The Sufi Way is to Love

The Economic Times - - Breaking Ideas -

Mys­ti­cism is the piv­otal point of Sufi po­etry. The Sufi way is di­rect com­mu­nion and ab­sorp­tion in the Supreme with sheer love and de­vo­tion. Su­fis be­lieve that God is present in ev­ery hu­man be­ing but He is hid­den from us by khudi, or ego, what is called aham in San­skrit. We need to over­come khudi be­fore we can be­come one with the Supreme. The path cho­sen by Su­fis for this pur­pose is Ishq Ma­jazi to Ishq Haqqiqi.

In Ishq Ma­jazi, lovers have nor­mal earthly feel­ings of joy, pain, agony and ec­stasy. In Ishq Haqqiqi, the lover is a hu­man be­ing and the beloved is God. But the Su­fis do not ask for worldly com­forts. They nei­ther yearn for Heaven nor live in fear of Hell. They seek only the enchanting sight of the Beloved.

In Pun­jab, many love lores are sung but the Su­fis adopted the theme of Heer Ran­jha by Waris Shah for il­lus­trat­ing Ishq Ma­jazi. Ran­jha of Takht Hazara had heard a lot about the enchanting beauty of Heer of Say­als. He went to Heer’s vil­lage and met her in her gar­den. They fell in love at first sight. There were im­ped­i­ments to their meet­ings but this only made their love more in­tense. In this love lore, Heer is the hu­man be­ing and Ran­jha, the beloved, is God.

Shah Hussain de­scribes their union thus, “Yes­ter­day, I was away from my Ran­jha/ To­day, I have be­come one with my Lord/ He is Heer/ He is Ran­jha/ Friends, do not call me Heer/ Call me Ran­jha.”

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