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Best Place to Find Your Inner Sufi | Time's Best of Asia

As part of TIME's annual look at the region's most remarkable places and experiences, it recently published a special issue on Best of Asia. Under the catogory by the name Best for the soul they recommended Tomb of Baba Shah Jamal, Lahore, Pakistan as the best place to find Your Inner Sufi. I quote from the article:

A grave may seem an unlikely setting for a celebration, but every Thursday night the derelict tomb of Baba Shah Jamal in Lahore, Pakistan, attracts those seeking spiritual ecstasy through dancing, drumming and-in some cases-hashish. Shah Jamal, a 16th century Sufi saint, used drums and ecstatic dancing to spread his faith throughout Pakistan (he would have deemed the drugs unnecessary) and devotees have been upholding the tradition for more than 300 years. Today, the ministry is carried on by Pappu Sain and his two students, Gonga and Mithu Sain—resident holy men at Shah Jamal's tomb, which is also a shrine.

Pappu Sain is a virtuoso of the dhol, the traditional Punjabi drum, and his performances are legendary. He has appeared in concert halls across South Asia and Europe, but his most rapturous drumming is often before his home crowd, which cares nothing for stadium acoustics. The open air, the close quarters (the dancing crowd forms one churning, swaying body) and the sinuous rhythms render the experience otherworldly. Performers and devotees enter trance like states and those who have room to move surge to their feet, hands upraised, to start spinning in tight circles. Old bearded men with metal canisters on their backs spray the crowd with cooling rose water, but usually there is no real respite until dawn.

Not a Sufi? You will be one tonight.

- by Aryn Baker. Read the article here.
Best of Asia | Time
Image Credit: Yasuo Osakabe's photo blog / Jumeraat -Thursday night
[>] Youtube video of Abida Parveen's song shot at tomb of Shah Jamal


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Technology of the Heart: Best Place to Find Your Inner Sufi | Time's Best of Asia
Best Place to Find Your Inner Sufi | Time's Best of Asia
Technology of the Heart
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