The Great Qalandari Moment
by Qutub Sarmouni

Once a year, in Sehwan, Pakistan, at the Urs (Death Anniversary) of Lal Shabaz Qalandar, the pilgrims join in a huge dance called Dhaumal where each dancer does his dance, his individual dance, traditionally to the point of exhaustion, whereupon the Spirit can enter into the Divine Oneness under the Baraka, the Great Empowerment, of Lal Shabaz.  What is being exhausted is all conditioning of physical habits, egoism, pretence and limited belief in any religion or idol, including even Islam as such.  For a Web-socializer, for instance, the Dhaumal Dance, taken to the point of exhaustion, would cause the dropping of the Social Self and its pretences for once and for all.


I have watched these Dhaumal Dancers at Sehwan.  I have watched them suddenly drop dramatically in the “Great Exhaustion” where virtually no one actually enters into God-oneness, but all happily pretend that a great spiritual breakthrough has happened to them.  Socially, they want to be seen as having the Great Breakthrough.


It is not just Western Web-socializers who pretend, but the vast majority of Eastern Cultists in and around the Sufi Way as well.  What causes the Dhaumal Dancers to fail in their “Great Breakthrough” is their Social Solidarity about it!  Their showing off to one another is the Entry Barrier.


To be a true individual, to actually dance your own dance, is the Great Key, but it must be fully and directly understood within oneself.  It is not easy to drop the Nafs, the Social Self, the Herd Animal!  Lal Shabaz, however consciously or even unconsciously, wittingly or unwittingly, created an interesting Gateway there.  Maybe every Western Web-socializer should go to Sehwan at least once in his life and do the Dhaumal Dance to exhaustion of his Social Self and put an end to his social judgments about anything or anyone, including me(!)  But virtually all Westerners who have tried it have failed and then used the failed experience to add to their social “Sufi” so-called “authenticity”.  The Social Drive makes any salutary Spiritual Process into a farce.