Keerti writes in dna, India, on September 1, 2015
What is Sufism? It is a love affair and godliness – the ultimate source of all humans and other beings. This existence pulsates with godliness. A Sufi feels this pulsation in his heart. He may not do traditional worship but remains thrilled with this pulsation. He sings. He dances. He embraces humans, hugs trees and bows to the sky, the stars. This is his actual prayer.
You must have heard about the beautiful Sufi legend of Majnu and Laila. It is not an ordinary love story. The word majnu means mad, mad for god. And Laila is the symbol of god. Sufis think of god as the beloved; Laila means the beloved. Everybody is a Majnu, and god is the beloved. And one has to open one’s heart, the eye of the heart.
Once a learned Mohammedan asked Osho: “You are not Mohammedan. Why do you speak on Sufism?”
Osho said, “I’m not a Mohammedan but I’m a Sufi all the same. A Sufi need not be Mohammedan. A Sufi can exist anywhere, in any form because Sufism is the core of all religions. Sufism can exist without Islam. It means a love affair with god. One is ready to dissolve into the whole. It is not confined by dogma or creed. Sufis have a special word—silsila. What Hindus call parampara, they call silsila.”
One does not have to go anywhere to look for Laila—one has to simply activate one’s heart and find her there, in all her beauty. One has to stop seeking outside. Dil ke aaine mein hai tasveere yaar, jab zara gardan jhukai dekh li (One has to turn inward, the beloved is right there!)
In Beyond Psychology, Osho tells a Sufi story.
“A young man seeking truth finds an old man beneath a tree. The young man knew that he had to leave on a pilgrimage—but to where? Seeing the old man, he thought, ‘He must know the road.’ So he asked. The old man instructed, ‘Follow this road till you come to a tree’ – he described the tree in detail, leaves, fruit, everything – ‘and you will find an old man like me but 30 years older. He will be your guide.’
The traveller was happy. He thanked the man and rushed on. For 30 years, he wandered but the tree and old man never came. He was tired, and older himself. Finally, he decided, ‘It is better to go home. God knows when the guide meets me, what guidance it will be!’ He turned back. He passed the same old tree and was shocked! It was the same man, only 30 years older. The young man said, ‘My god! Why did you waste my 30 years?’
The older man said, ‘Did I waste your 30 years, or did you waste mine? Then you were not ripe enough to be guided. You didn’t look at the tree, though I described it in detail. I described your guide. You were in a hurry that you did not look at me carefully. So it is me who has been actually waiting for you knowing one day you will come.'”
Osho excerpt from Beyond Psychology, Ch 15, Q 5
Illustration by Osho News
Swami Chaitanya Keerti
The author travels around the world to facilitate Osho meditation retreats