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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Explaining bAULIANA - Addressing Misconceptions about 'Sufis' and bAULS

Smita Ghose (India) replied to your post on August 4, 2009
In Sufi way of life, the Tarikat is the spiritual path one has to follow to attain perfection.the self is gradually purified and transformed into Divine Attributes, until there is nothing left of one's commanding self. Then all that remains is the Perfect, Divine Self. The disciple, through the stages of purification, travels the inner way, the spiritual path (tariqat). Having traveled this path, the disciple becomes a perfect being and arrives at the threshold of the Truth (haqiqat). When the truth is achieved then comes the state of maarefot.....The musical and ecstatic aspect of Sufism is called "sama". The sufis, while being spiritually enraptured, give all the attention of their hearts to the Beloved. Often with special and rhythmical music, they engage themselves in the selfless remembrance of God. In this state, the sufi is a drunken lover who becomes unaware of everything but God. With all their faculties the sufis are attentive to the Beloved, and have totally given up and forgotten themselves.

Dear Smita,

First of all there is no "Sufi way of life" is a Belief system and in Islam - contrary to popular misconceptions and what I have stated in my earlier post " it is the only religion which stresses on a direct communion with the Maker – the All In All – or ‘aLLAH’. Each Man is to himself and through practice and perseverance it can be achieved."

Secondly - you are right, the word "Tarikat" does mean 'path' ('spiritual' or other is secondary here) among others - but it also implies 'different paths' and is not as rigid as many would imagine.

Nonetheless, as one who doesn't see any dissimilarity within any religion or belief system, a sHONATONs meditation and chants, or a bUDDHIST or Christians hymn - is therefore not any different then say a Muslims "Dhikr". It is ONE and the same "Tarikat" to reach salvation.

Thirdly - "Truth" is again a perception and may not always be Reality. What may be truth for one can quite be falsehood for another. Likewise sIN and sALVATION or vice versa.

"Hakikat" is only a appreciation of undeniable reality - like the sUN rising in the East and setting in the West. Like.... much as we may reach "divinity" - the mere chanting of prayers will not suffice. we have to go out and earn a livelihood. Fourthly - the state of mA'AREFOT differs vastly and cannot be codified in one set of behavior.

The idea that one gets enraptured as in a state of a "drunken lover" is again a Western bias - much as my bAUL fraternity are disdainfully termed "people affected by the wind". It seems incredible to me that one can become 'insane' simply because he/she is "touched by gOD" ! The state of mA'AREFOT is a very personal experience and once 'reached' can totally transmute a person.

Therefore on the one hand hand you have the Rebel pOET Kazi Nazrul singing:

"kHODAr o premey sharab o piye, behosh hoye roi porey hai
Teri mASJID amar o mURSHID, ke elo ei poth diye hai

I am of the opinion that Nazrul suffered a "burn out" after "attaining" the state of mA'AREFOT - a precious loss for hUMANITY. Yet on the flip side however the lORD bUDDHA on "attaining" Nirvana and his famous saying - 'it has left me' - meaning he attained NOTHING - then slipping into a state of sAKYAMUNI (sILENCE) - whereby he attracted more followers then while he had 'preaching' and talking - serves as important reminders.

In reality, both moved into a state of mA'AREFOT.

Lastly - mA'AREFOT is a state that is not discussed in public. It is wisdom passed on from lips to the ears and the lips of wisdom is sealed - and open only to the ear of the 'understanding'.

jOI gURU /\

Dhaka, 5th August 2009

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