During the years I spent listening to sufi and baul, and reading sufi poetry – one word I often came across is “FANAA”. The apparent meaning of the word means ‘death of the self’ in sufi-ism. In spite of having a natural knack for philosophy, I never could have understood the meaning in its complete sense. Though I can’t say I have understood it totally now, but it made sense and it made sense through a journey.
It was tiring two months of my internship and I was desperately looking for a place to go. I mean you know you’re kinda screwed in your daily life when for every single internet tab that you open, you open two more to check good places to visit. Around that time I came across the name GOKARNA, an Indian small village by the Arab sea; located in north Karnataka. Not much of a footfall (if you are lucky, and there is no local festival is going on), and its one of those places where you see hills meeting the sea. Three hills separating four beaches where you have to trek through the hills to reach one beach from the other and as a cherry topping on this two tier cake there is limited to no network coverage. After going through the calendar I picked up a date which is right before the full moon ( if you’re wondering why, then you should be in an empty beach on a full moon night).
It was my second night there, (the eventful first day will come at some later part) the little gala time I was enjoying at the shack (shack owner was my supplier of food and drinks) with some newly made friends was over, as they all went back to their rooms. And old man Patrick (the owner) also decided to take a skinny dip and hit the bed. It was a night of full moon, the whole beach was lit up and thanks to low pollution the sky was somewhat clear to see many stars. There I was sticking my head outta my little camp like tortoise doing the same outta his shell. And I was thinking of the day, the people I met, experiences of the day before. and suddenly it stuck me.
We, as a human being, all the time are so full of me me and me. We think that we can control each and everything, we can control the nature, we don’t want to admit to our defeats. But what if we did it differently, we admit our defeats, all the falls and go through the humiliation, will not that kill the ego ? the adam’s apple of all discord ? that in turn will result in FANAA; fanaa is not like killing the literal self, but ego and that can die through humiliation, accepting the fact that there are things stronger than us, there are things we can’t control, will that not lessen all the trouble we go through to keep up with our individual ego ?
We try to control so many things and what we start as a innocent curiosity, is soon overcome by greed of controlling it, using it for our benefit. And we forget that our position in this universe is same as that of an amoeba in the ocean, or may be much lesser. But what if we surrender to the nature, and let it show us miracles (Yes, I’m pro-science by choice, but at the same time I believe in magic and miracles, that takes place in our nature.) and once we do that, we will know that even if we die at this given moment, some parts of us stay behind, granting us the infinity. and this is somewhat true from scientific point of view. At the quantum level we all are made up similar things. Same things as all the planets, stars, nebula, plants, your pet dog, pet cat (and the list will go on) are made up of. And all it takes is a phase of humiliation/Fanaa when you kill your ego (for PG-13, take out your blindfold which has the ego written on it) and accept that you are nothing. And that will connect you to your surroundings.