Spirituality and Freedom in Iran


Why is Iran so spiritual land? People of Iran are much more interested in Yoga/Meditation than neighbour Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Iran is also land of Sufis like Rumi, Omar Khayyam, which is a sharp contrast from other Islamic countries which are very closed minded. Second question, when will Iran get independence from Islamist dictator government, which doesn’t represent the values of Iran’s people. Young Iranians are protesting daily against the government. Will they be free?

—Siddharth Kumar, India


Dear Siddharth,

You ask a probing question. I think a review of the history of those nations and the forms of Islam they have adopted will likely provide a clue to the questions you ask. Persia has a long and proud history and one that predates Islam, including the universal and high precepts of Zoroasterism, which has had an influence on Omar Khyyam and Sufism in general.

Iran’s freedom is sure to come with the up and coming generation. Sadly, conflicts with the United States and other western countries have ossified their orientation towards contraction and isolation. And the USA and other countries have contributed to their response by being less than fair-minded in treatment of the country (by focusing on self-interest for oil and for containment of communism during the Cold War).

But it does seem that Iran stands apart from the other countries you have named in its people’s inclination to a more expansive and integrated view of history and their role and relationship to the rest of the world. I, too, hope and pray for the sake of all that Iran’s people can help spark genuine change. But I also wish that the United States (and other allied countries) would be more far-sighted and wise in how we relate to Iran. A “warmer climate” could do much to encourage young people.

Nayaswami Hriman
Seattle WA USA