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The Sufi Shrine of Ajmer , by Laxmi Dhaul

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 Paperback - 128 pages                                                                         by Laxmi Dhaul


Often, when one visits an important or popular religious shrine or holy place in India, the mass of people, the heat, the dust the traffic and congestion overwhelm one. Invariably beggars and the poor get after you, and in the confusion and rush, one misses out on the spiritual and historical significance of the place. Often what started out as a pilgrimage, becomes an uncomfortable experience if done without some knowledge and background.

This book, is also dedicated to those who visit the Dargah for the first time and have heard about it but have no way of knowing about its significant and salient features. The daily rituals, the customs and what happens in the Urs (the death anniversary of the Saint) are therefore written about in great detail. I have also endeavoured a chapter on Sufism, to give an introduction on the Islamic Mysticism prevalent at the time and to describe the main tenets of the Chisti group of Sufis.

One of the nicest times to visit the Dargah is in the evening, when the decorative lights are lit up and the Qawali singers are in place bringing life to the place. The traffic is less, and the ambience reminds you of the presence of the great Sufi Saint. I have been fortunate enough to attend an Urs, and was lucky to be taken along with the mass of devotees right up inside the Sanctum Sanctorum, through the 'Gates of Paradise' and brought out again. My only effort was not to resist the surge and flow of humanity that took me right in and brought me right out, again with the grace of Khwaja Garib Nawaz.

Back Of The Book

Hadrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti's tomb lies in Ajmer in Rajasthan. He was one of the greatest Sufi saints and his Dargah is a centre of pilgrimage for thousands of people of all faiths. The Dargah complex is a conglomeration of various buildings. Places of worship and tombs of various people built over the last 750 years revealing the spiritual and historic importance of the place. Various Sufi rituals. The annual Urs and daily ceremonies held at the Dargah are a fascinating mix of different customs. The patronage of the Mughal. Rajput and Maratha emperors and kings have added tremendous variety and colour to the shrine as it is today. This book though based on the life of a Saint of the thirteenth century is extremely relevant even today for it deals with mysticism. Love. Unity, sacrifice, spirituality and secularism. The Saint's preachings are vibrant, even today, as they strengthen the fabric of love and unity amongst diverse faiths.

Laxmi Dhaul became interested in the Sufi saint of Ajmer through her personal experiences. She went to Ajmer for the first time in 1992. And subsequently she sent her three children to study at Mayo College, in Ajmer. Her interest and fascination for the Dargah grew during each visit she made to her children and to pay homage to the great saint. Miracles and prayers answered are a feature of the Ajmer Dargah and this alone attracts thousands of devotees daily.

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