Jalaluddin Rumi lived in Konya, Turkey from 1207 to 1273 CE. Rumi served his community as a religious scholar until a wandering dervish named Shams al-Din of Tabriz came into town. Shams put a theological question to Rumi that caused Rumi to faint dead away. When Rumi regained consciousness, his spiritual life had been transformed. For a year or two, Shams and Rumi were constant companions. Within three years of their meeting, Shams disappears.
It has been rumored that some of Rumi's students may have arranged to have Shams killed because Rumi was neglecting them, but nothing is known for certain. Around this time Rumi leaves off preaching to the general public and devotes the remaining twenty-six years of his life to training his Sufi initiates and writing divinely inspired poetry. In the passage below, Rumi speaks of his transformation:
Passion for that Beloved took me away from erudition and reciting the Koran until I became as insane and obsessed as I am. I had followed the way of the prayer carpet and the mosque with all sincerity and effort. I wore the marks of asceticism to increase my good works. Love came into the mosque and said, "Oh great teacher! Rend the shackles of existence! Why are you tied to prayer carpets? Let not your heart tremble before the blows of My sword! Do you want to travel from knowledge to vision? Then lay down your head! If you are a profligate and a scoundrel, do justice to troublemaking! If you are beautiful and fair, why do you remain behind the veil?
(a poem by Hafiz, 1320 c.e to 1389)
I have learned so much from God
That I can no longer call myself
a Christian, a Hindu, A Muslim, A Buddhist, a Jew.
The Truth has shared so much of Itself with me
That I can no longer call myself
a man, a woman, an angel, or even a pure soul.
Love has befriended Hafiz.
It has turned to ash and freed me
Of every concept and image my mind has ever known.
(A poem by Ibn El-Arabi circa 1202 c.e.)
My heart is capable of every form:
A Cloister for the monk, a fan for idols,
A pasture for gazelles, a votary's Ka'ba,
The tables of the Torah, the Quran.
Love is the creed I hold:
Wherever turn His camels,
Love is still my creed and faith.
(verses from Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat, born 1048 c.e.)
If I myself upon a looser Creed
Have loosely strung the Jewel of Good Deed,
Let this one thing for my Atonement plead
That One for Two I never did misread.
Ah, Love! Could Thou and I with Fate conspire
to grasp this sorry scheme of things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits - and then
Re-mold it nearer to the Heart's Desire?
Would you that spangle of Existence spend
About the secret-quick about it, Friend!
A hair perhaps divides the False from True
And upon what, prithee, does life depend?
The Grape that can with Logic absolute
The two-and-seventy jarring Sects confute:
The subtle Alchemist that in a trice
Life's leaden metal into Gold transmute.
Here with a loaf of bread beneath the bough,
A jug of wine, a book of verse, and Thou
Beside me singing in the wilderness -
And wilderness is Paradise now.
Suffering ennobles a man,
Enduring the oyster-shell's prison makes a pearl of a water drop;
Though worldly goods perish,
Let your head remain like a cup -
When the cup is empty it may be filled again!
I have seen the Noble King with a face of Glory:
He Who is the companion and healer of all beings;
He who is the Soul and the Universe that births Souls;
He who bestows Wisdom on Wisdom, Purity on Purity;
He who is the prayer-mat of the Soul of Saints!
Each atom of my body cries out separately:
"Glory be to God!
If you are seeking, seek US with Joy, for we live in the Kingdom of Joy.
Do not give your heart to anything else
But to the Love of those who are clear Joy.
Do not stray into the neighborhood of despair
For there are hopes: they are real, they exist!
Do not go in the direction of darkness -
I tell you, Suns exist!
Love's Creed is separate from all religions.
The Creed and Denomination of Lovers is God.
One day, you will find yourself outside this world
Which is similar to the Maternal Womb.
You will leave this earth to enter, while you
Are yet in the body, a vast expanse, knowing
That the words, "God's earth is vast"
designate this region from which the Saints have come.
A human being must be born TWICE. Once from
his mother and again from his own body
and his own existence.
The body is like an egg, and
The essence of man must become a bird in that egg
Through the warmth of Love,
And then he can escape from his body and fly
In the Eternal World of the Soul
Beyond Time and Space.
Multiplicity exists in the separate grapes,
But it cannot be found in the juice that comes from the grape!
Look at Me! I am your companion in the tomb.
On that night you leave our shop and your house,
You hear my salutation in the tomb,
And you will know that never EVER
Were you hidden from My eyes.
I am that spark of Intelligence and Reason in your breast:
At the moment of Pleasure, at the moment of Joy,
At the moment of Suffering, at the moment of Misery.
And on that strange Night when you hear
the Voice of the Beloved,
You will soar free of the bite of the serpent
And the Terror of ants.
The drunkenness of Love will carry into your Tomb
Know that your life throws a veil over your path.
Our life is constantly tempting us to define ourselves with it.
(someone in ICQ asked me: Will the Universe ever end?)
hey...can I ask you a question...do you think the world is ever going to end
Physics and the laws of thermodynamic indicate that this particular universe, which we are in, will "run down" to a low level of energy, in which there will be no suns, stars, life.....but theories concerning black holes suggest that there are innumerable universes, big bangs, each tucked inside of a black hole, at different stages of birth and decay: and this is also the concept in Hinduism and Buddhism, that universes are constantly created and destroyed.
Now explain this to me...about the world ending like by earthquakes, floods..what ya think about that of course,... you are now speaking about this particular planet Earth. Certainly, it is theoretically possible that an asteroid impact, or some other natural event, might totally destroy this particular planet Earth, but if there are innumerable Universes with innumerable planets containing intelligent life, it is no more significant than the recent deaths by earthquake in Turkey. Each of us must die at some time. Life (as we know it, is not possible without Death). Conversely, Death as we know it, is not possible without Life. Destruction is not possible without Creation. Conversely, Creation is not possible without Destruction.
If you read and meditate upon the ideas about black holes, and an infinitude of universes, coming into being, and passing away, you will come to the realization that YOU yourself, your MIND, your CONSCIOUSNESS, is a part of all this, not different, and you will pass beyond birth and death.
Have no doubt, that just as your spiritually ripe questions appear on this page, they also echo through those infinite universes, those countless worlds, through the hearts of those myriad's of sentient beings. That is why you are beyond birth and death. It is the very nature of Consciousness itself. You must come to understand Rupert Sheldrake and the concept of Morphic Resonance.