WARI – WARKARI

RELEVANCE PRELIMS & GS MAINS PAPER I ( INDIAN CULTURE PART )
QUESTION ASKED IN  UPSC  PRELIMS-2017  ON WARI – WARKARI

Q . Consider the following pairs:                                

1 . Chaliha Sahib Festival –                Sindhis
2 . Nanda Raj Jaat Yatra –                   Gonds
3.  Wari-Warkari –                               Santhals

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

(a) 1 only (b) 2 and 3 only (c) 1 and 3 only (d) None of the above

Answer (a)

Wari is an annual pilgrimage to Pandharpur – the seat of the Hindu god Vithoba in  Maharashtra, in honour of the deity. Palakhis  carrying the paduka (foot prints) of various saints – most notably Dnyaneshwar and Tukaram – from the Varkari  sect , are taken from their respective shrines to Pandharpur. The tradition is more than 700 to 800 years old .

Warkaris are the one who performs the Wari  that is who venerates Vithoba .

THE PROCESSION

The Wari begins on the 8th/9th lunar day of the waning moon in the Hindu month of Jyeshtha and reaches a day before Ashadhi Ekadashi at Pandharpur.

Dnyaneshwar’s palakhi leaves from Alandi, while Tukaram’s begins at Dehu; both in Pune district of Maharashtra. This March on foot from various locations in Maharashtra to Vithoba temple, Pandharpur, attracts a total of over a million pilgrims . The journey takes 21 days.Numerous palakhis join the main Tukaram and Dnyaneshwar palkhis that starts from Dehu and Alandi respectively.

The wari culminates at the Vithoba temple on Ashadhi Ekadashi . Devotees from Maharashtra and nearby areas set out for Pandharpur, wearing holy basil beads and singing the glories of Vithoba, commemorating the saints. Upon reaching Pandharpur on Ashadi Ekadashi, these devotees take a holy dip in the sacred Chandrabhaga River/Bhima River before proceeding to visit the Vitthal temple.

SOCIAL  SIGNIFICANCE  OF  WARI

Along with the Dindi (palakhi) procession, service (seva) to the poor and needy, like Amrut Kalash (annadana – donation of food), Narayan seva, medical help and building and repairing of rural infrastructure, is done. This is known as Seva dindi.

ENVIRONMENTAL  SIGNIFICANCE  OF  WARI

From last two years “Niramal Wari” has also started to keep all villages clean during the possession of Wari.

ECONOMIC  SIGNIFICANCE  OF  THE  WARI

The Ashadhi wari has tremendous economic impact on the town of Pandharpur . This is the period when demand for equipment and items associated with worship of Lord Vitthal goes through the roof.

The estimated one million pilgrims,either varkaris traveling with the palkhi or independent travelers also need accommodation which is provided by the permanent Mathas and temporary lodging houses. The period also sees demand for temporary restaurants and also for groceries such as milk and rice because a number of devotees cook their own food.

INTEGRATIVE  SIGNIFICANCE  OF  WARI

People from various castes and socio-economic backgrounds participate in the Wari, with the common goal to reach Pandharpur.