Friday, 29 June 2012

If once in this world I win a moment with Rumi

If once in this world 
I win a moment with you, 

both worlds I'd trample 
under a dance of triumph. 

Oh, Beloved,
in this world I'm so drunk

now only stories of drunkenness
and revelry pass my lips.

~ Rumi
From Breathing Truth Quotations from Jalaluddin Rumi
Muriel Maufroy, ( 1997)

What makes the Sufi ? Rumi

What makes the Sufi ?
Purity of heart;

Not the patched mantle and the lust perverse
Of those vile earth-bound men who steal his name.

He in all dregs discerns the essence pure:
In hardship ease, in tribulation joy.

The phantom sentries, who with batons drawn
Guard Beauty's palace-gate and curtained bower,

Give way before him, unafraid he passes,
And showing the King's arrow, enters in.

~ Rumi
Translated by R. A. Nicholson
'Persian Poems' an Anthology of verse
translations edited by A.J.Arberry,
Everyman's Library, 1972

O lovers! O lovers! I have lost my Rumi

O lovers! O lovers! 
I have lost my cup!

I have tasted the wine that does not fit into cups.
I am drunk with the wine of Love , inform the prosecutor

I have brought him and you some of that wine to taste!
I have brought him and you some of that wine to taste!

O king of the truthful!
have you ever seen and impostor like me?

With your lively servants I am alive,
With the dead ones I am dead!

With heart-ravishing beauties, beauties,
I am in bloom like a flower bush

With cold-hearted deniers
I am dispassionate like the autumn.

~ Rumi
Divan 1371:1-4
Translated by Fatemeh Keshavarz,
'Reading Mystical Lyric: The Case of Jalal al-Din Rumi',
University of South Carolina Press, 1998

No Place to Rumi

When I set out, he is my goal. 
When I look in my heart, he is its ravisher. 
When I seek justice, he is the judge. 
When I go to war, he is my weapon. 

When I join the celebration, 
He is the wine and the sweetmeats. 
When I enter the garden, 
He is the narcissus in bloom. 

When I go into a mine,
He is the ruby and carnelian.
When I dive into the ocean,
He is the pearl at the bottom.

When I cross the desert,
He is the watering hole.
When I rise to the spheres,
He is the brightest star.

When I show my courage,
He is the shield.
When I burn from heartache,
He is the incense holder.

When I fight a battle,
He is the commander-in-chief.
When I enter the banquet hall,
He is the saaqi, the minstrel, and the cup.

When I write to my friends,
He is the pen and the paper.
When I need a rhyme for a poem,
He gives me the right clue.

When I awake
He is my pure awareness.
When I go to sleep
He is the one who plays in my dreams.

Whatever picture you paint
or poem you write
he is beyond that.
Whatever height you can reach,
he is higher than your "highest."

Get rid of your talking and your books
it is far better
to let Him be your book.

See his light fill the heavens.
And when you pass beyond the heavens
you'll find him hiding there.

O Wondrous Light of Love
Where will you hide ?
The brilliance ofyour Sun,
will always give you away.

~ Rumi
Version by Jonathan Star
"Rumi - In the Arms of the Beloved"
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, New York 1997
Art by Greg Spalenka

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Keep singing. ~ Rumi

The birds have 
flown to freedom, 

The cage 
lies empty. 

Your happy songs
bring to me
the scent of heaven.

keep singing.

~ Rumi
Translation by Azima Melita Kolin
and Maryam Mafi
Rumi: Whispers of the Beloved
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 1999

The journey that leads to the Beloved Is guided by His Love. ~ Sheikha Maryam Kabeer Faye

On the road that leads to the Beloved
Every stone is made of gold.
Every step we take brings knowledge to us.

Even what appears to be a mistake, or an error,
Can bring us closer to purity and truth.
Every good intention, thought and action
Guides the soul toward the Goal.

Every true word that is heard,
Every understanding received,
Every challenge met,

Every station, by his Grace, attained
Leads the traveler
Through the labyrinth
Of steps and tests

Surely, to the One
Who has left, at every turn in the Road,
Signs of His Existence,
Clear signs showing the Way
That lead to Him.

Not only do our successes show us the way,
But even more deeply, our apparent failures

Those moments in our journey
When we are most deeply humbled
And realize our limitations,

Realizing that every step we take
Is not due to our own power and will,
But occurs by the Grace of God.

The journey that leads to the Beloved
Is guided by His Love.

~ Sheikha Maryam Kabeer Faye
From Journey Through Ten Thousand Veils,
by Sheikha Maryam Kabeer Faye
Art by Arlissa Vaughn

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


Love is the One who masters all things; 
I am mastered totally by Love. 

By my passion of love for Love 
I have ground sweet as sugar. 

O furious Wind, I am only a straw before you;
How could I know where I will be blown next ?

Whoever claims to have made a pact with Destiny
Reveals himself a liar and a fool;

What is any of us but a straw in a storm ?
How could anyone make a pact with a hurricane ?

God is working everywhere his massive Resurrection;
How can we pretend to act on our own ?

In the hand of Love I am like a cat in a sack;
Sometimes Love hoists me into the air,
Sometimes Love flings me into the air,

Love swings me round and round His head;
I have no peace, in this world or any other.

The lovers of God have fallen in a furious river;
They have surrendered themselves to Love's commands.

Like mill wheels they turn, day and night, day and night,
Constantly turning and turning, and crying out.

~ Rumi
Trans by Andrew Harvey
Art by Hayrettin Karaerkek

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

All My Youth Rumi

You are the comfort of my soul
in the season of sorrow.
You are the wealth of my spirit
in the heartbreak of loss.

The unimaginable,
The unknowable
that is what you give my soul
when it moves in your direction.

By your grace
my eyes have looked upon eternity.
O Beloved, how could this crumbling empire
ever take me from you?

The voice that sings your name
is sweeter than midnight sleep
more graceful than the song of a royal poet.

When deep in prayer
my faith is bound by the thought of you,
not the seven verses of faith.

You greet sinners with mercy,
You melt stone hearts with love.

If I were offered a kingdom,
And the world's riches were placed at my feet,
I would bow with my face low and say,
"This does not compare to His love!"

Union is the pure wine.
My life is the cup.
Without your wine
what use is this cup?

I once had a thousand desires,
But in my one desire to know you
all else melted away.

The pure essence of your being
has taken over my heart and soul.
Now there is no second or third,
only the sound of your sweet cry.

Through your grace I have found
a treasure within myself.
I have found the truth of the Unseen world.

I have come upon the eternal ecstasy.
I have gone beyond the ravages of time.
I have become one with you!

Now my heart sings,
"I am the soul of the world."

From my first breath I have longed for You
This longing has become my life.
This longing has seen me grow old. . . .

But one mention of Beloved
and all my youth comes back to me.

~ Rumi
(All My Youth Returns)
Version by Jonathan Star
"Rumi - In the Arms of the Beloved"
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, New York 1997

When the heart becomes Rumi

When the heart becomes whole, 
it will know the flavors of falsehood and truth. 

When Adam's greed for the forbidden fruit increased, 
it robbed his heart of health. 

Discernment flies
from one who is drunken with desire.

He who puts down that cup
lightens the inner eye,
and the secret is revealed.

~ Rumi
Mathnawi II: 2738-2743
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Daylight"
Threshold Books, 1994

Drowsy, awake to Rumi

Drowsy, awake to everything, 
out of myself, inside you, 
the work of your wine vat 
where the grapes are invisible. 

All one sees is stained 
feet tromping about, making a juice
different from ordinary grapes.
This wine gives no hangover.

But don't condemn yourself
for living in left over stupor.
Someone built and set
the hangover trap
you find yourself in!

It's the bottom of Joseph's pit,
where he becomes medicine,
a clean tent,
a field of stubble and shine.

Shams is winter daylight.
I more resemble
the long night coming after.

~ Rumi
Ghazal (Ode) 1457
Version by Coleman Barks, with Nevit Ergin
"The Glance"
Viking-Penguin, 1999

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Dolls That Pull the Stuffing Out of Each Rumi

You that give nourishment 
and steadiness and freedom, 
give the bent soul strength 
to stand up straight 
in the work it knows it's here to do. 

Give us patience and generosity and clarity
to see through the images that appear.

There is a coarse desire that wants world-power;
there are armies that kill their own relatives;
and there is the bitter pleasure of dolls
that pull the stuffing out of each other.

Read the passionate love stories again.
Notice how everyone perishes in what is not love.

Love is when the holy nothingness loves itself.
Jealousies come as kindness turns cruel.

If there were no legal punishment,
no threat of prison,
people would shred their enemies,
the so-called lovers.

Envy connects deeply
with the old ambition of fallen angels,
who do exist, and they have human helpers
who try to destroy anyone
who has loved and received wisdom from a teacher.

~ Rumi 

(Dolls That Pull the Stuffing Out of Each Other) 
Mathnawi V: 11
Version by Coleman Barks
"The Soul of Rumi"
HarperSanFrancisco, 2001
art  Element 9 Graphic Design


For I have learned that every heart will get what it prays for most. ~ Hafiz

I pull a sun from my coin purse each day.
And at night I let my pet the moon
run freely into the sky meadow.

If I whistled,
she would turn her head and look at me.
If I then waved my arms,
she would come back wagging a marvelous tail
of stars.

There are always a few men like me
in this world
who are house-sitting for Beloved.

We share His royal duties:
I water each day a favorite potted plant
of His--
this earth.

Ask the Friend for love.
Ask Him again.

For I have learned that every heart will get
what it prays for

~ Hafiz
(A potted plant)
taken from Hafiz's
"The Subject Tonight Is Love"
translated by Daniel Ladinsky

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Gold shines always brighter from the wounds inflicted by the Rumi

At every instant 
the heart hears this call from the blazing sun: 
"Renounce the torch of the earth 
and gain the torch of beyond."

Since you are serving the Beloved, why hide?
Gold shines always brighter
from the wounds inflicted by the goldsmith.

Overwhelmed by the eternal Wine,
The heart was reciting joyfully:
"The wine may tear my life away,
it will give me another life."

~ Rumi
Ode (Ghazal) 538
"Breathing Truth - Quotations from Jalaluddin Rumi"
Selected and Translated by Muriel Maufroy
Sanyar Press - London, 1997

PHOTO: By Mezghan Zikria 

Saturday, 16 June 2012

If you stay awake for an entire Rumi

If you stay awake 
for an entire night 
watch out for a treasure 
trying to arrive 

You can keep warm 
by the secret sun of the night
keeping your eyes open
for the softness of dawn

Try it for tonight
challenge your sleepy eyes
do not lay your head down
wait for heavenly alms

Night is the bringer of gifts
Moses went on a ten-year journey
during a single night
invited by a tree
to watch the fire and light

Mohammed too made his passage
during that holy night
when he heard the glorious voice
when he ascended to the sky

day is to make a living
night is only for love
commoners sleep fast
lovers whisper to God all night

All night long
a voice calls upon you
to wake up
in the precious hours

If you miss your chance now
when your body is left behind
your soul will lament
death is a life of no return

~ Rumi
Ghazal (Ode) 258
Translation by Nader Khalili
"Rumi, Fountain of Fire"
Cal-Earth Press, 1994

Why is there always music in this house ? Rumi

Why is there always music in this house ?
Ask the owner.

Idols inside the Kaaba?
God's light in a pagan temple?

Here is a treasure this world could not contain.
The house and its landlord
are all pretext and play.

Hands off this house, this talisman.
Don't argue with the landlord;
he's drunk every night.

The dirt and garbage are musk and rose.
The roof and door are music and verse.

In short, whoever finds this house,
is ruler of the world, Solomon of his time.

Look down, Lord, from the roof;
bless us with your glance.

I swear, since seeing Your face,
the whole world is a fraud and fantasy.

The garden is bewildered
as to what is leaf or blossom.

The distracted birds can't distinguish
the birdseed from the snare.

A house of love with no limits,
a presence more beautiful than venus or the moon,
a beauty whose image fills the mirror of the heart.

Zulaikha's female friends,
beside themselves in Joseph's presence,
sliced their wrists.
Maybe a curl of his hair brushed their hearts.

Come in.
The Beloved is here. We are all drunk.
No one notices who enters or leaves.
Don't sit outside the door in the dark, wondering.

Those drunk with God,
even if they are a thousand, live as One.
But drunk with lust, even one is double.

Enter the thicket of lions unafraid of any wounds.
The shadows you fear are just a child's fantasy.

There is no wound and nothing to be wounded;
all is mercy and love.

But you build up thought
like a massive wooden door.
Set fire to the wood.

Silence the noise of the heart.
Hold your harmful tongue.

~ Rumi
Version by Kabir Helminski
Love is a Stranger
Threshold Books, 1993

Friday, 15 June 2012

This is the time of the opening of the ROSE. ~Rumi

There comes a holy
and transparent time

When every touch
of beauty
opens the heart
to tears.

This is the time
the Beloved of heaven
is brought tenderly on earth.

This is the time
of the opening
of the ROSE.


To be a Rumi

To be a Sufi, 
forget the past, 
put it all away;

Turn a brand new page, 
rescue your being from yesterday;

Become a child of the present age,
of youth, of wisdom,

Never leave this bountiful moment,
this eternal day

~ Rumi

A Rumi

You that give new life to this planet,
you that transcend logic, come.

I am only an arrow.
Fill your bow with me and let fly.

Because of this love for you,
my bowl has fallen from the roof.
Put down a ladder and collect the pieces.

People ask, Which roof is your roof?
I answer, Wherever the soul came from
and wherever it goes back to at night,
my roof is in that direction.

From wherever spring arrives
to heal the ground,
from wherever searching rises
in a human being.

The looking itself is a trace
of what we are looking for.

But we have been more like the man
who sat on his donkey
and asked the donkey where to go.

Be quiet now and wait.
It may be the ocean one,
the one we want so to move into and become,
it may be that one wants us out here
on land a little longer
going our sundry roads to the shore.

~ Rumi
(A Trace)
From Rumi: Bridge to the Soul:
Journeys into the Music and Silence of the Heart
by Coleman Barks

Love is the water of eternal Rumi

Love is the water of eternal life, 
cures every woe;

Gardens where lovers re-unite 
drive away all sorrow

They say there is a window
that opens from heart to heart;

If there are no walls,
there is no need for any window

~ Rumi

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Rumi's 7 advices

Rumi's  7 advices
In generosity and helping others

In compassion and grace

In concealing others’ faults

In anger and fury

In modesty and humility

In tolerance

~ Rumi 

Human beings are members of a Saadi

Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.

If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.

If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you cannot retain.

~ Saadi
(A poem by the Persian poet Sa’adi (1210 – 1290)
gracing the entrance of the Hall of Nations of the
United Nations building in New York City)


Tell me, O Rumi

Tell me, O Love, 
Who is more elegant, 
You or this vast garden of yours? 

Shine, O moon, 
You are an inspiration 
to all who look upon the night sky.

Sour will turn to sweet,
Blasphemy will turn to truth,
Thorn bushes will turn to jonquil,
A hundred bodies will spring to life
with one breath of yours.

You place doors in the sky.
You place wings on the human heart.
You enchant every mind
and bewilder both worlds.

O Beloved,
your face is sweet and rosy red,
how rosy red.

O Beloved,
yours is the pleasure of this world
and the way to the next.

The threshed corn assumes your color;
All truth becomes one
under the stamping of your foot.
Every note of my song
longs to ring
with the sweetness of your voice.

Without you, the markets would be empty,
The gardens and the vineyards
would wash away in the rain.

You show trees how to sway in the wind.
You show wet branches how to weep.

The leaves and fruits get drunk
on your life-giving water.

If the vast gardens wished for one thing
During the eternal Spring
it would be for leaves, flying forever,
in this flower-wind of yours.

The lights of heaven and the moving planets
Think little of any star
that dares to shine
in this vast galaxy of yours.

O, what a promise you have made!
To serve joy instead of bread
to any soul who becomes a guest of yours. . . .

I went somewhere and I returned.
In a moment, as in a dream,
I was at the beginning and the end;
This elephant of a soul
saw the open plains of yours.

From all my plans I gained nothing.
In the end my heart broke its chains,
grabbed my soul,
and dragged it into your presence.
There I see no pettiness, no pain.
Every moment a new life enters,
born from the flowing compassion of yours.

O, the mountain looks small
beside your grandeur.
And the heart seems rude
beside your love . . .

You are holding every door wide open.
Doors in metal, in mountains, in stone!
Yet my heart crawls around like an ant
looking for its tiny hole.

I may sing till the end of time
Trying to describe your face
but I'll always sound mute.

How can a person talk straight
when he is in love?
How can a person walk straight
when he is drowning
in this wine-filled ocean of yours?

~ Rumi
Ghazal 2138
Version by Jonathan Star, based on a translation by
Shahram Shiva
"A Garden Beyond Paradise: The Mystical Poetry of Rumi"
Bantam Books, 1992

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

A call from the Rumi

A baby pigeon on the edge of the nest 
hears the call and begins his flight. 

How can the soul of the seeker not fly 
when a message arrives saying, 
"You have been trapped in life
like a bird with no wings,
in a cage with no doors or windows
come, come back to me!"

How can the soul not rip open its coverings,
and soar to the sky.

What is the rope that pulls the soul from above?
What is the secret that opens the door?

The key is the flutter of the heart's wings
and its endless longing.

When the door opens, walk on the path
where abundance awaits you,
where everything old becomes new
and never look back.

Drink from the hands of the wine bearer
and you will be blessed
even in this life.

~ Rumi 
(A call from the unseen )
Ghazal 791 

Translation by Azima Melita Kolin
and Maryam Mafi
Rumi: Hidden Music
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2001

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Dance, when you're broken Rumi

Dance, when you're broken open.
Dance, if you've torn the bandage off.

Dance in the middle of fighting.
Dance in your blood.
Dance, when you're perfectly free.

the dancers hear the tambourine inside them,
as a wave turns the foam on its very top, begin.

Maybe you don't hear that tambourine,
all the tree leaves clapping time.

Close the ears on your head
that listen mostly to lies
and cynical jokes.

There are other things to hear and see
dance, music and a brilliant city inside the soul.

~ Rumi

The Essential Rumi, 
translations by Coleman Barks with John Moyne 

Art by Richard Young

Monday, 11 June 2012


For Beloved's Rumi

Wherever the Eternal Command 
takes its course, 

Living and dying 
are one to Beloved's willing lovers. 

He lives for Beloved's sake,
not for riches;

He dies for Beloved's sake,
not from fear and pain.

His faith exists
for the sake of doing Beloved's will,

Not for the sake of Paradise
and its trees and streams.

His abandonment of infidelity
is also for Beloved's sake,
and not out of fear of the Fire.

~ Rumi
Mathnawi III:1909-1912
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996

journey to beloved

I carry your heart with E. E. CUMMINGS

I carry your heart with me
(i carry it in my heart)
I am never without it
(anywhere i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

I fear no fate
(for you are my fate,my sweet)
I want no world
(for beautiful you are my world,my true)

And it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
And this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart
(i carry it in my heart)


Saturday, 9 June 2012

The deliciousness of milk and honey 
is the reflection of the pure heart:

From that heart the sweetness 
of every sweet thing is derived.

The heart is the substance,
and the world the accident.

How should the heart’s shadow
be the object of the heart’s desire?

Is that pure heart the heart that is
enamored of riches or power,

or is submissive to this black earth
and water of the body,

or to vain fancies it worships in the darkness
for the sake of fame?

The heart is nothing
but the Sea of Light.

Is the heart the place of vision
of God–and then blind?

~ Rumi
Mathnavi III, 2265-9





Eyes of lovers

The spring of love arrives to transform the dust into a Rumi

The spring of love arrives
to transform the dust into a garden.
The call is heard from the heavens
to bid the wings of soul to fly.

The sea becomes filled with pearls.
The dry land receives the water of life.
The stone becomes a ruby,
and the body becomes all soul.

If the eyes and the soul of lovers
turn into clouds of rain,
within the cloud of the body,
their hearts flash like lightning.

Do you know why the eyes of the lovers
become cloudy with love?
The beauty of the moon
is greatest when it is veiled in the cloud.

How lovely it is
when those clouds begin to rain!
O God, how wonderful it is
when the lightning begins to laugh.

Out of hundreds of thousands of drops,
not a single divine drop falls to earth.
If a divine drop were to fall,
the whole world would be transformed.

The whole earth would change,
and those touched by love
would become shipmates with Noah
and be intimate with the ship.

If the storm remains still,
the universe would not be set in motion.
It is the mysterious flow
that moves the world in all directions.

O, you living in the world of six directions,
accept the gloom and accept the bliss,
for those seeds buried in the ground
will one day grow into fruitful orchards.

Every seed will sprout above the ground
and from that source, fresh stems will grow.
If a few branches wither and dry,
the rest will bear fruit.

What is withered will yield to fire,
and that flame ignites joy in the soul.
What is not this, will become this,
and what is not that, becomes that!

Something tells me to be silent,
meaning drunk on the edge of the roof.
Whatever bewilders you
is bewildered by the Beloved.

~ Rumi
Rumi: Divan of Shams
Poem no. 536
Rumi: Alchemy of Transformation
Art by Suresh Talore