Bhagavat Religion Varkari Sampradaya
Pandharpur Varkari Tradition and varkaries are same words. The meaning of two words is same. The devotion of Vitthal is the Central theme of Bhagvat Religion. The base of bhagavat Religion was established by Shri Saint Dnyaneshwar Maharaj. And the religion was enriched by Tukaram Maharaj. Therefore the main ‘mantra’ of this religion is ‘Dnyanoba Mauli Tukaram’.
Saint Dnyaneshwar wrote ‘Shri Geeta’ in Marathi. At first Geeta was in form of ‘Sanskrut’. Only higher society people could understand ‘The Geeta’. But Dnyaneshwar gave the Marathi language. Our Lord Krishna preached ‘Geeta’ to Arjun in the Battle of Mahabharata’. At Dnyaneshwari many Saints wrote books about the description of Bhagavat Religion. For example Nath Bhagavat Ramayan, Namdev Gatha, Tukaram Gatha etc.
Before the period of Namdev and Dnyaneshwar, Vitthal Tradition was to be found. Some learned person approves it ‘Shaiv Tradition’. But Saint Dnyaneshwar Maharaj gives the simple form to the Vitthal Tradition or Shaiv Traditionm. It is an extra ordinary and great deed. He opened the door of devotion to the whole society. There is no discrimination about race, cast and language in the Bhagavat Religion.
Saint Tukaram taught to take the name of Shri Vitthal. Janabai told to worship the God. All Saints adviced the people to become pilgrim of Pandhari. Many pious people approved this message. Many followers of Bhagavat Religion live in a village. Shri Lord Vitthal is their main God. Shri Vitthal is our God. It is the main idea behind the varikarism, Vaishnav Religion or Bhagavat Religion. The varkari Tradition began from Dnyaneshwar Maharaj and his elder brother Nivruttinath who was ‘Guru’ of Dnyaneshwar. Then many saints like Tukaram, Eknath, Namdev, Janabai spread this tradition. Saint Nilobarai was the last Saint of this tradition, it is approved by people.
All Saints of Maharashtra call himself ‘Vaishnav’ or the devotee of Vishnu. Shiv and Vishnu are same. Saint Narhari Sonar had got this experience. The same experience was written by Nilobarai. Samarth Ramdas had got vision of ‘Lord Shankar’. And Lord Shri Ram in the place of ‘Shri Vitthal’. Nivruttinath, Sopandev, Visoba Khechar etc. these saints were obliged of Shaiv in Nath Tradition. The forefathers of Dnyaneshwar were obliged by Nath Tradition. When Dnyaneshwar and his brothers came to Pandharpur, they adopte ‘Varkari Tradition’ by seeing the popularity of this tradition.’ According to some historians, Pandharpur was the field of ‘Shaivfield’. Therefore Pandharpur is co-ordination field or spot. Bhagavat Religion is the summary of ‘Vaidik Religion’. All Saints song or wrote the greatness of Ved, Upanishad, Geeta and Bhagavat in their poem.
You can get knowledge and devotion in Varkari Tradition. Listening of geeta, Bhagavat and Dnyaneshwari and Meditation of Lord ‘Vitthal’ is the main duly of this tradition. The Saints were not an inactive; they showed the solid way of devotion. Namdev tried to spread this tradition all over India. We can see the poems of Namdev in Gurugranthsaheb’.