Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Laments of Rumi and Ruzbihan. Do not be fooled.

11. My Lord Most Curious
I would rue the day
Of complete understanding,
When all my joy
Is in my searching.

(from the chapter entitled "My Lord has Answered me" circa March 2007)

If you are familiar with Sufi poetry, you would know that the poet likes to make a complete hullabaloo about yearning, searching and spouting sorrowful verses about his separation from the Beloved. Jelaluddin Rumi, founder of the Mehlevi Order, for one, writes this way (a little). On the right, is an often reproduced picture of him, looking thoughtful and sleepy.

It is however from a book given to me by my friend, Azrano, that I came across Ruzbihan Baqli (Ruzbihan the Grocer), a fellow Persian poet of unsurpassed melodramas. Being a hopeless sinner, I am unable to contemplate the vast visage and horizon of his plaintive cries and tears of love for the Beloved and the Loving One. I can only look on wearily, with muted responses of "Aha..., Hmmm, Yesss...", as page after page, Ruzbihan confesses his immortal and near-unbearable love for the Creator.
But do not be tricked by old Ruzbihan. For all their miserable oh-woe-is-me scribblings about their desperate yearning for the Divine Presence, truth be told, the Sufis are utterly happy in their experiences. However they may fluster about the difficulties of the path, however often they may admit their personal inadequacies and peccadilloes, theirs is a wondrous journey simply because they do not place God in the narrow confines of their intellect. They are not insisting on any meaning to the word 'God'. Rather, they are allowing God to put meanings into them. That is submission. That is Islam. So please, don't anyone talk anymore about the difference between Sufism and Orthodox Islam. Sufism is Orthodox Islam.

This is turning out to be a good day for me. Rarely am I so forceful. It must be the caffeine. Hehehe. But may it be an even better day for you, my fellow traveler.

Pax Taufica.

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