Monday October 23, 2017

Rumi & Shams: Bonded in words and beyond

0
268
www.youtube.com

By Akash Shukla

The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.

Also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī, Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (Persian: جلال‌الدین محمد رومی‎‎) is popularly celebrated by the world as Rumi. A 13th-century Persian poet, Islamic scholar, theologian, jurist, and Sufi mystic, Rumi’s influence scales national borders and jumps ethnic divisions. TajiksTurksGreeks, IraniansPashtuns, other Central Asian Muslims, and the Muslims of South Asia have hugely appreciated his spiritual legacy for seven centuries.

An Iranian Muslim Shams-i-Tabrīzī (Persian: شمس تبریزی‎‎) is celebrated as the spiritual instructor of Rūmī. He is remembered with great reverence in Rumi’s poetic collection in particular Diwan-i Shams-i-Tabrīzī (The Works of Shams of Tabriz).

The tale and tradition unfolds that Shams taught Rumi in seclusion in Konya for 40 days before fleeing for Damascus.

The tomb of Shams-i-Tabrīzī was recently nominated to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Described as the ‘most popular poet’ and the ‘best selling poet’ in the United States, Rumi’s poems have been translated into several languages of the world and transposed into various formats.

Rumi & Shams: The tale untold

Meeting of Rumi and Shams was one of the grandest events that the planet ever saw. With their bond in deep friendship, categories of teacher and student, lover and beloved, master and disciple stood dissolved.

Rumi was born in the remote town of Balkh and this place is now in Afghanistan. He spent most of his life in Konya, Turkey. In the 13th century, it was a meeting point for many cultures at the Western edge of Silk Road. This was a place where Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and even Buddhist travelers mingled.

At the age of 37, Rumi became an accomplished doctor of theology. He was a venusian lover of the beautiful and the good, an artist and a scholar.

There was a wandering dervish monk, rough-hewn and sinewy. Known as a street bodhisattva who mingled with laborers and camel drivers, people called him Shams.

He attracted glamour in all spontaneity but when he did, he always slipped out of side doors. Many-a-time he left town. Shams never wanted followers or fame. Somewhere, he wanted to find one person vast enough in spirit to be his companion and then in the trail of his thought, he met Rumi in Konya.

One fine day, Rumi was riding a donkey through the marketplace. While he was besieged by many disciples, a stranger with drilling eyes stepped from a doorway and seized his bridle and challenged him: “Who is greater, Muhammad or Bestami?”

Given to the ecstatic communion with God, legendary Sufi master Bestami who cried out with mystic candor that he and the Supreme were one; while Muhammad was the founder of their tradition, the anointed one, but his greatness was lodged in his stature as messenger of God.

So, who was greater?

Rumi gave the approved answer, “Muhammad.”

On Shams’ counterview, Rumi reached on the verge to reply but he realized that this was no seminary debate about the mysteries.

In a not-so-impressive and nothing out-of-the-ordinary marketplace in south central Anatolia, he came face to face with the mystery. A doorway to eternity opened and in one pure outrageous act of faith, Rumi drove through. In an instant of mystical annihilation, fire met fire, ocean met ocean, and Rumi fell into pure being.

Rumi said, “What I once thought of as God I met today as a human being.”

The material world records and remembers this incident as Rumi tumbling from his saddle after the question and faints.

Lying on the ground when Rumi managed to regain consciousness, he answered, “Bestami took one swallow of knowledge and thought that was all. But for Muhammad, the majesty was continually unfolding.”

Shams not only gauged but also felt the depth of the answer and this was the one he had sought.

en.wikipedia.org
en.wikipedia.org

The two began a series of months-long retreats into solitude where they entered into a deep communion of words and silences called sohbet. Who can say what transpired there? We can only guess that Rumi endured the refining fires of a deep spiritual purification.

But some of Rumi’s pupils witnessed their beloved teacher being strayed by ‘madman Shams’; their intrigue forced Shams to leave Konya.

Shams went into exile several times, but he always returned at Rumi’s behest. But on December 5, 1247, fanatics killed Shams and the body went missing. Rumi wandered for months in great pain and one day in Damascus, he realized there was no longer a need to search; Shams was ‘with him’ and ‘in him’.

With this final illumination, he began singing the spontaneous poetry of such beauty and perfection that is now loved and revered across the world as revelation.

When Rumi died, he was mourned by Christians, Jews, Muslims and Buddhists. While he underwent his spiritual entourage within the Islamic Sufism pattern, his whole life witnessed unrestricted universality of Heart.

I want to see you.
Know your voice.
Recognize you when you
first come ’round the corner.
Sense your scent when I come
into a room you’ve just left.
Know the lift of your heel,
the glide of your foot.
Become familiar with the way
you purse your lips
then let them part,
just the slightest bit,
when I lean in to your space
and kiss you.
I want to know the joy
of how you whisper
more

All of this poetry can be heard as Rumi’s continuing conversation, an exploration of what it is to be together in God and with God.
So now listen with what Rumi called ‘The ear in the center of the chest’.

Next Story

Rituals Exist in All Cultures and they are Important

Rituals play a prominent role in every culture

0
67
Religion
Ancient Indian Religion.

Hinduism is a practice, which is known for its rich rituals. From the Vedic ages, Hindus perform certain activities right from the time they wake up in the morning until the time they sleep. These activities may include, Pooja (worshipping lord) and Karya (Working), which integrate their culture. The events manifest a certain beauty, without which Hinduism is incomplete.

Different sects of Hindus worship different deities. Various Poojas are held for different festivities and occasions called the ‘Utsavas’. People during different festivals not just gather to worship the god, but also come together to celebrate life, with beautiful colours, clothes and delicious food. This itself proves that rituals manifest the beauty and celebration of life in Hinduism.

Meaning Of Rituals:

However, certain sections of the society have a preconceived notion about the rituals Hindus perform, which leads to them being called ‘superstitious’ or ‘overtly religious’. But is it fair to tag them? What is the meaning of the ritual? Ritual can be any activity which you perform. It is a way of communication. A teacher teaching his or her students can be a ritual. A mother feeding her baby is a ritual. Ritual is a generic term, which must not be linked with traditions, religion and beliefs? And, even if it is associated with these customs, then Hinduism should not be the only target. Every religion follows some beliefs. For example, a Muslim reading Namaz is a ritual; Christians visiting church on every Sunday is a ritual or Thanksgivings, when people have dinners with their friends and families. Hindus may have more rituals to act on than Muslims or Christians, but this gives no one the right to invalidate their belief. The rituals which Hindus perform don’t just have a connection with God, but also scientific reasons behind them. For example, Surya Namaskar is good for health as facing the light at that time of the day is good for your eyes, and makes you a morning person.

Also Read: Navratri 5th Day, The Tales That Speaks About Mother-Son Relationship

The reason why people not like rituals is due to their stifling and obligatory nature. Since our childhood, we have been asked to adhere to certain activities, and never taught the reason behind them. This develops disconnection towards them.

Benefits Of Rituals:

Rituals should be seen as art. We must not do it for the sake of doing it. We must sense its meaning like we sense the meaning of art. There is a side of these customs which we don’t want as well, but at the end of the day, they generate a sense of unity and belongingness. They bind you as a community. As long as we live as humans, these practices will have an integral role to play in our life, which can not be neglected.

by Megha Acharya of NewsGram.      Megha can be reached at Twitter @ImMeghaacharya.

Next Story

Three reasons explaining the science behind temple visits

Various reasons explaining temple visits by Hindus. The coming generations are however not aware of them, unlike our ancestors.

0
79
why we should visit temple
why we should visit temple
  • There are Scientific reasons behind visiting Temple.
  • These scientific reasons go beyond the limits of  ‘belief in God’.

Have You Ever Thought? Why do We Visit Temple?

Visiting Temple is a popular culture in the Hindu religion. However, the worshipers themselves are unaware of the real science & the benefits of behind the visiting temple, as they believe what is continuously being ingrained in their minds, the belief of taking blessings from the God. Their belief is not fallacious, but it tries to negate the scientific discipline behind it. This belief is more popular in the present generation, unlike our ancestors who were well versed with these explanations.

Scientific Reasons Why we should Visit Temple:

Paying visit to the temples are not only to get blessing but to get a calm and better mind set. The following 3 scientific reasons are the actual purpose of visiting the temple according to the Hindu script & you will understand, why we should visit temple often

  1. Moolasthanam

Idol
Moolasthanam

Many Hindu religion practitioners visiting a temple in the morning say that “prayer to God” gives them peace. Their statements have been proven true, as religious shrines are places known for attaining mental peace.  The structure of the temple is built after the idol is placed, which is at the pivotal point, known as the “Moolasthan” or the inner part of the temple. This is the point where Earth’s magnetic waves are extreme, which creates positive energy and builds a peaceful atmosphere. This one of the main scientific reasons why we should visit temple.

 

  1. Parikrama:

Parikrama
Devotee taking parikrama

Definition of Parikrama: Once we done praying, circling the inner sanctum of the temple where the deity resides is a a very common ritual in Hindu temples .This is called Parikrama or Pradakshina or Pradakshinam.

Science states that the parikrama we take while as part of our prayer to the God, helps us absorb all the positive energy present there. The parikrama should be taken in the clockwise direction. This one of the important reasons why we should visit temple.

Also Read:  Shradh Puja: Five Facts you should Know about Death Anniversary Ritual In Hinduism.

3. Visiting Temple Activates your sense organs

One can absorb the positive energy only when the five senses are activated. So, we should visit temple in order to activate our sense organs to absorb positive energy.

The Sense of Touch:

aarti
Taking Aarti

After the aarti, we move our hands over the camphor or diya and touch our eyes with it. The warmth activates the sense of touch.

The Sense of Smell:

The items kept around the worshiping area like the flowers, camphor incense sticks, create a strong essence and activate the sense of smell. Flowers like marigold and rose petals offered the most have a strong fragrance.

Pooja material
Pooja ingredients

The Sense of Sight:

Worshippers close their eyes while praying and once they open them, they see the camphor lit in the Moolsthan, the only light seen in dark, which activates their sense of sight. The Moolsthan is a dark place.

Prayers
People worshipping

The Sense of Hearing:

Bells
Worshiper ringing temple bell

The bells emit a sound creating unity in the right and left portions of the brain; the sound emitted lasts for at least 7 seconds in the form of an echo. These 7 seconds are enough to activate the seven healing chakras in the body.

The Sense of Taste:

copper vessel
copper vessel

Ayurveda states that Charnamrut given to us helps in balancing the three doshas- Vata, Pitta, Kapha, as it is kept in a copper vessel. Charnamrut is a liquid prasad made of curd, milk and ghee. It also activates the sense of taste.

Three reasons explaining the scientific reasons as why we should visit temple Click To Tweet

The people living in the ancient times were well aware of these reasons, and that is how they lead their lives. However, the strict impositions of ‘belief in God’ put on people to worship have kept them away from these scientific disciplines.

by Megha Acharya of NewsGram.  Twitter @ImMeghaacharya


Megha can be reached at Twitter @ImMeghaacharya

NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.

Click here- www.newsgram.com/donate

Next Story

Temple in Cambodia Raises Sacred Baha’i Symbol which Represents the Relationship between the God and Man

The Baha'i community witnessed this installation of the sacred symbol and offered prayers and devotions during the ceremony

0
34
Baha'i Temple
Sacred Baha'i Symbol called Greatest Name. Wikimedia
  • A temple in Battambang, Cambodia has raised a sacred Baha’i symbol to the apex of its dome
  • The symbol is a representation of the relationship that exists between the God, its various manifestations as well as humans 
  • A prayer ceremony took place recently where the Baha’i community of Cambodia gathered to witness their first House of Worship/ Baha’i Temple in the local area

Battambang, August 23, 2017: A small community of Baha’i people gathered in a local temple in Battambang city of Cambodia. The community had gathered to celebrate their first local temple with a holy Baha’i symbol.

On August 20, the Baha’i temple in Battambang had installed a sacred Baha’i symbol on the apex of its dome. The symbol, known as the Greatest Name, was raised as high as 11.8 meters from the ground.

ALSO READ: Fragments of a shattered Faith: Bahá’í Community of Iran

The Greatest Name was drawn by Mishkin Qalam. It symbolizes the relationship between the God and fellow humans. An important milestone was marked as the symbol was installed in the temple.

From the Arabian Caligraphy comes the Greatest Name which comes from “Baha” or glory. The two identical stars in the symbol represent Baha’u’llah and Bab while the vertical line is a symbol of God diverging into various manifestations including human.

The Baha’i community witnessed this installation of the sacred symbol and offered prayers and devotions during the ceremony.

From the Shrine of Baha’u’llah’s sanctuary, the holy dust has been collected and stored in an ornamental box which Shoghi Effendi originally purchased. This box will reside within the campus of the House of Worship and will denote the pure bond between the Centre of Baha’i faith and the local temple.

The Baha’i Temple is also called the House of Worship. The Battambang House of Worship is planned to be inaugurated on the 1st September of this year. This House of Worship, which is the first in the local area, implies a new era of recognition and development for the Baha’i community.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter @Saksham2394


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.