Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rumi in Brief

"Molana" Jalaledin Rumi (1207-1273) was born in Balkh, Persia and died in Konya; R.A. Nicholson declared him “the greatest mystical poet of any age.” His spiritual and literary influence is pervasive. He composed over 70,000 verses of spontaneous (!) poetry of divine love and ecstatic illumination. He was an orthodox, sober professor until he met a wandering Sage – Shams of Tabriz (Persia) and was transformed into an enraptured lover of God.

There is nothing outside the Self -- The self-sufficient Self

Arefan ra shamm o shahed nist az biroone khish
ode 1247 -- book of the Sun by Rumi
Session Oct 30,2009

In this session we have explored a very unique concept of Rumi's philosophy which is called self sufficiency of the sage. The sage or Aref is one who is self-sufficient. This self-sufficiency the dependency on the light of the candle to provide you with the ability to gain knowledge from an external source. It also has to do with the practicalities of everyday life, including falling in love with another person. The proverbial Juliet of the Western culture, which corresponds to the Majnun of the Eastern culture is an embodiment of the desirable partner.

Rumi immediately starts this poem with an outspoken declaration of self-sufficiency of the sage. The candle is a symbol that the moth seeks to attain, in its quest for the light, only to be burned as it gets too near to its objective. The candle, Rumi says, is inside the self of the stage.

In the second stanza. Rumi firmly clarifies the illusion to wine in his poetry. he says this age has not drunk the blood of grapes, but that his wine, comes from the "blood" or essence of the self. The essence of the self is what intoxicates the stage with bliss, not the outward physical wine, which intoxicates other folk

Line 2:

Everyone in the world falls in love with some kind some kind of Juliette, (Majnun)
says Rumi, at this stage is beloved is the Self and breath by breath. He shares with his Beloved, which is his own Self.

note that this is not merely a state of superficial devotion or the attempt to appear virtuous or abide by religious principles necessarily. Rather, it is a state of existence, a state of experience where the stage is enraptured In the Bliss of the Self.

And here is the ode:

For the sage,there is no candle and no beauty outside the Self
they haven't drunk grapeblood for their own blood is the source

People become enraptured with a beautiful face; their Juliette
the sage has his own beloved; he enraptured in the Self

Our values tend to change by the hour
from now on: be your own value system! So you are in balance

If you are able to get rid of the Pharaoh of ego, -from the Egypt of the body
you will see inside yourself a state which experiences Moses and Heron inside the self

you've tied an anchor to your foot and anchor of the lowly treasure
this takes you deeper every day into the depths as you drown

I saw Jonas sitting at the seashore of the ocean of love
I called to him. He replied. I have secure in myself with my own set of laws

He told me, in this ocean, I was a fish's food,
so I kept saying the word bread, until I obtained bread from myself

Don't tell us "why are you like this?" -- go beyond "Why like this"?
How can someone , who has become without how, ask about "how?"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

O Infinite Grace

Ghazal 1; Ode 1; Divane Shams; Book of the Sun

Ey rastakhize nagaham, vey Rahmate bi montaha,
Ey Atashi afrookhte, dar bisheye andisheha

O sudden Day of Judgement and O Infinite Grace
O Blazestarter in the thicket of thought [you come]

Emrooz khandan amadi, meftahe zendan amadi
Bar mostamandan amadi, chon bakhshesh o fazle Khoda

With laughter, as Releaser of bondage, today, you come
Like the forgiveness and blessings of God, to the needy you come

Khorshid ra Hajeb toyii, Ommid ra vajeb toyii
Matlab toyii taleb toyii, ham montaha, ham ebteda

Veilholder of the Sun; and Proclaimer of Hope
You are the sought and the Seeker, the end and the start

Dar sineha barkhaste, andishe ra araste
ham khish hajat khaste, ham khish kardast rava

You arise in our hearts and adorn our thoughts
In prayer, it is You who are asking, and it is You too, who grant

Ey roohbakshe bi badal, vey lazate elm o amal
Baghis bahane ast o daghal, keen elat amad van dava

O Giver of vitality to the soul, beyond compare, O joy of knowledge and from action
all else are but excuses and trickery, that brought this ailment that you healed

Ma zan daghal kazhbeen shodeh, ba bee gonah dar keen shode,
gah maste hoor-ol-ein shodeh, gah maste nan o shoor ba

Engaging in trickery we see not straight, and start a feud with the innocent
one moment drunk with the beauty of the beloved, another moment drunk on bread and stew

--to be continued --
Special thanks to M. Daftari for discussions and insights into the translation.

This is the first ode to the Book of Shams, the Book of the Sun. Shams (Sun) being Molana's (Rumi's) Master and Friend (doost -- which has a special meaning in Erfan). Note that the way of evolution towards the Divine requires a master according to Sufi tradition.

Rumi starts with a tumultuous prelude: invoking the dichotomy of the Supreme Being: being the apocalypse and Infinite Grace.

Rumi calls upon and invokes the Supreme : O Apocalypse (Day of Judgement) and O Infinite Grace. He is invoking and seeking the Supreme in this ode.
he goes on to describe attributes of the Divine that are permeating outside and inside our being.

line 1 second stanza: O who has blazed a fire in the bramblewoods of thought. O who has set fire to the jungle of dry thoughts. His Presence burns thoughts and thoughts disappear in His Presence.

He also sets ablaze the convolutions and contortions of unnecessary thoughts entwined into one another. As we observe our thoughts, we can see why Rumi calls this a bramblewood of dry thoughts: we not only have many of them every second, and they do not seem to cease in ever increasing number, but they are intertwined in endless density at times. And at times there is a clearing in the forest.

Line 2: Today you come smiling, a Opener of the gates of my prison; as Releaser of my bondage you come today smiling.

Once you set fire to the thoughts bothering us, you appear to come smiling ready to release us from the bondage we have to our incessant and seemingly endless foliage of thoughts.

"you come onto the bereaved and sad, the needy and the wanting, as does the forgiveness and magnificence of God."

you come with joy and smiles to the melancholy who need it most; you bring with you forgiveness and bounty to the needy.

Line 3: You are the keeper of the curtain or veil. You control the veil . You are the veilkeeper of the Sun. You control whether it shines or not. You have made Hope a mandatory element for us. You have decreed that above all we we must have Hope.

Line 3 part 2:
[matlab toyii, taleb toyii] you are the desired (object of the search), you are the seeker too. The End of things and also the Start. All things end in You and start in You.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Another Round of Lovewine, Winemaster! [Keep Passing the Wine of Love] (Bade Begardan Saghia)

Book of Shams - Ode 9
Man az koja, Pand az Koja, Bade Begardan Saghiah
An jame jan afzay ra bar jan beriz, Saaghia!

Where am I and where is wisdom? Give us a round of lovewine, O Winemaster!
Pour that life-giving cup onto my Soul, O Winemaster!

Bar daste man neh jame jan, ey dastgire asheghan
Door az labe biganegan, pish ar penhan, Saaghia!

Place the lifecup in my hand, O Savior of lovers
Far from the lips of strangers, bring it forth in secret, O Winemaster!

Nani bede nankhare ra, an tame-e bichare ra
an ashege nanbare ra, konji bekhosban Saaghia!

Give some bread to the breadeater, that poor breadseeker
that lover raised on bread, give him a corner to sleep - O Winemaster!

Ey Jane Jane Jane Jan, ma namadim az bahre nan
barje, geda rooi makon, dar bazme soltan, Saaghia!

O Life of Life of Life of Life [the innermost dwelling soul within my soul] we haven't come for bread!
Rise up! Don't make that beggarface at the king's party, O Winemaster!

Aval begir an jame meh, bar kafeye an Pir neh
Chon mast gardad an Pire deh, ro sooye mastan Saaghia!

First pick up that grand cup,give it to the Master there,
When he becomes lovedrunk, to the lovedrunk then, O Winemaster!

Roo sakht kon ey mortaja, mast az koja, sharm az koja
var sharm daram yek ghadah, bar sharm afsham Saaghia!

Make a stern face, O seeker, shame and lovedrunk do not mix!
for if i have a vat of shame, pour that on shame, O Winemaster!

Barkhiz ey Saghi bia! Ey doshman e sharm o haya!
Ta bakhte ma khandan shavad, pish a khandan Saaghia!

Rise and come O Winebearer! Enemy of shame and guilt!
So our fate becomes joyous, come forth in joy -- O Winemaster!

soulwine. the wine refrred to here is the wine of the soul, or "soulwine". That which nourishes the soul of the seeker of Truth and is thus dubbed, "soulwine".

The Winebearer or Saghi . Is the one who gives you the soulwine and thus has a very special and esteemed stature in the mystical poetry of Rumi and other mystics. This entire ode addresses the Winemaster or Saghi. He (She) is more than a cupbearer, a winebearer a bartender; He is the Master who will give you the soulwine to transform your soul and experience into pure bliss and you should have no qualms or reservations or guilt or shame in experiencing this bliss and joy coming from deep within you; deep within your soul. Notice that Rumi does not refer to the "soul" directly and we are bringing this metaphor out for explanations purposes only.

Jaan -- the Essence, the Soul. Rumi refers to "Jaan"; Jaan means Life, the life force, the essence of a thing, the Atma, the Soul.
"Jaan afza" in life 1, refers to that which increases Jaan, or the lifeforce. He has the winemaster to pour that which increases his life-essence on his life-essence.

"Jaam" -- the Cup and "Jaan" -- Life or essence. should not be confused. One ends in "m" and the other in "n" . Jaam is the cup and Jaan is the essence or lifeforce or soul of a human being. He asks the winemaster to pour the cup of life-elixir onto his soul (life essence).

He asks the winemaster to pour the soulwine onto his Jaan, his Self, his Soul. Notice Rumi does not ask FOR a cup but asks the winemaster to POUR the cup of life onto his soul. In line 2 Rumi, representing the seeker of Love and Life and the Spiritual Seeker, asks to be given this cup of life-essence.

"The bread-seeker" He then extends the metaphor of wine to that of bread. He says in verse 3, give some bread to the bread eaters, those seeking bread, those hungry for nourishment of the soul.

"give him a corner to sleep". He then extends this metaphor yet again to giving the seeker a place to rest/sleep. Give soulwine, give lifebread and then a corner to rest and sleep and rejuvenate.

"Jaane Jaane Jaane Jaan" -- "the Life of Life of Life of Life" -- The soul within the soul within the soul within the soul.
This is not Rumi's first reference to the soul within the soul, akin to Atma, the "Dweller within the body" or the Self (see Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on the Baghavad Gita). He is addressing the Winemaster all along, and he then refers to the Winemaster as the Essence of Life itself, the Life of life. And says, we are not here for bread!

At the King's party all is plentiful. But he is referring to his own Self within the Self and asking it to Get up and don't put on that beggar's face at the King's Party, where all is Abundance and there is plenty for all. No need to have that same countenance or attitude of wanting: there is abundance for all.

Mr.Parviz Shahbazi has posted two wonderful performances of this ode

Shajarian 1

Shajarian 2

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Little by Little the Lovedrunk Arrive (Andak Andak)

Little by little, the group of the lovedrunk arrive
Little by little, the worshipers of wine arrive

They are on their way; Comforting and gentle
Like flowers from the flowerfield they arrive

Little by little, from this world of Being and non-Being
The non-existent leave and the existent arrive

They come with hands and clothes full of gold
For the poor and hungry they arrive

The gaunt, exhausted from the trials of Love
Strong and healthy they arrive

Like the rays of the Sun , the lives of the Pure
From those heights to the lowly valley they arrive

Green and fresh the garden for the pure
With new fruits from the love drunk they arrive

Their essence is grace and grace they unfold and expand
From the garden towards the garden they arrive

819 – Divane Shams