Monday, March 19, 2007
ANI/DI Cor - Daily India - Jacksonville, FL, U.S.A.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Sufism is an integral part of Indian heritage, and people of all faiths revere Sufi saints.
These feelings of communal amity come out loud and clear during the annual Urs ceremony of Sufi saint Baba Barchchi Bahadur here in Aligarh.
The baba's dargah or mausoleum lies adjacent to the railway track in Aligarh. It is 600-years-old. A large number of devotees from different religious backgrounds come to pray at the Baba's dargah.
"We come to this dargah, as we find happiness. All our wishes are fulfilled. Baba fulfils all our wishes," claims Sapna, a Hindu devotee. Jagat Singh, a Sikh devotee, says, "Ever since somebody told me about this dargah dedicated to Baba, I have been coming here regularly. Barchhi Baba accepts the prayers of all those who come here with faith and love in their hearts."
The annual Urs is attended by a huge gathering of devotees. Qawwals sing paeans in praise of the saint, people offer chadars and threads and the faithful distribute food to the needy.
Aushe, a Sufi Qawwal who sings hymns in the dargah complex, has immense faith in Baba. He believes the Baba showers his blessings on Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs or Christians, and adds that everybody's prayers are accepted.
Legend has it that when the Britishers were laying railway track in Aligarh in the 19th century, they found the Baba's dargah coming in the way and sought to shift the mausoleum. When the first step was being taken to shift the mausoleum, trains started getting jammed, and the railway authorities then had no alternative except to change the direction of the railway track.
Thus, Baba's miraculous powers were established.
To this day, irrespective of religious barriers, Baba's dargah is visited by one and all. The trains running on the nearby tracks also slow down to pay respect to this saint. What more can be said?