Decoding the Dervish

Rashmi Daryanani , 01 Oct 2011
Sufi whirling
Sufi whirling
Hrithik Roshan in Khwaja Mere Khwaja
Hrithik Roshan in Khwaja Mere Khwaja

“Go sweep out the chamber of your heart. Make it ready to be the dwelling place of the Beloved. When you depart out, He will enter it. In you, void of yourself, will He display His beauties.” – Mahmud Shabistari (thirteenth-century “Rose Garden of Mystery”)

Recently, Cocoon Fine Rugs (headed by Chhaya Momaya and Ayush Choudhary) hosted an event to showcase their carpet designs, which featured Dervish dancers doing the customary Sufi whirling dance. The picture gave me an immediate Khwaja Mere Khwaja flashback, which I still think is one of the loveliest songs to come out of Hindi cinema in recent times. Not to mention, we got a chance to see Hrithik Roshan do a bit of Sufi whirling, how beautiful was that? :)

Whirling Dervishes

Sufi whirling is actually an ancient technique of meditation, in which the person is physically active. Practitioners of this say that, fundamentally, our existence means to revolve, since everything is made of revolving electrons, protons and neutrons. Thus, Sufi whirling is practiced as a means of becoming one with everything in nature, from the smallest of particles to the largest of stars.

Sufi Whirling (photo courtesy | vencann.com)
Sufi Whirling (photo courtesy | vencann.com)

I’d really like to see a Sufi whirling in person; it seems lovely and the concept of revolving with nature is a beautiful thought.
FYI: If you ever do get to see Sufi whirling, it’s a good idea not to applaud while watching, since this is a spiritual act. You can applaud if you wish to only after the dervishes have left the stage.

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