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In the first quarter of 19th century when the Moghul Empire in India was on its last leg and sectarian frenzy was being spurred up to establish British Rule in the country, a child was born in the quite little town of Dewa in this district, who was destined to influence the lives of a vast majority of people by radiating divine love for humanity with the centripetal brilliance of his soul to guide them on the path of righteousness and piety.
Sarkar Waris Ali Shah of Dewa came of a family of Hussaini Syeds distinguished for piety and learning. His genealogy shows that he was born in the 26th generation of Hazrat Imam Hussain. The date of his birth is disputed varying from 1233 A.H. to 1238 A.H. The author of Maarif Warisya has put the date of his birth as 1234 A.H. corresponding to 1809 of the Christian era. His father, Syed Qurban Ali Shah belonged to a land-lord class and was a man of considerable learning having completed his education in Baghdad.
Sarkar Waris Ali Shah was not yet three years old when he lost his parents and the burden of his upbringing fell on the feeble shoulders of his grandmother. At the age of five he started learning 'Quran' and committed it to memory. He seldom read his books but to the amazement of his tutor he could say his lessons correctly. He preferred solitude to books and often slipped away out of doors to spend long periods in retirement and contemplation. He was never seen playing with children of his age and took pleasure in giving them sweets and distributing money among the poor. It soon became evident to those around him that he was not quite of the earth. His brother-in-law Haji Syed Khadim Ali Shah who lived at Lucknow took charge of his education and initiated him in the mysteries of occult science, giving him the necessary training.
Portrait of Sarkar Waris Pak
It was not long before Haji Syed Khadim Ali Shah died and his mentle descended upon the boy at the age of fourteen. Sarkar Waris Ali Shah started initiating people in his order and had a number of disciples. When he was only fifteen, the burning glow of divine love impelled him to start on a pilgrimage to Mecca, he gave away all his property including a valuable library to his relations and destroyed documents relating to his estate.
For 12 long-years he traveled in Arabia, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Iran, Turkey, Russia and Germany, it is said that he performed Haj 10 times in the course of his travels. One day while inside 'KABA' he began humming a tune. The keeper of 'KABA' warned him and said 'You seem to forget that it is the house of God' . Quick cam the reply 'Can you tell me a place where God is not present?' From the date of his first Haj, Haji Waris Ali Shah discarded putting tailored clothes and started donning the Ahram (Unstitched cloth wrapped around the body). He traveled on foot and used no conveyance of any sort but got the boats only to cross the Seas. He visited Constantinople in the time of Sultan Abdul Majid who was so impressed at the sight of the holy stranger that he offered himself to be admitted in his order. Haji Waris Ali Shah was the guest of Prince Bismarck when he visited Berlin.
When he returned home his own people did not know him. His ancestral house was in ruins and when he went round the village no one came to welcome him.Some of his relations shunned him, lest he should claim back his property which they held in their possession. He smiled at their coldness and remarked 'They seem to think that I have come back for the sake of my property, as if I care for it' and went away to resume his wandering.
Sufism is based on love, which they say is the eternal order of the universe. All matter is composed of invisible particles or atoms by the force of gravitation. This natural phenomenon is interpreted in Sufism as the tendency of LOVE. Since God created man in his own likeness, the man as the highest form of creation must essentially claim affinity with the divine and the absolute.
Haji Sahab was so possessed of the divine idea that he practically lost all self-consciousness. His inward bent of mind prevented him from holding long discourses. He was one of those Saints whose thoughts are altogether absorbed in the contemplation of the Almighty and had no room for anything else.
Haji Waris Ali Shah never claimed any extra ordinary powers for himself. but there are innumerable instances of his having healed the sick by a glance or by a touch. Once on his way to Bahraich, he wanted to cross the river Ghaghra in floods, but no boat was available at the ferry. He decided to swim across the river with his companions. They were in the state of terrible fright and reluctant to follow him, but to their astonishment, the water was found to be only knee-deep, when they got in and simply waded through it. His feet never showed any sign of dirt though he remained bare-footed, nor did they leave any mark on the carpet when he stepped in the room.
Hindus held him in high esteem and regarded him as a perfect Sufi and a follower of Vedant. To the Hindus he said 'Believe Brahma Do not worship idols and be honest'. Thousands of Hindus, including Sadhus and Fakirs of different Panthas paid homage to him and entered his order. He always welcomed them with these words 'You and I are the same' he recognised God in every individual, because he had realised, Him in himself. He did not ask non-Muslims to abjure their religion on the contrary he advised them to follow it with greater zeal and sincerity.
Haji Waris Ali Shah was as popular with the English educated youth as with the people of the old generations, English knowing men flocked to him in hundreds and sat at his feet. He was the first Sufi Darvesh to have crossed the Seas and visited Europe and was also the first to have attracted the English knowing Class. A Spanish Noble by the name of Count Galaraza came all the way from Spain to visit him and had an interview with him at Dewa.
Haji Waris Ali Shah a monarch in the domain of Sufism passed away for his heavenly abode on April 7th, 1905, after a brief illness. His mission was to teach the love of God as well as universal love by rallying men of conflicting creeds under one common banner. He was buried at the spot where he died and this place is marked by a splendid monument erected in his memory by some of his devoted followers.
The mausoleum of Haji Waris Ali Shah is a monument of communal amity, constructed on a pattern, blending the Hindu-Iranian styles of architecture. The mausoleum is an emblem of communal harmony, universal brotherhood and affection, preached by the Saint. The tomb, the shrines and the latticed outer apartment girdling the inner shrine for 'Parikrama' (Tawaf) are indicative of the Hindu style of architecture while the towers and minarets present the Persian architecture.
It is noteworthy that Hindus along with Muslim devotees made a significant contribution to the construction of the mausoleum. The silver platted spire was donated by Raja Udit Narain Singh of Ram Nagar in this district, the silver covering on doors was done on behalf of the rulers of Kashmir and the entire marble flooring was completed from the Estate donated by Thakur Pancham Singh of Mainpuri at whose cost a mess runs to feed the visitors during the Mela. The mausoleum is surrounded by an array of Khanquahs and imposing gate in front of it. There is a trust to look after the management of the mausoleum and properties donated by the disciples.
Every year Urs is held at the scared tomb in the month of 'Safar' with non-stop quawwali recitals.
Haji Sahab organised Urs of his father, Haji Qurban Ali Shah in the month of 'Kartik' according to Hindu calendar when a big fair is held to commemorate the Saints. Relieved of agriculture operations in the month of the fair people from far and wide participate in it in a festive mood. Visitors from all the parts of the country come to pay their homage to the great Sufi Saint Haji Waris Ali Shah and his father. Pilgrims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia are also attracted to make the fair a cosmopolitan congregation.
HIGHLIGHTS OF FAIR AND EXHIBITION
The Dewa Fair, which attracts pilgrims and visitors from all parts of the country to the mausoleum of the great Saint, comes in full swing with the ceremony of Chadar presentation on the tombs of Haji Waris Ali Shah and his father. Embroided sheets of Varanasi Silk are placed on the tombs of Haji Sahab and his father Haji Qurban Ali Shah.
These sheets are carried in silver plates in a procession. Quawwalis and devotional songs are recited all the way by professional singers as the procession wends its way to the mausoleums. Pilgrims also carry Chadars singing their way to the shrines.
There is much of interest to the peasantry in Dewa Fair. A big cattle market is the highlight of the fair and is the main source of its revenue. The cattle market has been split into various portions each being reserved for a particular species of animals.
The demonstration of improved agricultural implements and engines for pumping of water for irrigation draw large crowd of cultivators. Concerns dealing in chemicals fertilizers arrange free distribution of packets and literature explaining the use and effects of various types of fertilizers.
The cynosure of all eyes at the Dewa Fair is a decorated exhibition consisting of stalls of various departments, depicting the activities and achievements through colourful exhibits arranged in any eye-catching manner. The exhibits portray through pictures, photographs and models methods to contain the population explosion. In another stall are placed on view various exhibits showing the cultural life and historical places of the state and also national building schemes.
Some field demonstrations are also arranged by agriculture and Cane departments to explain improved farm strategies to agriculturists. Improved agricultural implements are also on show
A good treat of cultural programmes are held at the fair by conducting Mushaira, Kavi sammelan, Music Conference and Debate in a decorated pandal.
Sports loving people find great pleasure in events like Hockey, Volleyball, and Badminton tournaments as well as Rifle shooting and Kite Flying programmes.
The Dewa Fair which is regarded as one of the finest and neatest fair in the state has its own water supply arrangement. The exhibition association every year spend large amounts in maintaining sanitary and conservancy service to keep the Mela area spite and span. Treatment facilities and First-Aid services are provided free of cost during the ten days Mela period. An elaborate arrangement is made to maintain law and order and regulate traffic arrangement by having a full-fledged Kotwali, Wireless Station, Walkie-Talkie sets and central Loudspeaker system. Evenings, in the fair provide greater attractions for the visitors as the entire township in the fair is transformed into a fairy land with millions of coloured lights.
A brilliant display of fireworks marks the conclusion of the ten days Dewa Fair. The Fireworks manufacturers of Dewa, Fatehpur, Zaidpur, Nawabganj and also from outside the district vie with each other in demonstrating their skill in letting
off paper-balloons in the sky with a flame burning at its center, firing rockets with a flame burning at its center, firing rockets with a string of multi-coloured fireballs shooting in the air and depicting picturesque landscape by igniting gun powder inside the fast rotation wheels releasing mariads of twinkling star-like sparks of various tints..
Shahnawaz Ahmed Malik Warsi
Friday, March 15, 2013
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Society of Jesus (Latin: Societas Iesu, S.J., SJ or SI) is a Christian male religious order of the Roman Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits and are also known colloquially as "God's Marines", these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and members' willingness to accept orders anywhere in the world and live in extreme conditions. The society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations on six continents. The society's founding principles are contained in the document Formula of the Institute, written by Ignatius of Loyola. Jesuits are known for their work in education (founding schools, colleges, universities and seminaries), intellectual research, and cultural pursuits, and for their missionary efforts. Jesuits also give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes and promote social justice and ecumenical dialogue.
Ignatius founded the society after being wounded in battle and experiencing a religious conversion. He composed the Spiritual Exercises to help others follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 1534, Ignatius and six other young men, including St. Francis Xavier and Bl. Pierre Favre, gathered and professed vows of poverty, chastity, and later obedience, including a special vow of obedience to the Pope. Rule 13 of Ignatius' Rules for Thinking with the Church said: "That we may be altogether of the same mind and in conformity [...], if [the Church] shall have defined anything to be black which to our eyes appears to be white, we ought in like manner to pronounce it to be black." Ignatius' plan of the order's organization was approved by Pope Paul III in 1540 by the bull containing the Formula of the Institute. The opening lines of this founding document would declare that the Society of Jesus was founded to "strive especially for the propagation and defense of the faith and progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine." The Society participated in the Counter-Reformation and later in the implementation of the Second Vatican Council in the Catholic Church.
The Society of Jesus is consecrated under the patronage of Madonna Della Strada, a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and it is led by a Superior General, currently Adolfo Nicolás.
The headquarters of the society, its General Curia, is in Rome. The historic curia of St Ignatius is now part of the Collegio del Gesù attached to the Church of the Gesù, the Jesuit Mother Church.
In 2013 Pope Francis was the first Jesuit to be elected Pope.
The Jesuits today form the largest single religious order of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church, although they are surpassed by the Franciscan family of first orders Order of Friars Minor (OFM), OFM Capuchins, and Conventuals. As of 1 January 2007, Jesuits numbered 19,216: 13,491 clerks regular (priests), 3,049 scholastics (students to become priests), 1,810 brothers (not priests) and 866 novices. Members serve in 112 nations on six continents with the largest number in India and USA. Their average age was 57.3 years: 63.4 years for priests, 29.9 years for scholastics. and 65.5 years for brothers. The Society is divided into 91 Provinces with 12 dependent Regions: three in Africa, four in the Americas and five in Asia and Oceania. Altogether, they constitute 10 administrative units. (Assistancies).
Jesuits in the World (1 January 2007)
South Asia Assistancy4,01820.9%
United States of America2,95214.2%
South Latin America1,5137.9%
North Latin America1,3747.2%
The current Superior General of the Jesuits is Spanish: Adolfo Nicolás. The Society is characterized by its ministries in the fields of missionary work, human rights, social justice and, most notably, higher education. It operates colleges and universities in various countries around the world and is particularly active in the Philippines and India. In the United States alone, it maintains over 50 colleges, universities and high schools. A typical conception of the mission of a Jesuit school will often contain such concepts as proposing Christ as the model of human life, the pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning and lifelong spiritual and intellectual growth.[9
Formula of the Institute of the Society of Jesus
Ignatius laid out his original vision for the new order in the Formula of the Institute of the Society of Jesus, which is "the fundamental charter of the order, of which all subsequent documents were elaborations and to which they had to conform." He ensured that his formula was contained in two papal bulls signed by Pope Paul III in 1540 and by Pope Julius III in 1550. The formula expressed the nature, spirituality, community life and apostolate of the new religious order. Its famous opening statement echoed Ignatius' military background:
"Whoever desires to serve as a soldier of God beneath the banner of the Cross in our Society, which we desire to be designated by the Name of Jesus, and to serve the Lord alone and the Church, his spouse, under the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ on earth, should, after a solemn vow of perpetual chastity, poverty and obedience, keep what follows in mind. He is a member of a Society founded chiefly for this purpose: to strive especially for the defence and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine, by means of public preaching, lectures and any other ministration whatsoever of the Word of God, and further by means of retreats, the education of children and unlettered persons in Christianity, and the spiritual consolation of Christ's faithful through hearing confessions and administering the other sacraments. Moreover, he should show himself ready to reconcile the estranged, compassionately assist and serve those who are in prisons or hospitals, and indeed, to perform any other works of charity, according to what will seem expedient for the glory of God and the common good".
On 15 August 1534, Ignatius of Loyola (born Íñigo López de Loyola), a Spaniard of Basque origin, and six other students at the University of Paris—Francisco Xavier from Navarre (modern Spain), Alfonso Salmeron, Diego Laínez, Nicolás Bobadilla from Spain, Peter Faber from Savoy, and Simão Rodrigues from Portugal—met in Montmartre outside Paris, in a crypt beneath the church of Saint Denis, now Saint Pierre de Montmartre.
They called themselves the Company of Jesus, and also Amigos en El Señor or "Friends in the Lord", because they felt "they were placed together by Christ". The name had echoes of the military (as in an infantry "company"), as well as of discipleship (the "companions" of Jesus). The word "company" comes ultimately from Latin, cum + pane = "with bread", or a group that shares meals.
In 1537, they traveled to Italy to seek papal approval for their order. Pope Paul III gave them a commendation, and permitted them to be ordained priests. These initial steps led to the founding of what would be called the Society of Jesus later in 1540. The term societas in Latin is derived from socius, a partner or comrade.
They were ordained at Venice by the bishop of Arbe (24 June). They devoted themselves to preaching and charitable work in Italy, as the Italian War of 1535-1538 renewed between Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, Venice, the Pope and the Ottoman Empire rendered any journey to Jerusalem impossible.
They presented the project to the Pope Paul III. After months of dispute, a congregation of cardinals reported favorably upon the Constitution presented, and Paul III confirmed the order through the bull Regimini militantis ecclesiae ("To the Government of the Church Militant"), on 27 September 1540, but limited the number of its members to sixty. This is the founding document of the Jesuits as an official Catholic religious order.
This limitation was removed through the bull Injunctum nobis (14 March 1543). Ignatius was chosen as the first superior-general. He sent his companions as missionaries around Europe to create schools, colleges, and seminaries.
In fulfilling the mission of the Formula of the Institute of the Society, the first Jesuits concentrated on a few key activities. First, they founded schools throughout Europe. Jesuit teachers were rigorously trained in both classical studies and theology, and their schools reflected this. Second, they sent out missionaries across the globe to evangelize those peoples who had not yet heard the Gospel, founding missions in widely diverse regions, such as modern-day Paraguay, Japan, Ontario, and Ethiopia. Finally, though not initially formed for the purpose, they aimed to stop Protestantism from spreading and to preserve communion with Rome and the successor of Peter. The zeal of the Jesuits overcame the drift toward Protestantism in Poland-Lithuania and southern Germany.
Ignatius wrote the Jesuit Constitutions, adopted in 1554, which created a tightly centralized organization and stressed total abnegation and obedience to the Pope and their religious superiors (perinde ac cadaver, "[well-disciplined] like a corpse" as Ignatius put it).
His main principle became the unofficial Jesuit motto: Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam ("For the greater glory of God"). This phrase is designed to reflect the idea that any work that is not evil can be meritorious for the spiritual life if it is performed with this intention, even things considered normally indifferent.
The Society of Jesus is classified among institutes as a mendicant order of clerks regular, that is, a body of priests organized for apostolic work, following a religious rule, and relying on alms, or donations, for support.
The term "Jesuit" (of 15th-century origin, meaning one who used too frequently or appropriated the name of Jesus), was first applied to the Society in reproach (1544–52). It was never used by its founder, though members and friends of the Society in time appropriated the name in its positive meaning.
The Jesuits were founded just before the Counter-Reformation (or at least before the date those historians with a classical view of the counter reformation hold to be the beginning of the Counter-Reformation), a movement whose purpose was to reform the Catholic Church from within and to counter the Protestant Reformers, whose teachings were spreading throughout Catholic Europe.
As part of their service to the Roman Church, the Jesuits encouraged people to continue their obedience to scripture as interpreted by Catholic doctrine. Ignatius is known to have written: "...: I will believe that the white that I see is black if the hierarchical Church so defines it."
Ignatius and the early Jesuits did recognize, though, that the hierarchical Church was in dire need of reform. Some of their greatest struggles were against corruption, venality, and spiritual lassitude within the Roman Catholic Church. Ignatius's insistence on an extremely high level of academic preparation for ministry, for instance, was a deliberate response to the relatively poor education of much of the clergy of his time. The Jesuit vow against "ambitioning prelacies" was a deliberate effort to prevent greed for money or power invading Jesuit circles.
As a result, in spite of their loyalty, Ignatius and his successors often tangled with the pope and the Roman Curia. Over the 450 years since its founding, the Society has both been called the papal "elite troops" and been forced into suppression.
Jesuits at Akbar's court in India, c. 1605
St. Ignatius and the Jesuits who followed him believed that the reform of the Church had to begin with the conversion of an individual's heart. One of the main tools the Jesuits have used to bring about this conversion has been the Ignatian retreat, called the Spiritual Exercises. During a four-week period of silence, individuals undergo a series of directed meditations on the life of Christ. During this period, they meet regularly with a spiritual director, who helps them understand any call or message from God that they have received in their meditations.
The retreat follows a "Purgative-Illuminative-Unitive" pattern in the tradition of the spirituality of John Cassian and the Desert Fathers. Ignatius' innovation was to make this style of contemplative mysticism available to all people in active life. Further, he used it as a means of rebuilding the spiritual life of the Church. The Exercises became both the basis for the training of Jesuits and one of the essential ministries of the order: giving the exercises to others in what became known as "retreats".
The Jesuits’ contributions to the late Renaissance were significant in their roles both as a missionary order and as the first religious order to operate colleges and universities as a principal and distinct ministry. By the time of Ignatius' death in 1556, the Jesuits were already operating a network of 74 colleges on three continents. A precursor to liberal education, the Jesuit plan of studies incorporated the Classical teachings of Renaissance humanism into the Scholastic structure of Catholic thought.
Jesuit missionary, painting from 1779.
In addition to teaching faith, the Ratio Studiorum emphasized the study of Latin, Greek, classical literature, poetry, and philosophy as well as non-European languages, sciences and the arts. Furthermore, Jesuit schools encouraged the study of vernacular literature and rhetoric, and thereby became important centers for the training of lawyers and public officials.
The Jesuit schools played an important part in winning back to Catholicism a number of European countries which had for a time been predominantly Protestant, notably Poland and Lithuania. Today, Jesuit colleges and universities are located in over one hundred nations around the world. Under the notion that God can be encountered through created things and especially art, they encouraged the use of ceremony and decoration in Catholic ritual and devotion. Perhaps as a result of this appreciation for art, coupled with their spiritual practice of "finding God in all things", many early Jesuits distinguished themselves in the visual and performing arts as well as in music.
Jesuit priests often acted as confessors to kings during the Early Modern Period. They were an important force in the Counter-Reformation and in the Catholic missions, in part because their relatively loose structure (without the requirements of living in community, saying the divine office together, etc.) allowed them to be flexible to meet the needs of the people at the time.
It is believed that as a response to the varying protestant reformations against the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Paul III gave formal approval to St. Ignatius of Loyola to lead this order. This order was the most influential, intellectual Counter Reformation by the Catholic Church. They were most notably marked by their ability for intellectual influence and debate among the aristocracy of Europe. They were also marked by their elaborate open air revival-style meetings. These theatrical provocative and entertaining sermons created their own celebrity status.
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