ARTICLES BY SHIRAZ PRADHAN
Many Ismaili ginans relate the spiritual experiences of Ismaili Pirs and describe the meditative techniques used as an aid in the spiritual journey, and also the important milestones and inner cosmology corresponding to the different stages (maqamat). However, the Pirs emphatically have stated that the experiences of higher spiritual stations are not describable in rational language to people who are not initiated in the tariqa (path) and who have not experienced the different stations themselves. Pradhan uses two ginans by Pir Shams and Pir Sadardin to develop this theme.
Imam Sultan Mahomed Shah, His Highness the Aga Khan (1877-1957), had once said that “In your heart is a heap of fireworks, if you do not light it, how will you get Light (Roshni) in your heart?” The theme of the re-orientation of the soul and its migration towards the “Country of the Beloved” is captured beautifully in “Ek Shabda suno mere bhai….”
Continuing on the theme of spirituality and self-understanding in Ismaili Ginans, Pradhan uses a parable from a Ginan of a young lion cub who grows up in the flock of sheep, and starts behaving like a sheep until it sees its own reflection in a pool to know its true identity.
COSMOLOGY AND SCIENCE
Are the answers to secrets that Hadron Collider will reveal already in the Ginans? Pradhan’s study focuses on a granth composed by Syad Imam Shah around 1400 CE that he regards as one of the most scientifically advanced and compact ancient document, besides the Ikhwa-al safa.
Based on the acceptance by modern science of the Big Bang origin of our universe, Pradhan proceeds to analyse two Ismaili Ginans that have striking parallels of modern cosmology and astrophysics in them.
PLURALISM AND UNITY OF MANKIND
Our happiness and satisfaction must be anchored on pluralism and the underlying unity of faiths of mankind. Pradhan explores two different old traditions which echo these messages. One is from the Shia Ismaili Ginanic tradition and the other is from the Hindu Gujarati tradition.
Date posted: August 15, 2016.