Different cultures, distinct paths, but One Goal. Today, after the 90th Birthday celebrations, when the 10thWorld Conference of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations – Worldwide, got underway in the SSSIHL Auditorium, 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 “Worling Dervishes” by the devotees from Turkey, Middle East, Gulf of SSIO.
The Thai ‘traditional’ dance, titled “ Thai Phuen”, meaning ‘Thai Friend” by the students of Sathya Sai School,Thailand, was a prayerful offering to Lord Buddha, beseeching the Lord for goodness, both individual and universal, achieving Unity. The Thai Sathya Sai School is one of the role model schools inculcating the unique Sai system of free education with highly commendable standard upto 12th Grade.
SEMA, Sufi whirling is a physically active meditation of the Sufis, popularly practised by the Sufi Dervishes of the Mevlevi order from Turkey. The ‘dance’ of the Whirling Dervishes known as Sema was born out of the inspiration of Mevlana Celaddiin-i Ruma a 13th century Muslim Saint, known throughout the world for his exquisite poems and words of wisdom. Sema represents a mystical journey of man’s spiritual ascent.
The presentation that began with the first step involving an eulogy, went through four distinct steps of prayers, before the 5th phase, Sema, representing man’s mystical journey to spiritual ascent. Even as they began this phase, Dervishes, four in number, with typical head-gear, symbolic of ego’s tombstone, with white two-piece long flowing robe that symbolized ego’s shroud, occupied the centre-stage for more than half an hour, dancing to rhythmic perfection, to meditative instrumental ‘sufi’ tunes, completely engrossed in the Inner Soul, presenting a visual spiritual treat.
The Dervishes began with holding arms crosswise, then moved on to spinning, gradually blooming, with their hands turned upwards heralding their readiness to receive Heavenly Benediction. Known as ‘Sema’, means ‘whirling’, it consists of four salutes, bearing four distinct spiritual symbolisms. Beginning with man’s birth to Truth, his journey ends with him enthroning the throne, returning to his task, state of subservience.
The entire programme was accompanied by soulful music, assisted by five 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.
Bhajans continued and the session concluded with Mangala Arathi at 1630 hrs.