‘Whirling Dervishes’ spin to tranquility…

Diverse cultures, distinct paths, but One Goal. Today, after the 90th Birthday celebrations, when the 10th World Conference of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations – Worldwide got underway in the SSSIHL Auditorium this morning, on the sidelines of the Conference, two Cultural Presentations were organised in the evening here, in Prasanthi Nilayam. A Thai ‘prayerful’ dance on Lord Buddha first was followed by a spiritually-uplifting Whirling Dervishes by the devotees from Turkey, Zone 96 – Middle East, Gulf of SSIO.  

The Thai ‘traditional’ dance by the students of Sathya Sai School, Thailand, was a celebration of ‘Buddha’, beseeching the Lord for goodness, both individual and universal, aiming Unity. The Thai Sathya Sai School is one of the role model schools inculcating the unique Sai system of education with highly commendable standard.

This was followed by a ‘Whirling Dervishes’ meditational dance by the devotees from Turkey.

SEMA, Sufi whirling is a physically active meditation of the Sufis, popularly practised by the Sufi Dervishes of the Mevlevi order. The ‘dance’ of the Whirling Dervishes known as Sema was born out of the inspiration of Mevlana Celaddiin-i Rumi, a 13th century Muslim Saint known throughout the world for his exquisite poems and words of wisdom.

The presentation that began with the first step involving an eulogy, went through four distinct steps of prayers before the 5th one, Sema, representing man’s mystical journey to spiritual ascent. Even as they began this phase, Dervishes, four in number, with typical head-gear and white twin-pieced long flowing robe occupied the centre-stage for the next more than half-hour twirling to rhythmic perfection, to meditative instrumental ‘Sufi’ tunes, completely engrossed in the Inner Soul presenting a visual spiritual treat.

The Dervishes began, first with holding arms crosswise, then moving on to spinning, gradually blooming, turning their hand upwards heralding their readiness to receive Heavenly Benediction. ‘Sema’, means ‘whirling’, consists of four salutes, bearing four distinct spiritual symbolism.

The entire programme was accompanied by soulful music, assisted by pack of musicians on various instruments, namely, Kanun, a Zither-like musical instrument with 72 strings, Tambur, an ancient form of lute, Ney, a reed flute played in Melvei music.

While the Thai children were a picture of elegant beauty coupled with innocent love, the Whirling Dervishes were a sight of supreme tranquility.

Bhajans continued and the session concluded with Mangala Arathi at 1630 hrs.

Earlier, the 10th World Conference Of Sri Sathya Sai International Organisation got underway this morning at the SSSIHL Auditorium in Prasanthi Nilayam.

After the key-note addresses by Dr Narendranath Reddy and Sri SS Naganand, when the session ensued three speakers addressed the delegates in the morning.

Dr Phil Gosselin from the US urged all delegates to remember Bhagawan’s words, which will allow us go beyond the distinctions of pilgrim, path and goal to Oneness. Judge Isabella Chu from Hong Kong, speaking next, shared her recent experiences which strengthened her faith in Bhagawan’s omnipresence and guidance. The last speaker of the morning was Mr Kevin Francis from Australia, who candidly shared how Bhagawan’s unconditional love brought about a personal transformation through the path of love to help leading a purposeful life as an educator.

The talks were interspersed with two video presentations,  a Divine discourse by Bhagawan on love and an overview of SSIO activities around the world. The morning session concluded with a live music performance by devotees from the Dominican Republic.

Nine concurrent workshops were held during the two afternoon sessions of the first day to deliberate on various aspects of spirituality, ideal leadership, personal transformation and activities of the SSIO.

Over 900 delegates are participating in the three-day Conference.

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II