Friday, April 06, 2007

Devotees offer Liquor at the tomb of Holy man

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Sometimes Saints do good to Tipplers of the world also. Cocktail of drinks is not only to be found in beer & bars of the world but here in India, such Cocktail can be found at religious places also, where people drink such Cocktail of drinks as "Prasad" or blessings of the holy man.

Though most religious faiths in the world discourage believers from drinking liquor but in India there is holy place / tomb of a Muslim seer "Baba Rode Shah", where offerings and "Prasad" are given in the form of IMFL (Indian-made foreign liquor) or country liquor. Nothing is diluted in any way and must be 'slammed back' neat. This is a unique and popular tomb that lies on the Amritsar-Majitha road. Devotees from all over the country have been visiting the dargah of Muslim seer Baba Rode Shah situated in Bhoma town, 34 km from Amritsar in Punjab state of India.

Following the age-old tradition, devotees offer liquor at the shrine of Baba Rode Shah. As a ritual, devotees offer cocktail of drinks ranging from cheap country-made liquor to foreign brands once their wishes are fulfilled. The liquor is later distributed among devotees as 'Prasad' or blessings of the holy man.

According to a myth, Rode Shah moved to this town in 1896 and lived on the outskirts. He underwent austere penance and was blessed with mystical powers. Soon the miracles he performed to help people in distress made him popular. Today the shrine is known for its miraculous cures. By offering liquor at the shrine, childless couples have been blessed with children and people have achieved prosperity, as per the devotees.

Devotees flashing bottles of liquor greets each other after paying obeisance at the Samadhi of baba , where they arrive seeking mystical blessing. Not only people from in the vicinity come to pay obeisance at baba's Samadhi , but several NRIs ( Non Resident Indians) also make it a point to reach here with boxes of foreign liquor to 'appease' baba , who interestingly was a teetotaler.

At baba's Samadhi , a large drum is kept to mix the 'offerings' and a 'cocktail Prasad ' is given to baba's ardent devotees who gladly gulp it down. Issueless couples especially come here to seek baba's blessings.

The legend has it that Baba Rode Shah, who hailed from Dhiman village falling in Gurdaspur district had moved to Bhoma village in 1896 where his sister was married. Baba Rode Shah underwent austere penance. He started helping people. Once, with his blessings, a child was born to an issueless couple, who brought a bottle of liquor for baba to show their gratitude, which baba distributed among his devotees.

Though Baba passed away in 1924, the tradition is still going strong. Among the more famous devotees of Baba Rode Shah was the Great Indian singer "Mohammed Rafi".

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