Thursday, November 24, 2011

[Sunlight] All praise be to God and thanksgiving! -- Ghazal 123


Sunlight offers Rumi's Ghazal (Ode) 123, in a translation by
William Chittick, and in a version by Jonathan Star:


I saw that good and beautiful King, that Eye
and Lamp of the breast,
That Intimate and Comforter of the heart, that
spirit-increasing Spirit and World.
I saw Him who gives intellect to the intellect
and purity to purity,
That Object of adoration for the moon and the
heavens, that Kiblah of the spirits of the saints.
Each one of my particles called out with its
own voice, "All praise be to God and thanksgiving!"
When Moses suddenly saw that Light from the
He said, "I have been delivered from seeking!
For I have been given this gift."
God said, "Oh Moses, leave aside traveling!
Throw down thy staff! (XXVII 10)"
At once Moses cast out from his heart friends,
fellows, and kin.
This is the significance of Put off thy two shoes!
(XX 12): "Cut off thy love from the two worlds!"
The house of the heart has no room for any but
God-- the heart knows the jealousy of the prophets.
God said, "Oh Moses, what is that in thy hand?"
He replied, "That is my staff for the road" (XX 17-18).
He said, "Cast it down (XX 19) and see the
marvels of heaven!"
He threw it down and it became a serpent;
when he saw the serpent he fled (XX 20-21).
God said, "Take it and I will make it your staff
once more" (XX 21):
"I will make your enemy your assistant, your
adversary your support.
Then you will know that faithful and gentle
friends derive only from My Bounty.
When We give pain to your hands and feet,
they become serpents in your eyes.
Oh hand, seize naught but Us! Oh foot, seek
naught but the Goal!
Flee not from the suffering We inflict, for
wherever you find suffering, there also you find a way to the
No one has ever fled from suffering without
finding something worse in return.
Flee from the bait-- that is where fear lies.
Leave fear of places for the intellect.
Shams of Tabriz has shown his gentleness, but
when he went away, he took it with him.

-- Translation by William C. Chittick
"The Sufi Path of Love"
SUNY Press, Albany, 1983

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"Throw Down Your Staff"

I saw that good and beautiful King,
That Witness of the heart's light,
That comforter and friend of the soul,
That spirit of all the world.

I saw the One who gives
wisdom to the wise,
purity to the pure;
The one adorned by the Moon and stars,
The one toward whom all saints bow.

Every cell of my body called out,
Praise God! Glory to God!

When Moses saw the radiant fire of the bush, he said:
"After finding this gift I need nothing more."

God said, "O Moses, your wandering is over.
Throw down your staff."
In that moment Moses cast from his heart
all friends, relatives, and kinsmen.

This is the meaning of "Take off both your shoes" -
Remove from your heart the desire of both worlds.
The abode of the heart has room for God alone.
You will know this through the grace of the prophets.

God said, "O Moses, what do you hold in your hand?"
Moses replied, "This is my rod for the journey."

God said,
"Throw it down and behold the marvels within yourself!"
Moses tossed his rod to the ground
and it became a serpent.
When Moses saw the serpent he ran in fear.

God said,
"Pick it up and I will turn it
into a staff once again.
Through my grace your foes will grant you blessings,
Your enemies will reach out in friendship.
When We bring suffering to your hands and feet
like the burning pain of snake-bites - carry on."

O hand, keep reaching for Us.
O feet, keep walking toward the Goal!
Do not run from the hardship We give you,
For wherever you find hardship
you will also find the means to its end.

No one has ever escaped from hardship
without something worse happening in return.

Don't take the bait! -
It will only lead to disaster.
Don't give in to your doubts! -
It will shake you from your ground.

Now Shams has shown us his mercy -
He went away
and left us with nothing but ourselves.

-- Version by Jonathan Star
"Rumi - In the Arms of the Beloved "
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, New York 1997




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