I am reading Rumi. Specifically the book I am reading is The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks. Link to browse the book at Amazon India is below:
I have decided to write a few articles on what I have learned in my daily reading of the above book. Today is day 1, I have read the first chapter and my takeaways are as under:
- Who says words with my mouth – I am interpreting this sentence as Rumi being conscious of God speaking through him (that is through Rumi).
- God says: “the world is a play, a children’s game and you are the children.” God speaks the truth. If you haven’t left the Child’s play how can you be an adult? Without purity of spirit, if you are still in the midst of lust and greed and other wantings, you’re like children playing at sexual intercourse.
- Recognise that your imagination and your thinking and your sense perceptions are like reed canes that children cut and pretend are horses. … Deny your desires and your wilfulness, and a real mount may appear under you.
- God has given us a dark wine so potent that drinking it we leave the two worlds. … There are thousands of wines that can take over our minds. Don’t think all ecstasies are the same! Jesus was lost in his love for God. His donkey was drunk with barley. Drink from the presence of saints, not from these other jars. … Be a connoisseur and taste with caution.
This is quite enough instruction and advice for one day and one article don’t you think?
Point 1 is self-explanatory.
Point 2 states the fact that by being pure of desire, lust and greed we are freeing ourselves from the ego and thus are making room for God to enter and take possession of us.
Point 3 flows from the fact that the world we experience is an illusion and only God is real. A real mount appearing under you refers to God taking possession of you as and when the Divine comes.
Point 4 is also self-explanatory. Choose the wine that gets you drunk carefully. By choosing to get drunk on the words of the saints and the divinely inspired mystics you will remain in continuous touch with the Divine.
The introductory chapter to the book describes why Rumi has been held in such high esteem over the centuries. To quote from the introduction:
… these poems are not monumental in the Western sense of memorializing moments; they are not discrete entities but a fluid, continuously self-revising, self-interrupting medium. They are not so much about anything as spoken from within something. Call it enlightenment, ecstatic love, spirit, soul, truth, the ocean of ilm (divine luminous wisdom) or the covenant of alast ( the original agreement with God). Names do not matter. Some resonance of the ocean resides in everybody. Rumi’s poetry can be felt as a salt breeze from that, travelling inwards.
I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something from it. I need a favour from you – my reader. Please let me know what problems and challenges you are facing so that I can write on those topics. It is a little difficult to come up with ideas for my blog week after week. By letting me know your challenges you will help. I’ll end here.
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