The Name

 

It is evening perhaps dusk, as I enter a dimly lit hall, with a lady friend of mine. Who she is, I do not know as she is visible only as a person walking beside me.  All I know is that she is a Turkish matron. The hall is in Turkey.

 

In the center I see an open wooden floor bounded by wooden railings on 3 sides. We both enter the corridor on the right and slowly walk forward. Just then I notice on the opposite corridor a train of elderly Turkish men wearing robes and turbans. In front is obviously their leader. The rest were following him from behind. They seem to be in awe of him. Just then, one closest to him points his finger at me with a questioning look on his face. I could not hear his question. The leader then turns to him and says, “I know her. I have given her a name.” Then he utters a name. I heard all that he said.

 

I realized then that the distinguished leader was non, other than the great Mevlana Rumi.   My whole being trembled and my head bent down at this awareness,  as to who he was. Therefore, I did not notice that the group had changed the direction of their walk. Soon all I could see with head still bent were the footsteps of the great soul coming towards me. I heard the swishing and saw the ends of his dark maroon robe and his pointed tipped shoes. My system could not take anymore being so close to such  a great presence. Ha ! I woke up from this dream I had in April 2014 , still trembling.

 

Months later I uttered the name to a Turkish friend of mine. I did not reveal the story. She laughed in a mocking and contemptuous manner and said , “ That is not a Turkish name. It is close to something that has to do with being drunk or intoxicated. Not a nice word at all.”

 

I forgot all about the dream after that. However, one day when I was visiting a close Iranian lady friend I said, “Listen, I will repeat a name. You tell me if it means anything in Farsi.” As soon as she heard the name, she threw her head back and laughed hysterically.“ Oh yes, it is a Farsi name for girls. It means one who is crazy and is always lost in joy.” she said. After she heard my story she commented,

  

“ That is the perfect name for who you are !”

 

I had a flash back then when years ago my husband after just 3 years of marriage he would tease me in his language ( Hindi)  and call me “ Pugli”. Commonly speaking it means, one who is mad. But in spiritual terms it means one who has abandoned this world.

 

The next year the same Iranian friend had a beautiful ring with an agate center made for me, with the

Farsi name inscribed calligraphically, in Arabic. 

 

In 2014 on Shebi Arus , (December 14 , the day when Rumi left this world),  of that year, I took the ring to an elderly Sufi friend who conducts the monthly Universal Dances for Peace in Sebastopol.  I honored him with a shawl, which is an Indian custom. He then blessed the ring and his wife put it on my ring finger. I concluded this special event by singing “ Jaan bu tenden gitme dikche” which they say Mevlana himself composed.

 

I rarely wear the ring, but it does sit staring in front of me along with a small picture of Mevlana, while I conduct Turkish Mystic Music Sessions.

 

In 2015 when I visited the Galata Mevlevihane in Istanbul, I asked my guide to leave me alone in the semahane, for to my surprise this was exactly what I saw in my dream. I sat there in contemplation,  I do not know for how long.

 

So the name that was given by the great one whose mother tongue is Farsi, is 

 

“Mestaneh”.

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Vasanti Jayaswal

EMAIL: vasanti.jayaswal@gmail.com

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