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Archive for March, 2008

I belong to the soul of the Beloved

Posted by Pelgrim on 28th March 2008

Mevlana Rumi 
Divan-I Shams-I Tabriz

What is to be done, O Moslems? for I do not recognize myself.
I am neither Christian, nor Jew, nor Gabr [Magian], nor Moslem.
I am not of the East, nor of the West, nor of the land, nor of the sea;
I am not of Nature’s mint, nor of the circling heavens.
I am not of earth, nor of water, nor of air, nor of fire;
I am not of the empyrean, nor of the dust, nor of existence, nor of entity.
I am not of India, nor of China, nor of Bulghar, nor of Saqsin;
I am not of the kingdom of ‘Iraqain, nor of the country of Khurasan.
I am not of this world, nor of the next, nor of Paradise, nor of Hell;
I am not of Adam, nor of Eve, nor of Eden and Rizwan.
My place is the Placeless, my trace is the Traceless;
‘Tis neither body nor soul, for I belong to the soul of the Beloved.
I have put duality away, I have seen that the two worlds are one;
One I seek, One I know, One I see, One I call.

He is the first, He is the lest, He is the outward, He is the inward;
I know none other except “Ya Hu” [Yahweh] and “Ya man Hu” [”O He who is”].
I am intoxicated with Love’s cup, the two worlds have passed out of my ken;
I have no business save carouse and revelry.
If once in my life I spent a moment without you,
From that time and from that hour I repent of my life.
If once in this world I win a moment with you,
I will trample on both worlds, I will dance in triumph for ever.
O Shamsi Tabriz, I am so drunken in this world,
That except of drunkenness and revelry I have no tale to tell.

Divan-i Shams-i Tabriz From the official site of the family Of Rumi
Selected Poems from the Divani Shamsi Tabriz, Reynold A. Nicholson, ed.

According to wikipedia, this poem is not in the earliest manuscripts and probably not a genuine Rumi poem. R. A. Nicholson first published a translation of this line in 1898, but he admitted that, “The original text does not occur in any of the editions or MSS used by me” (p. 281) Furthermore, the line can also be translated as “do not fear, I am not Jewish, not Zoroastrian, not Muslim”, therefore again alluding to the main central theme of all Rumi’s poetry, which is the enlightened being that has transcended beyond religions into the complete man.

Rumi’s actual approach to Islam is clarified by the following quatrain composed by him:

I am the servant of the Qur’an as long as I have life. I am the dust on the path of Muhammad, the Chosen one. If anyone quotes anything except this from my sayings, I am quit of him and outraged by these words. man banda-yé qur’ân-am, agar jân dâr-am man khâk-é rah-é muHammad-e mukhtâr-am gar naql kon-ad joz în, kas az goftâr-am bêzâr-am az-ô, w-az-în sokhan bêzâr-am — Rumi’s Quatrain No. 1173[50]

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Sema: Human Being in the Universal Movement

Posted by Pelgrim on 28th March 2008

Sema: Human Being in the Universal MovementText by Dr. Celaleddin Celebi, illustrations by Ingrid Schaar «Dr. Celebi’s other writings»Sema is part of the inspiration of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi (1207- 1273) as well as of Turkish custom, history, beliefs and culture.
From a scientific viewpoint we witness that contemporary science definitely confirms that the fundamental condition of our existence is to revolve. There is no object, no being which does not revolve and the shared similarity among beings is the revolution of the electrons, protons and neutrons in the atoms, which constitute the structure of each of them. As a consequence of this similarity, everything revolves and man carries on his live, his very existence by means of the revolution in the atoms, structural stones of his body, by the revolution of his blood, by his coming from the earth and return to it, by his revolving with earth itself. However, all of these are natural, unconscious revolutions. But man is the possessor of a mind and intelligence which distinguishes him from and makes him superior to other beings.
Thus the “whirling dervish” or Semazen causes the mind to participate in the shared similarity and revolution of all other beings… Otherwise, the Sema ceremony represents a mystical journey of man’s spiritual ascent through mind and love to “Perfect.”
Turning towards the truth, his growth through love, desert his ego, find the truth and arrive to the “Perfect,” then he return from this spiritual journey as a man who reached maturity and a greater perfection, so as to love and to be of service to the whole of creation, to all creatures without discrimination of believes, races, classes and nations.
nat-serif #8.gif (2958 bytes)Sema consists of seven parts.
The first part
The dervish with his headdress (his ego’s tombstone), his white skirt (his ego’s shroud) is by removing his black cloak spiritually born to the truth, he journeys and advances there. At the onset and each stop of the Sema, holding his arms crosswise he represent the number one, and testifies to God’s unity. While whirling his arms are open, his right hand directed to the skies ready to receive God’s beneficence, looking to his left hand turned toward the earth, he turn from right to left around the heart.
This is his way of conveying God’s spiritual gift to the people upon whom he looks with the eyes of God. Revolving around the heart, from right to left, he embraces all the mankind, all the creation with affection and love… It starts with an eulogy “Nat-I Serif” to the Prophet, who represents love, and all Prophets before him. To praise them is praising God, who created all of them.kudum #6.gif (3179 bytes) The second part is a drum voice, symbolizing God order to the Creation: “Be.”ney #7.gif (2255 bytes)
The third part is an instrumental improvisation “taksim” with a reed “ney.” It represents the first breath which gives life to everything. The Divine Breath.
The fourth part is the “dervishes” greetings to each other and their thrice repeated circular walk “Devr-i Veled,” with the accompaniment of a music called “peshrev.” It symbolize the salutation of soul to soul concealed by shapes and bodies.The fifth part is the Sema (whirling). It consists of four salutes or “Selam”s. At the end of each as in the onset, the dervish testifies by his appearance to God’s unity.
  • The first salute is man’s birth to truth by feeling and mind. His complete conception of the existence of God as Creator and his state of creature.
  • The second salute expresses the rapture of man witnessing the splendor of creation, in front of God’s greatness and omnipotence.
  • The third salute is the transformation of rapture into love and thereby the sacrifice of mind to love. It is a complete submission, it is annihilation of self with in the loved one, it is unity. This state of ecstasy is the highest grade in Buddhism, defined as “Nirvana” and in Islam “Fenafillah.” However, the highest rank in Islam is the rank of the Prophet, he is called God’s servant first and his messenger afterwards. The aim of Sema is not unbroken ecstasy and loss of conscious thought. At the termination of this salute, he approves again by his appearance, arms crosswise the Unity of God, consciously and feelingly.
  • The forth salute Just as the Prophet ascends till the “Throne” and then returns to his task on earth, the whirling dervish reaching the state of “Fenafillah,” return to his task in creation, to his state of subservience following the termination of his spiritual journey and his ascent. He is a servant of God, of his Books, of his Prophets and all his creation.
hirka cikar #9.gif (3094 bytes)

First Salute

kiss hand #5.gif (3485 bytes)

Kiss of hand
Permission to whirl (dance)

Second Salute

whirl #4.gif (2770 bytes) Third Salute - Whirling
meditation #2.gif (1831 bytes) At the sixth part Sema ends with a reading of the Quran and specially of the verse from sura Bakara 2, verse 115, “Unto God belong the East and the West, and whither over ye turn, you are faced with Him. He is All-Embracing, All-Knowing.”
The seventh part is a prayer for the repose of the souls of all Prophets and all believers.
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the weakness that lurks in the soul of all creatures

Posted by Pelgrim on 16th March 2008

The Masnavi of Rumi

THE SPIRITUAL COUPLETS

STORY XII.
Joseph and the Mirror.
An old friend came to pay his respects to Joseph, and, after some remarks upon the bad behaviour of his brethren, Joseph asked him what present he had brought to show his respect. The friend replied that he had long considered what gift would be most suitable to offer, and at last had fixed upon a mirror, which he accordingly produced from his pocket and presented to Joseph, at the same time begging him to admire his own beauteous face in it.

Defect and Not-being the Mirror wherein
Absolute Perfect Being is reflected.
He drew forth a mirror from his side
A mirror is what Beauty busies itself with.
Since Not-being is tho mirror of Being,
If you are wise, choose Not-being (self-abnegation).
Being may be displayed in that Not-being,
Wealthy men show their liberality on the poor.
He who is an hungered is the clear mirror of bread,
The tinder is the mirror of the flint and steel.
Not-being and Defect, wherever they occur,
Are the mirrors of the Beauty of all beings.
Because Not-being is a clear filtered essence,
Wherein all these beings are infused.
When a garment is made by a good tailor,
‘Tis an evidence of the tailor’s art.
Logs of wood would not be duly shaped
Did not the carpenter plan outline and detail.
The leech skilled in setting bones goes
Where lies the patient with a broken leg.
If there were no sick and infirm,
How could the excellence of the leech’s art be seen?
If vile base copper were not mingled,
How could the alchemist show his skill?
Defects are the mirrors of the attributes of Beauty,
The base is the mirror of the High and Glorious One,
Because one contrary shows forth its contrary,
As honey’s sweetness is shown by vinegar’s sourness.
Whoso recognizes and confesses his own defects
Is hastening in the way that leads to perfection!
But he advances not towards the Almighty
Who fancies himself to be perfect.
No sickness worse than fancying thyself perfect
Can infect thy soul, O arrogant misguided one!
Shed many tears of blood from eyes and heart,
That this self-satisfaction may be driven out.
The fault of Iblis lay in saying, “I am better than he,”
And this same weakness lurks in the soul of all creatures.

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There is not room for two ‘I’s’ in one house

Posted by Pelgrim on 16th March 2008

The Masnavi of Rumi

THE SPIRITUAL COUPLETS

STORY XI.
The Lion who Hunted with the Wolf and the Fox.
A lion took a wolf and a fox with him on a hunting excursion, and succeeded in catching a wild ox, an ibex, and a hare. He then directed the wolf to divide the prey. The wolf proposed to award the ox to the lion, the ibex to himself, and the hare to the fox. The lion was enraged with the wolf because he had presumed to talk of “I” and “Thou,” and “My share” and “Thy share” when it all belonged of right to the lion, and he slew the wolf with one blow of his paw. Then, turning to the fox, he ordered him to make the division. The fox, rendered wary by the fate of the wolf, replied that the whole should be the portion of the lion. The lion, pleased with his self-abnegation, gave it all up to him, saying, “Thou art no longer a fox, but myself.”
Till man destroys “self” he is no true friend of God.
Once a man came and knocked at the door of his friend.
His friend said, “who art thou. O faithful one?”
He said, “‘Tis I.” He answered, “There is no admittance.
There is no room for the ‘raw’ at my well-cooked feast.
Naught but fire of separation and absence
Can cook the raw one and free him from hypocrisy!
Since thy ’self’ has not yet left thee,
Thou must be burned in fiery flames.”
The poor man went away, and for one whole year
Journeyed burning with grief for his friend’s absence.
His heart burned till it was cooked; then he went again
And drew near to the house of his friend.
He knocked at the door in fear and trepidation
Lest some careless word might fall from his lips.
His friend shouted, “Who is that at the door?”
He answered, “‘Tis Thou who art at the door. O Beloved!”
The friend said, “Since ’tis I, let me come in,
There is not room for two ‘I’s’ in one house.”

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