Thoughts on Ismaili mantra meditation

August 26, 2006 at 4:37 am (Uncategorized)

Silently chanting the names of God given to an Ismaili momen by the Imam-e-zaman is considered an important, tho not a mandatory, practice.

I had read that this name could be given by the jamatkhana leader acting in the name of the Imam, but this has been denied by several Ismaili’s on my mailing list.

Is this a case taqqiyya?

The ginans all suggest that the mantra chanting is a good practice. All of the ginans which speak of this practice are pre 1840. Also, these ginans were composed in India for the Indian jamat. The Imam never visited India til the Imamate moved there in 1841. So the name had to be given by someone else. Who is that someone?

The title of Guide is often given in the ginans which can mean either Pir or the Imam in a spiritual sense. This guide appears to have been able to give the name. Also, a book of farmans from an Imam was sent to India once and was given the status of Pir.

All of this would suggest that it was possible for someone else (and maybe even a book) to give the momin this important practice. If not, then the Khoja Ismaili community could have never practiced this practice til after 1841. Since the ginans speak of it as a current practice which should be undertaken, then someone had to have been given out the divine name.

Of course, an Imam can change the way the Ismaili faith is practiced. And is probably current Ismaili practice to receive the name from the Imam-e-zaman (especially in the age when he is accessible to almost the entire Ismaili community).


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