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I read somewhere that ‘dum’ means ‘breathe in’ and ‘adum’ means ‘breathe out’, sung as ‘dumadum’ (in a few sufi songs). And it refers to the concept of mastering the control of one’s breath thus taking control over self. Now that sounds pretty similar to the practice of pranayama in yoga. I also read somewhere that surya namaskar in yoga is similar to the practice of namaz, in terms of physical movements of the body. And the routine ensures that the body remains healthy.


One refers to a physical practice that aids in mental control and meditation. The other refers to the physical movement of the body or exercise that keeps it healthy. There are similarities in practice and expected results. And both in some way are connected to practices probably initiated and promoted by the ‘learned ones’ or ‘saints’ in search of connection with the supreme being and the need to keep body healthy for a longer and happier life.


I couldn’t help but think the uncanny similarity in various cultures and practices across the world. And I wonder if we really are all that different. Geographical boundaries are just lines on a piece of paper called map that helps us give names and identification to various parts of earth for easy reference. People don’t change just by being born a few km here and there.


At the end of the day, we are all the same species, and we like to tag ourselves as ‘homo sapiens’. We have same body features that serve same functions. We suffer from same diseases that are cured by similar medicines. During the process of evolution, we identified similar problems and found similar solutions. May not be exactly same. All human groups around the globe found the need to communicate and developed language but everyone used different sounds and phonetics. And hence we have multiple languages everywhere. But there is a system everywhere with rules and logic that define written and spoken way of communication. Everyone felt the need of clothes. Countries with hot temperatures used more cottons and loose clothing while cold countries invented warm clothing. Everyone felt the need of a belief system and philosophical guidance to help with the matters of mind and heart. And was introduced the concept of God and religion. Some called the supreme being Allah, some Ram and some Jesus. Some believed that God has a name and image while others thought that God cannot be given a form and shape. And hence different set of beliefs. Though I am not sure why we are so willing to kill each other for that.


There are such uncanny similarities between cultures across the world. If we all are similar creatures with similar needs, then why do we feel so different from each other… so disconnected? And why is there this inexplicable incredulity and inability to trust? How unfortunate!



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