|The meeting of two saints: The saint riding a tiger and holding a serpent in hand is the legendary Ghazi peer from the Sunderbans, Bengal, invoked by both Hindus and Muslims for their safety from wild animals while visiting a forest. The one sitting on the right could be a Hindu Rishi - notice a cow in the background. The saint is also known as Baba Bagh Sawar (a tiger-riding saint).||Shah Abdul Qadir Jeelani: A typical devotee to a saint's tomb is usually imagined as a woman, with her jholi (scarf) held out in a posture of 'asking'. In this poster, the mausoleum of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani in Iraq is visited by a beautiful female devotee wearing a distinct Punjabi dress and facial features.|
| Longing for Medina |
This typical calendar image of Mecca and Medina shrines has something unique: bleeding pigeons - probably symbolizing the artist's (and devotee's) longing and inability to visit Medina. Not to miss the artist's byline at the bottom: Balkrishna. (The symbol of bleeding pigeons has also been noticed in Christian iconography).
|Taj Baba with Amma |
Saint Tajuddin of Nagpur with Amma who was his constant companion for decades. Notice the similar garlands both wear - symbolizing the fana fi Shaikh (Consummation into the Master). While the saint's tomb is in the backdrop, the tantra-type talismans on the top corners are meant to ward off the evil.
|Bait-ul-Muqaddas or the Holy House at Jerusalem, Israel. This image maybe a copy of something produced in Arab or Europe. The sun rising from behind the mount Sinai throw out rays that are typical of nationalistic calendar art produced in the 1950s and 60s.||Band Samaa, or a posture of restricted body while listening to music. Since music can make a listener to dance - something discouraged in Islam - some Sufis bind their hands and legs in order to avoid any dance movements. This image features the Chishti saint Waris Shah of Devah, in Uttar Pradesh.|
A mythical beast that the Prophet Muhammad rode to heaven during his Mi'raj or ascension. Notice the Indian features of the women - she could be straight from the poster of a Hindu deity - Radha, Sita, Saraswati... Animals or non-human creatures have a special place in a devotee's mind.
|Meeting of the Saints: An imaginary gathering of some important saints - clockwise from bottom left - Baba Farid, Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, Hazrat Ghuas-e Azam, Hazrat Bu Ali Sharif, and Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia.|
A gathering of people from different strata of the society for a collective namaz (Muslim prayer). Notice the torn and tattered clothes of a person (in white) standing next to a supposedly wealthy nawab or a king. On the top is the Urdu translation of a Quranic verse about obedience to God.
Baba Sailani Shah mian wandered the forests and tamed many wild animals such as tigers, lions and other cats. His shrine is located in Buldhana district of Maharashtra, near Aurangabad. The rich dresses worn by most saints are probably an artist's imaginative depiction of the 'rutba' or spiritual stage the saint had attained.