Alandi: Samadhi of a Yogi Poet
Alandi is known as a town where Saint Dnyaneshwar attained Samadhi (a state of enlightenment achieved through meditation). Saint Dnyaneshwar translated Bhagavad Gita to the local language, this translation is known as the Dnyaneshwari. Pilgrims from all over Maharashtra, in particular the Varkari tribe make their way to the Sideshwar Temple for Kartika Vadya Ekadashi – the day in which Dnyaneshwar found Samadhi.
Pilgrims carry palanquins containing idols of Saint Dnyaneshwar which are then blessed in the Indrayani river which flows in front of Sideshwar Temple. This river may have been clean for the pilgrims centuries ago, now it contains sewage and waste from neighbouring cities. A great irony here is that bathing in the river is said to cleanse devotees souls of past sins, yet due the poor hygiene devotees risk catching some serious illness by doing so.
These photos stand alone – without text – as I would like to leave it open for the viewer to decide on the rituals.
In respect of Saint Dnyaneshwar, a translated verse from the Dnyaneshwari:
May the Self of the universe be pleased with this sacrifice of words and bestow His grace on me.
May the sinners no longer commit evil deeds,
may their desire to do good increase,
and may all beings live in harmony with one another.
May the darkness of sin disappear, may the world
see the rising of the sun of righteousness,
and may the desires of all creatures be satisfied.
May everyone keep the company of saints devoted to God,
who will shower their blessings on them.
Saints are walking gardens filled with wish-fulfilling trees,
and they are living villages of wish-fulfilling gems.
Their words are like oceans of nectar.
They are moons without blemish and suns without heat.
May these saints be the friends of all people.
May all beings in all the worlds be filled with joy,
and may they worship God forever.
May all those for whom this book is their very life be blessed with success in this world and the next.