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Asa


Satya Pir's Asa (left); Gazi's Asa (right)

Asa literally stick or staff. It has special religious significance. A five-pronged asa, with two sticks joined at the top, is referred to as Gazi's asa. It is also known as the symbol of five pirs or Muslim saint. During sessions of gazir gan (Gazi's songs), Gazi's asa is planted upright in the ground as a symbol of Gazi. People offer food grains and coins on a platter at the foot of the asa.

An asa is also used during the Shirni festival held on the last day of Paus, the ninth month of the Bangla calendar. On this occasion, young cowherds and village children, holding an asa in their hands, go from door to door, begging for food grains. They sing songs and recite rhymes. The stick used by pirs, fakirs, saints and sannyasis is also known as asa.

Both the bible and the quran describe the miracles that Hazrat Musa (R) wrought with his staff, such as dividing the waters of the Red Sea for safe passage for the Jews.  [Momen Chowdhury]