Friday, April 11, 2008

[Sunlight] Slaking your spiritual thirst


Today, Sunlight offers a selection from Mathnawi VI, verses
66-73, in an interpretive version by Coleman Barks, and in the
translation by Reynold Nicholson upon which Barks based his version.


Maybe you can't drink the entire Oxus River
but don't deny you're thirsty!

You want a spirit-drenching?
Dig a hole in this book, the Mathnawi,
this island. Make holes
so the ocean can flow up through.
Dig and make it porous
until it's all seawater.

Wind moves word-leaves off the surface
showing one color, clearness.

Beneath you, coral branches
and ocean-peaches.

When the Mathnawi sinks
with your digging, it loses its words.
Speaker, listener, language,
Bread-giver, bread-taker, bread.
The categories dissolve
into One Water.

-- Version by Coleman Barks
"Like This"
Maypop, 1990


Still, if it is impossible to drain (drink) the Oxus, one cannot
deny one's self as much (water) as will slate thirst.
If you are thirsting for the spiritual Ocean, make a breach in
the island of the Mathnawi.
Make such a great breach that at every moment you will see
the Mathnawi to be only spiritual.
When the wind sweeps away the straw from the (surface of)
the river-water, the water displays its unicolouredness.
Behold the fresh branches of coral, behold the fruits grown
from the water of the spirit!
When it (the Mathnawi) is made single (and denuded) of
words and sounds and breaths, it leaves all that (behind) and
becomes the (spiritual) Ocean.
The speaker of the word and the hearer of the word and the
words (themselves) - all three become spirit in the end.
The bread-giver and the bread-receiver and the wholesome
bread become single (denuded) of their forms and are turned
into earth . . .

-- Translated by Reynold A. Nicholson
"The Mathnawi of Jalalu'ddin Rumi"
Published and Distributed by
The Trustees of The "E.J.W. Gibb Memorial"




Archive for Sunlight can be accessed at: /messages
To subscribe, please send an email to :
To unsubscribe, please send an email to:
Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> Your email settings:
Individual Email | Traditional

<*> To change settings online go to:

(Yahoo! ID required)

<*> To change settings via email:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:


No comments: