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Bhuvaikuntha Pandharapur


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Sridhama Pandharapur is one of the prominent holy places of India. Puranas, saints and sages sing its glories. This place is the transcendental abode of Lord Visnu on earth. The Lord...

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Sridhama Pandharapur is one of the prominent holy places of India. Puranas, saints and sages sing its glories. This place is the transcendental abode of Lord Visnu on earth. The Lord of Dvaraka Himself resides here. Such a glorious place is this Pandharapur dhctma which has always been dear to Vaisnavas. Since the time when ISKCON commenced its preaching work in this spiritual capital of Maharastra, Pandharapur dhama has been visited by many thousands of followers of ISKCON, Vaisnavas from various countries who speak different languages. They rejoice in residing here and taking darana of Sri Pancluranga. They all have many curiosities and thus they ask many questions about this holy place. With an intention of fulfilling this need of devotees and to thus help them realize Sridhama Pandharapur, Sri Srimad Lokanath Swami Maharaja desired to have such a book published.

Although the glories of Sridhama Pandharapur is available in many Purarias and historical literature, such information is either very brief or scattered, and many sources do not have authentic references. There was a genuine need for such an authentic literature which will introduce the world about the glories, festivals, ways of worship, traditions that are being followed in Pandharapur.

Our Hare Krsna movement is an extension of Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya disciplic succession. It has its followers all over the world. Many great Vaisnavas are said to have visited Pandharapur as mentioned in Caitanya Bhagavata and Caitanya-caritamrta etc. Sripad Madhvacarya, Ramanujacarya, Nimbarkacarya, Vallabhacarya, Laksmipati Tirtha, Nityananda Prabhu, Sriranga Puri, ViSvarapa and Lord Caitanya also visited this place. Nityananda Prabhu is said to have received His spiritual initiation in Pandharapur. ViSvariipa, the elder brother of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu left home at an early age. He travelled to many holy places in India and received his sannyasa (the renounced order of life) in Sridhama Pandharapur. As a renunciant He was known as Safikararanya. After a few years Sri Caitanya also renounced the world and left home. Sri Caitanya commenced His South Indian pilgrimage from Jagannatha Puri. On His way back to Puri, Sri Caitanya visited Pandharapur, where He met a Madhya sannyasi Sriranga Puri. Sriranga Puri informed Sri Caitanya about Vgvanapa's renunciation and disappearance. Thus our Brahma-Madhva-Gaudlya Sampradaya is cordially connected to this holy place Sridhama Pandharapur. Considering all these things there was a need to have a book which can inform the glories of Pandharapur to the modern world.

With such a thought Sri Srimad Lokanath Swami began compiling this book. Authentic scriptures were consulted, scholars were approached, a rare copy of Shanda Pura na was obtained and relevant verses were translated. The interviews of scholars were taken and the information was neatly arranged.

He had a desire to publish this book on the occasion of the four-hundredth birth anniversary of Saint Tukarama. Editing, typing, proof-reading, page setup and many other necessary things were yet to be accomplished and it needed some experienced men and enough time as well. I met Maharaja and put forth my difficulties. I expressed my inability to complete this work in due time and told him that it needed some more time. Maharaja said, "We have enough data now. In future we can publish an edited version, but whatever we have at present can be published as an offering to Saint Tukarama on his birth anniversary." I had no word to reply. I had no choice but to accept this challenge.

Whatever information about Sridhama Pandharapur is given in this book is verily authentic. Inquisitive devotees shall benefit from this book. The lives of Vaisnava saints who visited Pandharapur in past ages In translating this book from Marathi to English, it is hoped that there would be a wider reach, and accessibility of readership globally.



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