Tales of Syncretic Punjab- Goat makes one Peer and another a Mahant

Once upon a time, (again) in the land of Punjab. A Sufi Peer was passing by. He met a poor Brahmin, the Brahmin served him very well. Whatever little the Brahmin had, he shared it with the Peer. The Peer had a goat along, he gifted it to Brahmin as a mark of gratitude. The Brahmin was vegetarian and didn’t make mutton of the goat. He kept feeding the goat for years and then the goat died. It wasn’t a regular goat, it is the blessing of a Sufi Peer. The Brahmin buried the goat and placed some flowers on the Samadhi of the goat, to show respect. Months passed by, people started bowing to the Samadhi of the goat, they prayed. Some got their wishes fulfilled, some returned unhappily yet they kept coming to the Samadhi of the goat. The Samadhi of the goat soon became a famous temple and that poor Brahmin a Mahant of the prestigious temple.

The same Peer was passing by the same neighborhood and he was surprised to see an extravagant temple, where once the poor Brahmin stayed. He went inside the temple to ask about the Brahmin follower, whom he met ages ago. The Brahmin Mahant recognized the Peer, he touched the feet of Peer. The Peer with amused looks asked how this temple came about. The Brahmin told him about the death of goat and the Samadhi and the Samadhi becoming a temple.

The Sufi Peer laughed. He said the mother of the same goat made me a Sufi Peer. The Brahmin had questions on his face, and asked him -how? The Sufi Peer said, once a Naath Jogi was passing by our neighborhood. I offered him some food and donation. In return, he gave me a goat. Naths are not supposed to have any worldly possessions, someone donated him a goat, he gave the same goat to me as a blessing. I could never make myself eat the goat, blessing of a Nath. So I kept it and when the goat died, I gave it a proper burial and the burial site became a Dargah, later a Dargah Shareef, and I became the Peer of the Dargah. The goat made you a Mahant, the mother of the same goat made me a Sufi Peer.

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