Friday, 7 August 2015

Ajmir dargah world's largest cauldrons, tradition of Sufi saints

Ajmir dargah,Rajasthan, India. sharif.www.guiddoo.com

Dargah Sharif of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty in the city of Ajmir, Rajasthan is an important pilgrim center for the Muslims of SE Asia next to Mecca and Medina It is highly sanctified place of worship and the  historical Dargah  has the grave (Maqbara) of the revered Muslim saint, Moinuddin Chisti (1141 - 1236). About 125,000 pilgrims visit the site every day.


The wok (deg)www.religiousforums.com

Above image: The above image: The wok (deg) at the shrine of Sufi Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmir. Rajasthan, India. It was presented by Moghul emperor, Jehangir - Akbar's son, Shah Jahan's. capacity 2400kg of food. 
Ajmer Durhah  Rajasthan,www.chishtymission.com

Above image :  Ajmer Sharif, Moinuddin Chishty,, Rajasthan, India.Big cauldron - the wok (deg) capacity 4800 kg of food.


location map. News18.com


Hazrat  Khwaja  Moinuddin  Chishti, a venerable Sufi saint established a religious order that upholds the best religious principles for the humanity . Lots of people from other faiths especially Hindus visit this Dargah and get his blessings. Followers of this order believe ''If someone visits a living man and gets nothing from him to eat, it is as if he had visited the dead." Sufi Dervesh will never  eat alone, and will welcome anyone with open hand to join them and partake of food with them. They serve them with joy  will never allow them to leave with empty stomach.


Dargah Sharif founded by this great saint even to day follows the tradition o offering free food to the devotees. For centuries they have been following this tradition without a break. For the last  400 years the Degs of Tabarruk have been busy preparing food - Sweet Rice, 100%, Vegetarian in 100% pure ghee so that all the Zayrins can enjoy the Tabarruk of Khwaja Sahab. For the Sufi, observance of Adab promotes spiritualism, hospitality and sharing of food with others is very important and it is a way of serving the God, Almighty. --

To Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty, a true friend of Allah is the  one who, listens to the plight of the oppressed, helps  the needy, and fills the stomachs of the hungry. This custom is continued by the Khadims— any surplus at Chishti Khanqahs is distributed to visitors and the needy.


Devotees offering chadder at Ajmer dargah, Rajasthan, India Todaycom

A Langar Khana is the place in a Sufi Dargah where free food called ''Langar'' is distributed to all, and where food is prepared (Khana) to be given to the poor twice a day. During the Raj, the British rulers were appreciative of the charitable activities of this Dargah. Further, 'the Rajputana District Gazetteer of 1904 reports that ordinary private charity in times of famine  cannot much be continued upon to supplement government aid…. an exception is, perhaps, the institution attached to the Dargah  Sharif  of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty at Ajmer, known as the Langar Khana, the only permanent poor-house in the district'.

In the Dargah there are two huge degs - cauldrons for cooking Niaz (purely vegetarian food; cooked with rice, ghee, nuts, saffron & sugar. The system of cooking food in cauldron (Deg) was first introduced by Emperor Akbar.

Bari Deg: It is a huge  cauldron located on the right side of Buland Darwaza inside Sahan-e-Chiragh. It was  presented by the Mogul emperor Akbar in 976 Hijra (1567 A.D). He came here on foot all the way from Delhi and presented the deg. Before that he had a spacious building built for the convenience of cooks involved in the preparation of food. Mind you, this huge cauldron weighs 4800 kg of food.

Chhoti Deg: Located on the left side of Buland Darwaza inside Sahan-e-Chiragh, it was a gift from Sultan Nooruddin Jahangir in 1013 Hijra. (1613 A.D). Its capacity is just 2400 kg of food. Offering of deg is made by the pilgrims according to their financial ability. The food is distributed among the people after Fajr (morning) prayers. when Ajmer came under the control of the Hindu rulers - Marathas and Rajputs, a new kind of food known as ''Kesaria Bhat'' (saffroned sweet rice) was cooked in these Degs and that tradition continues to this day.
 

It may be of interest to note because of a large number of Non-Muslims, particularly Hindus come her for worship and blessing, the Durgah management has done away with meat.

 To get food cooked in the deg, devotees have to pay prescribed fees for the two degs and the donor/devotee can approach the management only through a Khadim without whose representation cooking does not take place. A portion of the fee (Zar-e-Chaharrum) is paid to the Khadim by the Dargah Sharif. Incidentally, as far as the main durgah management is concerned, only the Khadims have full right, not the Durgah committee. Cooking can be done by Zaireen (pilgrims/devotees) who can afford to cook, Bavakalat (through) respective Khadims of Khwaja Gharib Nawaz.

Feeding is the most desirable charity among the charitable acts. A person can not eat more than what his stomach can hold.  Whereas if you offer money in cash, man, being greedy will not be satisfied that easily. You will end up losing you wallet and later your shirt.

Visiting such a revered place like the Durgah Sharif founded by a highly principled Sufi saint is akin to enjoying the bliss of Almighty God /Allah.


Ref:
http://dargahsharif.com/degs.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moinuddin_Chishti