Friday, May 14, 2010

[Sunlight] "The Oxus has become the Sea" -- Ghazal 1931

"The Oxus has become the Sea"


The Oxus, which had begun to flow because of the love for
the Sea, has become the Sea – the Oxus has been obliterated.
When it reached Love, it saw an ocean of blood – intellect
sat in the blood's midst.
The waves of blood crashed down upon its head and took
it away from all six directions toward the Directionless,
Until it lost itself completely and became nimble and well
proportioned in Love.
While lost, it reached a place where the earth and the
heavens did not exist.
When it wanted to go forward, it had no feet – but if it
had sat, it would have suffered great loss.
Suddenly it saw from the other side of both obliteration
and the universe an Ineffable Light.
One banner and a hundred thousand spears. It became
enthralled by the Gentle Light:
Its feet had been stuck but began to move; forward it
went in the incredible plain,
Hoping to pass Yonder and be delivered from self and
everything below.
Two valleys appeared upon its path, one full of fire and
the other roses.
A call came, "Go into the fire and find yourself in the
rosegarden of ease!
But if you enter the rosary, you will find yourself in fire
and furnace.
Either fly to the heavens like Jesus, or fall to the depths
like Korah!*"
Flee and seek the sanctuary of the spirit's king so that
you may escape every snare
That Sun of Religion and Pride of Tabriz, who is greater
than any attribute you give him!

*Korah, one of Moses' people, is said to have been the richest
man alive. According to the Koran he was swallowed up by the
earth for his sins and arrogance (XXVIII 81 and other passages).

-- Ghazal (Ode) 1931
Translation by William C. Chittick
"The Sufi Path of Love"
SUNY Press, Albany, 1983




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