“One day you will ask me which is more important? My life or yours? I will say mine and you will walk away not knowing that you are my life.”
― Khalil Gibran
A SHORT BIOGRAPHY OF RUMI
“The name Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi stands for love and ecstatic flight into the infinite. Rumi is one of the greatest spiritual masters and poetical geniuses of mankind and was the founder of the Mevlevi Sufi Order, a leading mystical brotherhood of Islam. Rumi was born in Balkh [a historic city in northern modern Afghanistan near Mazar-e Sharif, back then the eastern frontiers of the great Persian Empire], in 30 September 1207 to a family of learned theologians. Escaping the Mongol invasion and destruction, Rumi and his family traveled extensively in the Muslim lands, performed pilgrimage to Mecca and finally settled in Konya, Anatolia, then part of Seljuk Empire. When his father Bahauddin Walad passed away, Rumi succeeded his father in 1231 as professor in religious sciences. Rumi 24 years old, was an already accomplished scholar in religious and positive sciences.
Rumi was introduced into the mystical path by a wandering dervish, Shams of Tabriz. His love and his bereavement for the death of Shams found their expression in a surge of music, dance and lyric poems, `Divan-e Shams Tabrizi’. Rumi is the author of six volume didactic epic work, the `Masnavi’, called as the ‘Quran in Persian’ by Jami [the eminent 15th century Persian Sufi poet], and Discourses, `Fihi Ma Fihi’, written to introduce his disciples into metaphysics.
If there is any general idea underlying Rumi’s poetry, it is the absolute love of God. The Mevlevi rites, Sema [Sufi Dance of Whirling Dervishes] symbolize the divine love and mystical ecstasy; they aim at union with the Divine. The music and the dance are designed to induce a meditative state on the love of God. Mevlevi music contains some of the most core elements of Eastern classical music and it serves mainly as accompaniment for poems of Rumi and other Sufi poets. The dervishes turn timelessly and effortlessly. They whirl, turning round on their own axis and moving also in orbit. The right hand is turned up towards heaven to receive God’s overflowing mercy which passes through the heart and is transmitted to earth with the down-turned left hand. While one foot remains firmly on the ground, the other crosses it and propels the dancer round. The rising and falling of the right foot is kept constant by the inner rhythmic repetition of the name of “Allah-Al-lah, Al-lah…”
Rumi departed from the world on 17th December 1273 AD, in Konya, within the Seljuk Empire’s territory (currently it’s within Turkey). He was buried beside his father in Konya. A tomb named Mevlana mausoleum was built in Konya, commemorating the great Sufi poet. It consists of a mosque, dervish living quarters and a dance hall. The sacred site is visited by his admirers coming from different parts of the world.
“The very center of your heart is where life begins. The most beautiful place on earth”
Kabir Das, a saint to the world and a great poet to millions. A city located at the banks of river Ganga named Varanasi gave world one of the most inspirational poet ever. He is a universal guru and his views about egalitarianism still give chills to existing human race. Kabir Das was a son of a Brahmin widow but was later adopted by a childless Muslim family.
His birth and upbringing was entirely different and may be that is why he never liked the idea of being divided based on caste, religion or sect. The simplicity of his views has always amazed the world. All of his teachings are in the form of two-liners also called as Dohas/Couplets. They were written in simple Hindi of that time and the clarity of his thoughts explained in these couplets will shake up your soul.
Kabir will always be remembered as a great poet but now in today’s hi-tech era, his Doha’s are losing most of its charm as people are busy in catching up with life. These couplets do not only have the old charm but also are really applicable in everyday life. He may have written these couplets of Kabir Das years ago but even now you can find life lessons in his writings.
I wish to bring you here some lines from Couplets of Kabir.
Chalti Chakki Dekh Kar, Diya Kabira Roye
Dui Paatan Ke Beech Mein,Sabit Bacha Na Koye
Kabir sees the grinding stones as the duality that we live in. Heaven and earth, Good and Bad, Male and Female, High and Low – all around is duality. This play of opposites, this Chalti Chakki (moving mill) gets everyone, no one is save from in it’s powerful grip.
Whoever enters this duality is crushed. No one survives. Kabir cries because rarely, if ever, does one see the oneness, the divinity, behind the duality.
Bura Jo Dekhan Main Chala, Bura Naa Milya Koye
Jo Munn Khoja Apnaa, To Mujhse Bura Naa Koye
This Doha is about observing ones own mind. Kabir says that he searched the world for the bad guy, the real evil person but he couldn’t find the evil person no matter where he looked. Then he looked within at his own thinking process, his own mind. The he found the real evil person who lived in his mind, unchecked. When we accuse, condemn another, it is our mind that is doing the finger pointing, the other person is probably innocent or the victim of his circumstances. Were we to inhabit the condemned persons body, live his life, have his conditioning, then we too would behave and act the same.
Kaal Kare So Aaj Kar, Aaj Kare So Ub
Pal Mein Pralaya Hoyegi, Bahuri Karoge Kub
Tomorrows work do today, today’s work anon
if the moment is lost, when will the work be done
Aisee Vani Boliye, Mun Ka Aapa Khoye
Apna Tan Sheetal Kare, Auran Ko Sukh Hoye
In speech use such words that your ego is eliminated. Don’t brag, don’t gloat, don’t make yourself out to be big, important, rich or anything else that the ego attaches to. Building the Ego takes energy from the body, takes away the bodies composure. If ego is lost in ones speech, the listener finds peace from listening to it.
Speak such words, sans ego’s ploy Body remains composed, giving the listener joy
Dheere Dheere Re Mana, Dheere Sub Kutch Hoye
Mali Seenche So Ghara, Ritu Aaye Phal Hoye
Kabir tells his mind to slow down, everything in life happens slowly, in its own time.
Gardner may water a hundred buckets, fruit arrives only in its season
Mangan Maran Saman Hai, Mat Koi Mange Beekh
Mangan Se Marna Bhala, Yeh Satguru Ki Seekh
Don’t beg – give that you may receive. Give time, give some service, give friendship, give love – don’t beg.
Maya Mari Na Mun Mara, Mar Mar Gaye Shareer
Asha Trishna Na Mari, Keh Gaye Das Kabir
One of Kabir most meaningful doha’s for me. Kabir observes the world from within, and sees the world as Maya – illusion. It is projected by Mun, the mind, the collective mind. Shareer refers to the living body or living person. Shareer’s die and die again.
There is hope that this will end, that the Shareer will wake up and then Maya and Mun will die.
Kabira Khara Bazaar Mein, Mange Sabki Khair
Na Kahu Se Dosti, Na Kahu Se Bair
Kabira in the market place, wishes welfare of all
Neither friendship nor enmity with anyone at all
Pothi Padh Padh Kar Jag Mua, Pandit Bhayo Na Koye
Dhai Aakhar Prem Ke, Jo Padhe so Pandit Hoye
Forget about book learning, no matter how many books you read, you won’t become wise,
One who reads the words of Love, only becomes wise
Gur Dhobi Sikh Kapda, Saboo Sirjan Har
Surti Sila Pur Dhoiye, Nikse Jyoti Apaar
Guru is the wash man, his sikh(preaching) is the cloth , God is the soap
which washes the mind thoroughly clean, Out Comes The Glow of Truth
Jeevat Samjhe Jeevat Bujhe, Jeevat He Karo Aas
Jeevat Karam Ki Fansi Na Kaati, Mue Mukti Ki Aas
You need to wake up while you are alive, it is your only chance. You need to drop the ties of attachments to illusory things that bind you in illusion. This can only be done while alive, death is not a liberator.
Kabira Garv Na Keejiye, Uncha Dekh Aavaas
Kaal Paron Punyah Letna, Ouper Jamsi Ghaas
Don’t be proud and vain, tomorrow you’ll be lying six foot under feet, on top will grow grass that goats and sheep will eat!
Jab Tun Aaya Jagat Mein, Log Hanse Tu Roye
Aise Karni Na Kari, Pache Hanse Sab Koye
When you came in to this world , Everyone laughed while you cried
Don’t do such work, That they laugh when you are gone
Pehle Agan Birha Ki, Pachhe Prem Ki Pyas
Kahe Kabir Tub Janiye, Naam Milan Ki Aaas
First the pain of separation, then the thirst for Love
Says Kabir, only then will you know Joy of the Union.
Aag Jo Lagi Samand Mein, Dhuan Na Pargat Hoye
So Jane Jo Jarmua, Jaki Lagi Hoye
The Ocean is on Fire, The Smoke is not Visible
He knows who has been there and been burnt
Experience teaches, the one who has felt the fire knows it
Aasa Jive Jag Marey, Log Marey Mar Jayee
Soyee Sube Dhan Sanchate, So Ubrey Jey Khayee
Hope is that people will wake up, drop their attachments and hoardings and be free from the clutches of illusion.
Ek Kahun To Hai Nahin, Do Kahun To Gaari
Hai Jaisa Taisa Rahe, Kahe Kabir Bichari
There is a oneness behind the apparent diversity. But oneness is not seen. Yet if I accept duality, it would be a violation, a false acceptance. Let it be, whatever it is – I’ll drop the analyzing.
Maala To Kar Mein Phire, Jeebh Phire Mukh Mahin
Manua To Chahun Dish Phire, Yeh To Simran Nahin
The rosary rotating by the hand, the tongue twisting in the mouth,
With the mind wandering everywhere, this isn’t meditation
Control the mind, not the beads or the words.
Kabir Maala Kaath Kee, Kahi Samjhave Tohi
Man Na Firave Aapna, Kaha Firave Mohi
Kabir, the rosary made of wooden beads, what can it teach you?
If you don’t control your minds motion, why control the motion of beads ?
Kabir Soota Kya Kare, Koore Kaaj Niwaar
Jis Panthu Tu Chaalna, Soyee Panth Samwaar
Focus on the thing that you really love to do, the path you were meant to follow.
Leave the useless tasks, Be focused on the path which you were meant to tread
Neither can I come to you nor can I request you to come to me. Utterly helpless I am. Shall you let me die burning in this separation?
– Couplets of Kabir
“The cure for pain is in the pain.”