Whirling Dervishes : Being an account of the Sufi order known
as the Mevlevis and its founder the poet and mystic Mevlana Jalalúddin
by Shems Friedlander
"When the Sheik arrives at his post, he bows, sits on the post, and kisses the floor. All the turners sit, and their cloaks are put on them by those who did not turn in the fourth selam. They have returned to their tombs but in an altered state. The Sheik recites the Fathia, the first sura of the Koran, and all the dervishes kiss the floor and rise. The Sheik then sounds a prayer to Mevlana and Shams Tabriz and begins the sound "HU". The dervishes join in sounding the "HU" which is all the names of God in one."
The mystery of HU is revealed to the Sufi who journeys through
the path of initiation. Truth, the knowledge of God, is called
by a Sufi "haqq". If we divide the word "haqq"
into two parts, its assonant sounds become "hu ek",
HU signifying God or truth and EK in Hindustani meaning one. Both
together express one God and one truth. "Haqiqat" in
Arabic means the essential truth, "hakim" means master,
and "hakim" means knower, all of which words express
the essential characteristics of life.
"Aluk" is the sacred word that the "vairagis", the adepts of India, use as their sacred chant. In the word "aluk" are expressed two words: "al" meaning "the," and "haqq", "truth," both words together expressing God the Source from which all comes.
The sound HU becomes limited in the word "ham", for the letter "m" closes the lips. In Hindustani this word expresses limitation because ham means "I" or "we," both of which words signify ego. The word "hamsa" is the sacred word of the yogis which illumines the ego with the light of reality. The word "huma" in the Persian language stands for a fabulous bird. There is a belief that if the "huma" bird sits for a moment on someone's head it is a sign that he will become a king. Its true meaning is that when a person's thoughts so evolve that they break all limitation, then he becomes as a king. It is the limitation of language that it can only describe the Most High as something like a king. It is said in the old traditions that Zoroaster was born of a "huma" tree. This explains the words in the Bible, "Except a man be born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." In the word "huma", "hu" represents spirit, and the word "mah" in Arabic means water. In English the word "human " explains two facts which are characteristic of humanity: "hu" means God and "man" means mind, which word comes from the Sanskrit "mana", mind being the ordinary person. The two words united represent the idea of the God-conscious person; in other words HU, God, is in all things and beings, but it is man by whom He is known. "Human " therefore may be said to mean God-conscious, God-realized, or God-man. The word "hamd" means praise, "hamid", praiseworthy, and "Muhammad", praiseful. The name of the Prophet of Islam was significant of his attitude to God.
"Hur" in Arabic means the beauties of heavens; its real meaning is the expression of heavenly beauty. "Zahur" in Arabic means manifestation, especially that of God in nature. "Ahura Mazda" is the name of God known to the Zoroastrians. The first word, "Ahura", suggests HU, upon which the whole name is built.
All of these examples signify the origin of God in the word HU and the life of God in every thing and being.
"Hayy" in Arabic means everlasting, and "Hayat" means life, both of which words signify the everlasting nature of God. The word "huwal" suggests the idea of omnipresence, and "Huvva" is the origin of the name of Eve, which is symbolic of manifestation. As Adam is symbolic of life, they are named in Sanskrit "Purusha" and "Prakriti".
Jehovah was originally "Yahuva", "ya" suggesting the word "oh" and "hu" but when sound first takes shape on the external plane, it becomes "a". Therefore "alif" or "alpha" is considered to be the first expression of HU, the original word. (pp. 27-29)