Day before I had the chance to go for a Rumi Yoga session. When I asked the person who had invited me what was the connection I was told that the people who are conducting the session are basically Yoga teachers. Usually I would have avoided as the session was on a working day but as I have a deep interest in Sufi philosophy I decided to go.
As part of the session all participants were asked to share one of their favorite compositions from Rumi. I chose ‘Naman Behuda Girde’ which I love for its poetry but even more so because of the way Nusrat Fateh Ali Sahab has sung it in the qawwali form.
The teachers arrived and I was amused to see that they were wearing Himanchali caps. Guess it was to give the impression of being a Turkish Mevlana. But as far as I know the Sufis of Chishti order in India did not wear such caps but it was OK for the ‘feel’ of it. Next the lights were dimmed and the poetry session started. Now me being myself I had translated the whole poem from Persian and had even taken a printout as some of the words are tough to pronounce/remember. But lo and behold the teacher asked everyone to take out their phones and Google their “favorite” Rumi poem. It was quite a tough task as within the next five minutes one had to go through the top ranking quotes(not poems) and decide which one was their “favorite”.😊
By the time my turn came I had heard many a quote which I knew by heart anyways and I was in two minds if I should really read the ten verses I had prepared. Then I thought – what the hell they have wasted my time so I have full right to waste theirs !
Once the quote/poetry reading was over the teacher said now we will listen to random Sufi music from hindi movies and everyone must transform themselves into whirling dervishes. Songs such as Khwaja mere Khwaja were played on blue tooth speakers and folks started turning round and round like stoned zombies. Although many reported a sudden surge of creative energy, life force etc. In fact one girl looked like she wanted to claim that she was enlightened but probably decided to keep her spiritual secret to herself. In the end everyone sat silently for two minutes as in offering condolence ( presumably to the spirit of Rumi) and ended the session after rubbing their palms vigorously and transmitting the Universal energy from their hands to their eyelids. Going by the looks I think most people were 33% enlightened except me as the least I expected was to be able to listen to Nusrat Sahab ‘s qawwali at full volume with all of us clapping with the qawwals to reach the crescendo where the Mureed meets his Murshid in the spirit and energy generated by Sema. Of course, it was a completely wrong notion on my part.
Om Swami whom I look upto for spiritual guidance says in one of his discourses that – अगर आप लोगों को बोलो की इस पेड़ को झप्पी डालने से भगवान मिल जाएंगे तो आपको बीस पचास लोग मिल जाएंगे पेड़ को पकड़ कर खड़े रहने के लिए 😊
Now the thing is that there is nothing wrong or right as it is everyone’s own journey and the good part is that many have begun to search for their true self. Even the folks who conducted the session were very nice people. The only thing is that if we just spend a little more time and be a little more sincere in our quest then one can really get something out of it, else it’s better to grab a couple of drinks at the nearest bar and have a good time. It’s like you are walking to a destination so the effort is there but if you are walking in the wrong direction you will never reach plus get tired. Also,the faster your pace the farther you will be from your goal.
So while I am happy that there was a good turnout and so many people are interested in the matters of spirit, I just wish that the search is more genuine, more from the heart.
Let me leave you with another beautiful Rumi Composition – Tu Karimi, Mann Kamina. I am sure you will sway with the rhythm and get consumed by the yearning of Rumi ‘s heart.