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Rise of a Folk GodVitthal of Pandharpur$
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Ramchandra Chintaman Dhere

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199777594

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199777594.001.0001

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The Vedicization of Viṭṭhal

The Vedicization of Viṭṭhal

Chapter:
(p.221) 13 The Vedicization of Viṭṭhal
Source:
Rise of a Folk God
Author(s):

Ramchandra Chintaman Dhere

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199777594.003.0014

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

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