I say this with great personal conviction, that in essence the true taste of Rumi amongst other past luminaries has given me a very deep understanding of Truth. And here, allow me to give you a drop of more information so that you read Rumi's beautiful and incredibly spiritual poetry with a deeper understanding if you are not already a disciple of his. Keeping in mind that this is only a fragment of the roots of ancient spiritual wisdom, it is very helpful in handling life from a totally different spectrum, when correctly understood.
While modern science is finally arriving at the conclusions that we are all emotionally, spiritually and physically connected and monitoring one another, ancient wisdom has written a bounty of impressive indoctrinations and beautiful poems about it. Becoming fully immersed and absorbed in this wisdom, results in a shift in consciousness, brings about equanimity, detachment and bliss as its end phenomena.
"In truth everything and everyone
is a shadow of the Beloved.
And our seeking is His seeking.
And our words are His words …
We search for Him here and there,
while looking right at Him.
Sitting by His side, we ask:
'O Beloved, where is the Beloved?'
True spiritual discipline is dedication to selfless service and the love of humanity. The foundation of our spiritual endeavors rests from the practice of ceaselessly operating with Truth in thought, word and deed. The guiding principles of Truth are firmly rooted in the tradition of chivalry in the Middle East and Asia, where personal relationships in society are based on selfless service and consideration of others first and foremost. This is a badly misunderstood principle, particularly within the family circle and falsely understood as sacrificing the Self in service to others.
However, what is actually true is this: that cultivation and nurturing of Self best occurs through the cultivation and nurturing the group, community or society at large; and when the community and society is flourishing robustly, the Self being a member of the group or society becomes the natural heir to its blossoms. The interdependency of life is a natural phenomena and not a belief system.
And here is another very badly misunderstood concept or idea regarding "Fear of God;" which I have managed to save a few from the jaws of "hell" by the simple use of an English dictionary. One of the correct disciplines of studying any subject or any time we run into a word that doesn't seem to make much sense to us is to clear it up through a dictionary. And when we look at the definition of Fear, we discover that one of them is indeed a "Reverential awe, especially toward God: the fear of God. And reverence being a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe; or a gesture indicative of deep respect fits perfectly with how we should be feeling toward God. Who said that wisdom had to be complicated?
Life operates along several facets. Whether we strive to survive through our own individuality, our family, our community or the world at large, the environment and all other living things such plants and animals, everything is interdependently striving toward survival; a survival towards the ultimate freedom, which is Immortality propelled by a driving Force emanating through the potentiality of the soul, the spiritual realm – potentiality of the spirit being the animator of all Creation. And when we fully attain the comprehension of all these various facets, we arrive at the gate of enlightenment and faced with the preparedness to understand and observe the countenance of Truth: the True Source of Creation and fall in love with it according to our own subjectivity . And when we have the fortune and the precious luxury of that occurrence, the Law of Detachment falls in its rightful place – our own Beingness!
Labindranath Tagore (1861-1941) from Calcutta, India, a Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature in 1913, was a Bengali polymath, noted as a poet, short-story writer, song composer, novelist, playwright, essayist, and painter. He is the author of Gitanjali – Prayer Offering of Song. His poetry has been considered by the West as profoundly spiritual and mercurial. His fascinating personality and divinely appearance earned him a prophet-like notoriety in the West. He was highly influential in introducing the best of Indian culture to the West and the western culture to India.
The first of several poems I like to share with you from Tagore is called Lotus. It is indeed the best and most beautiful way I can personally share the nature of my own true love for the Source of Creation, when I first came upon the blessings of knowing it. A love that has not subsided or diminished, but has rather matured into a more state of consciousness. Enjoy them.
On the day when the lotus bloomed, alas, my mind was straying,
and I knew it not. My basket was empty and the flower remained unheeded.
Only now and again, a sadness fell upon me, and I started up from my
dream and felt a sweet trace of a strange fragrance in the south wind.
That vague sweetness made my heart ache with longing and it seemed to
me that is was the eager breath of the summer seeking its completion.
I knew not then that it was so near, that it was mine, and that this
perfect sweetness had blossomed in the depth of my own heart.
– Rabindranath Tagore
Chain of Pearls
Mother, I shall weave a chain of pearls for thy neck
with my tears of sorrow.
The stars have wrought their anklets of light to deck thy feet,
but mine will hang upon thy breast.
Wealth and fame come from thee
and it is for thee to give or to withhold them.
But this sorrow is absolutely my own,
and when I bring it to thee as my offering
thou rewardest me with thy grace.
– Rabindranath Tagore
When the heart is hard and parched up,
come upon me with a shower of mercy.
When grace is lost from life,
come with a burst of songs.
When tumultuous work raises its din on all sides shutting me out from
beyond, come to me, my lord of silence, with thy peace and rest.
When my beggarly heart sits crouched, shut up in a corner,
break open the door, my king, and come with the ceremony of a king.
When desire blinds the mind with delusion and dust, O thou holy one,
thou wakeful, come with thy light and thy thunder
– Rabindranath Tagore
I have got my leave. Bid me farewell, my brothers!
I bow to you all and take my departure.
Here I give back the keys of my door
… and I give up all claims to my house.
I only ask for last kind words from you.
We were neighbors for long,
but I received more than I could give.
Now the day has dawned
and the lamp that lit my dark corner is out.
A summons has come and I am ready for my journey.
– Rabindranath Tagore
Give Me Strength
This is my prayer to thee, my lord – strike,
strike at the root of penury in my heart.
Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows.
Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service.
Give me the strength never to disown the poor or bend my knees before insolent might.
Give me the strength to raise my mind high above daily trifles.
And give me the strength to surrender my strength to thy will with love.
– Rabindranath Tagore
Little Of Me
Let only that little be left of me
whereby I may name thee my all.
Let only that little be left of my will
whereby I may feel thee on every side,
and come to thee in everything,
and offer to thee my love every moment.
Let only that little be left of me
whereby I may never hide thee.
Let only that little of my fetters be left
whereby I am bound with thy will,
and thy purpose is carried out in my life
and that is the fetter of thy love.
This is the journey for those who search for the real soul in themselves and for the heart. It is the walking on the spiritual path which leads to the knowing of who You are and who He is, which both are One and the same thing. The essence of the flower is encoded within the magic of the Nothingness of the pollen, germinating within the soil at the right temperature, sunlight and moisture, blossoming in infinite ways. The pollen cannot germinate on marble. Nature is there to inspire us as a great teacher. We should observe and understand it with our heart and soul and realize the magic of its wisdom.
Francis Bacon, Galileo and Isaac Newton were three prominent philosophers, scientists and theologians and the key figures in the launching of the scientific revolution of the 18th century. They have developed ways of thinking and reasoning that requires a fact – in order to be proven – must be sensed, measured or experienced.
And when we thrust this into the realm of mind and spirit we find our willingness reduced in accepting arbitrary facts based upon faith or belief that originates from external sources; while true faith and belief is found only through seeking. It originates, germinates, and forms subjectively within ourselves and brings us to the threshold of self-discovery; a threshold that allows us to stand firmly before the gates of enlightenment, a place where I came to know and fall in love with the Source of Creation and began to bathe and bask in Truth with every breath that I take.
While we keep searching, seeking and longing for Truth, we must realize that boundaries exist only within the physical universe, while Freedom is found only within the unbounded realms of Truth, which is Nothingness, the Spirit; and the pure nature of static; an entity that has no mass, no form, no motion, no time and no space – existing only as a pure potentiality.
Philosophers have written volumes and spoken endlessly of this Truth, but somehow their efforts have always fallen short of actuality. Philosophers -although with very broad observation – view the Perfection of the Soul, the static, from a limited perspective; what they see is only part of the Soul, not the Infinite in its entirety. It is indeed true that what philosophers see is correct; nevertheless, it is only a part of the whole.
Rumi illustrates our misguided learning as follow:
"Some Hindus have an elephant to show.
No one here has ever seen an elephant.
They bring it at night to a dark room.
One by one, we go in the dark and come out
saying how we experience the beast.
One of us happens to touch the trunk.
A water-pipe kind of creature.
Another, the ear. A strong, always moving
back and forth, fan-animal.
Another, the leg.
find it still, like a column on a temple.
Another touches the curved back.
A leathery throne.
Another, the cleverest,
feels the tusk. A rounded sword made of porcelain.
He is proud of his description.
Each of us touches one place
and understands the whole in that way.
The palm and the fingers feeling in the dark
are how the senses explore the truth of the elephant.
If each of us held a candle there,
and if only we went in together, we could see the elephant. "
However, while each of the Hindus' descriptions with respect to the various parts they had experienced were true – very much similar to the observation and thinking of philosophers – their perceptions had all fallen short of truth. If they only had a candle – Spiritual Wisdom- the difference of opinions would not have come about. The candle light would have revealed the elephant as a whole.
The story implies that one's subjective experience can be true indeed, but that such experience is inherently limited by its failure to account for other truths or a totality of the Truth.
In order for one to truly witness the Perfection of the Soul, one must see with one's spirit, which perceives the whole of Truth. This form of witnessing happens when one achieves a certain level of refinement of his body, his mind, his spirit, losing one's partial existence within the Whole. If the Whole is likened to the Ocean, and the part to a drop, witnessing the Ocean with the eye of a drop is not possible.
However, when the drop becomes one with the Ocean, it sees the Ocean with the eye of the Ocean; a phenomenon resulting from purging ourselves from the falsehood of our history, ie, our tradition, dogmatic upbringing, falsehoods of our education, decayed and impractical social conditioning, through spiritual wisdom.
I grew up studying variety of subjects with enthusiasm of a child with very limited understanding and sometimes with no understanding – compared to what I know today – looking for answers. I wanted to know about Good and Evil, Life and Death, and the wherefore of the spirit, while my hands remained empty but my heart filled with trust. I continued to look and wonder. It was at last through the discovery of spiritual philosophy, much rooted within the wealth of Ancient Eastern Philosophy, particularly through my own Persian heritage, that I was bestowed with the blessings of objectivity, giving me the ability to be able to differentiate the Truth within a vast pool of misinterpretation, conversions, imitations and even pure absurdities that spin out of various misguided industries.
It is a pure delight that I now have the blessings of accurately understanding what I see, what I hear and what I read. I trust myself and my perceptions with confidence, although I know that perfection is yet to come as my destination. I speak with confidence, even though what I say may appear to be alien in the eyes of those who are not looking through the same spectacles. This is my certainty: that my path is paved in the direction of Truth. I have no one to answer to or compete with but myself; and I am my own Prime Witness!
And now, let me turn this dialogue and confessional of love over to my beloved Rumi.
"I am so close, I may look distant.
So completely mixed with you, I may look separate.
So out in the open, I appear hidden.
So silent, because I am constantly talking with you. "
"When you go through a hard period,
when everything seems to oppose you,
when you feel you cannot even bear one more minute
NEVER GIVE UP!
Because it is the time and place that the course will divert! "
"And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?"
"Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself."
"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely
to seek and find all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it. "
"I know you're tired but come, this is the way."
"I know you're tired but come, this is the way."
"But listen to me. Quit being sad for one moment. Hear blessings dropping their blossoms all around you."
"Either give me more wine or leave me alone."
"Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love."
"Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure."
"In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, I learn how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art."
"Is it really so that the one I love is everywhere?"
"I want to see you. Know your voice.
Recognize you when you first come around the corner.
Sense your scent when I come into a room you've just left.
Know the lift of your heel, the glide of your foot.
Become familiar with the way you purse your lips,
then let them part, just the slightest bit,
when I lean in to your space and kiss you.
I want to know the joy of how you whisper 'more.' "
"When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy."
"You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?"
"What you seek is seeking you."
"Knock, And He'll open the door
Vanish, And He'll make you shine like the sun
Fall, And He'll raise you to the heavens
Become nothing, And He'll turn you into everything. "
"There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled.
There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled.
You feel it, don't you? "
"Sit, be still, and listen, because you're drunk
and we're at the edge of the roof. "
"I have lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons, knocking on a door.
It opens. I've been knocking from the inside. "
"Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames"
"Reason is powerless in the expression of Love."
"A mountain keeps an echo deep inside. That's how I hold your voice."
"You try to be faithful,
And sometimes you're cruel.
You are mine. Then, you leave.
Without you, I can't cope.
And when you take the lead,
I become your footstep.
Your absence leaves a void.
Without you, I can't cope.
You have disturbed my sleep,
You have wrecked my image.
You have set me apart.
Without you, I can't cope. "
"I didn't come here of my own accord, and I can't leave that way.
Whoever brought me here will have to take me home. "
"You wander from room to room,
hunting for the diamond necklace.
That is already around your neck! "
"In Silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves."
"Study me as much as you like, you will not know me, for I differ in a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see. "
"Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray."
"They say there is a doorway from heart to heart,
but what is the use of a door when there are no walls? "
"Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes.
Because for those who love with their hearts and souls,
there are no such things as separation. "
"What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle."
"The moon stays bright when it doesn't avoid the night."
"The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don't go back to sleep."
"When someone is counting out
gold for you, don't look at your hands,
or the gold. Look at the giver. "
"I was dead, then alive.
Weeping, then laughing.
The power of love came into me,
and I became fierce like a lion,
then tender like the evening star. "
"Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes.
If it was always a fist or always stretched open,
you would be paralyzed.
Your deepest presence is in every small
contraction and expansion.
The two as beautifully balanced and
coordinated as a birds' wings. "
"I closed my mouth and spoke to you in a hundred silent ways."
"Oh dearest, oh soul.
Where were you last night?
No, I am mistaking.
You were within my heart.
Oh, how was I last night?
Thinking where were you all night.
Oh, how I wish I wore your garment
That were embracing you all night.
I don't dare asking you love,
Where were you without this poor soul?
Yet the color of your enchanting face tells me,
You were in the Presence of his Kindness.
You are a mirror,
Your color is the reflection of another,
And you oh love,
You are colorless. "
"When someone beats a rug,
the blows are not against the rug,
but against the dust in it. "
"Lovers find secret places
inside this violent world
where they make transactions
with beauty. "
"When you feel a peaceful joy, that's when you are near truth."
"I am your moon and your moonlight too
I am your flower garden and your water too
I have come all this way, eager for you
Without shoes or shawl
I want you to laugh
To kill all your worries
To love you
To nourish you. "
"No more words. In the name of this place we drink in with our breathing, stay quiet like a flower. So the night-birds will start singing."
"The lion is most handsome when looking for food."
"You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens."
"Moonlight floods the whole sky from horizon to horizon;
How much it can fill your room depends on its windows. "
"The ground's generosity takes in our compost and
grows beauty! Try to be more like the ground. "
"For the thirst to possess your love,
Is worth my blood a hundred times. "
"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and right doing there is a field.
I'll meet you there. "
"Let silence take you to the core of life."
"To live without you
is to be robbed of love
and what is life without it?
To live without you
is death to me, my love
but some call it life. "
"Shine like the whole universe is yours."
"Love calls – everywhere and always.
We're sky bound.
Are you coming? "
"You and I have spoken all these words, but for the way we have to go, words are no preparation. I have one small drop of knowing in my soul. Let it dissolve in your ocean"
"I want to be where your bare foot walks, because maybe before you step, you'll look at the ground. I want that blessing."
"You are the Truth from foot to brow. Now, what else would you like to know?"
'The Water said to the dirty one,' Come here. '
The dirty one said, 'I am too ashamed.'
The water replied,
'How will your shame be washed away without me?' "
"At the end of my life, with just one breath left,
if you come, I'll sit up and sing. "
"Keep on knocking
'til the joy inside
opens a window
look to see who's there "
"This is how I would die
into the love I have for you:
As pieces of cloud
dissolve in sunlight. "
"Since Love has made ruins of my heart
The sun must come and illumine them.
Such generosity has broken me with shame. "
"You are not a drop in the ocean.
You are the ocean in the drop. "
"My friend, you thought you lost Him;
that all your life you've been separated from Him.
Filled with wonder, you've always looked outside for Him,
and haven't searched within your own house. "
"I will soothe you and heal you,
I will bring you roses.
I too have been covered with thorns. "
"A strange passion is moving in my head
My heart has become a bird which searches in the sky.
Every part of me goes in different directions.
Is it really so that the one I love is Everywhere? "
"I want your sun to reach my raindrops, so your heat can raise my soul upward like a cloud."
"You are the unconditioned spirit trapped in the conditions, like the sun in the eclipse."
I hope you have found these words helpful to think with. ______________________________________________