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Fascinating Fakirs
« on: July 19, 2011, 02:40:26 PM »
A fakir or faqir is a Muslim Sufi ascetic in Middle East and South Asia. The Faqirs were wandering Dervishes teaching Islam and living on alms.

The term has become a common Urdu, Bengali, and Hindi word for "beggar". The term has also been used to refer to Hindu and Buddhist ascetics (e.g., sadhus, gurus, swamis and yogis). These broader idiomatic usages developed primarily in the Mughal era in India. There is also a now a distinct caste of Faqir found in North India, descended from communities of faqirs who took up residence at Sufi shrines. --from Wiki


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Re: Fascinating Fakirs
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2011, 02:41:42 PM »
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Herbert Ponting's 1907 photograph of "a fakir in Benares" (Varanasi), India. However, it is far more likely this depicts a Hindu sannyasi particularly since Benares is the holiest city in Hinduism where large numbers of ascetics gather. --Wiki

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Re: Fascinating Fakirs
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2011, 02:45:41 PM »
fakir - Fascinating Fakirs - History


The word is fakir comes from the Arabic for poverty and usually denotes someone who has given up worldly goods for spiritual ones.

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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2011, 02:48:04 PM »
Historically, the terms tasawwuf, Sufism, faqr, faqer (noun of faqr) were first used (with full definition) by Husayn ibn Ali who was the grand son of Muhammad. He wrote a book "Mirat ul Arfeen" on this topic, which is said to be first book on Sufism and tasawwuf. However, under Ummayad rule, neither could this book be published nor was it allowed to discuss tasawwuf, Sufism or 'Faqr' openly. For a long time, after Husayn ibn Ali, the information and teachings of 'faqr', tasawwuf or Sufism kept on transferring from heart to heart.

In the 10th century, highly reputed Muslim saint Abdul-Qadir Gilani who is founder of Qadiriyya silsila which has the most followers in Muslim Sufism elaborated Sufism, tasawwuf and faqr.

Then in the 13th century Ibn Arabi was the first vibrant Muslim Scholar who not only started this discussion publicly but also wrote hundreds of books about Sufism, tasawwuf and faqr.

With the passage of time the doctrine of Sufism had been fading as well as that of tasawwuf and faqr. During some Mughal Emperors time, in the Indian continent, improper terminology were inserted in Sufism and Islam and "faqir" was quoted for street beggars and Hindu monks. The term then came to India where the term was injected into the local idiom through the Persian-speaking courts of Muslim rulers. The fakirs are called syed, shah or sai since they belong to the decents of sufi orders.

During the 17th century another noble and spirited Muslim scholar and saint Sultan Bahoo revolutionized Sufism and reinstated (with fresh properties) the definition of faqr and faqir.

In the modern era, there is a Muslim Saint, Najeeb Sultan from Pakistan who is said to have extra ordinary spiritual powers and contends new dimensions in Sufism.

In English, faqir or fakir is originally, a mendicant dervish. In mystical usage, the word fakir refers to man's spiritual need for God, who alone is self-sufficient. Although of Muslim origin, the term has come to be applied in India to Hindus as well, largely replacing gosvamin, sadhu, bhikku, and other designations. Fakirs are generally regarded as holy men who are possessed of miraculous powers. Among Muslims the leading Sufi orders of fakirs are the Chishtiyah, Qadiriyah, Naqshbandiyah, and Suhrawardiyah.

The Cambridge English dictionary refers to a faqir 'as a member of an Islamic religious group, or a holy man'. --Wiki

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Re: Fascinating Fakirs
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2011, 02:49:09 PM »
fakir - Fascinating Fakirs - History

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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2011, 02:51:41 PM »
Muhammad defined faqr as "Reaching at peak, faqr is merged in Allah and his unity"

One of the most respected and beloved early Muslim saints Abdul-Qadir Gilani also elaborated Sufism, tasawwuf and faqr in a conclusive manner. Explaining attributes of faqir, he says, "faqir is not who can not do anything and is nothing in his self-being. But faqir has all the commanding powers (gifted from Allah) and his orders can not be revoked."

Then Ibn Arabi explained Sufism, including faqr in more details. He wrote more than 500 books on topics relating to Sufism, tasawwuf and faqr. He was the first Muslim scholar who introduced (first time openly) the idea of Wahdat al-wujud which remained the talk of the town for many centuries.

Another dignified Muslim saint Sultan Bahoo describes a faqir as one, "who has been entrusted with full authority from Allah (God)".  At another place, in the same book Sultan Bahoo says, "Faqir attains eternity by dissolving himself in oneness of Allah. He, when, eliminates his-self from other than Allah, his soul reaches to divinity."[13] He further says in his other book, "faqir has three steps (stages). First step he takes from eternity (without beginning) to this mortal world, second step from this finite world to hereafter and last step he takes from hereafter to manifestation of Allah". --Wiki

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Re: Fascinating Fakirs
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2011, 03:00:38 PM »
The Fakir's crutch.


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A rather rare form of Indian mace or pick used, as the name implies, mostly by religious mendicants forbidden by law to carry arms. Usually made from a solid piece of steel, it has a short handle on one side of which is a head shaped like a hand holding an antelope's horn and, on the other, a serpent with a tiger's head. This 'crutch' is placed under the arm when a fakir is seated, and, should the need arise, can be a very efficient weapon. -- http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=126562

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Re: Fascinating Fakirs
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2011, 03:03:22 PM »
wda0002l - Fascinating Fakirs - History


 ;D

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« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2011, 03:04:50 PM »

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« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2011, 03:08:10 PM »
bourke-white-margaret-indian-fakir-sleeping-on-a-bed-of-thorns-as-he-shuns-pain-while-practicing-his-religious-asceticism - Fascinating Fakirs - History


 :o

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« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2011, 03:11:28 PM »
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This book was written in the 1860s, when reliable information about Hinduism was just starting to filter back to the west. Jacolliot was searching for the roots of western esoteric traditions in the far East. The high point of this book is the travelogue of his encounters in India with a fakir, who demonstrates his siddis (yogic powers) exuberantly. There is also an extensive discourse on Kabbalah, and its relationship to Eastern mystical beliefs. Jacolliot was a diffusionist, and he believed that many western esoteric traditions, specifically Egyptian, Jewish and Christian, had their origin in India.

Jacolliot, the author (1837-1890) was a French lawyer who worked as a judge in India and Tahiti. He subsequently became a prolific author. Although he apparently had enough familiarity with Sanskrit to do some desultory translations of the Laws of Manu, Jacolliot was not an academic. He quotes extensively here from a text called the "Agrouchada-Parikchai," which appears to be a pastiche of the Upanishads, Hindu law books, and a bit of Freemasonry. This text does not seem to exist except in Jacolliot's imagination. Jacolliot also believed in a lost Pacific continent, and was quoted by Helena Blavatsky in Isis Unveiled in support of Lemuria. --J.B. Hare, June 21, 2008. -- http://www.sacred-texts.com/

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« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2011, 03:13:44 PM »
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Bwahaha! ;D

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« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2011, 03:15:53 PM »
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 :P

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« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2011, 03:20:09 PM »
Sceptic takes on India's fake fakirs
Jeremy Page
From: The Australian March 20, 2010 12:00AM


NEW DELHI: When a famous tantric guru boasted on television that he could kill another man using only his mystical powers, most viewers gasped in awe or merely nodded unquestioningly. Sanal Edamaruku's response was different. "Go on then - kill me," he said.


As head of the Indian Rationalists Association, Mr Edamaruku, the country's self-appointed sceptic-in-chief, had been invited to the same talk show as the holy man. At first, Pandit Surinda Sharma was reluctant, but he agreed to perform rituals designed to kill Mr Edamaruku live on television. Millions tuned in as the channel cancelled scheduled programming to stay with the showdown, which can still be viewed on YouTube.

The master chanted mantras, then he sprinkled water on his intended victim. After several hours of similar antics, Mr Edamaruku was still smiling and taunting the furious holy man.

"He was over, finished, completely destroyed." Mr Edamaruku chuckles in his office at the Rationalist Centre in the town of Noida, outside Delhi.

Mr Edamaruku has dedicated his life to exposing charlatans - from levitating village fakirs to televangelist yoga masters - who he says are obstructing an Indian enlightenment.

He has had a busy month, with one guru arrested over prostitution, another caught in a sex-tape scandal, a third kidnapping a female follower and a fourth allegedly causing a stampede that killed 63 people.

This week, India's most popular yoga master, Baba Ramdev, announced plans to launch a political party, promising to cleanse India of corruption and introduce the death penalty for killing cows. On Wednesday, police arrested a couple in Maharashtra state on suspicion of killing five boys on the advice of a tantric master, who said their sacrifice would help the childless couple to conceive.

"The immediate goal I have is to stop these fraudulent babas and gurus," says Mr Edamaruku, 55. "I'd like to see a post-religious society. That would be an ideal dream, but I don't know how long it would take."

The Indian Rationalist Association was founded officially in Madras (now Chennai) in 1949 with the encouragement of philosopher Bertrand Russell. Since Mr Edamaruku took over in 1985, membership has grown from 300 to more than 100,000 members - mainly young professionals, teachers and students.

One common trick members expose is levitation, usually done using an accomplice who lies on the ground under a blanket and then raises his upper body while holding out two hockey sticks under the blanket to make it look like his feet are also rising.

Other simple ruses include the "weeping statue" trick, usually done by melting a thin layer of wax covering a small deposit of water.

Exposing such tricks can be risky. A guru called Balti (Bucket) Baba once smashed a hot clay pot in Mr Edamaruku's face after he revealed the holy man picked it up with a heat-resistant pad.

The chief rationalist was almost arrested by the government of Kerala for revealing it was behind an annual apparition of flames in the night sky - in fact, several state officials lighting bonfires on a nearby hill - that attracted millions of pilgrims.

Indian politicians shelter gurus to give them spiritual credibility, use their followers as vote banks, or to mask sexual or criminal activity. That explains why India has never tightened the 1954 Drugs and Magic Remedies Act, under which the maximum punishment is two months' jail and a 2000 rupee (about $48) fine.

Another reason is that educated, middle-class Indians are feeling alienated from mainstream religion but still in need of spiritual sustenance. "When traditional religion collapses, people still need spirituality. So they usually go one of two directions: towards extremism and fundamentalism or to these kinds of people."

Since richer, urban Indians have little time for long pilgrimages or pujas (prayer ceremonies), they are often attracted by holy men who offer instant gratification - for a fee. -- http://www.theaustralian.com.au/

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Re: Fascinating Fakirs
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2011, 03:23:22 PM »
Cool fakir...


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 8)

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« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2011, 03:25:46 PM »
Fakir Magic

Some of the more well known feats performed by these fakirs include: charming deadly snakes in large baskets with musical instruments, lying near-naked on a bed of sharp nails without incurring any injuries, levitation and the infamous Indian rope trick. According to Dr. Karl P.N. Schuker in his book The Unexplained, a professor called Larry D. Kirkpatrick, a physicist at Montana State University duplicated the lying on a bed of nails trick in an experiment.  This was to find out how, and if, it was actually possible to do.  Whilst lying on his bed of nails he even permitted a well-built American football player to sit on his chest.  The experiment was possibly less about 'debunking' fakir magic, but a lesson in the relationship between weight distribution and pressure, i.e. the greater the number of nails that supported his body, the smaller the amount of pressure exerted by his body's weight on each nail (this number is directly proportional to the weight of the person lying on them), the amount of pressure that the body exerts on any given nail is not great enough to puncture the skin.

Levitation, is another feat associated with Indian Fakirs that is possibly less easy to explain scientifically.  It has also tended to sit less comfortably with European religions which have deemed its performance as pagan. However in India any Asian youngster caught levitating, then becomes methodically trained up by experienced practitioners, in order to develop the youngster's powers further.

One particular report that came out of Southern India in 1936 was depicted by a series of stunning photographs in the Illustrated London News (6 June 1936).  The photos featuring a fakir called Subbayah Pullavar were taken by an eyewitness called P.Y. Plunkett.  The event occurred around 12.30 pm and was watched by around 150 people.  According to Dr. Schuker:

"After pouring water in a circle around the tent in which he would be performing the levitation, the fakir stepped inside the tent where he remained hidden from view for a few minutes.  The tent was then removed and the onlookers saw to their amazement that he was suspended horizontally in the air, in a trance, resting his hand upon a cloth-covered stick about a metre (3 feet) tall, which he seemed to be using not for support but rather for balance."

Even though onlookers passed their hands underneath and, in and around the space surrounding the fakir, no wire, props etc. were ever found.  Apparently many photographs were taken and after around four minutes he was again shielded by his tent as he made his decent.  However Plunket, allegedly could discern his shape through the thin tent walls; and is said to have seen him gently swaying for a short time while still in mid-air.  He then slowly sank in a horizontal position to the ground which in total took around five minutes to complete.  As yet this incident has not been satisfactorily explained.  Perhaps the onlookers were experiencing some form of mass hypnosis or hallucination.  See also: indian rope trick, fakir, levitation, and snake charming.

Source:  Information for this article,  Dr. Karl P. N. Schuker, The Unexplained, Carlton Books Limited (1997) ISBN: 1-85868-384
http://www.paranormality.com/fakir_magic.shtml

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« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2011, 03:32:20 PM »
s320x240 - Fascinating Fakirs - History


The Full Indian Rope Trick

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« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2011, 03:33:33 PM »
converted-fakir - Fascinating Fakirs - History


Converted Fakir

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« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2011, 04:27:05 PM »
fakir_toilet - Fascinating Fakirs - History


 ;D

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Re: Fascinating Fakirs
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2011, 02:35:39 PM »
mgtn228l - Fascinating Fakirs - History


 :D



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