Rumi: The Devoted Lover

That laughter remained with him as an endowment unto everlasting, like the untroubled spirit and reason of the gnostic. How should the light of the moon ever become defiled, though its light strike on everything good and evil? Pure of all (defilements) it returns to the moon, even as the light of the spirit and reason (returns) unto God. The quality of purity is an endowment (settled) on the light of the moon, though its radiance is (falling) on the defilements of the way. Malignity does not accrue to the light of the moon from those defilements of the way or from pollution.

The light of the sun heard (the call) Return! and came back in haste to its source. No disgrace remained with it from the ash pits, no colour remained with it from the rose-gardens. The light of the eye and the seer of the light returned (to their source):the desert and plain were left in passionate desire thereof. A certain man asked a mystic theologian, “If any one weep loudly during the ritual prayer and moan and lament, is his prayer rendered void?” He replied, “The name of those (tears), water of the eye’: consider what that weeper has seen: if he has seen (felt) longing for God or repentance for a sin and weeps, his prayer is not spoilt; nay, it attains perfection, for there is no prayer without presence of the heart; but if he has (inwardly) seen bodily sickness or the loss of a son, his prayer is spoilt, for the foundation of prayer is the abandonment of the body and the abandonment of sons, like Abraham, who was offering his son as a sacrifice in order to perfect his prayer and giving up his body to Nimrod’s fire; and Mutafid (Mohammed), on whom be peace, was commanded (by God) to act after these manners: “follow the religion of Abraham.”

“Verily ye have had a good example in Abraham.”

A certain man asked a mufti in private, “If any one weep lamentably during the ritual prayer, I wonder, will his prayer be rendered void, or will his prayer be licit and perfect?”

He replied, “Wherefore is it named ‘the water of the eye’? You should consider what it (the eye) saw and (then) wept. Consider what the water of the eye saw in secret, so that on that account it began to flow from its spring. If the supplicant has seen yonder world, that prayer (of his) gains a lustre from (his) lamentation.

But if that weeping was caused by bodily pain or by mourning I:!io (for the dead), the thread is snapped and the spindle too is broken .” A disciple came in to pay his respects to the Shaykh-and by this (word) “Shaykh” I do not mean one old in years, but one old in understanding and knowledge (of God), even if he is Jesus, on whom be peace, in the cradle, or Yawid (John the Baptist), on whom be peace, in the children’s school. The disciple saw the Shaykh weeping; he too acted in conformity (with the Shaykh) and wept.

When he had finished and gone forth (from the Shaykh’s presence), another disciple, who was more cognisant of the Shaykh’s spiritual state, impelled by (noble) jealousy, went out quickly after him and said to him, “O brother, (whatever may happen) I shall have told you: for God’s sake, for God’s sake, beware of thinking or saying that the Shaykh wept and you wept likewise; you must practise self-discipline without hypocrisy for thirty years, and you must traverse ravines and seas full of leviathans, and lofty mountains full of lions and leopards, that you may attain to that weeping of the Shaykh or not attain. If you attain, you will often utter thanksgiving (as immense as is the extent of the earth, described in the words of the Tradition), ‘The earth was gathered together for me.'”

A disciple came into the presence of the Pir: the Pir was (engaged) in weeping and lamentation. When the disciple saw the Shaykh weeping, he began to weep: the tears ran from his eyes. The man possessed of an ear (sense of hearing) laughs once, when a friend repeats a joke to a friend; the deaf man (laughs) twice: The first time by way of conformity and affectation, because he sees the company laughing. The deaf man laughs then like them, without knowing the (inward) state of the laughers.

Afterwards he inquires what the laughter was about, and then, having heard, he laughs a second time. Hence the mere imitator (of a Shaykh), too, resembles the deaf man in respect of the (feeling of) joy that is in his head. It is the Shaykh’s reflection, and its source is in the Shaykh: the overflow of joy is not (derived) from the disciples; nay, it is from the Shaykh. Like a basket in water or a (ray of) light on glass: if they think it (comes) from themselves, ’tis (owing to) defect (of intelligence).

When it (the basket) is separated from the river, that perverse will recognise that the sweet water within it was from the river; The glass also will recognise, at the setting (of the moon), that those beams (of light) were from the beauteous shining moon.

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