Monday, 30 September 2013

The Song of the Reed Rumi

Mawlana Jalal-ad-Din Muhammad Rumi was born on 
September 30, 1207 

Listen to the song of the reed, 
How it wails with the pain of separation: 

"Ever since I was taken from my reed bed
My woeful song has caused men and women to weep.

I seek out those whose hearts are torn by separation
For only they understand the pain of this longing.

Whoever is taken away from his homeland
Yearns for the day he will return.

In every gathering, among those who are happy or sad,
I cry with the same lament.

Everyone hears according to his own understanding,
None has searched for the secrets within me.

My secret is found in my lament
But an eye or ear without light cannot know it . . ."

The sound of the reed comes from fire, not wind
What use is one's life without this fire?

It is the fire of love that brings music to the reed.
It is the ferment of love that gives taste to the wine.

The song of the reed soothes the pain of lost love.
Its melody sweeps the veils from the heart.

Can there be a poison so bitter or a sugar so sweet
As the song of the reed?

To hear the song of the reed
everything you have ever known must be left behind.

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

Friday, 27 September 2013

How can a wave not come to the Belle Heywood

It doesn't matter how many tongues i use,
or what kind.
if your heart
is on a pedastool
far away

It doesn't matter what
truth i bring forth
if it only sounds
like more words.
and only words.

Meetings can never be forced.

so very rare in this world.

And yet,
the words
will arrive.

How can a wave
not come to the shore?

Belle Heywood

Thursday, 26 September 2013

I was the doorkeeper at the gate of my Rumi

All friends have vanished. 
Like fleeting thoughts they scattered 
and left me only with the thought 
of my Beloved. 

Now alone with every breath 
I call the only Friend of the forsaken.

I was taken by the stream of love
I tasted the fruit of love's tree,

surrounded with
such tenderness, such sweetness
I even had to chase the wasps away!

I was the doorkeeper
at the gate of my Beloved.

She left, and now, bewildered
I don't know which way to turn.

~ Rumi
(The Only Friend )
Ghazal 1596
Translation by Azima Melita Kolin
and Maryam Mafi
"Rumi: Hidden Music"
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2001
Art by 
 Laura Majcan

I've seen no joy without You in both Rumi

I've seen no joy without You 
in both worlds,
I've seen their wonders 
nothing was like You.

I've put the soul's ear 
at the window "Heart"
I've heard some words
but never seen the lips!

You've lavished grace abundant
on Your this lover
I've seen no reason
but Your endless grace.

O My Beloved , dearer than my eyes,
I have Not seen one like You
in Iran, Iraq or whole World .

Pour out such wine
that I may leave myself
I've only seen fatigue in my existence.

You're milk and You are sugar,
sun and moon
I've seen no family like You,
my Beloved !

O endless Love, Divine manifestation
I've seen no name thats worthy of You,
your love ,o beloved helper.

I am like iron scrap
Your love: the magnet.
You, without seeking,
are the source of seeking!

~ Rumi
Ghazal (Ode) N32 (in the Nicholson numbering system; number 1690 in the more commonly used Furuzanfar numbering system)
Translation by Annemarie Schimmel
"Look! This is Love - Poems of Rumi""
Shambhala, 1991

Monday, 23 September 2013

All your talk is worthless When compared to one whisper of the Beloved. ~ Rumi

Lovers share a sacred decree 
to seek the Beloved.
They roll head over heels,
rushing toward the Beautiful One
like a torrent of water.

In truth, everyone is a shadow of the Beloved
Our seeking is His seeking,
Our words are His words.

At times we flow toward the Beloved
like a dancing stream.
At times we are still water
held in His pitcher.
At times we boil in a pot
turning to vapor -
that is the job of the Beloved.

He breathes into my ear
until my soul
takes on His fragrance.
He is the soul of my soul
How can I escape?
But why would any soul in this world
want to escape from the Beloved?

He will melt your pride
making you thin as a strand of hair,
Yet do not trade, even for both worlds,
One strand of His hair.

We search for Him here and there
while looking right at Him.
Sitting by His side we ask,
“O Beloved, where is the Beloved?”

Enough with such questions!
Let silence take you to the core of life.

All your talk is worthless
When compared to one whisper
of the Beloved.

~ Rumi

I wish I knew what you Rumi

I wish I knew what you wanted. 
You block the road and won't give me rest. 

You pull my lead-rope one way, then the other. 
You act cold, my darling! 
Do you hear what I say? 

Will this night of talking ever end ?
Why am I still embarrassed and timid
about you? You are thousands.
You are one.
Quiet, but most articulate.

Your name is Spring.
Your name is wine.
Your name is the nausea
that comes from wine!

You are my doubting
and the lightpoints
in my eyes.

You are every image, and yet
I'm homesick for you.

Can I get there?
Where the deer pounces on the lion,
where the one I'm after's
after me ?

This drum and these words keep pounding !
Let them both smash through their coverings
into silence.

~ Rumi
Ghazal (Ode)1837,
from Rumi's "Diwan-e Shams"
("The Collection of Shams")
Version by Coleman Barks,
from a translation by A.J. Arberry
"Like This"
Maypop, 1990

Friday, 20 September 2013

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy. ~ Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

~ Max Ehrmann

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Laughed gleefully through blooming flowers by Sufi poet Hazrat Shah Niaz

Laughed gleefully through blooming flowers,
Crooned in nightingale’s melodious songs.

He took the forms of the candle and the moth,
And annihilated Himself in flames of His own.

At times claiming “I am the Truth”,
Witnessed his head raised on the Cross.

'O DEAR' He is beyond the bounds of `You’ and `Me’,
And yet I see Him in every `You’ and `Me’.

~ Sufi poet Hazrat Shah Niaz

The Sufi poet Hazrat Shah Niaz

I am needful lover, who needs you
I will take for granted very dearly
the sorrow of a beloved like you

You are the sun; my eye is alight with your beauty
if I giveup you , to whom I ll go

Everywhere I looked, I have seen the Friend
Revealing Itself at one place, hidden at others.

Somewhere as implicit, somewhere as explicit
Appearing sometime ephemeral, sometime perennial.

Everywhere I looked, I have seen the Friend
Rising and falling, playing hide and seek.

Somewhere He is the King adorning the throne
Somewhere seen as a beggar holding the bowl

Everywhere I looked, I have seen the Great Friend
Revealing itself at one place, hidden at others.

Somewhere He is the golden attire of my enchanting lady
Showing off the charms and seductive gestures

Playing hide and seek
I have seen the Great Friend, wheresoever I looked

Somewhere in the form of lover of Beloved
seen beating his chest and heart aflame

Everywhere I looked, I have seen the Friend
Revealing Itself at one place, hidden at others.
Everywhere I looked, I have seen the Great Friend.

~ Sufi poet Hazrat Shah Niaz
(The Friend)

Monday, 16 September 2013

The Mouse and the Rumi

A mouse caught hold of a camel’s leading –rope in his two forelegs 
and walked off with it, imitating the camel-drivers.

The camel went along, letting the mouse feel heroic.
"Enjoy yourself," he thought. "I have something to teach you, presently."

They came to the edge of a great river.
The mouse was dumbfounded.

"What are you waiting for?
Step forward into the river. You are my leader.
Don’t stop here."

"I’m afraid of being drowned."

The camel walked into the water.
"It’s only just above the knee."

"Your knee!
Your knee is a hundred times over my head!"

"Well, maybe you shouldn't be leading a camel.
Stay with those like yourself.
A mouse has nothing really to say to a camel."

"Would you help me get across?"

"Get up on my hump.
I am made to take hundreds like you across."

You are not a prophet,
but go humbly on the Way of the Prophets
and you can arrive where they are.

Don’t try to steer the boat.
Don’t open a shop by yourself.
Listen. Keep silent.

You are not God’s mouthpiece.
Try to be an ear,
and if you do speak, ask for explanations.

The source of your arrogance and anger is your lust
and the rootedness of that is in your habits.

Someone who makes a habit of eating clay gets mad
when you try to keep him from it.

Being a leader can also be a poisonous habit,
so that when someone questions your authority,
you think, "He’s trying to take over."
You may respond courteously, but inside you rage.

Always check your inner state
with the Lord of your Heart.

Copper doesn't know it’s copper,
until it’s changed to gold.

Your loving doesn't know its Majesty,
until it knows its helplessness.

~ Rumi
("The Mouse and the Camel")
Mathnawi: II, 3436-3474
Version by Coleman Barks
"This Longing"
Threshold Book, 1988