Wednesday, January 14, 2009

People are Like RiverWater -- Polish the Mirror

So eventhough if, like iron, your body is dark,

polish it, polish it, polish it well

Until Your heartsoul becomes a mirror full of images

of wealth-carrying beauties coming from every side

Even if iron is  dark and without light,

polishing will remove that darkness

Iron, even if dark and without light –

has darkness removed when polished bright

Iron, when polished, shows its good face

So in it can be seen, many a face

Polish the earthly body -- dark and dense,

Polish -- for it tends to retain [this sense] [its luster]

So that, in it, images from the unmanifest,  arise

images of heavenly beauties and Angels

Know! The Divine has already polished your mind [intellect];

So from it, every day, light can pour into your heart

Without namaz you have closed the door of polishing [your soul],

And have opened up both sides of the door of wanton desire

But if those wanton desires are bound;

You will have uncuffed your ability to polish 

The metal which was in fact the divine mirror of the Unmanifest;

will then manifest all appearances within it

You have darkened, you have rusted, your insides;

This is what is meant by ”propagating corruption on the earth”

So far you have done thus, now cease;

Having muddied the water, do no more – please !

Stir not chaos, so this water can clear;

And behold within the revolving moon and stars

This is why people are like river water;

When the water is clouded, you can’t see into its depths

Yet the riverbed [depths] is jewel filled and pearl-laden;

Beware! Don’t darken it! It’s nature is to be Unperturbed and Free

The life of people is like air [desire?]

It guides you so you take the way of liberation [rescue]

Friday, January 2, 2009

Tadvir e Ghadr - The Circling of Destiny Masnavi 6:916-91

Have you not insight into the Circling of Destiny?
Then the boiling and turning of the elements behold !

For the churning of the sea debris and froth
arises from the sea; seething, magnanimous

Behold the wandering wind in its rage
look how it commands and makes the ocean waves seethe

the sun and the moon as two cows at the mill
circumvent and guide [the milling of flour]

the stars also from house to house do run
as they become the carrier of good fortune and bad fortune

the stars, in constant motion, like a wheel
are yet weak of foundation and lazy

the stars are the eyes, ears and intelligence of ours
behold they are here at night and then suddenly gone with daylight

at times in a benefic sign bringing people together and happy
at times in the malefic sign of separation and senslessness

To the house, To the house! Ode 2345

It’s dark and it’s raining: to the house! To the house!
Calling all of our friends: homewards, homewards!

Like the owls; how much longer this deprivation?
Wandering about the ruins; to the house, to the house!

Calling all bright-hearted friends: make haste
In spite of the sore eyes of all the blind (of heart)
to the house, to the house!

Calling you O wise and vigilant; full of concern
Don’t make us worry; to the house, to the house!

Enough of loveplay with these ogre-like appearances
So-called beauties; to the house, to the house!

You are seeing the grain and not the harvest
Such is the way ants are. To the house, to the house!

Don’t argue: let it go , o good friend
Grazing is for horses! To the house, to the house!

In that house there is dance (sama) and celebration
But only with the pure; so to the house, to the house!

Shams Al-din of Tabriz has built this house
So the "one-eyed" ones can get together;
Thus, to the house, to the house!


To the house, to the house! I opted for that instead of possible alternatives such as “ homewards, homewards!” or “to home, to home” or “come on in” or “come inside the house” or even the simple and error-prone interpretation of the literal “home, home” or “the house, the house”.
I like and will keep Arberry’s interpretation of “roshan del” to be bright-hearted; (less appealing: heart-aglow or heart-lit)
Rumi contrasts, “rosham –del” with “kooran”. Today, in fact they are considered synonymous; but when he contrasts them he is contrasting the bright-hearted friends who have the inner divine light inside with those that are “blind” inside and do not have this inner light.

Don’t debate, don’t ask why or how…
Play on the word “chera”. Rumi starts with “chum o chera”, most likely pronounced in his time, “chara”, and uses the pun or double meaning of the word “chara” which is also to graze, and jokes with the image of a four-footed animal (