Vedic traditions; orthoprax worship; Sanskrit manuals; Marathi manuals; purity

Chapter.  5631 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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