In the midst of devotional music, the sweet frangrance of fresh flowers and chanting praises, residents from the lake city will throng Vitthal temples on Monday, on the occasion of Ashadi Ekadashi.
A procession will be carried out to the holy town of Pandharpur where devotees walk up to the temple singing hymns. Devotees will observe a fast and perform a puja at their home on Ashadi Ekadashi, which is also referred to as Maha Ekadashi. According to legends, Lord Krishna—who is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu—came to meet his disciple Pundalik in Maharashtra. Since Pundalik was busy catering to his parents, he gave Lord Krishna a brick to stand on and asked him to wait. Touched by his dedication towards his family, Lord Krishna asked Pundalik to workship Vitthal or Vitthobha.
Asha Gupte, a resident of Pokhran Road 2, said, “It was this day that Lord Vitthal came into being. The place where Lord Krishna and Pundalik met is Pandharpur where the Vitthal temple now stands. During this time, many deities stands on one leg to worship the lord. The community pays tribute to the lord and asks for forgiveness and blessings. The procession is the main highlight of the celebration, which takes place on the 11th day lunar day of the Hindu month of Ashad.”
Meanwhile, those who cannot visit Pandharpur take part in the celebrations at home. “We have a puja at home during which throughout the day Lord Vishnu’s chanting takes place. This is called Vishnu Sahasranamavali. Basil leaves, fresh fruits and homemade sweets are offered to the deity. In the morning, we visit a Vittal temple. Cultural programs are also organised at different places. We even keep night vigils on the eve of Ashadi Ekadashi,” said Sujay Deshpande, a Naupada resident.