Warkari sampradaya is the spiritual way of life to realize the ultimate reality through inner purity and devotion. In this spiritual community, people or warkari are connected with the common shared spiritual beliefs and practices. In the 13th century, its ultimate purpose was to provide an equal spiritual alternative, bypassing unnecessary rites and rituals, to cherish human values, and eliminate all form of discrimination. Even today, when the incidents of religious intolerance and discrimination are on the rise, its role would be highly impactful.
History of warkari sampradaya
As we know that the warkari sampradaya is the spiritual movement on the line of the bhakti movement which began in the 13th century.
The foundation of warkari sampradaya was laid by the great sant Dnyaneshwar, and then onward, many other sants, including self-realized sant Tukaram Maharaj, contributed immensely to enrich this holy journey, by bringing every caste and creed in its fold.
Truly, today, warkari sampradaya is the way of life for the millions of people in the Maharashtra, karnataka, and in the other states too. These warkari offers theirs devotion to the supreme God– Vittoba at Pandharpur through annual waris or pilgrimage.
Principles of Warkaris
Though the warkari sampradaya is the part of Hindu religion, but it, unlike orthodox Hindu religion, emphasis more on the inner purity and discipline. In this, moral behavior and the avoidance of alcohol is at the central place of sampradaya.
Besides, celibacy in students life and diet without onion and garlic are also important. Moreover, fasting for God on Ekadashi is the most prominent spiritual practice of warkaris.
Teaching of sampradaya
Unlike orthodox Hindu religion in which only upper three varnas including men are permitted to achieve Mokhas, warkari sampradaya opened its spiritual doors for all, irrespective of caste, creed, wealth, and gender. This is the reason why warkari sampradaya has lot of great sants from all sections of society.
Second, like bhakati movement, equality and humanity is the basic teaching of great warkari sants. Further, they preach peaceful co-existence, forgiveness, simplicity, compassion, and Non-violence through Kirtana and Pravachna.
Even though, warkari sampradaya seems more spiritual in nature, it has a strong bearing on the social life of the Maharashtra and other states. Obviously, its role in transformation of society is unavoidable. That’s why we call it a way of life.
Current relevancy of warkari sampradaya
Now, when the nation is witnessing the incidents of mob lynching, caste discrimination, and religious intolerance, the relevancy of warkari sampradaya becomes more than earlier.