In his 46th edition of Mann Ki Baat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the recently concluded Pandharpur wari — the annual pilgrimage taken out by lakhs of warkaris from across Maharashtra — that starts from Pune.
The monthly radio address also saw the mention of Maharashtra’s thinkers — Sant Dnyaneshwar, Sant Tukaram, Sant Namdev among others- who, Modi said, continue to influence the people in the state.
The Prime Minister was responding to a request by Santosh Kakade, a listener from Kolhapur, to talk about the annual pilgrimage. He spoke in brief about the pilgrimage of lakhs of warkaris who walk to Pandharpur in Solapur district to offer prayers to Lord Vitthal on the occasion of Ashadhi Ekadashi, which was observed on July 23, this year.
PM Modi said: “The Pandharpur wari is in itself a unique pilgrimage. It is an amalgamation of learning, culture and devotion. I urge all the listeners to pay a visit to this holy town of Pandharpur, to get a first-hand experience of the aura, beauty and spiritual upliftment offered there.”
Every year, two palkhis (palanquin processions) carrying the paduka of saints — Sant Dnyaneshwar, that sets out from Alandi, and Sant Tukaram, that starts from Dehu — to Pandharpur. The three-week-long journey ends on Ashadhi Ekadashi.
Hailing the writings, abhangs and preachings of Sant Dnyaneshwar and Sant Tukaram, PM Modi also praised the contributions of saints like Namdev, Eknath and others.
He said: “These learned men stalled, criticised and placed mirrors before the society that was involved in any wrong doings, following evil and superstitious practices through their literary works. They, instead, preached for love and compassion to grow and this has seen profound acceptance all over India.”
Commemorating the death anniversary of Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak, which is on August 1, the Prime Minister said: “Tilak was a brave man who stood against the British rulers holding a mirror to their atrocities. He faced charges of sedition thrice by the foreign rulers. He was instrumental in introducing community activity in the form of Ganesh festival. I urge you all to go the eco-friendly way, be it the idols or decorations, during the celebrations this year.”