|I wish, O Dear One,|
That you were also a lover, like me.
You spend all your days with that craziness
And all your nights crying.
I wish the image of the beloved
Wouldn't go away for even one moment.
Two hundred glories would reach
Both eyes from that.
Eyes would have hundreds of
Points of brilliance from that light.
I wish you would give up friends and family
Stay out of both worlds.
And say, "I slipped out of myself and surrendered to you,"
When I talk, or try to be with people,
I am like water, they are like oil.
I am with them outside, but inside
I am separated from them.
I wish you would give up fancies and desires;
Become crazy, insane, be chained.
But, not the type of craziness
Caused by changes in your blood
Or personality problems that are
Treated by a doctor.
If doctors should ever taste this trouble,
They would be free from their boundaries;
Tear up their books.
Give up all this.
Search for the source of sugar.
Find the mine of sugar.
Get out of yourself.
Melt in the sugar
Like milk dissolves and disappears
In the grain.
|Everyone baked by the divine Sun |
will become rock solid:
without dread or shame,
his features fiery and veil-rending,
like the face of the peerless Sun.
Every prophet was hard-faced in this world,
and beat single-handed against the army of kings,
and did not turn his face from fear or pain,
but single and alone
dashed against a whole world.
The stone is hard-faced and bold-eyed,
unafraid of the bricks thrown by the world.
For the bricks were made strong in the kiln,
but the rock was hardened by a Godly art.
Mathnawi III: 4139-4144
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996
Art by George Atherton
|How many drops of tears have you shed really|
that you can claim to be His Lover?
Without crossing over the thorny path
that makes your feet bleed,
how can you reach at the Divine Threshold?
How many sleepless solitary nights have you spent
dreaming the Paradisal state of His Presence?
What unbearable pain have you endured
that you can claim your right to be joyful?
Amidst thousand earthly chores of yours
have you had the time to listen to the unuttered words of His?
Why then you're lamenting today,
remorsefully building what history with the bygone days?
What happiness have you truly sacrificed
that you're now worthy of attaining His ocean of bliss?
~ Pulok Benarjee
Ko Fota Chokher Jol Felecho Je Tumi Bhalobashbe?
a Spiritual Translation
Art by Toni Thorne
|In the morning I cast my net into the sea.|
I dragged up from the dark abyss things
of strange aspect and strange beauty
some shone like a smile, some glistened like
tears, and some were flushed like the cheeks of a bride.
When with the day's burden I went home,
my love was sitting in the garden
idly tearing the leaves of a flower.
I hesitated for a moment,
and then placed at her feet all that I
had dragged up, and stood silent.
She glanced at them and said,
"What strange things are these?
I know not of what use they are!"
I bowed my head in shame and thought,
"I have not fought for these,
I did not buy them in the market;
they are not fit gifts for her."
Then the whole night through
I flung them one by one into the street.
In the morning travelers came;
they picked them up
and carried them into far countries.
~ Rabindranath Tagore
From The Gardener
|Every prisoner, I freed. |
Every lover's soul, I made happy.
The mouth of the dragon – I tore it open.
The path of love – I made it smooth.
Out of water I weaved the world.
Then I filled it with the power of life.
Out of water I brought forth living images
that cannot be carved from ivory or box wood.
Water bursts forth, surging
with the ecstasy of creation
That is its nature,
That is its addiction.
I pulled Joseph out of a well,
And summoned the whole world
to remember his name.
I am the King
who enjoys the sight of every Queen.
I am the shining hero
who cut through a mountain of stone
for the sake of love.
I have caused great gardens to bloom;
I have built great empires.
The universe is my witness
I am a King who gives away land
and rules with perfect justice.
I am merely a guest, born in this world
to know the secrets
that lie beyond it.
What masters I have checkmated!
What novices I have turned to masters!
Many lions have roared at me,
Yet like a fox,
I tamed them and made them helpless.
Enough with your doubts!
Enough with your sorrows!
Let them all go,
and I will show you the way.
Everyone swept up by the storm of misery
Will be brought to solid ground
all they must do is call out to me.
I'll bring them from the center of the whirlwind
Just as I brought this whole creation
out of Emptiness . . .
Now my master has bade me to keep silent
He has struck me with his sword
and turned my tongue to steel.
Now all I can do is cut.
(THE SHINING HERO )
Poetic translation by Jonathan Star
"A Garden Beyond Paradise: The Mystical Poetry of Rumi"
Bantam Books, 1992
|Don't sit |
with a sad person,
Only sit with those
who are sweet and kind-hearted.
When you've entered a beautiful garden
Why spend your time with the weeds ?
Stay with the jasmine
and the jonquil.
Version by Jonathan Star and Shahram Shiva
A Garden Beyond Paradise
Bantam Books, 1992
Art by Roger Harris
|Obstinate are the trammels, |
but my heart aches
when I try to break them.
Freedom is all I want, but
to hope for it I feel ashamed.
I am certain
that priceless wealth is in thee,
and that thou art my best friend,
but I have not the heart to sweep away
the tinsel that fills my room.
The shroud that covers me
is a shroud of dust and death;
I hate it, yet hug it in love.
~ Rabindranath Tagore
Art by Jaeda DeWalt
|It speaks to me in the silence of this one|
then through the words of that one speaking;
It whispers to me through an eyebrow raised
and the message of an eye winking.
And do you know
what words it breathes into my ear?
"I am Love: in heaven and earth I have no place;
I am the Wondrous Phoenix whose spoor cannot be traced.
With eyebrow-bow and arrow-winks I hunt
both worlds -- and yet my weapons cannot be found.
Like the sun I brighten each atom's cheek;
I cannot be pinpointed: I am too manifest.
I speak with every tongue, listen with all ears,
but marvel at this: My ears and tongue are erased.
Since in all the world only I exist
above and below, no likeness of me can be found."
~ Fakhruddin Iraqi
(It speaks to me in the silence of this one)
From Fakhruddin Iraqi: Divine Flashes (Classics of Western Spirituality) , Translated by William Chittick &Nasr Seyyed Hossein