Today is holy Ashadi Ekadashi… and on this auspicious morning in Prasanthi Nilayam, Maratha’s proud Peshwa City, Pune came to the fore presenting a riveting Palki dance, setting the beautiful Prasanthi Ashadi 2017 story in motion.
Setting the proceedings at the scheduled hour at 0830 hrs, auspicious sounding of the conch heralded the imminent arrival of Lord Sai Vittala, and there came an escorting group of Puneikars in traditional Marata costume, all in their prime youth, dancing to the centre-stage, rocking the holy precincts for the next fifteen minutes with a riveting dance presentation, a fusion of different devotional-dance-traditions of Marata culture. The dance began with a Ganesh Vandana, soon drifted into Marata’s favourite Palki flavour, welcoming the Palki procession of Lord Vittala, resounding the hall with incessant “Jai Jai RamaKrishna Hari” chanting.
The youth is full of unending exuberance and the first 15 minutes of the morning aptly proved this, with the Pune Youth bringing a ‘storm’ at the centre-stage exhibiting all-round talent galore. The presentation with boisterous excitement coupled with devotion literally rocked the house, ably supplemented by a classy multi-media presentation.
Ashadi Ekadashi, one of the most auspicious days in the Maratha vernacular calendar brings the legacy of the Marathas along with the state’s devotional fervour for its Presiding Deity, Lord Vittal Rakumai of Pandarpur. This is the day, when lakhs and lakhs of Varkaris from all parts of the country, especially from the State of Maharashtra throng the spiritual capital of the State, Pandarpur for darshan and blessings of their chosen deity, Vittal Rakumai.
Varkari Sampradaya is a time honoured cult and an important landmark in the colourful history of the State of Maharashtra. History reveals that devotees have been performing Vaari long before the advent of Sant Jnaneshwar in the 13th century.
Flowing on, the combined Maharashtra-Goa Mahila unit then presented a rhythmic stream of devotional music, “Avgha Rang Ek Dhara” singing a wide variety of multi-hued devotionals with expressive interludes of beautiful narration. The songs included a Ganesha number, “Moraya…Moraya…”, “Easwar Ya Allah…”, “O SaiRam Mere Dil Mein Aajaana…”, a soul-stirring plea to Supreme SaiMaa, etc. along with other numbers, in both Marati and Hindi.
Bhajans next ended with Mangala Arathi to Beloved Bhagawan.