Wednesday, April 23, 2008

O You Lovers! (Ey Asheghan!)

Divane Shams -- Ode 1954

Eysh hatan noosh bada har zaman, ey asheghan!
Vaz shoma, kame shekar bad een jahan, ey asheghan!

May you always enjoy your pleasures : O You Lovers,
For it is from you that sweetness comes into this world : O You Lovers

The sweetness and bubbling of the Lovers reaches high heaven
This caravan has moved beyond the heavens and the earth : O You Lovers

What can I say from the shore of the sea for the sea of Life has no shore
It is way beyond space and no-space: O You Lovers

We are the example of waves, rising and prostrating
Until a sign is seen from the unseen : O You Lovers

If they ask you all: who you are ? O those who can’t keep your heads up
Go tell them we are the life of the life of the life : O You Lovers

The sea of Life is forgiving to those who cannot swim in its depths
For He gives away jewels for free : O You Lovers

Complaining “This happened and that happened “ puts people in a chest
We are free again from this way and that way: O You Lovers

“You thought you shot the arrow but we shot the arrow” comes from the unmanifest hunting ground
Sends bowless arrows flying: O You Lovers

When I was dismayed from searching in my heart, I came
And saw my beloved asleep with the Beloved : O You Lovers

I said to my heart: good choice and my heart laughed and said
The flower sits in the field of flowers: O You Lovers

Under my feet are flowers, under theirs is mud
When I march in the midst of the non believers : O You Lovers

Auspicious times it is when we, from the drunkenness of the beloved
Are also drunk and cannot tell the heavens from a thread: O You Lovers

This sea of love is in a delicate state of suspension
Not under, not over and not in between : O You Lovers

As soon as we saw the ray of Light of the Sun of Tabriz from the East
The earth and the heavens become pure absolute Life : O You Lovers

The Flute Sings

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Masnavi - first 12 lines

Session 1: The Masnavi: The Flute wails in LongingThe Masnavi (couplets) Maanavi (spiritual, inner) was almost fully the result of a gushing forth of Divine inspiration motivated by Love; coming from deep within Rumi's (Molana Jalaedin Mohammad Molavi) consciousness....

However, the first 12 lines were actually deliberately written by himself in response to a request to write a text book about the principles of mysticism that were yet applicable to practical life.

Here are the first four couplets for our discussion today.Heed the Reed, how it tells the tale,and complains of separationsThey cut me from the reedbed. Since then,men and women have wailed from my cryI need a heart separated [from its lover]only then can I recount the pain of Love (Enthusiasm for the Lover)Whosoever is kept of their sourceseeks, to return; a way of recourseCommentaryThe reed's sound has driven men and women to experience the same longign that the flute has since it was cut from the reed bed to become a flute.

This is reminiscent of humans being distant and separated from their/our origin and Source. Both the Dao De Jing and Bhagavad Gita speak about this eloquently: returning is the motion of the Dao.

Meaning it seeks recourse; to return to the source. In the Gita, Lord Krishna says that "He curves back on Himself and creates again and again." This curving back, returning, recourse to the Source is the goal and motivation of many seekers and is fundamental to the longing in humans of becoming one with the Lover; whether worldly (initially) or Divine.Later in the Masvani, in the Tale of the King and the Handmaiden, Rumi describes Love.

This is the first occurrence of the definition and discourse on Love. And it is beautiful. And we will get to it in due course.

The King Falls in Love with the Handmaiden

The Story of the King Falling in Love with a Handmaiden

A King went out of town on a hunting trip with his men. On his way he encountered a beautiful Handmaiden and fell in love with her. He wanted to own her so he could take her with him. He paid a huge sum and bought her. Back in the palace, it did not take long before she fell ill. The King called forth his most renowned physicians from all over his realm so they would cure his beloved.

Each physician claimed they would be able to cure her with their deep knowledge of medicine. They thus ignored the Power of God’s will, which transcends the mundane means of obtaining cures. So, try and they would they failed to cure the King’s beloved and she indeed got worse with every attempt to cure her.

When the King was disappointed from all the earthly ways of curing his beloved, he turned to the Divine. He engaged in sincere and wholehearted prayer. He was in the midst of prayer and confessing his weaknesses that he fell asleep.

He dreamt of a enlightened sage who said to him: “ Tomorrow we will send you a capable physician.”

Next day, the King found the physician he had been told. He took the new physician to his beloved’s bed. The physician started his diagnosis and found that the cause of her ailment is not related to the body, but the soul. He found she had the sickness of love.

Yes, the Handmaiden was in love with a young goldsmith from Samarghand. The King heeded the enlightened physician’s advice and sent messengers to Samarghand to bring the goldsmith to his court.

When they returned with the goldsmith, the King, as recommended by the enlightened physician, wed the goldsmith and the Handmaiden. They lived in happiness for six months. After this period, the physician was inspired by a divine message to give the goldsmith a potion that would decrease his physical appeal. The Handmaiden gradually lost interest in the Goldsmith as his physical appearance declined. This divine order to give the potion is comparable to the divine order given to Abraham to sacrifice Ishmael his son for the Lord.

These affairs are not as they seem on the surface and have deeply hidden secrets which are not easily known to mankind.

After the Handmaiden realized that the King loved her so dearly that he would facilitate the wedding his beloved to another if that made her happy. After that, the Handmaiden truly saw the King’s deep love and joined him in matrimony.

Prelude to the Masnavi - The Tale of the Flute

Masnavi Maanavi of Rumi, Lines 1-16, Translated on 4-22-2008
The Inner Couplets by Rumi

The Tale of the Flute

Listen to the flute; it has a tale to tell,
It complains of all separations,

Since I was torn from my reedbed,
Men and women have moaned from my cry

Give me someone torn in separation
So I can tell them of the pain of longing

Whoever is left far from their source
Will seek to regain their time of union
[Will seek to regain a way of recourse]

My secret is not far from my cry
Yet they haven’t that light, the ear and eye

Body from soul; soul from body are not hidden
People have no command of this inner vision

The air in the flute is really fire
Those without this fire; go expire!

Into the flute fell the fire of love,
The bubble of wine is the bubble of love

Those cut from their love should sit with the flute
And have its tales rend asunder their veils

Who has ever seen: as one, poison and antidote, as the flute?
Who has beheld a more eager friend, as the flute?

The flute sings of the way with tribulations
It tells us tales of insane love

The secret keeper of this mind is none other than no-mind
Did you know: the tongue’s best customer is the ear

In this sorrow of ours; the days go by
The days go by with burning longing

But as the days go by, utter “Begone! No fear!
Stay with me, who besides you, there is Pure."

[Gar rooz ha raftand, goo ro, baak nist!
To beman, ey anke joz to, pak nist!]