Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Doorway to Freedom











A great sheikh has lost two sons, yet he is not weeping. His family and his wife wonder at this lack of grief.

“Do not think that I am cold and uncompassionate.
I don't weep because for me they are not gone.
The eye of my heart sees them distinctly.
They're outside of time but very close by here playing and coming to hug me.
As people sometimes see dead relatives in dream,
I see my sons constantly in this waking state.
I am even more deeply with them when I hide for a moment from the world,
when I let the sense-perception leaves drop from the tree of my being.
I weep for those who have ungrateful souls.
I weep when boys throw stones at dogs.
I weep for dogs who bite for no reason.
Forgive the harm that anyone does.
We are here to be a forgiveness door through which freedom comes.
I weep when I ask that the door not be shut.”………….Rumi – A translation by Coleman Barks

Today we celebrated the Holy festival of Eid ul-Fitr.

Early today morning, I happened to be talking to an Youngman who had lost his father last week due to a very sudden Cardiac arrest. Death was so swift that no one, who were close to his father, could realize what was happening. This young man I could console by saying that it is only the bodily absence we have to live with for no one dies but we come back. For which he replied “Yes I strongly feel his presence every moment of the day”
About four hours later my niece asked me “what happens to the soul after we die?” This is the same question which Nachiketa asks Yama in Katha Upanishad. In the afternoon I was browsing a compendium of Rumi’s poems by Coleman Barks when in the first page I opened the above verse popped out. It was then that I thought that I will post this little article.
The subtle message of rebirth or reincarnation can be seen embedded at an esoteric level in all sacred scriptures including the Holy Koran.

The renowned Lebanese mystic Mikhail Naimy, biographer of Kahlil Gibran, wrote: “In Al Koran clear hints (on rebirth) are found which orthodox Islam brushes aside as meaning something else than reincarnation.”
Take the following verses:

“How can you disbelieve in GOD when you were dead and He gave you life, then He puts you to death, then He brings you back to life, then to Him you ultimately return”......Sura 2:28
Orthodox meaning given is that there are two births and two deaths. But the meaning is clear that until our soul attains the Divine attribute it cycles through birth and death in a process of purification.

“As the rains turn the dry earth into green thereby yielding fruits, similarly God brings the dead into life so that thou mayest learn.”............. (Chapter 8, Sura Ira, Meccan Verses 6-6-13).

“And He sent down rains from above in proper quantity and He brings back to life the dead earth, similarly ye shall be reborn.” ......................(Chapter 25, Sura Zakhraf, Meccan Verses 5-10-6).

“[Those who doubt immortality] are dead and they do not know when they will be born again. Your God is peerless and those who have no faith in the ultimate have perverse hearts and they want to pose as great men.” .............(Chapter 14, Sura Nahel, Verses 2-12-8).

Imam Jafer, a well-known authority in the Islamic world, said that "rebirths must be undergone before entering the Heaven world," referring to the text, "Surely they will be reborn and this law is perfect but people who do not possess wisdom do not comprehend it.".................. (Chapter 14, Sura Hahel Verses 4-0-10).

Rumi captures the essence so beautifully.

Eid Mubarak

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