One of the pillars of the hall, the Garuda Stambha, represents Garuda, the eagle who serves as the bearer of Lord Visnu. The pilgrims embrace the pillar, with the prayer that towards the end of life, Garuda will bring them back to Vaikuntha.
Leaving the darsana room, the eight famous prayers called Pandurangastakam, composed by acarya Sankara during her visit to Pandharpur in the 8th century, are seen suspended from the ceiling. Each verse glorifies the beauty, the qualities and the devotees of the Lord and ends with the refrain para-brahma-lingam bhaje pandurangam, which means “I adore the supreme spiritual form of Lord Panduranga”.
In the same temple, behind the shrine of Lord Vitthala, is the shrine of Srimati Rukmini Devi, the beautiful wife of the Lord.
Darsana, offerings and aratis continue all day, except for a short break in the afternoon where the Deities rest. After the last arati, at eleven o’clock, the pujaris change the dress of the Lord and sing special hymns asking him to rest at night.
Just as the Lord played the role of father and grandfather in Dwaraka, here he also relates affectionately to His devotees. A famous painting depicts him with paternal humor, carrying several devotees, some on his shoulders, some around his waist and others holding his finger as they walk beside him. The “Vi” in the name of Lord Vithoba denotes knowledge and “Thoba” means the form. He is the form of knowledge or the divinity of knowledge.
Another meaning is that the word “Vitthala” is derived from the word Marathi “Vit”, which means brick. The reason behind the brick will be explained later in this article. “Ba” is used to refer to “father” in Marathi.
Lord Vithal / Vitthal / Vithoba is none other than Lord Vishnu, Lord Narayana or Lord Krishna. It is believed that Lord Krishna was incarnated at the end of the Dwarpa Yuga on the eighth day of the dark fortnight of the holy month of Shravan (according to the Hindu calendar). Devotees affectionately call it names such as Pandrinath, Panduranga, Pandhairiraya, Vithai, Vithoba, Vithu-mauli, Vitthalgururao. But the well known and widely used names are Pandurang / Panduranga and Shri Vitthal / Vithal.
Panduranga bricks story :
Vittl Lord Shankar tells Parvati “the brick thrown by Pundalik in Pandurang is not an ordinary brick, but Lord Indra himself”. Long ago, there was a demon named Vritrasur who was killed by Indra by deception. While he was dying, the demon cursed him to become a brick. However, it has been said that he will be expelled from this curse when Lord Vishnu will stand on the brick. Then, Indra was forced to accept the brick body. Like a brick, Indra was lucky enough to be in Pundalik’s house. It is this brick that Pundalik threw for the Lord to stop. As a result, Indra was free from the curse.