Sama (Sema) as The Mirror of Unity
Sama (Sema) as The Mirror of Unity
Dr. Isa Noorazar (İsa Nurazer)
The mirror and the friend have the key roles in the mystic literature in general and Rumi’s poems particularly. A material mirror is an object that reflects our body and the world around. The mirror has a polished surface that reflects and frames the material world. A friend who can reflect our inner soul can be considered as a mirror in symbolic meaning. The one who has got free from his ego’s fancies and met the divine acts as a mirror through reflecting the divine’s ethos and our inner souls. This mirror can illuminate our way at the journey to God through reflecting our real image. So this process will free us from the fake ego. Thus, we can perceive the very secret of the unity with the Creator beyond duality: The real secret of our inner existence. Love and friend have the key roles in this revelation. Rumi’s poetry is the mirror of the friend in this meaning. There is no way to understand this except the same experience of love. As Rumi emphasize in his poems; it is not just a discursive case:
* (38) آينه ام آينه ام مرد مقالات نه ام
ديده شود حال من ار چشم شود گوش شما
I am not a discourser
But just a mirror am I!
My mood will be grasped and seen
If your ear changes into an eye!
What does it mean really? To change ears into eyes! Here, ears imply the reading or listening affairs but eyes imply our experience of any case. “To see” means here to grasp and feel the case deep in heart. Furthermore, it means simply to love. You see a moon-faced by your eyes and fall in love in advance. Thus, just another lover will understand you. If we didn’t taste a fruit; how could we define and feel it; or describe it to someone else? Just two lovers communicate simultaneously. Most of Rumi’s lyric poems, with all their music and resonance, create an ambience in which we may touch some aspects of love. Sema ritual is considered to reflect such spiritual ambience.
Hereby I offer some translations of Rumi’s lyrics which reflect concepts such as mirror, beauty, the beloved and union:
(1269) آینهام من آینهام من تا که بدیدم روی چو ماهش
…چشم جهانم چشم جهانم تا که بدیدم چشم سیاهش
Since I have seen that moon-face
I am a mirror! I am a mirror!
Since I have seen those black eyes
I am the eyes of the universe
(1518) من آن ماهم که اندر لامکانم
…مجو بیرون مرا در عین جانم
I am the placeless moon
Do not look for me outside
I am in deep your soul
Everyone calls you to himself
I call you but to yourself!
(1526) بدیدم حسن را سرمست می گفت
…بلایم من بلایم من بلا یم
I beheld beauty who was declaring so joyfully:
“I am hazard! I am hazard! I am hazard! “
Wherein hundred souls responded:
“We are yours! We are yours! We are yours!”
You are the very light who told Moses:
“I am the Lord! I am the Lord! I am the Lord! “
I asked Shams: “Who are you?”
He said: “I am you! I am you! I am you! “
Sema ceremony is the lovers’ pure and joyful praying according to Rumi. The whirling lover in Sema ceremony, circumambulate the beloved indeed. This circling embodies the lover crave for reunion with the beloved.
As I mentioned before (A dialogue on the shore); the most of Rumi’s lyrics were being composed during his whirling in Sema and written by the Morids (Disciples). It was a mood of ecstasy at all. Their rhythms and scales were formed spontaneously in the ceremony accompanied with music.
In a sense, Sema ceremony can be considered as the mirror of love. The inward and outward worlds come across each other and unite as a whole in this mirror. Sema indicates to the mirror and beyond of it. Thus, horizon disappears. It is a mirror of eternal cycling and transition. Linear time scheme begins to bend onto itself. The start point meets the end. In the mirror of Sema, through whirling, the lover breaks all the bonds of the sensual world and wings toward the divine and becomes aware of the unity with beloved. There appears a galaxy in the mirror of Sema wherein all whirling particles circumambulate the beloved. Each is a blooming flower inwardly or outwardly! The choir of an aspiring soul who flies from the cage of body. All bounds disappear and the beloved who deemed so far, stretches his hand from the mirror. The lover’s fingers touch it.
Here is one of Rumi’s lyrics which talks about just the Sema and you can find some hints about the meaning of it from the poet’s viewpoint.
(339) سماع آرام جان عا شقا نست
…کسی داند که او را جان جانست
Sema is calming the lovers’ souls
Wherein the soul of the soul strolls
The sleepers in a garden
All wish to be waken
But if a person has slept in the prison
Do not wake him up!
It is a loss for such a person
The place of Sema is the wedding
Not the Sema but mourning fits in grieving
The one who knows not his own essence
And has never met that Moon hence …
For such a person Sema is forbidden
Just the beloved with whom Sema is union
All numbers are from “Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi” by Forouzanfar