Tag Archives: sufi

Rumi

rumiLife is fire,
And hatred
And passion,
And desperation-
Life is not lived
With calm reasonableness.
 
The stillness of mind
Reason and balance
The shadowy peace
Of the quiet lake
Hides death, or,
Maybe, something else.
 
Let Rumi talk of love
And peace
And of miracles
Of faith – 
We shall ask Rumi of all that
When we die.

***


An incident in the park

imagination____by_punktlosThe child, about six years old, sitting on the park bench was looking curiously at me. It broke my reverie, and as an opening gambit, I smiled, but he continued to stare.

“What’s up young man?” I asked.

“What are you doing?” he asked, point blank.

That un-nerved me a little, for you never know what the kid was thinking. I played safe, “Just imagining things,” I said.

“What things?” he asked.

“All sorts of things,” I said, not really getting the hang of the conversation.

“Why?” he said.

Now there is little you can do when a young person asks you why. So I deflected the question, “My imagination saw your imagination there,” I said, pointing towards the sky.

That hooked him. We were on familiar territory now, in the world of imaginations.

“Where,” he asked. Perhaps he wanted to know the exact location of our imaginations.

“There, above the clouds,” I said, “Where lots of imaginations live.”

“Imaginations live above clouds?” he asked, curious.

“Not all,” I said, “but the better ones like to live above the clouds.”

“How do you know?” he asked.

“I have been studying imaginations all my life. I am an expert on them. My imagination meets the imaginations of so many people. That is what I was doing. ‘I was connecting’,” I explained.

The expression on his face turned to respect. It takes one to know one.

“Your imagination tells you everything?” he asked.

“Imagination can tell anything. Many things that even the scientists do not know,” I said.

“And they don’t lie?” asked the kid, for he wanted to be on sure grounds before proceeding further into the world of imaginations.

“Imaginations can tell you anything, it is up to you to believe them or not. They are not very particular about truth, but they are powerful none the less. They know the truth, which is sometimes difficult to find,” I said.

“But truth is easy to see. They are like facts,” the kid remarked.

“Not so. Most of the times truth is hidden behind layers of feelings. But imagination knows truth, for truth is sweet and imagination is powerful. I will give you an example. There are many poor children who have not seen the inside of a normal home. They imagine how it may be and are happy.”

“They can go anywhere they can imagine,” he asked.

“Yes of course, like you can go on an adventure, or on a spaceship, or fly with superman or fight the aliens. My imagination once saw a beggar child imagination what it would be to go around the city in a car. I decided to take him along with me in my car. And I did. At the end of the ride I asked him how he liked it, and he said, it was good, but he had been around earlier also. I asked him when, and he said, in his imagination. So, you see, imaginations can be pretty accurate.”

“Wonderful!” he exclaimed.

“No, but remember, not everyone is blessed with such great imaginations,” I cautioned, for I knew that he would feel that the world doesn’t need anything more than imagination. “Moreover, the soul needs imagination, but the body needs more worldly solid things.”

He was disappointed, for he seemed to detect a fly in the ointment. “My dad was saying it is all fool’s paradise,” he said.

“Not so. Newton to Einstein, Aristotle to Marx, Leaonardo da Vinci to Picasso – all the great men have had great imaginations, ones they believed in.”

“What was my imagination doing?” asked the boy.

“I don’t know. Did not talk to it. It seemed busy,” I said.

“Yes, it was. It was catching snakes. Huge snakes,” he nodded and said.

“Ah, that explains it. Your imagination was looking very preoccupied,” I said.

“How did you recognize it was my imagination?” he suddenly asked.

“It looked like you,” I said simply.

“Oh,” he said, “there must be millions and billions and gillions of imaginations up there?” he said.

“Not so. Only few imaginations soar so high. Mostly those of kids. Only few adult imaginations go there. Most adult imaginations can not even cross the clouds, let alone reach space. But the one that can go into space can go anywhere in the universe. No, even beyond the universe, but that needs more power,” I explained.

“What’s beyond universe?” he asked.

“Don’t know yet. Have not been able to go there. Imaginations of saints and really good people are so powerful as to break out of universe. But I have talked to some of those who have been beyond, and they say it is wonderful, for there it is without rules and limitations and free,” I said.

We were silent for a while, as we tried to imagine beyond universe. The little boy’s sigh told me that this time he had failed. And that is the danger of growing up. “Boy, never give up imagination even though at times it will not be able to take you where you want. The imagination of the adults becomes feeble only because they stop believing in them. They start believing too much in the real world, which, I am sure you know, is also imaginary,” I concluded with a smile, and decided to let his imagination figure out the rest.

***

 ((Pic courtesy: punktlos from the net))


The universe has space enough

The universe has space enough
For all your Gods.
 
Do not sit on your haunches
To pray to the Gods
That you meet on the way-
Bow before them,
And move on
To more miracles
That your eyes
May be permitted to see.
 
There is no method
No madness, no logic,
No map, no destination-
Move, till your legs ache
Till your heart beats.
 
Do not expect the time to end
Or the universe
To have a boundary.
Do not expect knowledge
To be final
Or unchanging.
Do not let the blinding illumination
Deter you
From travelling towards light.
 
In the ever expanding universe
The truths of today
Can become myth of history
In an instant.
 
You never know
When the time will reverse
Its march,
And move away
From wherever it was going –
Be ready, always,
To unlearn all your beliefs
And knowledge
And wisdom –
 
And remember,
The universe has space enough,
For all your Gods.
 
***

The land between the temple and the mosque

The wasteland
between the temple and the mosque
where the children play cricket
amidst the barb wires,
where the policemen hang their clothes to dry,
where the drug addicts hide in the night,
where the sharp glasses of broken bottles
remind the priests of the sinners,
where the goats graze on dry, sparse grass,
where the memories of past bloodsheds
has left a stench of hatred,
where the breeze does not bring the music
of lovers singing in the moonlight –
where the land awaits
the saint who would sing songs of love 
in the wasteland.
 
The wasteland
where the sound of the azaan clashes
with that of the temple bells,
where the broken stones of shifting loyalties
are used as proof of past injustices,
where the faithful prove their loyalty
with silent vows of more sacrifices,
where the officials come, once a year
to measure the land and verify
that no one has planted a rose shrub,
where the Sufi laughs a bitter laugh
and says that Gods hide here from men –
where the land awaits
the spring of love to burst forth
and reclaim the wasteland.
 
***

The man who dug deep

I dig and I dig – I dig the mud deep, ever so deep –
I have dug all my life, and will dig some more;
I know not what I will find in this hole, nor care –
All I know is, I have to dig, I have to dig some more.
 
So much digging, so much hole, so much darkness
But it is not for me to question, and I dig some more;
I dig, for they say, Gods love those who dig –
I trust them, for they know, and get on with my chore.
 
Deep in the hole, with artificial light and wet silence
Where the heart aches and the hands are sore,
I dug with my nails till they broke, and with my fingers
That are hard and blistered and not sweet anymore.
 
I dig the dirt, and break the stones to dirt –
I remove all obstacles, that I may dig some more;
It is not a grave that I dig, nor for the gold –
I dig beyond the graves and the gold, I dig for something more.
 
Fading memories of a child, and a gentle smile –
For them, though they know not, I dug, and shall dig some more;
I never looked back, or heeded the calls from afar –
I know I have to dig for them, and I dig some more.
 
Lonely and old, lonely and ill, I dig;
There is nothing else to do, nothing, any more;
Too late, it is much too late to ask why I dig –
Leave me alone, that I may dig some more.
 
***

Direct your rage, against Him

God hates love-
Love for self
Love for beauty
Love for life
Love for love – 
Anything, that is not Love for Him,
Will not be tolerated
For long.
 
Direct your rage,
(If you do not have love)
Against Him. That –
He won’t mind.
 
***

The great escape

The other day I made a list
Of things that I need to escape from.
Work figured at the top,
Then came bullies and misery,
And accidents and sickness,
And then in quick succession
Flashed past me, what I believe was,
The entire dictionary, including,
Love and children.
 
That stumped me for a while-
Why do I need to escape from
Love and children?
That’s because it is easy to hurt them-
They are delicate,
And when they get hurt
Because of you, or otherwise,
It pains so.
 
Somewhere in my list to escape
Were success and failure
And happiness and sadness.
They hang out in pairs.
Take one of them out for coffee,
And the other will drop in,
And they will back-slap each other
And you are left to pick the tab
And you feel cheated and alone.
 
It would be easy, just to say,
I want to escape the world, or
I want to escape from myself,
And be done with it.
But it is not that easy. You will
Tag along with yourself,
And you will find the world
Standing at every street corner
Looking sullenly at you, as if
You have let it down.
 
I know of a smart madman
Who escaped from his sanity.
‘I will enjoy life,’ he says, ‘till
Sanity finds me again.’
But it is not so easy
To fish out sanity
From your brain.
It is only the lucky
Who lose it, accidently.
 
My attempt to escape myself
Has taken me to some nice places
Around the world. There I pretend
Not to know myself, and that
I am not me; and the people there
Do not really know, or care enough,
To correct me. But this escape
Is temporary – it is a sham
Like the movies, where the superhero
Sets everything right
In the end.
 
‘Escape this need to escape,’
Said a mystic, ‘and flow with the river.
Do not swim, with or against
The current. The river shall take you
Somewhere – do not ask where.’
The advice does make some sense 
For in it, I get a hint of an escape,
And a hint of insanity,
And a hint of not having to do anything.
I think I will give this advice a try.
 
***
 

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