a community of lovers
We had wonderful gatherings in Bradford and London to celebrate Mevlana Rumi’s Urs. Thank you to all who came and participated. We include below the main readings that were shared on the night. You can also see more pictures on our Facebook page.
By God, don’t linger in any spiritual benefit you have gained,
but yearn for more—like one suffering from illness
whose thirst for water is never quenched.
This Divine Court is the Plane of the Infinite.
Leave the seat of honor behind;
let the Way be your seat of honor.
[Mathnawi III, 1960-1961, Jewels of Remembrance]
Time is limited, and the abundant water is flowing away.
Drink, before you fall to pieces.
There is a famous conduit, full of the Water of Life:
draw the Water, so that you may become fruitful.
We are drinking the water of Khidr
from the river of the speech of the saints:
Come, thirsty one!
Even if you don’t see the water, as skillfully as a blind person,
bring the jug to the river and dip it in.
[Mathnawi III, 4300-4304, Jewels of Remembrance]
No sound of clapping comes forth from only one hand.
The thirsty man is moaning, “O delicious water!”
The water is calling, “Where is the one who will drink me?”
This thirst in our souls is the magnetism of the Water:
We are Its, and It is ours.
[Mathnawi III, 4397-4399, Jewels of Remembrance]
Beware! Don’t allow yourself to do
what you know is wrong, relying on the thought,
“Later I will repent and ask God’s forgiveness.”
True repentance flashes inside and rains tears.
Such lightning and clouds are needed.
Without the lightning of the heart
and the rain storms of the eyes,
how shall the fire of Divine wrath be calmed?
How shall the greenery grow
and fountains of clear water pour forth?
[Mathnawi II, 1652-56, Jewels of Remembrance]
The real work belongs to someone who desires God
and has severed himself from every other work.
The rest are like children who play together until it gets dark
for these few short days.
Or like someone who awakes and springs up, still drowsy,
and then is lulled back to sleep by the suggestion of an evil nurse:
“Go to sleep, my darling, I won’t let anyone disturb your slumber.”
If you are wise, you, yourself, will tear up your slumber by the roots,
like the thirsty man who heard the noise of the water.
God says to you, “I am the noise of the water in the ears of the thirsty;
I am rain falling from heaven.
Spring up, lover, show some excitement!
How can you hear the sound of water and then fall back asleep!”
[Mathnawi VI, 586-592, Jewels of Remembrance]
Water says to the dirty, “Come here.”
The dirty one says, “I’m so ashamed.”
Water says, “How will your shame be washed away
[Mathnawi II, 1366-7, The Pocket Rumi]
Shams of Tabriz says: “I am looking for someone who is still hungry. I am looking for someone who is thirsty!
Clear and clean water, out of its natural gentleness and generosity, seeks someone who is thirsty.”
[The Maqalat, Rumi’s Sun]
It was Mary’s painful need that made the infant Jesus
begin to speak from the cradle.
Whatever grew has grown for the sake of those in need,
so that a seeker might find the thing he sought.
If God most High has created the heavens,
He has created them for the purpose of satisfying needs.
Wherever a pain is, that’s where the cure goes;
wherever poverty is, that’s where provision goes.
Wherever a difficult question is,
that’s where the answer goes;
wherever a ship is, water goes to it.
Don’t seek the water; increase your thirst,
so water may gush forth from above and below.
Until the tender-throated babe is born,
how should the milk for it
flow from the mother’s breast?
[Mathnawi III, 3204; 3208-3213, Jewels of Remembrance]
The vision of God looks into the heart
to see whether there is some modesty there,
no matter what your words sound like,
because the heart is what matters.
Speech is secondary. The essence is what’s real.
So what is secondary matters less.
How long must I keep telling this story?
I want burning, burning:
become intimate with that burning!
Light up a bonfire of love in your soul,
burn up thought and speech!
O Moses, those who know the “right” way are of one kind,
but they whose souls and spirits burn
are of another sort.
[Mathnawi II: 1760-1764, The Rumi Daybook]
The peerless God has made all the six directions a theater
for the display of His signs to the clear-seeing,
so that, whatever animal or plant they look upon,
they may feed on the meadows of divine Beauty.
And so He said to the mystic companions,
“Wherever you turn, there is the face of God.”
If in thirst you drink some water from a cup,
you are beholding God in the water.
The one who is not a lover of God
sees his own image in the water, O you of insight;
but since the lover’s image has disappeared in the Beloved,
whom now should he behold in the water? Tell me that!
There was a stream passing through a deep chasm:
a thirsty man climbed a tree nearby and threw walnuts into it.
One by one, the walnuts were falling into the water;
the sound was reaching his ears, and he could see the bubbles.
A sensible person called to him, “Stop, O youth!
Truly the falling of the walnuts will just increase your need
the more the fruit falls into the water,
because it’s a great distance below you.
They will have been carried far away
before you with effort come down from the top of that tree.”
He replied, “My purpose in this scattering
is not collecting walnuts.
Look more keenly, don’t stop there.
My purpose is that I might hear the sound of the water,
and that I might see the bubbles on its surface.”
What, indeed, is the thirsty man’s business in this world?
To circle forever around the water reservoir,
around the channel, around the Water,
and the sound of the Water,
like a pilgrim circumambulating the Ka‘ba of Truth.
[Mathnawi IV: 745-752, The Rumi Daybook]
Circle the Kaaba of the heart
if you possess a heart.
The heart is the true Kaaba,
the other is just a stone.
God enjoined the ritual
of circling the formal Kaaba
as a way for you to find a heart.
But if your feet walk
around the Kaaba a thousand times,
and yet you injure a heart,
do you expect to be accepted?
Give everything away, but gain a heart,
and its light will stay with you
even as far as the dark night of the grave.
Bring a thousand bags of gold coins to God,
and He will only tell you:
“Bring the heart if you come to Us.
“As silver and gold have no value Here,
it is the heart that We demand, if you desire Me.”
In the realms of the Throne, the Tablet, and the Pen,
that which seems worthless, the heart in ruins,
is the most precious thing.
Don’t debase it—even though distressed,
the heart is most precious in distress.
The ruined heart attracts God’s attention.
How happy is the soul that practices caring for it.
Comforting the wretched heart
in its time of need and pain
is more valuable to the Creator
than performing the outer pilgrimage.
The ruined hearts are God’s stores of treasure;
great treasures are buried in these ruins.
Tie the belt of service
and become a servant of hearts,
and the way to the Mystery may open up within you.
If you yearn for holy felicity,
shed your arrogance
and become a seeker of hearts.
When the goodwill of hearts is with you,
fountains of wisdom will begin to flow
from within your own being.
The water of life will cascade
from your speech like a river;
your Christlike breath
will become a remedy for disease.
For a single Heart all the worlds came into being;
listen to the lips that recite
the subtle point of Except for thee
I would not have created the worlds.
How else would the universe exist!
This universe of rust and dirt, of planets and stars.
Silence! A description of the heart
is impossible with words,
even if every cell of your body had a tongue.
[Divani Shamsi Tabrizi 3104, Love’s Ripening]