Warkari

A Warkari, carrying an ektari with a saffron flag attached and Chiplya cymbals tied to strings in his hands, journeying from Alandi to Pandharpur

Warkari (meaning 'the one who performs the Wari') is a sampradaya (religious movement) within the bhakti spiritual tradition of Vaishnavite Hinduism, geographically associated with the Indian state of Maharashtra. Warkaris worship Vitthal (also known as Vithoba), the presiding deity of Pandharpur, regarded as a form of Krishna. Saints and gurus of the bhakti movement associated with the Warkaris include Dnyaneshwar, Namdev, Chokhamela, Eknath, and Tukaram, Gadge Maharaj all of whom are accorded the title of Sant.


Influence

The Warkari tradition has been part of Hindu culture in Maharashtra since the thirteenth-century CE, when it formed as a panth (community of people with shared spiritual beliefs and practices) during the Bhakti movement. Warkaris recognise around fifty poet-saints (sants) whose works over a period of 500 years were documented in an eighteenth-century hagiography by Mahipati. The Warkari tradition regards these sants to have a common spiritual line of descent.[1]