The benevolence of Warkaris

I live in the hearts of my devotees~ Srimad-Bhagavatam (9.4.57)
I have grown up in a warkari style spiritual atmosphere. Hence, I have always admired their simplicity and maturity.
Every year, thousands of devotees travel from Alandi(near Pune) to Pandharpur on foot. This tradition is called ‘Wari’ which traces its roots to none other than the legendary saint Dnyaneshwar himself.
However, this year because of the pandemic situation, they quietly travelled to Pandharpur in a small group, that too by bus. As aforementioned, I have always admired their maturity, which is clear in this situation. Instead of creating a fuss about it, they quietly adapted their yearly tradition to the need of the time.
Nonetheless, their maturity is clear not only in devotion and social causes but in an enterprise as well. We all know about the much renowned Mumbai dabbawalas. In fact, the dabbawalas are warkaris, and most of them are illiterate.

I live in my devotees

Love and devotion is greater than rote learning

How do the warkaris manage an enterprise with processes as efficient as Six Sigma? It is the purity of heart and devotion which over the years has created a near-perfect enterprise. 

In one of their interviews, a dabbawala says, ‘we have a responsibility to deliver the right tiffin box. Else, someone might not get the right nourishment and that will hurt the god in them.’ Watch a documentary on them here.

Last but not the least, let’s talk about their devotion. Ironically, there are no words to describe their devotion. It is something that you need to experience yourself. You need to see how at the sight of their beloved Vitthal; they dance in ecstasy, with copious tears flowing down their ears. Even though most of them aren’t classically trained, their singing gives you goosebumps.
Moreover, if you go to any warkaris’ gathering, they will bow down to you irrespective of your caste, creed, gender, age. They carry the legacy of saints like Dnyaneshwar, Namdev, Eknath, Tukaram. These are the men who carried the burden of humanity on their shoulders.
Warkari sect is the perfect manifestation of Kabir’s immortal lines.

पोथी पढ़ि पढ़ि जग मुआ, पंडित भया न कोय

ढाई आखर प्रेम का, पढ़े सो पंडित होय।

It means that any amount of rote learning, devoid of love, will not make you wise. There is a reason the great saint Ramdas said the following words in Dasbodh, “Without the company of saints, the God of gods cannot be realized”
Featured Image: Heritage India.
I live in my devotees P.C.Twitter

Prasad Kulkarni is a Data and Analytics professional. At work, he analyses historical data and ponders over historical events otherwise.

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