Just as the planets revolve around the sun, the Murshid’s consciousness revolve in the All Pervading Divine Light. The disciples of Prophet Mohammad go around the sacred Kaaba in Mecca practising Zikr. The disciples of Param Atman circumambulate the temple and perform this holy whirling ritual. The circular dance of the Sufisis called Sama. Sama is an act of devotion, undertaken in the presence of the Murshid.
Real music arouses emotions and the right kind of music acts in a way that it creates the necessary arousal for the divine thereby aiding the process of contemplation on the Divine. This illumination is the Divine illumination of Marifat. Muhabbat permeates our consciousness only when our self discipline is strong for it is said those aspirants who develop self control understand the feelings of other human beings and are sensitive to their needs. In Sama the Sufi’s consciousness is flooded with Divine ecstasy and joy begins to permeate from the consciousness.
For perfecting Fikr(concentration on the Divine) and Zikr(remembrance on the Divine), Muraqaba is undertaken in Khilvat to harness the senses of perception. The purposes of Music in Sama is to help stimulate the love for the Divine so that Kundalini can be invoked to flood the Sahasrara where the torrential downpour of ecstacy of a million climaxes floods the consciousness of the aspirant. This is the attainment of the spiritual puberty and from now on the aspirant’s meditation has become ripe.
The aspirant should take care here by redoubling their efforts. Sama requires intense devotion ever striving for the purity of consciousness acheived through the practice of Ashgal with the grace of the Murshid. Care has to be taken to cross the bridge over Nafsi as when the sensual desires instead of being harnessed are supressed , in the heat of passion it may be difficult to regulate the sensual urge as is the case in all the night discotheques of the world. Khwaja says that Fikr is the rosary, Zikr are its beads, Muraqaba its harp and the Muhabba.
The purpose of Music in Sama is to help stimulate the love for the Divine so that Kundalini can be invoked to flood the Sahasrara where the torrential downpour of ecstacy of a million climaxes floods the cosciousness of the aspirant. This is the attainment of the spiritual puberty and from snow on the aspirant’s meditation has become ripe. The aspirant should take care here by reduobling their efforts.Sama requires intense devotion ever striving for the purity of consciousness acheived through the practice of Ashgal with the grace of the Murshid.Care has to be taken to cross the bridge over Nafsi(Svadhistana Chakra) as when the sensual desires instead of being harnessed are supressed, in the heat of passion it may be difficult to regulate the sensual urge as is the case in all night discotheques of the world. Khwaja says that Fikr is the rosary,Zikr are its breads,Muraqaba its harp and the Muhabbat for the Divine, its threads. Thus one’s consciousness is a song within. It is only when the desire of the aspirant is satisfied by the descent of the nectar of Immortality that the aspirant is able to channelise their thoughts seeking Marifat(para-normal union with the Divine).
In Sama 9-15 murids(aspirants) sit in Khilvat attempting withdrawl of their senses and contemplates on the Divine. The Murshid(spiritual mentor) invites all the assembled murids to raise their hands in prayer and the Murshid chants: “To thee O God glory! To thee O God praise! Thou art the most Merciful of the merciful, Mercy O God mercy. We have come to your enterance, Grant us admittance. We seek refuge, Grant us protection. Fill us with your love O Majestic Lord Include us in the fellowship of your servants, Record our names among the servants you love. There is none worthy of service than thee llluminate our hearts with your love Save us from fears and anxieties Let our eyes behold your beauty. Glorified and exalted are thee O Lord We do love thee O Lord Gladden us with thy grace and guidance. After the prayer, the dervishes approach the Murshid one by one,salute him with a gesture of hand and begin to dance. Every dervish advances slowly,turning on the left heel, till they form one circle. Their arms are open or raised but their eyes are closed. All visualise to hold the beauty of the beloved God. The dance may continue for an hour or two, during which time Zikr to the sound of music is played. Every dervish tries to search for inward purity and tranquility in the Sama.
Khwaja says that for those disciples engaged in the love of God, Sama is an aid for perfection, but for those filled with the lust of desire the result is a disaster. Whose Sama is constant and sincere, ever present in their heart is the All Pervading. Reza Arasteb mentioned that one of the most interesting machanism for drawing the attention of the lover towards their beloved was a five step dance that revealed the total outlook of the Sufis towards the process of the communion relationship.
The dance started with meditation, intense concenteration on one self so that one could empty oneself of idle thoughts, re-sensitise oneself and gain the state of naturalness. However, this was not enough, the Sufi’s know that regaining of naturalness must occur through action. The dance served this purpose. In dancing the seeker took steps and moved his closed palm towards his chest(first act), then he took a step again and opened his palm and moved his hand towards the ground, symbolising that he was released from the self(second act). In the second step, the sufi raised his hand towards heaven symbolising the nature of God, manifested in religion as everything coming from him(third act). In the fourth act,the seeker moved his hands over his head in such a way that palms faced the sky,symbolising that the human being does not know the nature of God.In the fifth act, the seeker pointed his right hand finger towards his object of desire, symbolising that all that exists is thou in thou(All Pervading). The seeker performed the dance with great concenteration on his object of desire, often symbolised in the guide or the perfect disciple or his earthly beloved Murshid. The Sufi saints introduced music and dervish dance(Halqal) in khanqahs, the holy shrine of the sufis.
Sufi mystic Jalaludin Rumi on hearing about the death of his friend Hamsa, a flute player, went to his house with some of his disciples and addressed the dead body “My dear friend Hamsa arise!” Hamsa’s soul re-entered the physical body and for days and nights the festival of sufi music and dervish dance was kept at his house. When the mystic Rumi left Hamsa’s house, the soul of Hamsa also departed from the body of Hamsa.Sufi Saint Sai Sanchal Shah was very fond of sufi music and darvish dance ,once, some mislead disciples of God came to Sai Sanchal Shah to discuss the ban on music and were overawed when to their surprise they found that in the hutment of the Master the music instruments were playing by themselves.
Sometimes Christ, sometimes Moses myself; sometimes as Pharao I have ruled and issued orders; sometimes as Mansur, sometimes as Shamas al-Haqq I have invited troubles on my head; Sometimes as Darius,sometimes as Alexander I have overrun domians;Sometimes Ayaz,sometimes Mahmood,sometimes a slave I have called myself; Sometimes as Laila, sometimes as Majnun I have wailed in the lanes; Sometimes as Zulaikha,sometimes as Yusuf, sometimes as the Emperor of Egypt I have appeared; Sometimes Rama-Sita,sometimes Lakshman,sometimes I have also been Ravana; Sometimes I have preached a lot(like a Mulla) sometimes I have dilated on Mystery; Presently I have come here assumins the name of Sachal and sung many a song of spirit.
Sufi mystic Amir Khusru, disciple of the Sufi saint,Chistia silsila Hazrat Nizamudin Aulia of Dehli was a great musician of his time. He introduced many innovations in music. His songs and pahelies with their mass appeal have remained popular to this day.Amir Khusru has also introduced Qawaali, which is the most popular musical concert in sufi Khanqahs(known as dargahs/asthans now a days). The chistiya order of Sufis uses music as the source of inspiration. Murshid Khusru instituted the listening of music or Qawali mehfil which takes place regularly at the tombs of Sufi saints and at the gathering of Sufis.