September 30, 2013

Rumi (September 30, 1207 – 17 December 1273)


What is a real connection between people?
When the same knowledge
opens a door between them. When the same inner sight exists
in you as in another, you are drawn to be companions.
When a man feels in himself the innermost nature of woman,
he is drawn sexually. When a woman feels the masculine self of a man within her,
she wants him physically in her.

When you feel the qualities of Gabriel in you,
you fly up quickly
like a fledgling not thinking of the ground.
When you feel asinine qualities in you, no matter how you try
to do otherwise, you will head toward the stable.
The mouse is not despicable for its form, which is a helpless
to birds of prey, the mouse who loves dark places and cheese
and pistachio nuts and syrup. When the white falcon, though,
has the inner nature of a mouse, it is a disgrace to all animals.
Angelic figures and criminals
shackled head-down in a pit are similar looking,
same arms, same head. Moses is a bright spirit.
Pharaoh disgusting with his sorcery.

Always search for your innermost nature in those you are with.
As rose oil imbibes from roses.
Even on the grave of a holy man, a holy man lays his face
and hands and takes in light.

Mathnawi VI, 2992-3008
Translated by Coleman Barks


If a wealthy person brings a hundred sacks of gold,
God will only say,
"Bring the heart, you who are bent double.
If the Heart is pleased with you, I am pleased;
and if the Heart is opposed to you, I am opposed.
I don't pay attention to "you"; I look to the heart:
bring it, poor soul, as a gift to My door!
Its relation to you is also mine:
Paradise is at the feet of mothers."
The heart is the mother and father and origin of all creatures:
the one who knows the heart from the skin is blessed.
You will say, "Look I have brought a heart to You."
God will respond, "The world is full of these hearts.
Bring the heart that is the axis of the world
and the soul of the soul of the soul of Adam."
The Ruler of all hearts is waiting
for a heart filled with light and goodness.

Mathnawi V, 881-888
Translated by Kabir Helminski and Camille Helminski


People are distracted by objects of desire,
and afterward repent of the lust they've indulged,
because they have indulged with a phantom
and are left even farther from Reality than before.
Your desire for the illusory could be a wing,
by means of which a seeker might ascend to Reality.
When you have indulged in lust, your wing drops off;
you become lame, abandoned by a fantasy.
Preserve the wing and don't indulge in such lust,
so that the wing of desire may bear you to Paradise.
People fancy they are enjoying themselves,
but they are really tearing out their wings
for the sake of an illusion.

Mathnawi III, 2133-2138
Translated by Kabir Helminski and Camille Helminski

Mystical Scene with Shams Al-Dīn Tabrīzī 
and the Reflection of Sun in a Pool

Shams of Tabriz was a wandering Sufi mystic and Rūmī's spiritual instructor. Their encounter and friendship provided a transforming experience that forever changed Rūmī's life. His disappearance led to Rūmī's Dīvān, written in his memory: The face of Shams al-Dīn, Tabriz's glory, is the sun, in whose track the cloud-like hearts are moving.

Shams means "Sun," and he was certainly Rūmī's sun. Here, Shams, in a brown cloak, sees the reflection of the sun in the center of a small pool, while Rūmī points to the upside-down face of the sun itself. For Shams, the pool is a symbol of paradise. The entwining cypress and blossoming fruit tree is a metaphor for the love between Rūmī and Shams.
(from The Morgan Library)


To Take a Step Without Feet/ Szerelem, az ég felé repülni

The Guest House / A fogadó ház

Rainer Maria Rilke

To Lou Andreas-Salomé

I held myself too open, I forgot
that outside not just things exist and animals
fully at ease in themselves, whose eyes
reach from their lives' roundedness no differently
than portraits do from frames; forgot that I
with all I did incessantly crammed
looks into myself; looks, opinion, curiosity.
Who knows: perhaps eyes form in space
and look on everywhere. Ah, only plunged toward you
does my face cease being on display, grows
into you and twines on darkly, endlessly,
into your sheltered heart.

As one puts a handkerchief before pent-in-breath-
no: as one presses it against a wound
out of which the whole of life, in a single gush,
wants to stream, I held you to me: I saw you
turn red from me. How could anyone express
what took place between us? We made up for everything
there was never time for. I matured strangely
in every impulse of unperformed youth,
and you, love, had wildest childhood over my heart.

Memory won't suffice here: from those moments
there must be layers of pure existence
on my being's floor, a precipitate
from that immensely overfilled solution.
For I don't think back; all that I am
stirs me because of you. I don't invent you
at sadly cooled-off places from which
you've gone away; even your not being there
is warm with you and more real and more
than a privation. Longing leads out too often
into vagueness. Why should I cast myself, when,
for all I know, your influence falls on me,
gently, like moonlight on a window seat.

Translated by A. Poulin

Lou Andreas-Salomé Asszonyhoz


Túl nyitott maradtam, azt is elfeledtem,
hogy kint csak dolgok vannak s önmagukhoz
szokott állatok, melyeknek szeme
a létük kerekségéből nem ér ki
másképpen, csak mint bekeretezett kép;
és azt is, hogy én mindennel és mindig
szempillantásokat vontam magamhoz:
pillantást, véleményt, kíváncsiságot.
   Ki tudja, szemek képződnek a térben,
velünk lakók. Ó, csak hozzád zuhanva
az én arcom nincs kiállítva, véled
nőtt össze, s ott folytatódik sötéten
és végtelenül, jól védett szivedben.


Ahogy a kendőt gyors lélegzetünkre,
nem: inkább ahogy sebünkre szorítjuk,
melyből az élet egyszerre s egészen
kiszállna -- így húztalak én magamhoz,
és láttam: te is kipirultál tőlem.
Ki mondja meg, hogy mi történt velünk?
Mindent kipótolunk, amihez nem volt
eddig időnk. Én a keresztülugrott
ifjúkor lázán érlelődtem furcsán --
és kedvesem, te sokkal vadabb
gyermekkorod tombolt szivem fölött. 


Itt emlékezni nem elég -- ama
nagy pillanatok puszta léte kell hogy
legyen bensőmben, mint korlátlanul
már túltelített oldat üledéke.
Mert én nem emlékszem; ami vagyok,
csupán teérted van. Fel sem fedezlek
a sok-sok szomorún kihűlt helyen,
ahonnan eljöttél; bár nem vagy itt,
tőled melegszik át és több, valóbb, mint
a nélkülözés. Gyakran megy a vágy
bizonytalanba. Miért zárjam ki
magam, míg talán hatásod oly könnyű,
mint egy holdsugár ablakom szegélyén. 

Franyó Zoltán fordítása