Saturday, March 23, 2024

The Path Towards Realizing the Divine

Rumi's poem offers a rich and complex tapestry of themes and ideas, all woven together to illuminate the path towards realizing the Divine. Here's a step-by-step analysis of the key elements:

1. Awakening to Love and Longing:

The journey begins with an awakening to the pain of separation from our true source, the Divine. This longing, symbolized by the reed's lament, is not a negative feeling but a catalyst for spiritual growth. It motivates us to seek reunion with the Beloved and embark on the inward journey.

2. Cultivating Self-Control and Discipline:

Rumi emphasizes the importance of self-control and discipline as essential tools for traversing the spiritual path. He warns against the dangers of indiscipline, illustrating its consequences through stories of Moses and Jesus. By mastering our desires and impulses, we create the inner space necessary for Divine inspiration to enter.

3. Seeking Divine Guidance and Inspiration:

The king's dream guides him to the divine physician, representing the importance of seeking guidance from a true spiritual master. This master, acting as a conduit for Divine inspiration, can diagnose the ailments of the soul and prescribe the necessary remedies. Even when these remedies seem harsh, they ultimately serve to purify and refine the seeker.

4. Discerning Truth from Illusion:

Rumi cautions against mistaking appearances for reality. The vizier, despite his outward piety, is ultimately revealed as a deceiver motivated by envy and self-interest. This highlights the importance of spiritual discernment, the ability to distinguish between genuine spiritual guidance and mere trickery or self-serving manipulation.

5. Balancing Trust and Action:

The debate between the lion and the beasts of chase explores the relationship between trust in God and personal exertion. While complete reliance on God is essential, Rumi also emphasizes the importance of actively engaging in good works and striving for spiritual growth. True faith inspires action and motivates us to fulfill our potential as human beings.

6. Recognizing the Divine in All:

Rumi points to the presence of the Divine in all creation. The wind, fire, water, and earth all obey God's commands and serve as instruments of His will. By contemplating these natural phenomena, we can begin to see the Divine reflected in everything around us.

7. Transcending the Limitations of the Material World:

The poem reminds us that the material world is ultimately a prison for the soul. True reality is spiritual and transcends the limitations of form and image. By detaching ourselves from worldly attachments and desires, we can begin to experience the infinite and eternal realm of spirit.

8. Seeking Union with the Beloved:

The ultimate goal of the spiritual journey is union with the Divine, the Beloved. This union is not a static state but a dynamic and ever-deepening relationship of love and devotion. By surrendering our ego and dissolving into the Divine, we achieve true liberation and fulfillment.

9. The Importance of Love and Compassion:

Throughout the poem, Rumi emphasizes the transformative power of love and compassion. Love for the Divine leads to love for all beings, dissolving the barriers of separation and uniting us in a web of interconnectedness. By cultivating love and compassion, we contribute to the healing and transformation of the world.

10. The Never-Ending Journey:

Rumi's poem concludes with an emphasis on the ongoing nature of the spiritual journey. There is always more to learn, more to experience, and more deeply to surrender to the Divine. The path to realization is not a linear one but a continuous cycle of ascent and descent, of seeking and finding, of losing ourselves and being found by the Beloved.

By following these steps, we can embark on the same path of love and devotion that Rumi describes, ultimately leading us to the realization of the Divine within ourselves and in all things.  

Sunday, October 8, 2023

I Seek


 Ghazal 1400: The beloved's presence, I seek

Original Persian.

I hasten, I hasten, to catch up with you, the riders I seek. 

I dissolve into nothing, to arrive at the beloved's presence, I seek.

I become joyful, a fragment of fire

burn this house down, to reach the open, fields that I seek.

I become dust, I become earth, I prostrate like water 

So I can arrive, at the field of roses, that I seek.

I fell from the sky, a trembling speck, to my journey's nexus. 

I’ll tremble no more, be safe and secure when I arrive at what I seek.

The sky was a place of honor, the earth a place of loss. 

I'll escape both dangers when I reach the Sovereign that I seek

That balanced King of the world seeks a balanced lover. 

My face has turned into a gold coin to reach the value on the scale I seek.

God's mercy is like water; it does not go except to what is low. 

I become humble and pitied so that I reach the Merciful I seek

No doctor administers pills or medicine without an ailment. 

So I become entirely pain so that I may reach the remedy I seek

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Sit with one who knows the heart

Rumi, Book of Shams,  Ghazal 563 

Sit, my Heart, with someone who truly knows about the heart, 
Sit beneath the shade of a tree that has fresh fruit and flowers, 

Don't wander aimless in this market of dubious sellers 
Only enter the store you know sells sweetness and sugar

Without a scale to weigh your purchase, soon, someone is bound to swindle you
They will color counterfeit coins an ornate yellow and you'll think it's gold

The deceivers will tell you, wait here by the door, I'll be right back 
Don't wait for them there, for that house has two doors

Don't go sit with any kitchen boiling stew, bowl in hand
For each boiling pot has something different brewing inside

Not every sea will have pearls and not every reed will be sweet
Not every eye has power to see; not every downside conceals an upside

دلا نزد کسی بنشین که او از دل خبر دارد به زیر آن درختی رو که او گل‌های تر دارد در این بازار عطاران مرو هر سو چو بی‌کاران به دکان کسی بنشین که در دکان شکر دارد ترازو گر نداری پس تو را زو رهزند هر کس یکی قلبی بیاراید تو پنداری که زر دارد تو را بر در نشاند او به طراری که می‌آید تو منشین منتظر بر در که آن خانه دو در دارد به هر دیگی که می‌جوشد میاور کاسه و منشین که هر دیگی که می‌جوشد درون چیزی دگر دارد نه هر کلکی شکر دارد نه هر زیری زبر دارد نه هر چشمی نظر دارد نه هر بحری گهر دارد بنال ای بلبل دستان ازیرا ناله مستان میان صخره و خارا اثر دارد اثر دارد بنه سر گر نمی‌گنجی که اندر چشمه سوزن اگر رشته نمی‌گنجد از آن باشد که سر دارد چراغست این دل بیدار به زیر دامنش می‌دار از این باد و هوا بگذر هوایش شور و شر دارد چو تو از باد بگذشتی مقیم چشمه‌ای گشتی حریف همدمی گشتی که آبی بر جگر دارد چو آبت بر جگر باشد درخت سبز را مانی که میوه نو دهد دایم درون دل سفر دارد

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Where are you?


Ghazal 206 - Divane Shams

You from whom all good flows , who are you, 

The flower at the door of the garden, 

Tell me where are you, where are you?

Lily of the Valley with a hundred tongues

Did not give me any sign that it  found you

Don’t go, don’t seek any thing from me but prayer, and exaltation!

A sweet mouth is fed from the palm of your hand

O Full Moon of the Garden.

Some don’t know about your palm, 

Even if they benefit from its green thumb, raising trees and plants.

If the pine grew tall how could it match your height?

Flower if it used its hundred eyes 

would not be able to see you.

If the bird sang a sermon or the flower flourished and opened

and the grass grew sharp, they 

still could not catch up and see you.

The drink of a flower comes from a cloud, 

the drink of the heart comes from patience

Clouds, the plant’s best friend and light is a friend to patience 

They are lined up everywhere, 

people, ghouls and demons

But in this tavern none of them can set foot.

Search for me in any direction and say anything you want

You won’t make a hair of progress 

until I reveal some direction

the surface of this water is warmed by the suns’ rays

Again its the sun alone that can raise 

it to to the height of the sky

Saturday, July 16, 2022

The Moon is my Master


The Moon is my Master - Ghazal 2219

Rumi, Translation Ali Arsanjani


I am a servant of the Moon, speak to me of nothing more 

In my presence speak of light, speak of sweetness – say no more


Don’t tell me about your problems, speak to me only of treasures

And don’t worry if they think, you’ve out of touch — say no more


Last night I went insane; love saw me and called out:

Don’t scream: I’m on my way, don’t wring your garments! Say no more


I said, my Beloved, this fear is for something else …

Love said: there is nothing else, any more — say no more


I will whisper secret words in your ear

Nod if you agree, only gesture, say no more


Along the way of the heart a beautiful, life-giving Moon appeared for me

Traveling the way of the heart is heart-warming – say no more


my heart “what kind of Moon are you ?” and it replied

This is unfathomable for you, move on and say no more


I asked in awe: “Is this the face of an Angel or of human”?

My Moonheart said “this is neither Angel or Man, say no more…”


Please tell me what it is, I am uprooted in confusion, I begged

He replied “you can be uprooted and confused, but say no more”


You who reside in this house of thoughts and images

Get up and leave, take all your belongings, say no more


I begged:  show me Fatherly kindness; how I expect Divinity to treat me!

He replied, “my dear son, you are right, but say no more!”

Sunday, July 3, 2022

The Secret of the Outward Face


Ghazal 63 from Rumi's Divan -- The Book of Shams

What is It whose reflection creates sweetness of the face?
When It hides, as if a demon had give birth to that face?

If it even shines on the surface, the world will come together in love
And if it hides, you will only see sadness; not a happy face

[غزل شمارهٔ ۶۳]

چه چیزست آنک عکس او حلاوت داد صورت را
چو آن پنهان شود گویی که دیوی زاد صورت را
چو بر صورت زند یک دم ز عشق آید جهان برهم
چو پنهان شد درآید غم نبینی شاد صورت را
اگر آن خود همین جانست چرا بعضی گران جانست
بسی جانی که چون آتش دهد بر باد صورت را
وگر عقلست آن پرفن چرا عقلی بود دشمن
که مکر عقل بد در تن کند بنیاد صورت را
چه داند عقل کژخوانش مپرس از وی مرنجانش
همان لطف و همان دانش کند استاد صورت را
زهی لطف و زهی نوری زهی حاضر زهی دوری
چنین پیدا و مستوری کند منقاد صورت را
جهانی را کشان کرده بدن‌هاشان چو جان کرده
برای امتحان کرده ز عشق استاد صورت را
چو با تبریز گردیدم ز شمس الدین بپرسیدم
از آن سری کز او دیدم همه ایجاد صورت را

Saturday, March 19, 2022

We Rise Again

 Again we Rise


[Rumi's Ghazal 1674]

We are from above and upward we go ! Again We rise!

We are from the ocean and in waves we go! Again We rise!

We are the ark, vessel of Noah in the storm of the soul

without these hands or feet from earth, again we rise!

out of our Self like a wave we emerge, we rise

we see ourselves from deep within and again we rise!

like a needle we thread the narrow way of Truth

We weave through lies with a single thread and again we rise!

to travelers say,  while on the way, remember your home,

That way we know, why we continue to go, and again we rise!

If you have ever sung "we return to the One"

you will know, how far we can go, for again we rise!

Our constellation doesn’t go around the moon

We fly through space so close to Venus and again we rise!  

Nothing deters our determined minds 

from the great to the greatest, again We rise!

in our silos of wheat get rid of these mice

your blindness won’t see, how clearly, we rise!

A moment of silence before we depart, 

this chivalry, you don’t need to follow, for again we rise!

on our way to a mythical place where the Phoenix hides

Don’t block the way to the magical bird in this mountain pass 

Who are you to block our way to where the Simorgh lies

from above we are and upward we go ! and Again We rise!