Saturday, February 10, 2007

To bring their messages to the common people

By Khushwant Singh - The Telegraph - Calcutta,India
Saturday, February 10, 2007

This is going to be the year of Dervesh Jelaluddin Rumi. He was born 800 years ago on September 30, 1207. Preparations are afoot to celebrate his birth anniversary on a world-wide scale.

I understand our government has earmarked a tidy sum for the purpose. I do not know how birth anniversaries of scholars, poets and saintly personalities can be celebrated besides bringing their writings and messages to the common people.

Rumi wrote in Persian. Most of his Mathnavi is available in English translation. I am not aware of its being translated into any Indian language. But I have reason to believe that most of our celebrated poets read him in the original. One of Ghalib’s couplets, “Baazeechai atfaal hai duniya meyrey aagey”, is lifted straight from the Mathnavi.

Rumi also set up the Dervesh Order in Koyna (Turkey), where he lived most of his life and died on December 17, 1273. His disciples continue to dance the way he did — dressed in long red fez caps and black tassels, flowing white skirts pirouetting round and round in endless circles to the beat of the drums and melancholy notes of flutes. It is spectacular.

I expect our organizers or the Turkish embassy in Delhi will get a party of dancing dervishes and take them on a Bharat Darshan tour. Maybe the Afghan embassy will also pitch in as Jelaluddin was born in Balkh (Afghanistan) and initially known as Jelaluddin Balkhi.

To avoid Mongol depredations, he migrated to Konya (then under Roman domination, hence the suffix Rumi) when he was ten years old. He was meant to follow his father’s calling of being the Shaikh of his community and did so till he was in his thirties. Then he met Sufi Shams Tabrizi. It was a dramatic turnabout in his life.

He turned Sufi and poetry burst out of him like lava out of a volcano.

Rumi did not value book learning. He said:
“Knowledge that is acquired
is not like this. Those who have it
worry if audiences like it or not
It’s a bait for popularity.”

He extolled poverty. He wrote:
“What you own can vanish;it’s only a dream, a vanity,breath through a moustache.”

What really makes a difference is love in practice. He wrote:
“If anyone wondershow Jesus raised the dead,
don’t try to explain the miracle.
Kiss me on the lips.
Like this, like this.”

(All translations by Barks & Moyne)

1 comment:

irving said...

Wonderful :) Kiss me on the lips!

Ya Haqq!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

To bring their messages to the common people
By Khushwant Singh - The Telegraph - Calcutta,India
Saturday, February 10, 2007

This is going to be the year of Dervesh Jelaluddin Rumi. He was born 800 years ago on September 30, 1207. Preparations are afoot to celebrate his birth anniversary on a world-wide scale.

I understand our government has earmarked a tidy sum for the purpose. I do not know how birth anniversaries of scholars, poets and saintly personalities can be celebrated besides bringing their writings and messages to the common people.

Rumi wrote in Persian. Most of his Mathnavi is available in English translation. I am not aware of its being translated into any Indian language. But I have reason to believe that most of our celebrated poets read him in the original. One of Ghalib’s couplets, “Baazeechai atfaal hai duniya meyrey aagey”, is lifted straight from the Mathnavi.

Rumi also set up the Dervesh Order in Koyna (Turkey), where he lived most of his life and died on December 17, 1273. His disciples continue to dance the way he did — dressed in long red fez caps and black tassels, flowing white skirts pirouetting round and round in endless circles to the beat of the drums and melancholy notes of flutes. It is spectacular.

I expect our organizers or the Turkish embassy in Delhi will get a party of dancing dervishes and take them on a Bharat Darshan tour. Maybe the Afghan embassy will also pitch in as Jelaluddin was born in Balkh (Afghanistan) and initially known as Jelaluddin Balkhi.

To avoid Mongol depredations, he migrated to Konya (then under Roman domination, hence the suffix Rumi) when he was ten years old. He was meant to follow his father’s calling of being the Shaikh of his community and did so till he was in his thirties. Then he met Sufi Shams Tabrizi. It was a dramatic turnabout in his life.

He turned Sufi and poetry burst out of him like lava out of a volcano.

Rumi did not value book learning. He said:
“Knowledge that is acquired
is not like this. Those who have it
worry if audiences like it or not
It’s a bait for popularity.”

He extolled poverty. He wrote:
“What you own can vanish;it’s only a dream, a vanity,breath through a moustache.”

What really makes a difference is love in practice. He wrote:
“If anyone wondershow Jesus raised the dead,
don’t try to explain the miracle.
Kiss me on the lips.
Like this, like this.”

(All translations by Barks & Moyne)

1 comment:

irving said...

Wonderful :) Kiss me on the lips!

Ya Haqq!