Rumi's Circle

a community of lovers

Mevlana’s Urs Celebration

Mevlana's Urs

We had a beautiful gathering in Bradford on Saturday celebrating Mevlana’s Urs with poetry, music and dhikr. Thanks to all who made it out and shared their hearts – and voices! We hope to see some of you at the January Ruminations.

More pictures are on our facebook page. We hope to have a video of highlights from the evening uploaded soon.

And as requested, see below the readings that were shared on the evening:

A philosopher on his deathbed made a confession:
“Compelled by the sharpness of the mind we galloped in vain.
In our delusion we drew away scornfully from holy men
and swam instead in the sea of fantasy.”

But in the spiritual Sea swimming is useless:
there, there is is no saving grace but the ark of Noah.
And so that king of the prophets said,
“I am the ship in this universal Sea,
or that person who, out of respect for my clear seeing,
has become my true representative.”

The saints are the ship of Noah in the Sea,
so don’t turn your face away from the ship, O youth.
Don’t go, like Canaan, to every mountain:
Listen to the warning in the Qur’an,
“There is nothing that will protect you to-day.”

In your clouded sight, you turn away from the ship,
while the mountain of intellect seems like high ground.
Beware, beware! Don’t regard “lowness” with contempt:
pay attention to the grace of God that is attached to it.
Don’t pay attention to the height of the mountain of thought,
for a single wave of that sea can turn a mountain upside down.

[Mathnawi IV: 3355-3364, translated by Kabir Helminski]

Listen, O drop, give yourself up without regret,
and in exchange gain the Ocean.
Listen, O drop, bestow upon yourself this honour,
and in the arms of the Sea be secure.
Who indeed should be so fortunate?
An Ocean wooing a drop!
In God’s name, in God’s name, sell and buy at once!
Give a drop, and take this Sea full of pearls.

[Mathnawi IV, 2619-262,] The Pocket Rumi, tr. by Kabir Helminski]

The desire in the female for the male
is so that they may perfect each other’s work.
God put desire in man and woman
in order that the world
should be preserved by this union.
God instills the desire of every part for the other:
from their union, creation results.

And so night and day are in mutual embrace:
they appear to be opposites, even enemies,
but the truth they serve is one,
each desiring the other like kin,
for the perfection of their work.
Both serve one purpose, for without night,
human nature would receive no income:
what then could day expend?

[Mathnawi III, 4414–4420, Love’s Ripening, tr. by Kabir Helminski & Ahmed Rezwani]

When the torrent reached the sea, it became the sea;
when the seed reached the corn field, it became the crop of corn.
When the bread reached connection with the human being,
it became living and full of knowledge.
When the wax and firewood were devoted to the fire,
their dark essence became light.
When the dusty stone of antimony entered the eyes,
it turned into sight and became watchful.
Oh, happy is the man who was freed from himself
and united with the existence of one who is living!
Too bad for the living one who kept company with the dead!
He also died; life sped away from him.
When you run for refuge to the Qur’an of God,
you have mingled with the spirit of the prophets.
The Qur’an is the states of the prophets,
those fish of the holy sea of His Majesty.

[Mathnawi I: 1531–1538, The Rumi Daybook, tr. by Kabir & Camille Helminski]

I said, This longing in my heart
is more curse than a cure

He said, what is your cure?
I said, Union
He said, And what is my cure?
I said, Union

[1234, In the Arms of the Beloved, tr. by Jonathan Star]

In their seeking,
wisdom and madness are one and the same.
On the path of love
friend and stranger are the same.

Once you taste the wine of union
what will be your faith?
You’ll tell everyone
that the Ka’ba and the idol temple
are one and the same.

[306, In the Arms of the Beloved, tr. by Jonathan Star]

What does it mean to learn the knowledge of God’s Unity?
To consume yourself  in the presence of the One.
If you wish to shine like day,
burn up the night of self-existence.
Dissolve in the Being who is everything.
You grabbed hold of “I” and “we,”
and this dualism is your ruin.

[Mathnawi I, 3009-12, Jewels of Remembrance, tr. by Kabir & Camille Helminski]

If there are a hundred religious books, they are but one chapter:
a hundred different religions seek but one place of worship.
All these roads end in one House:
all these thousand ears of corn are from one Seed.
All the hundred thousand sorts of food and drink
are but one thing if one looks to their final cause.
When you are entirely satiated with one kind of food,
fifty other kinds of food become displeasing to your heart.
In hunger, then, you are seeing double,
for you have regarded as more than a hundred thousand
that which is but One.

[Mathnawi VI, 3667-3671, Jewels of Remembrance, tr. by Kabir & Camille Helminski]

The moment I first heard of love
I gave up my soul, my heart and my eyes.
I wondered, could it be that
the lover and the beloved are two?
No, they have always been one.
It is I who have been seeing double…

[Rubaiyat 1246, Pocket Rumi, tr. by Kabir & Camille Helminski with Lida Saedian]

The living world of pure Consciousness – you are That.
The reflection of the King’s Face – you are That.
There is nothing outside yourself.
Look within,
Everything you want is there – you are That.

[1921, In the Arms of the Beloved, tr. by Jonathan Star]

O head, you are cause within cause within cause.
O body, you are wonder within wonder within wonder.
O heart, you are searching within searching within searching.
O soul, you are joy within joy within joy.

[Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi: 1668, The Rumi Daybook, tr. by Kabir & Camille Helminski]

A moment of happiness,
you and I sitting on the verandah,
apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.
We feel the flowing water of life here,
you and I, with the garden’s beauty
and the birds singing.
The stars will be watching us,
and we will show them
what it is to be a thin crescent moon.
You and I unselfed, will be together,
indifferent to idle speculation, you and I.
The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar
as we laugh together, you and I.
And what is even more amazing
is that while here together, you and I
are at this very moment in Iraq and Khorasan.
In one form upon this earth,
and in another form in a timeless sweet land.

[Ghazel, Pocket Rumi, tr. by Kabir Helminski]

Divine wisdom decreed us lovers of each other;
all the particles in the world
are fated to be in love with their mates,
just as amber attracts straw.
Heaven says to Earth, “Welcome,
we are magnetized to each other.”

To the intellect Heaven is masculine, Earth is feminine;
whatever Heaven sends down,
it is the Earth’s to nurture.
If Earth grows cold, Heaven sends warmth;
when Earth gets dry, Heaven pours down rain.

Heaven is almost giddy when it enters the world of Time,
like a husband who goes out to find
something to bring home to his wife;
and Earth is a good wife:
it gives birth and suckles what it bears.

Heaven and Earth do intelligent work.
Why else would these two nestle like lovers
if they did not taste delight in each other?

The desire in the female for the male
is so that they might perfect each other’s work,
and the world is preserved by this union.

[Mathnawi III, 4391–4415, Love’s Ripening, tr. by Kabir Helminski & Ahmed Rezwani]


Watching my hand; He is moving it.
Hearing my voice; He is speaking….
Walking from room to room –
No one here but Him.

[Perfume of the Desert: Inspirations from Sufi Wisdom, tr. by Andrew Harvey and Eryk Hanut]

God spoke into the ear of the rose
and made it laugh in full bloom.
He spoke to the stone and made it a ruby.
He whispered to the body, and filled it with spirit.
He sang to the sun, and it became radiant.
With the slightest caution from Him,
a hundred eclipses cover its face.
Consider what He must have chanted
into the ear of the cloud,
so that it rained profuse tears from its eyes.

And what did He chant into the ear of the earth,
so that it became so silent and circumspect?
Whoever is bewildered and troubled,
God has whispered a riddle into his ear,
so that He might bind him between two thoughts:
“Shall I do what He said or the opposite?”
It is from God that one side weighs more heavily.

To be under the compulsion of Love is to be free.
Other loveless compulsions are like chains.
Love’s compulsion isn’t compulsion,
it is union with God—
it is the moon emerging from the clouds, shining.

[Mathnawi I: 1451–1464, The Rumi Daybook, tr. by Kabir & Camille Helminski]

Should Love’s heart rejoice unless I burn?
For my heart is Love’s dwelling.
If You will burn Your house, burn it, Love!
Who will say, “It’s not allowed”?
Burn this house thoroughly!
The lover’s house improves with fire.
From now on I will make burning my aim,
for I am like the candle: burning only makes me brighter.
Abandon sleep tonight; traverse for one night
the region of the sleepless.
Look upon these lovers who have become distraught
and like moths have died in union with the One Beloved.
Look upon this ship of God’s creatures
and see how it is sunk in Love.

[Mathnawi VI, 617-623, Jewels of Remembrance, tr. by Kabir & Camille Helminski]

Love is not condescension, never
that, nor books, nor any marking.

on paper, nor what people say of
each other. Love is a tree with
branches reaching into eternity
and roots set deep in eternity
and no trunk! Have you seen it?
The mind cannot. Your desiring
cannot. The longing you felt for
this love comes from inside you.

When you become the friend, your
longing will be as the man in
the ocean who holds to a piece of
wood. Eventually, wood, man and
ocean become one swaying being,
Shams Tabriz, the secret of God.

[The book of love, tr. by Coleman Barks]

Someone said, “Master San’ai is dead.”
The death of such a master is no small thing.
He was not chaff blown about by the wind,
Nor a puddle frozen over in winter.
He was not a comb broken in the hair,
Nor a seed crushed on the ground.

He was a piece of gold in a pile of dust.
The value he put on both worlds
was equal to one barleycorn.

He let his body fall back into the earth
and bore the witness of his soul to heaven.
But there is a second soul
of which common men are not aware.
I tell you before God,
That one merged straight with the Beloved!

What was once mixed is now separate:
The pure wine rose to the top.
The dregs settled to the bottom.

During their travels, everyone walks together-
people from Marv and Rayy, The Kurds and Romans.
But soon each returns to his homeland,
How can fine silk stay bound to rough wool?

He has reached the final stage,
The King has erased his name
from the book of words.

O Master, now that you’re gone from this world,
How can we reach you?
But in silence?

[996, In the Arms of the Beloved, tr. by Jonathan Star]

With Your sweet Soul, this soul of mine
has merged as water does with wine.
Who can part the water from the wine,
or me from You when we combine?

You have become my greater self;
how can smallness limit me?
You’ve taken on my being,
how shall I not take on Yours?

Forever, You have claimed me
that forever I may know You’re mine.
Your love has pierced me to the depths,
its ecstasy entwines both bone and nerve.

I rest as a ney laid upon Your lips;
as an oud I lie against Your breast.
Breathe deeply in me that I may sigh;
Strike upon my strings and tears glisten.

Sweet are my tears and sweet my sighs;
worldly joys I return to the world.
You remain in my inmost Soul
whose depths the mirrored heavens reflect.

O pearl in this mussel shell:
O diamond in my darkest mine!
In You, this honey is dissolved,
O milk of life, so mild, so fine!

Our sweetnesses, all merged in You,
sweeten infant smiles.
You crush me into rose oil, drop by drop;
nor do I complain beneath the press.

In Your sweet pain, pain dissolves;
for I, Your rose, had this intent.
You bade me blossom on Your robe,
and made me for all eyes Your sign.

And when You pour me upon this world,
it blooms in Beauty, fully Divine.

[Ghazel, Pocket Rumi, tr. by Camille Helminski and William Hastie]

Love is here; it is the blood in my veins, my skin.
I am destroyed; He has filled me with Passion.
His fire has flooded the nerves of my body.
Who am I? Just my name; the rest is Him

[Perfume of the Desert: Inspirations from Sufi Wisdom, tr. by Andrew Harvey and Eryk Hanut]

May these vows and this marriage be blessed.
May it be sweet milk,
this marriage, like wine and halvah.
May this marriage offer fruit and shade
like the date palm.
May this marriage be full of laughter,
our every day a day in paradise.
May this marriage be a sign of compassion,
a seal of happiness here and hereafter.
May this marriage have a fair face and a good name,
an omen as welcomes the moon in a clear blue sky.
I am out of words to describe
how spirit mingles in this marriage.

[Ghazel, Pocket Rumi, tr. by Kabir Helminski]

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This entry was posted on December 16, 2013 by in Events and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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