In the modern world, it is not surprising to find a vast majority of people in a constant state of dejection and meaninglessness despite having the best resources for a happy life. As the individual does not find any resolute meaning or purpose to his life, he’s continually haunted by the agony. Fortunately, this feeling of emptiness is not new and has been there since the beginning of cogent thought. People living in different periods of time coped with this affliction in different ways. Some found solace in Religion while others believed in the absolution of their free will. As both of these choices are antithesis to each other, there has to be some other way out. Consequently, the concept of mysticism came into being, which, in essence, is the amalgam of the beautiful teachings of religion and liberating virtue of the human soul.
Sufism has a distinguished name in prominent ideas involved in alleviating the human soul from its sufferings. Although, the concept of Sufism is quite old it is still admired and followed by millions. Courtesy of its flexible and versatile teachings, Sufism made its way beyond the boundaries of religion. Originating from the religion of Islam, the message of Sufism is cherished by millions of people of other faiths as well.
Sufism plays a vital role in the process of self realization. Promotion of tolerance and acceptance of other human beings just the way they are is the actual aim of this noble pursuit. The followers of Sufism, Sufis, challenged the wrong concept of falsely practiced radical teachings of religion. They acknowledged the out casted people; sinners, drunks, adulterers etc. as humans who have been wronged but still deserve a place in the society. Sufis believed that no one is intrinsically bad at heart; it is circumstances and ignorance that makes one commit deeds that result in one’s downfall. For centuries, Sufis have been criticized for their compassionate approach towards the sinners but they never gave up and continued to enlighten as many souls as they could. A quote by a world famous Sufi poet, Roomi, gives us some insight:
“Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and right doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there”
Roomi also, before his enlightenment by his friend and teacher Shams Tabrizi was a radical and fundamentalist religious scholar. But Shams made him enter taverns and brothels and let him see the life there. Roomi, who hesitated at first, could not help from studying the lives of the people he avoided all his life. His eyes were opened to the ‘Ultimate truth’. He endorsed the fact that “God lives within man”.
Patience has been much emphasized in Sufism. In the modern world of instant gratification ‘patience’ is what is missing. People have become impatient and they do not tolerate and accept one another and that is why so much trouble and misery is there. We ought to accept other human beings just as they are. We do not need to judge them just because they sin differently than ourselves. We need to embrace the pain just like Roomi did when his teacher and friend Shams was killed. We need to seek, as John Green says ‘A greater perhaps’. A purpose that is larger than life, which makes us aware of our amazing potential and abilities.
What to seek? Roomi has the answer!
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
Self realization and self control, if practiced, can make this world a free and beautiful place. Tolerance, Respect and Love are the qualities without which life will be violent and all will be lost. Let us all try our best to practice the positive teachings of Sufism and preach tolerance and love. Let us embark on a journey towards making life on this planet a wonderful sojourn. And let us never forget that we are all drops of the same stream.