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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 Secret of the Diṇḍīra Forest

The Secret of the Diṇḍīra Forest

(p.43) 3 The Secret of the Diṇḍīra Forest
Rise of a Folk God

Ramchandra Chintaman Dhere

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines another story explaining Kṛṣṇa's presence in Pandharpur, the story that one time, when Kṛṣṇa's wife Rukmiṇī was angry with him, she came to the Diṇḍīra Forest in Pandharpur to sulk, and Krishna came here searching for her. Dhere shows that the name “Diṇḍīra Forest” (diṇḍīravana) is etymologically related to Sanskrit and Tamil words for “tamarind grove,” and that the story of Rukmiṇī sulking in the Diṇḍīra Forest is connected with a particular area of present-day Pandharpur where until recently a number of large tamarind trees grew and where Rukmiṇī is still to be found, under the name “Lakhūbāī.” The chapter also introduces the thesis of Manik Dhanpalvar that Viṭṭhal was a form of the god Śiva before becoming a form of Viṣṇu/Kṛṣṇa, and points out the close analogies between Pandharpur and other major South Indian holy places where tamarind trees or groves are important.

Keywords:   Pandharpur, etymology, Sanskrit, Tamil, tamarind grove, Manik Dhanpalvar

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