Vithoba
(Vitthoba, Vitthala)
   Vithoba is a form of VISHNU or KRISHNA; his main shrine is in Pandharpur, Maharashtra. This was the favored shrine of the Maharasthran saint TUKARAM, whose poetic songs are often addressed to this divinity. Vithoba is worshipped in Maha-rashtra and in Karnataka (where he is called Vit-thala). The god is generally depicted standing on a brick (his name derives from the Marathi word for brick) with his arms resting on his hips. In one hand is a pouch with pebbles in it and in his other hand is a conch.
   It is said that Krishna, accompanied by the RISHI (seer) NARADA, once went to visit a certain Pundalika to observe his devotion to his elderly parents. They arrived while he was taking care of his parents. Without stopping his work, he threw a brick at Krishna and asked him to wait.
   Further reading: G. A. Deleury, The Cult of Vithoba (Poona: Deccan College, Postgraduate and Research Institute, 1960); Kusumawati Deshpande and M. V. Rajadhyaksha, History of Marathi Literature (New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi, 1988); Eleanor Zelliot and Maxine Bertsen, The Experience of Hinduism: Religion in Maharas-tra (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1988).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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