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Saraswati Mela

Rumi on finding oneself with all sacredness and beyond every dogma

Who gets up early 
to discover the moment light begins? 
But don't be satisfied with stories, how things 
have gone with others. Unfold 
your own myth,
Your legs will get heavy 
and tired. Then comes a moment 
of feeling the wings you've grown, 
lifting.

...

Paradise is there, behind that door, in the next room; but I have lost the key. 

Perhaps I have only mislaid it. 

                       –Kahlil Gibran

The eternal quest of humanity has been to unlock the lock to paradise, but perhaps we have not been able to find the key because we have  it too close to ourselves. Creating paradise is essentially being in sync with our true selves and , finding ourselves is actually, creating ourselves. It is a difficult journey to undertake  but one of paramount importance. Throughout the history of civilization we have had poets and philosophers who have stood steadfast, burnt and lighted our paths. The lanterns of ideas and words and thoughts was always kept alight…

Jalauddin Balkhi born on September 30, 1207 in Balkh of Afghanistan was one of these carriers of the tradition of light. Known as Rumi, Jalauddin immersed himself in the dervish Sufism of his time and penned beautiful verses. His poems are the lovesick cry of a lover, the giddying ecstasy of a dervish and the profound wisdom of a saint. Much like the Sufis, Rumi emphasised the need to break the shackles of dogma, convictions and  traditions and experience the truth for oneself . Kahlil Gibran says a beautifully pragmatic thing when he says that – Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see the truth through it, but it divides us from the truth. Rumi implores the reader and the listener to break this window pane, this glass ceiling ( If i may) and touch and hold the truth in their palms.

Rumi returns age old tales and fables to their rightful place and interpretations . He treats them as symbols, albeit powerful ones at that . He urges us to dive in them and return with a newfound understanding of their meaning, the potent truths they hold and ourselves, unfurling and shaping our destinies on the way.

Swadharma ( One’s own nature and duty ) by S.H Raza

Who gets up early 
to discover the moment light begins? 
Who finds us here circling, bewildered, like atoms? 
Who comes to a spring thirsty 
and sees the moon reflected in it? 
Who, like Jacob blind with grief and age, 
smells the shirt of his lost son 
and can see again? 
Who lets a bucket down and brings up 
a flowing prophet? 
Or like Moses goes for fire 
and finds what burns inside the sunrise?

Jesus slips into a house to escape enemies, 
and opens a door to the other world. 
Soloman cuts open a fish, and there’s a gold ring. 
Omar storms in to kill the prophet 
and leaves with blessings. 
Chase a deer and end up everywhere! 
An oyster opens his mouth to swallow on drop. 
Now there’s a pearl. 
A vagrant wanders empty ruins. 
Suddenly he’s wealthy.

But don’t be satisfied with stories, how things 
have gone with others. Unfold 
your own myth, without complicated explanation, 
so everyone will understand the passage, 
We have opened you.

Start walking toward Shams. Your legs will get heavy 
and tired. Then comes a moment 
of feeling the wings you’ve grown, 
lifting.

Only a poet like Rumi could write a poem of such transcendence where water is not enough to quench one’s thirst but just a step to know, desire and achieve something greater; the moon.Among the tapestry of Biblical, Jewish and Islamic allegories, the last one is a personal narrative of Rumi. Rumi had pursued the life of an orthodox religious scholar when in 1244, he met the mystic and wanderer Shams of Tabriz. In his Sohbet , simply translating to company but meaning a state of blissful spiritual exchange and conversation , Rumi was transformed . The stream in him flew open , gushing forward with all its power and glory. Rumi dedicates his poems to this mighty torrent which swept him off his feet and hurled him into bliss and ecstasy. Thus Shams of Tabriz came to be known as his muse and friend. A beautiful ode to the great journey inwards, this poem, just like its mythical symbolism is elevated by Rumi’s love and wisdom to mythical proportions. 

 

BP