Sukoon سکون

I came across an unfamiliar, appealing word while reading a post on Reddit. The post was in an LGBT subreddit about coming out. A young Iranian man explained his positive experiences then summed up his feelings by using the Urdu word “sukoon”.

He explained that the word does not have a precise counterpart in English but he did mention that calm, harmonious, and peaceful are approximate synonyms. He compares the state of mind to utter spiritual stormlessness. I simply had to investigate this curious superlative.

Apparently, it is sparingly found in Iranian poetry written in Urdu. It is often used in verses that pay homage to Allah. Sukoon is used carefully and with reverence.

Clicking through to various Urdu websites, I gleaned these sukoon synonyms: calm, comfort, harmonious, peacefulness, repose, stormlessness, and tranquility. Examples of their usage were often in conjunction with one another.

As far as I can ascertain, the word seems to be used in a similar manner as “Wu Wei” is used within Taoist philosophy. An example is: “As with water, we are truest to our nature in sukoon (repose?)”. Sukoon appears to surpass the refreshing qualities of physical sleep. Sukoon manifests after meditation, contemplation, and soul searching. It might be likened to shining discerning light onto the shadows of the mind in order to see life more clearly without delusions and illusions. It’s knowing you’re in the right place.

Pondering the Iranian’s Reddit post once again, I tried to imagine my own coming out process. I visualized it happening not in the United States, but in Iran. Given the less than accepting political attitudes of that country’s government towards gay people, it’s easy to see that the young man’s struggles and obstacles were many degrees more difficult than my own relatively easier coming out.

Contemplating the Iranian’s coming out from his point of view, once he broke free of his fears, his sense of liberation must have been astonishing. I can fully understand why he would use sukoon to describe his serene, spiritual state of mind.

The conflicted, stormy emotions and thoughts he had before coming out simply vanished. His demeanor would undoubtedly feel tranquil, and calm. His new state of mind would finally be stormless. He may have even felt a sense of spiritual rebirth or awakening. He would have finally felt at home in his nature.

Of course, I can only guess that his experiences and state of mind may have run parallel to my own. My own interpretation of the word “sukoon” compels further investigation of its deeper meanings.

The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes Henry David Thoreau. “There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature.” 

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, cultural highlights, philosophy, religion and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Sukoon سکون

  1. Asian cultures seem to be tapped into concepts of harmony much more than Western cultures.

  2. Jeff Flesch says:

    Beautiful and refreshing.

  3. There us a same word in hindi too

  4. Yes there are many words in hindi , urdu that are similar.

  5. Sakoon is what you feel when your head is in your mother’s lap, and she’s massaging your head while talking to you. I don’t know how else to explain this.

  6. Thank you for the interest and research you did on our language. Be sure to follow me, I’ll be posting a blog about the urdu concepts of Love, and how there are three different words for it.

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