the Message Continues ... 6/22

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Love has made me Solomon

by Rumi

             Though the eye of intellect and competence see me as mad, I have many arts in the circle of lovers.
             Love has made me Solomon and my tongue
Asaf* -- how should I be tied to all these remedies and incantations?
             Like Abraham, I never turn away from the
Kaaba -- I reside in the Kaaba, I am its pillar.*
             A thousand Rustams* cannot approach me -- why should I be subject to the effeminate ego?
             I take the bloody sword in hand -- I am a martyr to Love in the midst of my own blood.
             In this plain, I am the All-Merciful's nightingale.
Seek not my limits and border -- I have no limits.
             Shams-i Tabrizi has nurtured me through love -- I am greater than the Holy Spirit and the Cherubim.

           -- Gazal (Ode) 1747
              Translation by Professor William Chittick
              "The Sufi Path of Love"
              SUNY Press, Albany, 1983

*"Asaf" -- King Solomon's vizier, or counselor -- Sunlight Ed.
*"Pillar" -- according to traditon, Abraham built the Kaaba and resided there for some time. --  Chittick
*"Rustam" -- variously spelled "Rostam" -- legendary warrior king, one of the subjects of the epic "Book of Kings" ("Shah Nameh") --
Sunlight Ed.




by Rumi

    When, through (spiritual) proverty, fana (self-naughting) graces him (such a one), he becomes shadowless like Mohammed.
    Fana graced (the Prophet who said) 'Poverty is my pride'*: he became shadowless like the flame of a candle.
    (When) the candle* has become entirely flame from head to foot, the shadow hath no passage (way of approach) around it.
    The wax (candle) fled from itself and from the shadow into the radiance* for the sake of Him who moulded the candle.
    He said, 'I moulded thee for the sake of fana (self-naughting).'
It replied, 'I accordingly took refuge in fana.'
    This is the necessary everlasting radiance, not the radiance of the perishable accidental candle.
    When the candle is wholly naughted in the fire (of Divine illumination), you will not see any trace of the candle or rays (of its light).
    Manifestly, in dispelling the darkness, the external (material) flame is maintained by a wax candle;
    (But) the candle (which is) the body is contrary to the wax candle, since in proportion as that (the body) dwindles, the light of the spirit is increased.
    This is the everlasting radiance, and that (bodily candle) is perishable: the candle of the spirit hath a Divine flame.
    Since this tongue of fire was (really) light, 'twas far from it to become a perishable shadow.

           -- Translation and Commentary by Reynold A. Nicholson
              "The Mathnawi of Jalalu'ddin Rumi
              Published and Distributed by
              The Trustees of The "E.J.W. Gibb Memorial"

* Or, Fana graced (him who attained to the state denoted by the
Prophet's saying) "Poverty is my pride."
* I.e. the lover of God.
* I.e. the Light of God.




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