“Why look for God ? …. Look for the one looking for God … but then Why look at all ? … He is not lost … He is right here … Closer than your own breath!” ~ Rumi
Rumi (1207-1273), a Sufi scholar/teacher/spiritual-leader was madly drunk with the love of Divine and this exquisite, inexplicable love issued forth from Rumi for the last thirty years of his life. His utterances of the “drunkenness with the Divine” manifested in the form of a single poem that is 64 thousand verses long ! … an unparalleled feat in literature.
Rumi’s poetry covers the spectrum of human experience – from the most mundane to the most profound, from the sacred to profane … and points to the infusion of Universal Mystery in all aspects of everyday life. Here’s a sample from The Soul of Rumi, Translations by Coleman Barks :
==== ==== ==== ==== ==== ==== ====
It takes the courage of inner majesty
to stand in this doorway, where there’s
no celebrating good fortune, where talk
of luck is embarrassing. However your
robe of patches fits is right. … Don’t pretend
something other than truth. Measuring
devices don’t work in this room where
the love dervishes meet. No tradition
grows here and no soup simmers! We sit
in pure absence without expectation.
==== ==== ==== ==== ==== ==== ====
The genesis of Rumi’s poetry is a deep yearning, a search … for the man, Shams-e-Tabriz, who was instrumental in transforming Rumi’s life from intellectual pursuits to direct experience. Turns out this search was futile in the physical sense (Shams was never found) but was the blossoming of something Rumi had not imagined …
Shams changed Rumi’s life forevermore … Rumi was a respected scholar and spiritual leader of his community and when he met Shams he realized that, in Shams, he was “meeting” That which he had been reading and studying about … their 1st “meeting” is a fascinating encounter – several versions exist (we will be sharing this encounter through future posts). And it is interesting to note that Shams sought out Rumi – which is yet another amazing story.
From this meeting began their deep Sohbet (mystical conversation on mystical subjects) and they were lost in this for extended periods … so much so that some people in the community became jealous. Shams left for a while and then came back and again their Sohbet began (or their Friendship) … shortly thereafter one night Shams was called away and he never returned! One version says that one of Rumi’s son was responsible for killing Shams.
Of course Shams disappearance left Rumi utterly bereft with grief, he was devastated … and he searched for Shams – everywhere … and in the midst of this extreme grief one day Rumi realized that he was already that which he was seeking… that he did not have to look for The Friendship because he was The Friendship itself. An interesting side story about this moment is that it was also the genesis of what became known as “whirling.”
This was a profoundly transformative moment or experience for Rumi – it made him “madly drunk” with The Divine and the thus began the uttering of his extraordinary poetry! … two different persons scribed for the Love Drunk Rumi … the scribe names sometimes appear in the poems (e.g., Husam).
This page can not do justice to this “ocean of consciousness” – which is why you will see many many posts about this remarkable human being and his gift … that we are all relishing 800+ years later ! … here’s a gem from A Garden Beyond Paradise, The Mystical Poetry of Rumi, Translated by Jonathan Star and Shahram Shiva:
There is a force within, which gives you life – seek That.
In your body lies a priceless gem – seek That.
…if you want to find the greatest treasure
Don’t look outside, look inside, and seek That.
Poetry by Rumi ~ Only Breath. Read by Coleman Barks
Post & Featured Images: Attribution pending.