Sufis and Sufism

Thought One

I could be talking about Kabir, Shirdi Sai Baba, Jalaluddin Rumi, Bulleh Shah …and I would be speaking about Sufis and Sufism They were/are all Mystic Men of God.

A Sufi is a Dervish standing at the threshold…a Fakir devoid of all attachments and ignorance…

They strive to remove the veils of ignorance and unite with their Beloved.

This Divine Unity is known as Tawhid.

‘Sama’ happens when the spirit gets intoxicated with ‘God’

This experience is so intense that some Sufis pass away while experiencing this stage.

Music is an integral part of Sufi devotion. They call it Samai Hakani. The latter makes them get into a rapturous situation when all dance together in a sort of mystic/spiritual  trance.

‘Zikir’ is basically remembrance of God.

With every ‘dum’ (breath) one is urged to take the name of God.

Without the name of the Lord a breath is a waste.

Sufis celebrate death. ‘Urs’ is the death anniversary. The chaddar (sheet of flowers) that is offered at the ‘dargaah’ is symbolic of the nuptial bed. The meeting with the Almighty.

Bulleh Shah, Meerabai and Guru Nanak, according to me, were Sufis!

I believe that they used to ‘compose’ in trance and render their compositions in ecstasy. Sufis want to experience God now! They live in the ‘now’.

Sufis believe in the ‘Sahaj Maarg’

Sahaj Marg literally means the ‘Easy Path’.  It is a path to which Sufis totally surrender…they allow themselves to ‘flow’…  It is not as easy as it sounds…  Spirituality is a way of life for them.  They take to the practice of Naam jap (Repetition of Name)

Kabir and Nanak believed that:

The Nam and the Lord are not different.

One who realizes the Nam realizes God. Nam goes beyond all senses and it cannot be comprehended by the intellect nor seen with the eyes but can only be realized by repetition.

Senses or intellect cannot contact the Divine, the soul can. Yet a Teacher is very necessary.

After initiation, when the disciple concentrates on his third eye, his consciousness gradually withdraws itself from the nine portals of the body and enters the spiritual world. This process of withdrawing to the eye center has been termed ‘dying while living’

Recognizing God through self-realization has been the main concern of Sufis.

Sufis ponder on:

Who is the Creator?
What is the Truth?
What is the meaning of life?

However Karma or ones destiny has to be endured.

Attachment and hate, friendship and enmity, pride and resentment are strong feelings that form grooves on the mind and in course of time become the cause of further effects (karmas). The constant struggle against negative tendencies and desires is known as ‘Jihad bin nafs’

According to Sufism, there are three ways to escape the effects of Karma: acceptance, surrender to God/Guru and the Simran of the Name.

Sufis believe that the world is to be contemplated upon, not become a slave to…

One must remain true to ones nature…

Self realization is possible when one meditates, has faith and lives in an environment of tolerance, love and friendliness.

He who has conquered the five inner regions is the true warrior…He who gives up his ego saves his soul.

Guru Nanak stated: Man jeetey Jag jeetey

He who conquers his mind, conquers the world.

Thought Two

Meet Guru Nanak, Kabeer, Shaikh Ali Hujweri, Al-Beruni, Sheikh Nizamuddin Auliya, Dara Shukoh, Sheikh Qadiri, Mirza Mazhar Jani-I-Jahan, Jalal-Al-din Rumi…

Kabir says “To control the mind, those who are realized, have given three techniques, one is repetition of the name (with full attention), Contemplation and listening to the sound.

Simran or repetition, has to be done in a way that it continues even though the devotee is engaged in regular activity.

Such repetition brings the soul to the eye center and opens the tenth door. The practice of repetition is said to be perfect when the practice becomes involuntary and happens automatically. The mind then gives up wandering, its attention now moves inwards.

Kabir says:

“If he tries to find himself he finds God
and if he tries to find God he finds himself.”
“Let no one go searching for Him,
still your mind, meditate on Him,
for He, Ram, fills each particle of the creation”.

…not confined to idols, symbols nor does He dwell on snow capped peaks, nor in churches, temples and mosques. The Kingdom of God is within…

Kabir’s longing for the Lord was the longing of a lover for her Beloved.

Kabir has described himself as the ‘bride of the Lord’.

The use of the senses is to utilize it, for Spiritual benefit and uplift.

I (Shakun) used to sing a Sindhi kalaam: “Je Allah saan milan chaaheen, jeeyare paan khey maar” which means that if ‘you want to become one with the Lord, continue to live while dead”

Shaikh Ali Hujweri states: ‘The follower of Sufism is he who seeks to reach the rank of being dead to self and alive to truth by means of struggle…’

According to Al-Beruni the Sufi theories of the soul are similar to those in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra.

Sheikh Nizamuddin Auliya’s description of his conversation with Yogis shows that he was impressed with their ‘Shiva and Shakti’ theory.

Dara Shukoh, the ill fated Moghul prince tried to prove that Hindu and Muslim mysticism met at many points…

Sheikh Qadiri learnt Sanskrit so that he could read Hindu Scriptures…

Mirza Mazhar Jani-I-Jahan accepted Rama and Krishna as prophets.

Jalal-Al-din Rumi states: Every prophet and every saint hath a way, but it leads to God: all the ways are really one.

I am neither Christian, nor Jewish, nor Muslim. Doing away with duality, I saw the two worlds as one. I seek One, I know One, I see One, and I call One.

Last verse by Rumi from “The Life and Thought” 

Translated by Aneela Khalid Arshed

Rumi said:

The life of this world is nothing but the harmony of opposites…one can achieve it through the language of silence…

According to Osho the Baul belongs to no religion…He is a simple human being. His rebellion is total. He does not belong to anybody; he only belongs to himself. He lives in a no man’s land: no country is his, no religion is his, no scripture is his…Existence is his only abode…Dance is his religion, singing is his worship-but everything has to come out of deep feeling…He leaves the world to itself. He does not interfere, meddle with it. He starts changing himself. His revolution is absolutely inner…Love is their worship, love is their prayer, love is their meditation…