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Mystical poetry from various faiths, and other poetry that hopely will touch, inspire or brighten your day...

Sunday, February 22, 2004

My soul is a candle  

My soul is a candle that burned away the veil;
only the glorious duties of light I now have.

The sufferings I knew initiated me into God.
I am a holy confessor for men.

When I see their tears running across their cheeks
and falling into
His hands,

what can I say to their great sorrow
that I too have
known.

The soul is a candle that will burn away the darkness,
only the glorious duties of love we will have.

The sufferings I knew initiated me into God.
Only His glorious cares
I now have.

(Saint John of the Cross)

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Tonight there came a news that you, oh beloved, would come –
Be my head sacrificed to the road along which you will come riding!
All the gazelles of the desert have put their heads on their hands
In the hope that one day you will come to hunt them….
The attraction of love won’t leave you unmoved;
Should you not come to my funeral,
you’ll definitely come to my grave.
My soul has come on my lips (e.g. I am on the point of expiring);
Come so that I may remain alive -
After I am no longer – for what purpose will you come?

(Amir Khusrau - Annemarie Schimmel)

Sunday, February 15, 2004

If the seven seas turned to ink,
my pen would still run dry.

If every orchard was cut into pencils,
I'd wear them all away.

Word cannot be expressed in words.

(Rumi)

Four from Rumi in one post 


Many of the faults you see in others
are your own faults reflected back to you.
Actually, you are branding and blaming yourself.

~~

The fault is in the blamer.
Spirit sees nothing to criticize.

~~

Friends become enemies
because we see them as separate from us.
But in reality, we are quarreling with ourselves.

~~

All the saints and sages say
the evil deeds become a dark well
which enclose the evil-doer.
The worse the doer's deed,
the darker his well.
You may intend to snare someone else,
but you're digging that pit
for yourself to fall down.
Watch out! Don't dig too deep.

(Rumi - 'Rumi Wisdom' - Timothy Freke)

Saturday, February 14, 2004

How Humble is God? 

How humble is God?

God is the tree in the forest that
allows itself to die and will not defend itself in front of those
with the ax, not wanting to cause them
shame.

And God is the earth that will allow itself to
be deformed by man's tools, but He cries; yes, God cries,
but only in front of His closest ones.

And a beautiful animal is being beaten to death,
but nothing can make God break his silence
to the masses
and say,

"Stop, please stop, why are you doing this
to Me?"

How humble is God?
Kabir wept
when I
knew.

(Kabir)

I Will Say This 

We
bloomed in Spring.

Our bodies
are the leaves of God.

The apparent seasons of life and death
our eyes can suffer;

but our souls, dear, I will just say this forthright:
they are God
Himself,

we will never perish
unless He
does.

(Saint Teresa of Avila)

A Hundred Objects Close By 

I know a cure for sadness:
Let your hands touch something that
makes your eyes
smile.

I bet there are a hundred objects close by
that can do that.

Look at
Beauty's gift to us -
her power is so great she enlivens
the earth, the sky, our
soul.

(Mirabai)

Here are some words from Inayat Khan: 

The day we think, "I am good, I am perfect," our eyes are veiled. The day we think, "I am wise," darkness has come upon us, and all the progress we have made is lost. We must always be ready to learn: from a child, from a drunkard, from a foolish person, from everyone, from all those who act differently.

Perfection does not lie in the innocence of a child, nor does it lie in being a jinn or a fairy; it lies in going through all the vibrations, from the highest plane to this one, in experiencing all. A child is friends with the enemy because it does not know that he is its enemy. To know that the enemy is an enemy and yet to be kind that is to be truly kind. To know the badness of the world and then to become harmless that is innocence.

In India there are many such holy persons. Their innocence is so great that it shines from them much more than from a child. Their presence is peace and joy. I knew a sage who was very much revered. His humility was so great that when little boys came to see him, before they could bow to his feet as is the custom or kiss his hand, his head was on their feet and he said, "I am your servant, your slave." You are much greater than me." Those sages always think that every other is much greater than they.

It is very difficult for a person of a certain evolution to like those of another evolution. If a person goes and sits in a caf and always speaks of God or Christ, and says, "Christ was great, Christ said this or that," the other people would say, "Please go to the church if you wish to speak of God and Christ." And if a person who wishes to drink goes to the church, they will say to him, "Go to the caf if you wish to drink, this is not the place." I myself have sometimes been told, "Please, do not mention the name of God in our society, or the name of Christ. Say what you please about science, about the planes, but do not speak the name of God here.

That is why the Sufi takes the other way. He sees the good in everything. He sees the face of God everywhere. He is in all companies. One Sufi always recognizes another, wherever he is, in whatever religious or social garb the other may be. That is the Sufi message of friendship. Unless each one bears this message into the world, peace can never come to the world.
The Wide pond expands like a mirror,
The heavenly light and cloud shadows play upon it.
How does such clarity occur?
It is because it contains the living stream
from the Fountain.

(Chi Hsi)
Shabistari in his "Rosegarden of Mystery" writes:

By love has appeared everything that exists
And by love that which does not exist appears as existing.

Shabistari means here that man is the eye of the world, and that the world is the reflection of God, and that God Himself is the light of his eye. Man is the eye that looks in the mirror, and just as the mirror reflects the face of the person who is looking into it, the reflection itself possesses an eye; in the same time that the eye looks in the mirror, the reflection of this eye looks back at it. God, who is the eye of man, looks at Himself through man.
This point is extremely subtle: from one perspective. God is the eye of man; from another, man is the eye of the world, becuase the world and man are one. This man---who is the eye of the world---is called the Perfect Man. Since man is a resume of everything that exists, he is a world in himself, and the relationship that exists between god and man exists between man and the world.

(Lahiji)
Ah, fill
the cup:
- what boots it
to repeat
How Time
is slipping under-
neath our Feet :Unborn
TO-MORROW,
and dead
YESTERDAY .
Why fret about them
if TO-DAY
be sweet !

(Omar Chayyam - 'Springs of Persian Wisdom')
From all that was familiar,
I broke away.
Now I am lost, without a place,
wandering.
With no music like a fool
I dance and clap my hands.
How am I to live without You?
You are everywhere
but I can't find You.

(Rumi - 'Whispers of the Beloved' - Maryam Mafi & Azima Melita Kolin)

Will & Reason 

Failure comes when will surrenders to reason.

Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan



Success comes when reason, the store of experience, surrenders to will.

Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan



Puzzled by those statements??

A number of people have been very puzzled by these two Bowl of Saki messages.

If you have been puzzled about the intent, it may be useful to consider how Hazrat Inayat Khan used the words "will" and "reason".

In some cases, such as this case, Inayat Khan had very specific ways that he used certain words. Hopefully, the meaning of the Bowl of Saki messages will become clearer with an understanding of how he used the words.


Inayat Khan's usage of the terms will and reason:

As you will see in the following brief examples from The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan, the power of will is considered in these writings to be a Divine Power, while reason is only the rather ephemeral product of the mind of man. Thus, in this specific terminology, the power of will is Divine, and reason is man-made.



Will: http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/II/II_38.htm

Will is not a power, but it is all the power there is. How did God create the world? By will. Therefore, what we call, "will power," in us is, in reality, "God power," a power that increases by our recognizing its potentiality and proves to be the greatest phenomenon in life. If there is any secret behind the mystery of the world of phenomena that can be learned, it is will power. It is by will power that all we do, physically or mentally, is accomplished. Our hands, with all their perfect mechanisms, cannot hold a glass of water if there is no will power to support them. If will power fails, a person seemingly healthy will not be able to stand.

It is not the body that makes us stand upright, it is our will power. It is not the strength of body that makes us move about, it is will power that is holding the body and making it go. Therefore, in reality, birds do not fly with their wings, they fly with their will power. Fishes do not swim with their bodies, they swim with their will power. And when man has the will to swim, he swims like a fish.

Man has been able to accomplish tremendous things by will power. Success and failure are its phenomena. It is only the phenomenon of will that will bring one to success; and when will fails, however qualified and intelligent the person is, he fails. Therefore, it is not a human power, it is a divine power in man.



The Will: http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/IV/IV_27.htm

Words such as wish, desire, love, and their like mean more or less the same thing. But the word "will" has a greater importance than all those other words. And the reason is that will is life itself. The Bible calls God love. Love in what sense? Love in the sense of will. The Creator created the universe by what? -By love? By will, love came afterwards. Love is the will when it is recognized by its manifestation. Then it is called love. But in the beginning it is will.



The Will, Human and Divine: http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/VII/VII_5.htm
The will is the same: whether it be human or divine. The only difference is that in one aspect it is the whole, in the other aspect it is a part. In one aspect it is almighty, in the other it has only a certain might, or a certain power; in one aspect it is unlimited, in the other it is limited.



Reason http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/XIII/XIII_6.htm

In every situation, every condition, man easily finds out a reason for it from the mind. The one who does right and the one who does wrong both find the reason for their action. Two people disputing against each other both have reason at the back of their discussion. This shows that the mind provides reason, as the sun shines and the rain falls, for the sinner as well as for the virtuous. Not knowing this fact, man always reasons with another. But it is not a dispute between reason and no reason, it is a dispute between two reasons contrary to one another. This shows that reason has not sprung on the soil of heaven, reason is earth born, upon which man so confidently fixes his argument.



To search for more information:

To search for the meaning of puzzling messages, you can find the entire fourteen volumes of The Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan, with a search engine that specifically searches only the those volumes, on-line at:

http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/index.htm
everywhere
the aroma of God
begins to arrive

look at these people
not knowing their feet from head
as they begin to arrive

every soul is seeking His soul
every soul parched with thirst
they've all heard the voice
of the quencher of thirst

everyone tastes the love
everyone tastes the milk
anxious to know
from where the real mother
begins to arrive

waiting in fever
wondering ceaselessly
when will that final union
begin to arrive

Moslems and Christians and Jews
raising their hands to the sky
their chanting voice in unison
begin to arrive
how happy is the one
whose heart's ear
hears that special voice
as it begins to arrive

clear your ears my friend
from all impurity
a polluted ear
can never hear the sound
as it begins to arrive

if your eyes are marred
with petty visions
wash them with tears
your teardrops are healers
as they begin to arrive

keep silence
don't rush to finish your poem
the finisher of the poem
the creator of the word
will begin to arrive

(Rumi - Ghazal number 837 - "Rumi, Fountain of Fire" - Nader Khalili)
Be mindful, you'll not know a friend like me.
Where in the world is there such a Beloved?

Be mindful, don't spend your life wandering about,
There's no market elsewhere for you to splurge.

You are as an arid gully, I as rain,
You are a city in ruins, I the architect.

Know that my service is like joy at dawn,
Few men experience its illuminating warmth.

In dreams you see a myriad shifting images;
When the dream ends you're left with nought.

Close tight the eye of falsity, open wide the eye of the intellect;
An ass is your senses, evil thoughts its halter.

Choose sweet syrup from the garden of Love, for Nature
Sells vinegar, and crushes unripened grapes.

Enter the hospital of your Creator, for no man
Who's ill can dispense with his remedies.

Without the King the world is decapitated:
Like a turban, fold yourself about its severed head.

Unless you're dark, don't let the mirror fall
From your hand: soul is your mirror, your body rust.

Where is the lucky merchant, whose destiny Jupiter
Controls, that I may trade with him and buy his wares?

Come, remember me who gave you the ability to think,
From my mine you may yet buy an ass-load of rubies.

Come, walk towards him who gave you feet,
Look with both eyes on him who gave you sight.

Clap hands for joy of him, by whose foamy hand
The sea is made. His joy dispels sorrow and pain.

Speak without tongue, without ears listen,
The tongue's mutterings often give offence.

(Rumi - J. Cowen)
Ignorance is His prison and Knowledge His palace.
If we stay asleep, we are His drunks.
If we wake up, we are His hands.
When weeping, we rain His bounty,
When laughing, we crack His lightning.
In anger, we reflect His power.
In forgiveness, we express His love.
Lost in this tangled world - who are we?
What is there apart from Him? Nothing.

(Rumi - 'Rumi Wisdom' - Timothy Freke)

Friday, February 13, 2004

Love 

Love has a hem to her garment
That reaches the very dust.
It sweeps the stains
From the streets and lanes,
And because it can, it must.

(Mother Teresa)

Favorite prayer of Mother Teresa said every day 

Dear Lord:
Help me to spread your fragrance wherever I go.
Flood my soul with your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly
that all my life may only be a radiance of yours.
Shine through me, and be so in me that every soul
I come in contact with may feel your presence in my
soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me, but only
You, O Lord!
Stay with me, then I shall begin to shine as You do,
so to shine as to be a light to others.
The light, O Lord, will all from You; none of it will be
mine; it will be You shining on others through me.
Let me thus praise You in the way you love best,
by shining on those around me.
Let me preach You without preaching, not by
words but by my example, by catching force, the
sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident
fullness of the love my heart bears to You.
Amen.

(John Henry Newman)

Allah is the Arabic word for God in English... Arab Christians and Muslims alike say Allah...  

All night, a man called "Allah" -
until his lips were bleeding.
The the Devil said, "Hey! Mr Gullible!
How come you've been calling all night
and never once heard Allah say, 'Here I am'?
You call out so earnestly and, in reply, what?
I'll tell you what. Nothing!"
The man suddenly felt empty and abandoned.
Depressed, he threw himself on the ground
and fell into a deep sleep.
In a dream, he met Abraham, who asked,
"Why are you regretting praising Allah?"
The man said, "I called and called
but Allah never replied 'Here I am.'"
Abraham explained, "Allah has said,
'Your calling My Name is My reply.
Your longing for Me is My message to you.
All your attempts to reach Me
are in reality My attempts to reach you.
Your fear and love are a noose to catch Me.
In the silence surrounding every call of 'Allah'
waits a thousand replies of 'Here I am.'"

(Rumi - 'Rumi Wisdom' - Timothy Freke)
Each breath is a song of love
From left and right, pass us by
We’ll return to the world above
Such fate no-one can defy.

We have come from the skies
Befriended angels in heaven
To the same place we will rise
To that city past skies seven.

We are above the skies
And angels we transcend
Why should we compromise?
The House of Songs is our end.

With good fortune may we live
Fate is contradictory,
Gladly our lives may we give
Worldly pride victory.

The sweet scent of this breeze
Is from the curl of that hair
Radiant fantasy on its knees
Upon that face gladly stare.

People are like the loons
Are born from the sea of soul
Stay afloat many moons
The sea the loon control.

On that sea came the wave
While the ship was taking form
From shipwreck no-one could save
Returned to sea by that storm.

What seemed bad, was grace
Kindness was in the wave’s wrath
Dawn of fulfillment is in place
Lighting up that divine path.

From Tabriz began to shine
The Light of Truth, to me call
Thy light is Light Divine
Distinct, yet connecting all.

(Rumi - 'Translations from Divan-e Shams' - 44 - trans. Shahriar Shahriari)
Without you I'm entombed,
My flesh rots obediently
And falls away from the bone.
But just your fleeting presence
Brings life to me and fills this
Marginal body with brassy resurrection.
Where you are there is my fragile body
And thirsty soul so longing for you.
I'm a reed waiting, rigid for your breath;
Touch it and you create harmony.
I'm addicted to your play.
An instrument in search for you.
Without you I'm buried in mourning,
Eaten up with grief.

(Rumi - Divan 1641 - 'Words of Paradise')
A gain or a loss which is momentary is not real; if we knew realities we should never grieve over the loss of anything that experience shows to be only transitory.

Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
I am drunk and you are insane
tell me, who will lead us home?
How many times have I asked you not to drink so much
for I see no sober soul in town.
Come to the tavern my dearest and taste the wine of love
for the soul is joyous only in the company of lovers.
The tavern of love is your livelihood
your income and expenses, the wine.
Be careful, not to trust a sober soul
with even one drop of this wine.
Go on playing your lute, my drunken gypsy but tell me,
between the two of us, who is more drunk?
As I left my house a Sufi approached me,
in his glance I saw a hundred gardens.
He swayed side to side like a ship without an anchor,
while a hundred reasonalbe men watched on enviously.
Where are you from? I asked him.
He replied, "Half from Turkistan and half from Farghaneh,
half from water and clay and half from soul and heart,
half from the edge of the sea and half from the depths
of the ocean."
Then I am no stranger to you, I said and asked him
to befriend me.
He said, "I make no distinctions between friends and stranger.
I've lost my heart and thrown away my turban
to dwell in the tavern of love.
My heart is heavy with words I want to say to you.
I have given you this advice before but you ignored it.
If you live with the lame you will learn to limp."
Once the Prophet leaned against a tree to rest
and when he left even the tree cried from the pain of separation.
Shams, now that you have stirred my heart do not desert me!

(Rumi - 'Hidden Music')
Let us fall in love again
and scatter gold dust all over the world.
Let us become a new spring
and feel the breeze drift in the heavens' scent.
Let us dress the earth in green,
and like the sap of a young tree
let the grace from within sustain us.
Let us carve gems out of our stony hearts
and let the light our path to Love.
The glance of Love is crystal clear
and we are blessed by its light.

(Rumi - 'Hidden Music' - Maryam Mafi & Azima Melita Kolin)

Love's Question 

And is this all true,
My ever-loving friend?
That the lightning-flash of the light in my eyes
Makes the clouds in your heart explode and blaze,
Is this true?
That my sweet lips are red as a blushing new bride,
My ever-loving friend,
Is this true?

That a tree of paradise flowers within me,
That my footsteps ring like vinas beneath me,
Is this true?
That the night sheds drops of dew at the sight of me,
That the dawn surrounds me with light from delight in me,
Is this true?
That the touch of my hot cheek intoxicates the breeze,
My ever-loving friend,
Is this true?

That daylight hides in the dark of my hair,
That my arms hold life and death in their power,
Is this true?
That the earth can be srapped in the end of my sari,
That my voice makes the world fall silent to hear me,
Is this true?
That the universe is nothing but me and what loves me,
My ever-loving friend,
Is this true?

That for me alone your love has been waiting
Through worlds and ages awake and wandering,
Is this true?
That my voice, eyes, lips have brought you relief,
In a trice, from the cycle of life after life,
Is this true?
That you read on my soft forehead infinite Truth,
My ever-loving friend,
Is this true?

(Rabindranath Tagore - 'Selected Poems' - William Radice)
There are so many selves,
So many selves swimming like eels
In the liquid of my mind,
So many fickle impressions.
Which one is me?
Listen to my nonsense, be patient,
Don't try to muzzle my foaming mouth!
I'm not in control, don't plate me in with the glass
Of your comments and easy concern,
I'll shatter and crush it into sand.
I can't help it, I am a cipher for your moods;
When you're filled with joy,
The zero I am is impressed with pleasure;
When you're dark I become dark as a cave.
It's always the same, your bitterness is my brine,
Your sorrow is my fatal grief.
When I am with you I am your lofty sky,
Your placid sea. You're anchored reality,
I am too created in this occupied body.
I am nothing but a mirror in your palm,
Reflecting the play of your fingers.
I take on the skin of your feelings.
You are the cypress in the garden of our being.
I am its obedient shadow;
I am a servant of the rose setting up house beside it.
If I act without you my hands are torn
By thorns, caked with ashes.
With you the thorns and ashes become
Rose petals and jasmine composed with perfume.
AT each instand my heart pumps blood for you,
The vessel of my body is fragile crystal for Love of you.
Every second my fingertips stretch out to trace your face
So you may burn my skin, rip open the garments of my soul.
I am a beggar who has received the silver grace
Of Salah-al Din which cools my constricted
Heart like a mountain stream.

He is the light, the glowing flame illuminating the world
But who am I?
From the yearning curvature of my soul
I know I'm simply his bowl.

(Rumi - Divan 1397- 'Words of Paradise' - Raficq Abdulla)
If you are seeking closeness to the Beloved,
love everyone.
Whether in their presence or absence,
see only their good.
If you want to be as clear and refreshing as
the breath of the morning breeze,
like the sunhave nothing but warmth and light
for everyone.

(Shaikh Abu-Saeed Abil-Kheir - 'Nobody, Son of Nobody' - Vraje Abramian)

And then You are like this:

A small bird decorated
With orange patches of light
Waving your wings near my window,

Encouraging me with all of existence's love -
To dance.

And then You are like this:

A cruel word that stabs me
From the mouth of a strange costume You wear;
A guise You had too long tricked me into thinking
Could be other - than You.

And then You are ...

The firmament
That spins at the end of a string in Your hand
That You offer to mine saying,
"Did you drop this - surely
This is yours."

And then You are, O then You are:

The Beloved of every creature
Revealed with such grandeur - bursting
From each cell in my body,
I kneel, I laugh,
I weep, I sing,
I sing.

(Hafiz -'The Gift' - Daniel Ladinsky)
My heart has been flying
With a new love since early dawn.
Because the One who sets the trap,
Has plans for me.

I wonder what kind of dream
My heart saw last night,
That I have such exuberance in my head?

But what could my heart do?
Envoys, whom fate and destiny sent,
Are coming to my heart from above.

The house of heart is filled by these people
Who don't understand a word.
There is no room for even a small excuse.

There is no excuse.
Even if there was one, where is the tongue?
Where is the Heart?
There is no way to escape.
Even if there was one,
Where are the feet to escape, for me?

The world is like a piece of straw.
We are the torrent comming from the mountain.
We will flow until we reach the sea.

The torrent cries, cascades in rough places.
But its flow, step by step,
Is also a very nice thing to see.

How can I not cry in His hands?
He holds my mouth like a shrill pipe
With His hands.

My desires and worries have
Sat in deep thought,
Saying, "What should I do tomorrow?"
He doesn't know there is a tomorrow.

I am a slave, a servant for Love.
He only works with cash.
He neither know the time, the promise
Nor the worries.

(Rumi - verse 3529 - Dîvân-i Kebîr Meter 7b - Nevit O. Ergin)
Creatures are subject to changing states, but the gnostic has no state, because his vestiges are effaced and his essence annihilated by the essence of another, and his traces are lost in another's traces.
Thirty years the high God was my mirror, now I am my own mirror, that which I was I am nor more, for I and God is a denial of the unity of God. Since I am no more, the High God is His own mirror.
I went from God to God, until they cried from me in me, OThou I!

(Bayazid of Bistam - 'The Mystics of Islam' - R.A. Nicholson)

Willing Slaves 


From deep within my heart
I always catch
the scent of my Beloved.
How can I help but
follow that fragrance?

Last night I was walking through Love's garden
where a glimmer of my soul
became a teeming river of light!
Laughing roses sprang up along the banks.
Dazzling waters rolled past the thorns of being
with speed enough to elude the sword of death.
Every tree and blade of grass danced in the meadow.
But to an eye without this vision,
all seemed plain and ordinary.
Suddenly a great cypress shot up from the ground!
The whole garden roared with delight -
the jamines exploded,
the broad-leafed trees clapped their hands.

A face of fire,
A cup of fire,
A heart of fire -
all were blazing with joy.
Surrounded by flames, my soul called out,
"O God, where shall I run?"

In the world of Oneness
there is nothing but yourself,
there is no room for counting.
But in the world of things
there is so much counting.
You may count a thousand apples in your hand -
If you want them all to be one,
make applesauce.
You may count a thousand grapes in your hand -
If you want the precious wine
crush them all together.

The message behind the words
is the voice of the heart.
The source of all activity
is that utter stillness.

Now Shams-e Tabriz is in the royal seat
and all my rhymes
have lined up like willing slaves.

(Rumi - Ghazal 1077 - "In the Arms of the Beloved" - Jonathan Star)

Answers from the Elements 

A whole afternoon field inside me from one stem of reed.
The messenger comes running toward me, irritated:
Why be so hard to find?

Last night I asked the moon about the Moon, my one question
for the visible world, Where is God?
The moon says, I am dust stirred up
when he passed by. The sun, My face is pale yellow
from just now seeing him. Water: I slide my head and face
like a snake, from a spell he said. Fire: His lightning,
I want to be that restless. Wine, why so light?
I would burn if I had a choice. Earth, quiet
and thoughtful? Inside me I have a garden
and an underground spring.

This world hurts my head with its answers,
wine filling my hand, not my glass.
If I could wake completely, I would say without speaking
why I'm ashamed of using words.

(Rumi - Furuzanfar 1692 - "The Rumi Collection" - Coleman Barks)

LOVE 

Incited by something eternal
Is like a small lamp
Whose flame is fed with oil,
Or like a stream fed by rains,
Where flows stop when the rain cease.
But love whose object is God is like
A fountain gushing forth
From the earth.
Its flow never ceases,
For He Himself is the source of this love
And also its food,
Which never grows scarce.

(Saint Issac of Stella)

A very special song to me 

The lyrics to Sheila Chandra's Song ' Ever so Lonely/ Eyes Ocean '. I feel the lyrics fit well within the mystical poems I post. It is a very spiritual song.

Ever so lonely
Ever so lonely without you
Ever so lonely

Sink into your eyes and all I see
Love is an ocean
And you for me

Sink into your eyes
your eyes
are all I see
Your love is an ocean

An ocean refuses no river
Ever so lonely
An ocean refuses no river
Waiting for the time when we can be alone together

Alone together
Eternally

The ocean, the ocean
refuses no river

The ocean, your ocean
refuses no river

ever so lonely
ever so lonely without you

your ocean
your ocean
refuses no river

(Sheila Chandra - Ever so lonely/Eyes-Ocean)

Five Poems 

1

If you should say to me "Don't mention love"
I'll manage to restrain my tongue by force,
But if you try prohibiting my tears
The Tigris can't be altered in its course.

2

Until you can correct and heal yourself
Be quiet about another man's disgrace -
Don't be the bare-assed bullying constable
Who hits a whore and tells her "Veil your face!"

3

When once the soul is ready to depart, sir,
All surgeons and their science are sure to fail,
Since no dead donkey's going to stand again
However much you pull its ears or tail.

4

He glanced at me on day - but then his mean
Suspicious tutor had to intervene;
He wouldn't let the sunlight fall on me
But like a louring cloud pushed in between.

5

O I repented, wore my pious cloak,
Listened and looked wherever wise men spoke,
But then I saw that cypress-bodied boy
And I forgot their sayings at a stroke.

(Sa'di (d. 1292) - Dick Davis)

The Triumph of the Soul 

Joy! joy! I triumph! now no more I know
Myself as simply me, I burn with love
Unto myself, and bury me in love.
The Centre is within me and its wonder
Lies as a circle everywhere about me.
Joy! joy! no mortal thought can fathom me.
I am the merchant and the pearl at once.
Lo, Time and Space lie crouching at my feet.
Joy! joy! when I would reveal in a rapture,
I plunge into myself and all things know.

(Attar - 'Jawhar Al-Dhat' - Margaret Smith)

Unending Love 

I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times,
In life after life, in age after age forever.
My spell-bound heart has made and re-made the necklace of songs
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms
In life after life, in age after age forever.

Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, its age-old pain,
Its ancient tale of being apart or together,
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge
Clad in the light of a pole-star piercing the darkness of time:
You become an image of what is remembered forever.

You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount
At the heart of time love of one for another.
We have played alongside millions of lovers, shared in the same
Shy sweetness of meeting, the same distressful tears of farewell -
Old love, but in shapes that renew and renew forever.

Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you,
The love of all man's days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life,
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours -
And the songs of every poet past and forever.

(Rabindranath Tagore - 'Selected Poems' - William Radice)
Inside ourselves or nowhere is
eternity with its worlds, the past
and future ... Now, 'inside'
appears to us so dark, lonely,
shapeless, but how differently
will it appear once this darkening
has passed.

(Novalis)
Fish cannot drown in water
Birds cannot sink in air.
Gold cannot perish in the refiner's fire.
This has God given to all creatures,
To foster and seek their own nature.
How then can I withstand mine?

(Mechthild of Magdeburg)
Love has come and it flows like blood beneath my skin,
through my veins.
It has emptied me of my self and filled me with
the Beloved.
The Beloved has penetrated every cell of my body.
Of myself there remains only a name, everthing else
is Him.

(Rumi)
I believe that God is in me
as the sun is in the colour and
fragrance of a flower - the Light
in my darkness, the Voice in
my silence.

(Helen Keller)
I
want
you to have
this,

all the beauty in my eyes, and the grace of my mouth,
all the splendor of my
strength,

all the
wonder of the musk parts
of my
body,

for are we
not talking about real love, real
love?

(Mirabai - 'Love Poems from God' - Daniel Ladinsky)

It acts like love - music -
it reaches toward the face, touches it, and tries to let you know
His promise: that all will be okay.

It acts like love - music and,
tells the feet, "You do not have to be so burdened."

My body is covered with wounds
this world made,

but I still longed to kiss Him, even when God said,

"Could you also kiss the hand that caused
each scar,

for you will not find me until
you do."

It does that - music - helps us
to forgive.

(Rabi`a al `Adawiyya)



*Rabi`a al `Adawiyya (Rabi'a of Basra) (c. 717-801) is without doubt the most popular and influential of female Islamic saints and a central figure in the Sufi tradition. She was born nearly 500 years before Rumi and although it is rarely said, she, perhaps more than any other poet, influenced his writings.
No other love is like unto the
ecstasy of the moment when
spirit cleaves to spirit and
becomes one - one Love.

(The Zohar)
The spiritual marriage may
also be compared to water
falling from the sky into a river
or fountain, where the waters
are united, and it would no
longer be possible to divide
them, or to separate the water
of the river from that which
has fallen from the heavens.

(Saint Teresa of Avila - 'The Interior Castle')
The eye with which I see God is
the same as that with which He
sees me. My eyes and the eye
of God are one eye, one vision,
one knowledge, and one Love.

(Meister Eckhart)
Everywhere,
one face.

Some say Jew or Hindu,
some say Arab or Russian,
I see only You

Some say pleasure,
some say pain,
I see only You.

Some say evil,
some say good,
I see only You.

Everywhere,
one face,
I see only You.

(Wahiduddin - 'In the Garden of Lovers')
Go from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand
Henceforward in thy shadow. Never more
Alone upon the threshold of my door
Of individual life, I shall command
the uses of my soul, nor life my hand
Serenely in the sunshine as before,
Without the sense of that which I forbore --
Thy touch upon the palm. The widest land
Doom takes to part us, leaves thy heart in mine
With pulses that beat double. What I do
And what I dream include thee, as the wine
Must taste of its own grapes. And when I sue
God for myself, He hears that name of thine,
And sees within my eyes the tears of two.

(Elizabeth Barrett Browing - 'Sonnets From The Portuguese')

Half-way through the night
she came by the side of my bed
Wine in hand, blouse torn
and her hair all over the place
With laughter and tears in her eyes
mockery in her voice
She laid her head on me
and plaintively said
Alseep so soon my love?
you will be love's infindel
If you do not worship wine
when you are given it;
Forget all that talk of sin
whining hypocrites
Since the day the world began
we have had our fill
Whatever was put befor us
we drank and we didn't care
If it was the wine of paradise
or the dregs of a bad year
O Hafiz many a vow lik yours
has been broken beyond repair
By a girl with a flask of wine
and disorder in her hair.

(Hafiz - Geoffrey Squires)
Our desert has no limit
Our hearts and souls no rest.

World within worlds, we've adopted
His Image - but in what Form?

Seeing on the track a severed head
Rolling towards our field,

Ask of it the heart's secret
If you wish to learn our mystery.

How would it be if an ear revealed
Its knowledge of the singers' notes?

How would it be if a bird took flight
Wearing Solomon's secret on its collar?

What can I say, or think? For this tale
Flies beyond ever limit we set ourselves.

Or remain silent when every moment
Pain fester, and become anguish?

Together falcon and partridge fly
Through the clear air of our mountains,

Through the air of Seventh Heaven
Towards Saturn's zenith. Are not

These heavens below the empyrean
With our orbit circling beyond this?

What room is there here for our desire
To ascend towards the empyrean, or sky?

Our journey is towards the rose-garden
Of union, where buds become blooms.

So forget this story. don;t ask us
To complete what is unfinished.

Salahu'Ihaq u din will soon tell you
O the beauty of our Sultan, King of Kings.

(Rumi - 'Rumi's Divan of Shems of Tabriz' - James Cowan)

Dante - Canto XXX 

Mine eyes did look
On beauty, such, as I believe in sooth.
Not merely to exceed out human; but,
That save its Maker, none can to the full
Enjoy it. At this point o'erpowered I fail;
Unequal to my theme

...

'Forth from the last corporeal are we come
Into the heaven, that is unbodied with light;
Light intellectual, replete with love;
Love of true happiness, replete with joy;
Joy, that transcends all sweetness of delight,
Here shalt thou look on either mighty host
Of Paradise; adn one in that array,
Which in the final judgement thou shalt see'.
As when the lightning, in a sudden spleen
Unfolded, dashes from the blinding eyes
The visive spirits, dazzled and bedimmed;
So, round about me, fulminating streams
Of living radiance played, and left me swathed
And veiled in dense impenetrable blaze.

Such weal is in the love, that stills this heaven:
For its own flame the torch thus fitting ever.
No sooner to my listening ear had come
the brief assurance, than I understood
New virtue into me infused, and sight
Kindled afresh, with vigour to sustain
Excess of light however pure. I looked;
and, in the likeness of a river, saw
Light flowing, from whose amber-seeming waves
Flashed up effulgence, as they glided on
'Twixt banks, on either side, painted with spring.
Incredible how fair: and, from the tide,
There ever and anon, outstarting, flew
Sparkles instinct with life; and in the flowers
Did set them, like to rubies chased in gold:
Then, as if drunk with odours, plunged again
Into the woundrous flood;

...

All is one beam.
Reflected from the summit of the first,
That moves, which being hence and vigour takes.
And as some cliff, that from the bottom eyes
His image mirrored in the crystal flood,
As if to admire his brave apparelling
Of verdure and of flowers; so, round about,
Eyeing the light, on more than million thrones,
Stood, eminent, whatever from our earth
Has to the skies returned. How wide the leaves,
Extended to their utmost, of this rose,
Whose lowest step embosoms such a space
Of ample radiance! Yet, nor amplitude
Nor height impeded, but my view with ease
Took in the full dimensions of that joy.
Near or remote, what there avails, where God
Immediate rules, and Nature, awed, suspends
Her sway? Into the yellow of the rose
Perennial, which, in bright expansiveness,
Lays forth its gradual blooming, redolent
Of praises to the never-wintering sun,
As one, who fain would speak yet holds his peace,
Beatrice led me; and, 'Behold,' she said,
'This fair assemblage; stoles of snowy white,
How numberless. The city, where we dwell,
Behold how vast; and these our seats so thronged,
Few now are wanting here. In that proud stall,
On which, the crown, already o'er its state
Suspended, holds thine eyes - or e'er thyself
Mayst at the wedding sup, - shall rest the soul'

(Dante - 'The Divine Comedy: Paradiso' - H.F. Carey)

I Write Of That Journey 

I remember how my mother would hold me.
I would look up at her sometimes and see her weep.

I understand now what was happening.
Love so strong a force
it broke the
cage,

and she disappeared from everything
for a blessed
moment.

All actions have evolved
from the taste of flight;
the hope of freedom
moves our cells
and limbs.

Unable to live on the earth, Mira ventured out alone in the sky,
I write of that journey
of becoming as
free as
God.

Don't forget love;
it will bring all the madness you need
to unfurl yourself across
the universe.

(Mirabai (c. 1498 - 1550) - 'Love Poems From God' - Daniel Ladinsky)


*Mirabai is the most renowned woman poet-saint of India, her songs sung by Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs alike. She was born a princess of the area of Rajasthan. Her great-grandfather founded the city of Jodhpur.

Last night without sight of you  

Last night without sight of you my brain was ablaze.
My tears trickled and fell plip on the ground. That I with
sighing might bring my life to a close they would name
you and again and again speak your name till
with night's coming all eyes closed save mine whose every
hair pierced my scalp like a lancet. That was
not wine I drank far from your sight but my heart's
blood gushing into the cup. Wall and door wherever
I turned my eyes scored and decorated with shapes
of you. To dream of Laila Majnun prayed for
sleep. My senses came and went but neither your
face saw I nor would your fantom go from me.
Now like aloes my heart burned, now smoked as a censer.
Where was the morning gone that used on other nights
to breathe till the horizon paled? Sa'di!
Has then the chain of the Pleides broken
tonight that every night is hung on the sky's neck?

(Sa'di - trans. Basil Bunting)

Of Music 

I sat by one whom my heart loves, and I listened to her words. My soul began to wander in the infinite spaces where the universe appeared like a dream, and the body like a narrow prison.
The enchanting voice of my Beloved entered my heart. This is Music, oh friends, for I heard her through the sighs of the one I loved, and through the words, half-uttered between her lips.
With the eyes of my hearing I saw my Beloved's heart.

My friends: Music is the language of spirits. Its melody is like the frolicsome breeze that makes the strings quiver with love. When the gentle fingers of Music knock at the door of our feelings, they awaken memories that have long lain hidden in the depths of the Past. The sad strains of Music bring us mournful recollections; and her quiet strains bring us joyful memories. The sound of strings makes us weep at the departure of a dear one, or makes us smile at the peace God has bestowed upon us.
The soul of Music is of the Spirit, and her mind is of the Heart.
When God created Man, he gave him Music as a language different from all other languages. and early man sang her glory in the wilderness; and she drew the hearts of kings and moved them from their thrones.
Our souls are like tender flowers at the mercy of the winds of Destiny. They tremble in the morning breeze, and bend their heads under the falling dews of heaven.
The song of the bird awakens Man from his slumber, and invites him to join in the psalms of glory of glory to Eternal Wisdom that has created the song of the bird.
Such music makes us ask ourselves the meaning of the mysteries contained in ancient books.
When the birds sing, do they call to the flowers in the fields, or are they speaking to the trees, or are they echoing the murmur of the brooks? For Man with his understanding cannot know what the bird is saying, nor what the brook is murmuring, nor what the waves whisper when they touch the beaches slowly and gently.
Man with his understanding cannot know what the rain is saying when it falls upon the leaves of the trees or when it taps at the window panes. He cannot know what the breeze is saying to the flowers in the fields.
But the Heart of Man can feel and grasp the meaning of these sounds that play upon his feelings. Eternal Wisdom often speaks to him in a mysterious language; Soul and Nature converse together, while Man stands speechless and bewildered.
Yet has not Man wept at these sounds? And are not his tears eloquent understanding?


Divine Music!
Daughter of the Soul of Love

Vase of bitterness and of
Love

Dream of the human heart, fruit
of sorrow

Flower of joy, fragrance and
bloom of feeling

Tongue of lovers, revealer of
secrets

Mother of the tears of hidden love

Inspirer of poets, composers,
architects

Unity of thoughts within fragments
of words

Designer of love out of beauty
Wine of the exulting heart in
a world of dreams

Heartener of warriors, and strengthener
of souls
Ocean of mercy and sea of tenderness

O Music
In your depths we deposit our hearts
and souls
Thou hast taught us to see with our
ears
And hear with our hearts.

(Kahlil Gibran - 'The Voice of the Master' - Anthony Rizcallah Ferris)

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Only man can know the pain
of having something he does not need,
while needing something he does not have ...




'My heart is a candle: trim the wick and it will only burn brighter! While I live, all roads to you are blocked, so why should I not embrace death willingly? Come, save yourself from me, and me from myself, and let me rest at your feet in eternal peace and everlasting tranquillity!'

(Nizami - 'Layla & Majnun' - Colin Turner)

If God were to punish us for our each and every sin,
the world would be taken up by weeping and wailing.

In His eyes, the blade of grass and the mountain are the same;
Sometimes He punishes the mountain and sometimes His wrath falls on the blade of grass.

Because of our greed, the Earth is covered in blacktop
And the sun eclipsed by the dark of the moon.

Even with a clean shirt, your selfish deeds are not hidden
From He who see the dirt on your skin.

O Master, forgive me! I promise I will spend each night weeping,
In order that green grass beneath this blacktop can grow again.

And if You leave me, I'll cry such a flood of tears
That no matter where You go, it will rain.

O Hafiz, when the Creator comes for us with death in His eyes,
Who could stand before Him face-to-face and lie?

(Hafiz - 'Drunk on the Wine of the Beloved' - Thomas Rain Crowe)

Beyond the Ordinary 

There are colors beyond
the shades of the rainbow,

sounds beyond
the capture of ears,

feelings beyond
the impression of touch,

delightful visitors
that arrive only
when we have departed.

(Wahiduddin - 'Rendezvous with the Beloved' - Wahiduddin's Web

A Rosary of Love 

On the rosary of love, each breath is a conversation with my beloved

I know whom I love and who is loved by my beloved

On the rosary of love, each breath is a conversation with my beloved

There’s a lover in the temple, and there’s a lover in the mosque.*

On the rosary of love, each breath is a conversation with my beloved.

Drowned in the ocean of love, I am merely a reflection of my beloved.

I have been beading and breathing my rosary of love until the eve of my life

On the rosary of love, each breath is a conversation with my beloved

We are good for nothing until we go crazy in a conversation with the beloved

On the rosary of love, each moment of breath is a conversation with my beloved

My beloved is not to be blamed, for my beloved is infallible

On the rosary of love, each breath is a conversation with my beloved

I just have a bad reputation for my own conversations with my beloved.

On the rosary of love, each breath is a conversation with my beloved

(Tufail Hoshiarpuri - Translator: Mabel Khawaja)


*The globally ecumenical scope of Sufi poetry is echoed overtly in this line where the love of Allah is defined as infinite cosmic love that is not confined to religious boundaries. Sufi poetry integrates human limitation with infinite attributes of Allah. Even though boundaries are relevant to human conversation with the Creator from an individual vantagepoint, these limits of the human soul cannot be applied to God’s boundless love for His creation.

the Ocean of Bewilderment 

O God,
You kindly became manifest (payda)
to Your friends,
You exhilarated them
with the wine of intimacy (uns),
and You drowned some of the others
in the ocean of bewilderment (dahshat).
You raised Your call from very near,
and You dispatched the signal from far away.
You summoned the devotee,
and You hid Yourself.
You exposed Yourself from behind the veil,
and You menifested Yourself with the signs of Magnificence,
until You caused those knights (jawan-mardan)
to be lost in the valley of bewilderment
and to be wandering and exhausted.
Why have You done all this to those unlucky ones?
You will be the Judge for those plaintiffs!
You will award justice to those imporing ones!
You will be the blood atonement for those slain ones!
You will be the Savior of those drowned ones!
(And) You will be the Guide of those lost ones:
until the lost ones can find the way,
the drowned ones can reach the shore,
and those exhausted souls can rest!
When will the answer to their mysterious story come?
(And) when will the night of their waiting reach the morning (light)? *

(Abudullah Ansari - 'Abudullah Ansari of Herat An Early Sufi Master' - A.G. Ravan Farhadi)


*Kashf al-Asrar., Vol., 6, p. 528
Oh dawn wind, gently say tho that graceful gazelle:
"We wander the mountains and desert because of you."

The sugar-seller, long life to him,
why doesn't he ask after the sweet-toothed parrot?

When you sit with the beloved and measure out wine
remember the lovers who measure and drink only wind.

Perhaps your proud beauty keeps you, O rose,
from asking after the frenzied nighingale?

With good nature and kindness one can stalk the insightful ones.
The bird of wisdom can't be caught with rope or snare.

I don't know why the tall, dark-eyed, moon-faced ones
bear no trace of friendliness.

One can speak of no fault in your beauty except for this:
there is no affection or loyalty in a lovely face.

In the heavens it's no wonder that when Venus sings Hafiz's verse
even the Messiah starts to dance.

(Hafiz - 'the Green Seas of Heaven' - Elizabeth T. Gray)

Not exactly fitting for this journal but a most loved poem of mine 

When I die, I want your hands on my eyes:
I want the light and wheat of your beloved hands
to pass their freshness over me once more:
I want to feel the softness that changed my destiny.

I want you to live while I wait for you, asleep.
I want your ears still to hear the wind, I want you
to sniff the sea's aroma that we loved together,
to continue to walk on the sand we walk on.

I want what I love to continue to live,
and you whom I love and sang above everything else
to continue to flourish, full-flowered:

so that you can reach everything my love directs you to,
so that my shadow can travel along in your hair,
so that everything can learn the reason for my song.

(Pablo Neruda - '100 Love Sonnets, Cien sonetos de amor - Stephen Tapscott)

Light upon Light.. Nur 3la Nur 

Sufis have given many mystical interpretations to passages in the Qur'an. One of the most familiar and yet enigmatic Qur'anic verses is the "verse of light" 24:35. Sufis have understood the inner meaning of this verse as a metaphor for the human heart, in which Allah's (God) light resides and by which man is guided on his mystical journey.

One English interpretation of the verse is:

God is the Light of the heavens and the earth,
His light may be compared to a niche
wherein is a lamp
the lamp in a glass
the glass as it were a glittering star
kindled from a Blessed tree
an olive that is neither of the East nor of the West
whose oil would almost shine forth
though no fire touches it.
Light upon light
God guides to His light whom he will.
God speaks in metaphors to me.
God has knowledge of all things.

(Qur'an 24:35)

Madhumalati 68 - 71. 

68.
O God, where did I get to, where am I?
I was telling you one thing, but said another instead.
I was about to tell you the story of the Prince,
But sleep intervened and carried me away.
I return now to the story, so listen to how
the Prince was overwhelmed by sweet sleep, *
and how some nymphs chanced to gather around
the Prince's bed as he lay there sleeping.
The nymphs were amazed to see in him
the precious, beautiful form of a celestial.
'We are heavenly nymphs, and he is a man, so he is no
concern of ours,
but let us marry him to the loveliest bride between the
east and the west.'


69.
'From east to west, to the world's edges,
what place is there that we have not seen?
We know the whole world well.
We must find a match worthy of this Prince.'
One praised Saurastra and Gujarat,
while another told of the Isle of Singhala. *
they went through all three worlds,
but could not find a beauty to match him.
Then one nymph stood up and said:
'There is a maiden worthy of this Prince.
Vikram Rai, the valiant king of the city of Maharas, *
has a virgin daughter
named Madhumalati, 'night-flowering jasmine',
whose beauty
eclipses the sun and moon.'


70.
When they heard her, the nymphs were delighted,
but one said the Prince was more beautiful than she.
Thinking over together, they announced
that the Prince and Princess should be compared.
One nymph said: 'Let's take the Prince there.'
Another said: 'let's bring the Princess here.'
A third pointed out that these things coming and goings
would take up the entire night.
So, they cast the Prince into a charmed sleep,
and lifted his bed up into the air.
They took him to her as she lay happily asleep, the light
of the triple world.
His bed they placed next to hers, to see side by side their
beautiful bodies.


71.
Words cannot describe the sight before them:
shamed, the sun hid in the daytime,
and the moon hid herself by night.
In the face of such astonishing beauty
the mymphs were struck dumb, over come by shame.
Looking at the one, they saw such loveliness!
But when they glanced at the other,
they found beauty beyond compare.
Both were perfect and complete in beauty.
Neither was less lovely than the other.
The Prince was fair without blemish,
while the face of that most alluring maiden
displayed all sixteen attributes of beauty.
The more the nymphs compared them, the lovelier
they appeared.
God had made them perfectly, matchless in the triple world.

(Mir Sayyid Manjhan Shattari Rajgiri - 'Madhumalati an Indian Sufi romance' - Aditya Behl & Simon Weightman & Shyam Manohar Pandey)



*sweet sleep: acoded reference to the seeker's falling asleep to the world and into a state of readiness for spiritual awakening. The nymphs, as we will see, take him to have a transformative vision of a beautiful divine heroine.
Saurastra and Gujarat...Isle of Singhala: Saurastra and Gujarat are western provinces of India, and the Isle of Singhala refers to a half-mythical island in the eastern sea, somewhere beyond Lanka.
the city of Maharas: the city of Maharas ('the great rasa'), the home of Madhumalati, singnifies simultaneously the abode of divinity and the mystical state which is the ultimate goal of the seeker. The use of the term rasa indicates the conjunction of aesthetic pleasure and religious meaning which informs the poetics of the premakhyan.
both were perfect in beauty: the word used for beauty, rupa, lit. 'form', indicates the Shattari distinction of their discussions of the boddy between form/appearance (surat) and its underlying reality (haqiqat). As we shall see in the description of Madhumalati's form, the manifestation (tajalli)of her divine beauty before Manohar is described in terms which refer simultaneously to her body and to a Shattari theology of divine self-disclosure.
to look upon them... in the state of mystical union: the equivalence which is her drawn between the union of Manohar and Madhumalati and the ultimate goal of mytical practice, between the path of asceticism and the vision of the divine beauty, is fundamental to the narrative grammar of the premakhyans. These two paths both converge in the taste of love's savour (prema-rasa, lazzat-i 'ishq), the central aesthetic/religious value of the text.
He is the sun and she the moon. She is the sun and he the moon: the paradoxical unity of being between the two lovers is the mytical secret to which the romance refers through its poetics of suggestion.
And I see rays of lightning darting from that divine love to the creature, so intense and fiery as to annihilate not the body alone but, were it possible, the soul. These rays purify and then annihilate. The soul becomes like gold that becomes purer as it is fired, all dross being cast out. This is the effect of fire on material things; but in this purification, what is obliterated and cast out is not the soul, one with God, but the lesser self. Having come to the point of twenty-four carats, gold cannot be purified any further; and this is what happens to the soul in the fire of God's love.

(Saint Catherine of Genoa 1447 - 1510)

The Cure is the Pain 

One day your heart
will take you to your lover.
One day your soul
will carry you to the Beloved.
Don't get lost in your pain,
know that one day
your pain will become your cure

(Rumi - 'Hidden Music' - Maryam Mafi & Azima Melita Kolin)
I have come to drag you out of your self
and take you in my heart.
I have come to bring out the beauty
you never knew you had
and lift you like a prayer to the sky.
If no one can recognize you, I do
becasue you are my life and soul.
Don't run away, accept your wounds and
let bravery be your shield.
It takes a thousand stages
for the perfect being to evolve.
Every step of the way I will walk with you
and never leave you stranded.
Be patient, do not open the lid too soon
simmer away until you are ready.
In this game I make the rules.
I roll you like a ball and chase you
when I choose.

(Rumi - 'Hidden Music' - Maryam Mafi & Azima Melita Kolin)
Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat.
My shoulder is against yours.
You will not find me in stupas, not in Indian shrine rooms,
not in synagogues, nor in cathedrals:
not in masses, not kirtans, not in legs winding around your own
neck, nor in eating nothing but vegetables.
When you really look for me, you will see me instantly -
you will find me in the tiniest house of time.
Kabir says: Student, tell me, what is God?
He is the breath inside the breath..

(Kabir)

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

I have loved Thee with two loves -
a selfish love and a love that is worthy of Thee.
As for the love which is selfish,
Therein I occupy myself with Thee,
to the exclusion of all others.
But in the love with is worthy of Thee,
Thou dost raise the veil that I may see Thee.
Yet is the praise not mine in this or that,
But the praise is to Thee in both that and this.

(Rabi`a al `adawiyya)

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