Gadhimai Mela - The Largest Sacrifice

Posted by Enrico Fabian • Friday, June 18. 2010 • Category: People and Places
In the last quarter of 2009, the famous actor and animal rights activist Brigit Bardot wrote a letter to the president of Nepal, urging him to intervene in the planning of an upcoming religious festival. Her request was received, but shunned by the president; the Gadhimai Mela, held every five years, would again go on as it had for centuries. It is considered the biggest single animal sacrifice on our planet. The festival’s name, Gadhimai, comes from a goddess whose temple is situated in a vast complex near a tiny village in Nepal not far from the Indian border.

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Urs at Ajmer: Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti Rules

Posted by Daniel Ratheiser • Friday, June 11. 2010 • Category: People and Places
The Urs celebrations of the great Muslim Sufi saint Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti at Ajmer are famous all over the world - not only among Sufis or other Muslims. Sufism (also referred to as tasawwuf) is the inner, mystical dimension of Islam, which focuses on direct knowledge of God and the experience of mystical union or direct communication with ultimate reality. One can hardly overemphasise the importance of Sufi Islam as the key channel for Hindu-Muslim interaction in South Asia throughout the centuries, which resulted in an extremely fruitful cross-fertilisation of ideas, thoughts, sciences, and arts – and there is no place in South Asia where this is more evident than in Rajasthan’s Ajmer and even more so during the Urs festivities.

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