Rumi is my favorite poet ever. When I sing his poetry, I feel love and bliss…
I would like to offer you a sample of this…may it take you into deep meditation and love.
Maulana Rumi was probably the greatest mystical poet in the history of humanity because he was not only a master poet and writer–who wrote 3500 odes, 2000 quatrains, a book, a vast epic called the Mathnavi–but he was also a living mystic and Master of the highest order who reached spiritual perfection and Oneness with the Oversoul. Like all Masters, he had a direct inner vision of Light and Spirit, and this truth transcends all denominations; it is universal. Thus, Rumi is revered by many different religions and adored by lovers of God from all paths. His words of longing ring true to the universal condition. He also happened to be a very intellectual teacher and theologian with many many students who adored him, although he realized the emptiness of his book knowledge once he found his Master, Shams-i-Tabriz, and fell in love with the divine light in him, as tends to happen when we find our Master. His Master led him to the inner knowledge about which he had only read and studied in book form.
Rumi does not speak from a place of intellectual revelation, but rather direct inner experience with the higher self and Oversoul. He speaks of total passion for God. Everyone who has loved or has suffered in love feels the cries of passion that Rumi speaks of, the cries of pain at the soul’s separation from God. Rumi speaks of the importance of feeling this toal pain, which breaks the shell of our ego. True transformation demans scathing ordeals.
There is no salvation for the soul but to fall in love.It has to creep and crawl among the lovers first.Only lovers can escape from these two worlds. This was written in creation. Only from the heart can you reach the sky. The rose of glory can only be raised in the heart.
On Shams: The tender words we said to one another are stored in the secret heart of heaven. One day like the rain they will fall and spread and their mystery will grow green over the world.
As with any case of falling in love, we see our own qualities reflected in our Beloved, and a spiritual Master simply reflects to us our own highest divinity. When Rumi reached a state of Divine Oneness, he was so intoxicated on the divine elixir that he saw the Oneness in everything, and he started dancing in extasy, whirling around because he was so high on the inner bliss that he attained through hard discipline and long hours of meditation.
Rumi spoke of four stages on the way of passion and union with God, which is the journey of the soul to its origin, the transmutation of lover into the Beloved:
1. THE CALL. This is the awakening of the deepest self to find the origin of all selves, a faint remembrance of our divine origin.
Before gardner or vine or grape existed in this world
Our soul was drunk on this wine.
Before the universal soul became the world’s architect,
our life was happy
In the wine shop of divine realities.
Our soul was like the universe;
our soul’s cup like the sun,
And the universe was drowned in the light of the soul’s wine. –Rumi
This calling to return to origin occurs when one is no longer satisfied with worldly success and pleasure, and one feels depressed, empty, perhaps what Sartre referred to as existential nausea; there is the sense within that there is something deeper in life than material wealth and external success, then the search begins…One is led to a spiritual teacher, and one then starts on the path, whereby one must be committed to intense meditation, prayer, and a clean lifestyle, as referred to in all religious texts..
2. BEING A LOVER. The relationship with the Beloved grows through the direct living connection with the divine light and through immersion in devotion, prayer, meditation, and glimpses of light within. The heart is cultivated on the spiritual path.
3. ORDEAL. This is the hardest. In order for the last state of union to occur, the ego or “nafs” must be cleansed totally and a state of total annihilation reached, whereby the false self dies completely so the soul can be born. In this state, Rumi refers to the Beloved as the cruel, heart-ravishing Beloved, the one who cooks us and destroys us, to rebuild us! This is the true spiritual alchemy, whereby the Beloved places us in the fire to transform our base metal into gold.
The grapes of my body can only become wine
After the winemaker tramples me.
I surrender my spirit like grapes to his trampling
So my inmost heart can blaze and dance with joy
And although the grapes go on weeping blood and sobbing
I cannot bear anymore anguish
Any more cruelty..
The trampler stuffs cotton in his ears:
I am not working in ignorance,
You can deny me if you want
You have every excuse
But it is I who is the master of this work
And when through my passion
You reach perfection
You will never be done praising my name.
4. UNION. The extasy of having reached oneness with the divine Beloved; the marriage ceremony with God. But only when the ego is totally annihilated!
RUMI’S DIVINE POETRY
Oh my Beloved!
Take me, Liberate my soul,
Fill me with your love,
And release me from both worlds.
If I set my heart on anything but you,
Oh fire, burn me from inside!
Oh my Beloved
Take away what I want,
Take away what I do,
Take away everything that takes me from you.
I know nothing of two worlds-
All I know is the One–
I seek only One,
I know only One,
I find only One,
And I sing of only One.
I am so drunk
On the wine of my Beloved
That both worlds Have slipped from my reach.
Now I have no business here
But to reach For the cup of my Beloved.
The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you,
Not knowing how blind that was-
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere;
They’re in eachother all along.
There is no salvation for the soul
but to fall in love.
It has to creep and crawl among the lovers first.
Only lovers can escape from these two worlds.
This was written in creation.
Only from the heart
can you reach the sky.
The rose of glory can only be raised in the heart.
Life without a Master
Is either deep sleep
Or death in disguise
This path Is not safe to travel alone-
The water is deadly,
The poison is sweet.
If you want to turn your rusty soul into gold,
Stay with the Master-
He is the alchemist.
We have burned all trace of work or profession;
We have nothing but poetry and love songs now.
We sing of heart, soul and the Beloved-
Only to burn all trace Of heart, soul and Beloved.
Do you want to be wise?
Throw all your wisdom away.
Do you want to know love?
Fill your heart with His love.
There are a myriad different ways to search
but the object of the search is always the same.
Don’t you see the roads to Mecca are all different…
One comes from Byzantium, another thru Syria…
When people reach the goal,
all quarrels or disputes flaired along the road are dissolved..
They forget all possible differences when they reach the goal.
There all hearts sing in unison.
Polish your heart, my friend
And you’ll soar above all coloraAnd perfume–
Youll contemplate beauty ceaselessly.
You’ll abandon the form of conscoiousness and unfurl the flag of certainty.
And when the forms of the 8 paradises flame out
you will know you’re heart is receptive.
And from the heavens, the starry spheres, the void,
you will receive continually hundreds of impressions–
why do I say impressions–
I mean the direct vision of God.
Lift now the lid of the jar of heaven,
Pour, cupbearer, the wine of the invisible,
The name and sign of what has no sign.
Pour it abundantly.
It is you who enrich the soul–
Make the soul drunk and give it wings.
Come again always, rich one,
and teach all our cupbearers their sacred art.
Be a spring jetting from a heart of stone;
Break the pitcher of soul and body–
Make joyful all lovers of wine.
Ferment a restlessness in the heart
of the one who thinks only of bread–
Bread is a mason of the body’s prison;
Wine, a rain for the garden of the soul.
I’ve tied the ends of the earth together.
Lift now the lid of the jar of heaven
Close those eyes that see only faults
Contemplate those that only see the invisible
so no mosques or temples or idols remain
So this or that is drowned in his fire.
I discovered one day scented earth in my bathroom. I asked it whether it was musk or amber, for I was completely fascinated by it. The earth replied: “I once was merely earth, but because of my association with flowers, every particle of my substance has been saturated with their fragrance and I have become scented. Without this association, I would have become scented. Without this association, I would have remained the same earth.” Therefore, o heart, sit for a moment in the company of the wise, with faith and purity of mind, or take to the association of a highly spiritualized soul in utter humility. If, however, you fail to find such company, do not waste your time but sit alone in meditation on God. _________________________
Some say love combined with wisdom is the best.
Others say, discipline and practice is the best.
Oh, these words are more precious than gold,
But my life offered to Shams-I-Tabriz is the best.
To see the face of God, you must move quickly,
Escape every trap,
and have the strength to keep going.
Yet in the 18,000 worlds
One with a pure heart need not move at all.
I said, “my heart wants a kiss from you”.
You say, “the price of a kiss is Life.”
My heart came up beside me and said:
“It’s a cheap down payment.”
Last night my Beloved was giving me pleasure.
I told the night, do not reveal my secrets.
Night said, look around yourself.
You already have the sun; how can I bring the dawn?
Woman is a ray of God.
She is not that earthly beloved:
She is Creative, not created.
Because the idol is your face, I have become an idolater.
Because the wine is from your cup, I have become a drunkard.
In the existence of your love, I have become nonexistent.
This nonexistence linked To you is better than all existence.
Each moment revelation flashes from heaven to the soul;
How long will you live like dregs in wine?
Rise up! Your darkness makes you heavy like dregs–
Burn them in love! Rise clapping your hands to the top of the jar,
Don’t constantly stir up mud.
If you want your water clear
Let your dregs become transparent
Let your grief settle.
There is a soul like a flame
Its smoke is greater than its light
When there is too much smoke
there is no more light in the house
Lessen that smoke and flame will leap thru and bless you.
Don’t you know yet
It is your light that lights the worlds?
Stare into filthy water and how can you expect ever to see the moon and heaven?
The moon and heaven hides when the air grows dark;
It’s the north wind that scours the air pure
The morning breeze that sweeps all clouds from dawn;
It is tears of longing that clean the mirror of the heart.
Pray! pray always!
Meditation and adoration are your breath!
And if your breathing stops a moment
Your life will end!
The soul in its exile longs for its kingdom beyond space–
Why does its animal half feed so long in fields of death?
Your essential soul is noble
How long will you look in darkness?
You are the royal eagle!
Listen! The king is whistling for you!
Man’s original food is the light of God;
Material food is not for him;
But from disease, his mind has fallen into the delusion
That day and night he should eat only this food.
He is pale, weak and faint:
Where is the food of heaven which has starry tracks?
That is the food of the chosen,
Food eaten without fork or throat.
There is a force within
Which gives you life– Seek that.
In your body
Lies a priceless gem– Seek that.
O wandering sufi,
If you want to find The greatest treasure
Don’t look outside,
Look inside, and seek That.
contains a hundred messages from God:
To every cry of “Oh God”
He answers a hundred time, “I am here.”
Remember always that all mystic sciences and exercices
All acts of passion and devotion,
In comparison with the real worth and majesty of God
Are as if someone came to you, bowed once,
Performed some perfunctory little service and then went away.
If you were to put the entire earth on your heart in serving God
It would be the same as bowing your head once to the ground.
I am not saying this to discourage you,
Only to instill in you some sense of proportion,
Some sense of the terrible glory of the one you love.
Abraham said God is the one who gives life and he who makes to die
Nimron said I am he who gives life and makes to die—what arrogance.
If God wants, the sun will rise in the west
and the mountains will vanish like smoke at one rush of his wind.
And all the seas will dissolve in vapor
and all the stars fall out of the sky in eternal darkness.
This is the power and this is the infinite majesty
And this is the glory of the one we are in love with;
never forget this,
For you will be in danger.
The path to Him is littered with the bones
of those who did not remember who they were looking for
and how great beyond all concepts
and beyond all imaginings and beyond all searchings
and beyond all realizations He always is.
The intellectual quest,
Though fine as pearl or coral,
Is not the spiritual search.
That spiritual search is on another level.
Spiritual wine is a different substance.
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!
O flute you have no tongue yet you wail all day.
For whom do you cry?
The flute responsed: They took me from His sweet lips.
What else can I do but cry?
All the happiness in the world
does not ease this longing.
There is only one cure–the Beloved.
Enough, enough, enough with this burning!
I cried, and I burned in that cry.
I kept silent, and I burned in that silence.
Then I stayed away from extremes–
I went right down the middle–
And I burned in that middle.
Love came and it made me empty.
Love came and it filled me with the Beloved.
It became the blood in my body,
It became my arms and my legs,
It became everything!
Now all I have is a name,
The rest belongs to the Beloved.
Don’t sleep for just one night,
My beautiful friend,
And the treasure of Eternity will appear before you.
The sun of the invisible will warm you all night;
The collyrium of mystery will open your eyes.
This evening I beg you, fight against yourself,
So you discover those splendors that spread ecstasy.
It is at night beauties unveil themselves;
The one who sleeps never hears their soft calls.
The day’s for earning a living,
the night’s for love
So the eyes of the jealous cannot spy on you.
The rest of the world may sleep;
but real lovers
Throughout the night
talk inwardly with God…
All through the night God is calling us,
“Rise up, use this time richly, you poor woman!
If you don’t, you’ll burn with regret
When your soul’s separated from your body.”
I died as mineral and became plant;
I died as plant and rose to an animal;
I died as animal and became a human;
Why should I fear?
When was I less when dying?
Once again,I shall die as human,
to ascend with the heavenly angels;
But even from the condition of angels
I must pass on.
Everything perishes except God.
When I have sacrificed my angel soul,
I will turn into what no mind can conceive of.
Oh! Let me not exist,
Proclaims in organ tones,
To Him we shall return!
The Lover is ever drunk with love;
He is free, he is mad,
He dances with ecstasy and delight.
Caught by our own thoughts,
We worry about every little thing,
But once we get drunk on that love,
Whatever will be, will be.
All poetry of Rumi translated beautifully by Jonathon Star and Shahram Shiva, or by Andrew Harvey.