Wari – The Inner Retreat

Wari means pilgrimage in Marathi and the person who undertakes it is called Warkari. Wari is an ancient practice followed in Maharashtra, where lakhs of devotees or Warkarisundertake an annual pilgrimage to Pandarpur, the abode of the deity Vithoba (Krishna).The traditionis almost 800 years old and finds its origins in the Bhakti movement that was prevalent in the states of Maharashtra and northern Karnataka.The Bhakti movement in Maharashtra has given birth to several saints, includingSantDnyaneshwar, SantTukaram, SantBhanudas and SantEknath. The warkaris carry Palkhisor processions of Saints from their respective places of enlightenment  andgather at Pandharpur on AshadhiEkadashi, the 11th day of the hindu lunar calendar of Asadha month.

To understand the spiritual significance of this age-old tradition, we  need to take a holistic view instead of drowning our attention in the ritual, which is only a symbolic representation of a far deeper meaning. Wari is nothing but an inward pilgrimage, a journey to the recesses of one’s own divine nature, Hari’, the original state. All that is manifested as creation is nothing but waves or Lahiris’ .Creation is like a continuous orchestra, where music from different instruments are playing harmoniously and rhythmically. This medley sees a continuous introduction of new musical instruments bysimultaneous transformation ofthe existing ones – the birth-death cycle or the Samsara.

Every manifested form of Creation is victim to the cycle of birth and death. This suffering arises out of the survival/self-preservation instinct and is, therefore, inevitable. However, on account of their highly evolved brain apparatus, human beings  suffer not just the gradual physical annihilation of their form but are also capable of becoming victims of mental, emotional and psychological suffering. These, in turn, further accelerate physical suffering and are the sources of various physical ailments. The primary aim of all spiritual practices is to alleviate this type of self-created suffering.

Speaking in the language of vibration and frequency, it can be said that every individual human being is a composite Lahiri, vibrating at a specific frequency.In fact, every organ has its own composite Lahiri, being the sum total of the Lahirisof their respective individual cells. When these individual frequencies are not in resonance with the highest frequency state of ‘Hari’, there is disharmony, which manifests as stress or disease. On the vibrational scale, the lowest are those of fear, guilt, worry, anger  etc. While animals experience low vibrational states only when confronted with actual threat to their survival, human beings are capable of mentally creating these low vibrational states, which keeps them anchored in its vortex. Therefore, how we perceive our outer circumstancesis a direct reflection (barometer) of our inner vibrational state.

Briefly stated, the process of Creation gives rise to an individual “I” and as long as “I” exists,  everything else takes the form of “You”.  This “You” includes circumstances also. The interplay between “I” and “You” keeps the wheel of Samsara spinning. All mental, emotional and psychological suffering is a result of the “I” overly identifying with “You” and thereby creating a threatened “I”. Therefore, the only way out of this suffering is to merge the “I” with “You” (which is the path of Bhakti Yoga)OR to attain the realisation that there is no “You” (which is the path of Gyana Yoga or non-duality). When we look at this minutely, we realise that the “You” (which includes every other manifested form and circumstance) is a projection of the “I” and the aim of this projection is to enable the “I” to realise itself fully. This path of realisation is what we call the inner retreat/Wari/pilgrimage/inward journey.

At Bodhmarga Foundation,it is our endeavour to spread the spiritual essence of theage-old Waritradition through our special initiative, “the Gyanottar bhakti movement”. With this aim in mind, we have organised a four day retreat (from 09/07/2019 to 12/07/2019) in an ashram located at Lonavala on the banks of the Indrayani river, which is considered as a holy river and is associated with several Saints belonging to the Bhakti movement, including SantDnyaneshwar and SantTukaram.As mentioned earlier, in the Wari tradition, the Warkaris carry Palkhisor processions of Saints from their respective places of enlightenment  and gather at Pandharpur on AshadhiEkadashi. The retreat will be a symbolic representation of the Wari tradition, wherein the participants will be aided in their inner pilgrimage through Haripath practice, discourses, Nada yoga and kriya yoga with a view to achieve that much-desired merger with the divine state. The retreat will end on 12/07/2019 on the auspicious day of AshadhiEkadashi. We will be offeringHaripath practice, discourses, Nada yoga and kriya yoga, all free of cost (excluding food, accommodation and travelling).

Before commencing this initiative, we, at Bodhmarga Foundation, invoke the blessings of all Masters (past and present) to enable us to spread the essence of our ancient spiritual traditions for the benefit of humanity as a whole.

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