Saturday, May 24, 2008

Rumi - Azara Feroz Sayed

I read some of Rumi's work in 'The Life and Work of Jalaluddin Rumi' by Afzal Iqbal and 'The Illustrated Rumi'. I have pasted one of his known poem below. You might find references to this poem, in forums on meditation, about inviting and watching thoughts and yes, "each of them is a guide from beyond".

The Guest House
-- Jelalludin Rumi, from On Being a Lover, in The Essential Rumi, Harper San Francisco, 1995.

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

A quick search on the internet will bring up lot of stuff about Rumi who is one of the most widely read poets in the west. has a poem on each one of the aspects of life that he wrote about.

'The life and work of Jalaluddin Rumi' talks about the conditions existing in 13th century in Persia and then about Rumi's life - how a bookish sober scholar was transformed to an impassioned seeker of the truth and love, by the friendship of the wondering, wild, holy man Shams-i-Tabriz. If it was not for the association of Shams-i-Tabriz, Rumi wouldn't have been the one of the greatest mystical poets of all times. Shams-i-Tabriz's friendship transformed Rumi into a poet. To ensure Shams-i-Tabriz is remembered alongside him, Rumi had his collection of poems named after him, also he wrote under the pen-name of 'Shams'. The separation from Shams-i-Tabriz caused Rumi to fall into a deep state of grief and gradually out of that pain outpoured nearly 70,000 verses of poetry. These thousands of poems, which include about 2000 in quatrains, are collected in two epic books named, Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi and Massnavi (Mathnawi).

I couldn't help thinking about the transformational relationship between me and Feroz - the intellectual and spiritual harmony between two different people - one a realist(Feroz) and the other a dreamer(me). Feroz possess a realistic temperament, placing high value on reason, clarity and has pragmatic approach to life with no idealistic expectations. I rely more on intuitive perception, imagination, philosophy. Our values and logical thought on integrity, fairness and consideration in our interaction with others, easy listner in each other, admiration for dreamer in me (vice versa for the realist in Feroz) binds us together and stimulates our enthusiasm and creative energy - changing both of us deeply as we grow in our relationship. Pray God continues blessing our relatinship into a fulfilling one!
One of Feroz's favourite poet's poem was posted on the Poem Of the Week blog recently. Had to refer to to understand bark, heighth etc I am taking baby steps on poetry and will get there in appreciating poetry without a guide and surprise Feroz!

Shakespeare's Sonnet 116
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments; love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no, it is an ever-fixèd mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his heighth be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Everytime these thoughts come to my mind about our relationship, of a realist and dreamer (theorist), the words of Swami Vivekananda on the confluence of Vedantism and Islam come up, “without the help of practical Islam, theories of Vedantism, however fine and wonderful they may be, are entirely valueless to the vast mass of mankind.”
Here Swami Vivekananda is not refering to brute force of Islam but the fresh approach and message of equality in Islam.


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