You pulled me in with your beauty
and mesmerized me into surrender
You gave me a welcoming home
like you give to homeless in your streets
You gave my son serene lanes to walk in
lined with your quirky Victorian houses
You get painted in all of God’s colors
and remind me of letting go and moving on
You are just like my hometown
filling me with hope every morning
You are precious Vancouver
blessed with God’s beautiful creations
You are magical Vancouver
with Angels flying and looking over you
Thank you Vancouver
for everything you give!
I love you Vancouver!
Images Credit : me
Here is my interpretation of Hafiz’s poem ‘What Happens’
What happens when your soul
Begins to awaken
And your heart
And the cells of your body
To the great Journey of Love?
First there is wonderful laughter
And probably precious tears
And a hundred sweet promises
And those heroic vows
No one can ever keep.
But still God is delighted and amused
You once tried to be a saint.
What happens when your soul
Begins to awake in this world
To our deep need to love
And serve the Friend?
O the Beloved
Will send you
One of His wonderful, wild companions –
In this poem Hafiz first describes someone who is falling in love – in the worldly ‘love’ sense – with another human being, with expectations of love being returned. This ‘great journey’ of love is what slowly makes this human being feel alive. In this love, we make a lot of heroic promises which we obviously break over time as this love/relationship becomes a mundane thing in our life. He says, God is truly amused at this childlike behavior of humans but God still appreciates that humans try to be noble, brave and saintly in the name of love.
Then he says, similarly a person might have another type of soul awakening to love – but this time, it could be to a divine type of love – one that is free of attachments and expectations. It is the deep need to love anyone whom you see hurting or suffering, the need to serve those who need help. What happens to a person like this? Hafiz answers this by saying that God will send you one of his messengers to help you out, to show you the way, to guide you. A messenger, just like Hafiz 🙂
Taken from ‘I Heard God Laughing : Renderings of Hafiz’ by Daniel Ladinsky.
Image credit : me
Here is my interpretation of Gibran’s poem ‘On Children’
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
In this poem, Khalil Gibran – who himself did not have any child, is giving a message to parents about their children. He says that the children who are born to you – are not yours, you as parents do not ‘own’ or ‘posses’ them. You and your partner have been chosen by God to be the channel for this life – body, soul and spirit – to come into existence. You are to give them love and care, you will take care of their needs until the time they can do it for themselves – but that does not mean that in return for this you indoctrinate them with your thoughts. If you let them have thoughts of their own, they will surprise you with their brilliance. He says instead of teaching them, we can learn from them and strive to be like them. He says that parents are the bow from which the children shoot forward as the arrows – and God is the archer, orchestrating all of this. He says, be glad – you have this joy of being a parent – do all you do for your children in that gladness. For as God loves the brilliant arrows being shot forward – he similarly loves a bow which is strong, balanced, grounded and stable. He is basically, asking the parents to be a solid foundation for the children; solve your own issues – so that you don’t shake up your child’s childhood by your own mental imbalances; grow up first – before you try to help them grow up.
Taken from The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
Image credits : me 🙂
My father chopped off my head
I died. He attached an Elephant head instead
And resurrected me – for he was the God Shiva.
I saw his regret and forgave him in a heartbeat
Adored, loved and respected him ever since.
This is how Lord Ganesha, came into being.
Do you think, you will be able to do that?
Forgive the one who chops off your head?
Can you forgive the car that cuts off in front of you in the city traffic?
The boss who makes you feel worthless?
The spouse who has no time to hear your heartfelt thoughts?
The parents who did not understand their sensitive child?
All those who make these tiny cuts in your soul – day in and day out?
Can you forgive them?
That is why Ganesha is God and we are mere mortals.
Let us pray, that God Shiva chop off our ego-heads
and replaces it with one full of wisdom and knowledge,
just like Ganesha’s and all our obstacles shall begone.
Ganapati Bappa Morya! Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!
Image credit : me 🙂
Here is my interpretation of Rumi’s poem ‘Love is reckless’
Love is reckless; not reason.
Reason seeks a profit.
Love comes on strong,
consuming herself, unabashed.
Here the author is comparing logic and love. Love cannot be made to happen by a logical reasoning or conclusion. Love just happens – it is reckless. It can happen to anyone at any time – it does not see if this is in the person’s profit or not. When it happens it consumes the person – body, mind and soul. It is an all consuming feeling.
Yet, in the midst of suffering,
Love proceeds like a millstone,
hard surfaced and straightforward.
Love is also a very strong feeling – no matter how much suffering surrounds it – it keeps carrying on like a strong millstone.
Having died of self-interest,
she risks everything and asks for nothing.
Love gambles away every gift God bestows.
Once a person is in true love, the idea of selfishness does not occur to the person – for they start living only for the benefit of their beloved. In this love frenzy they don’t mind giving up anything valuable that God has bestowed upon them.
Without cause God gave us Being;
without cause, give it back again.
The author says that God has given us this life and the many experiences it provides in a completely selfless manner – in true love for us. In exactly that manner, we can use our being to serve everyone with love and ultimately give our being back to God. It is not necessary to always do things with a profit in mind. This is akin to the idea – ‘Let all you do, be done in love’ 1 Corinthians 16:14
Masnavi: Teachings of Rumi
by Jelaluddin Rumi (Author), E. H. Whinfield (Editor, Translator)
Image Credit : https://hdwallpaperfx.com/lovers-in-nature/
Here is my interpretation of Hafez’s poem ‘The warrior’
The warriors tame
The beast in their past
So that the night’s hoofs
Can no longer break the jeweled vision
In the heart.
Hafez says that the warriors are the ones who introspect and heal all of the pains of their past. They do this healing so that they are no longer in the vibration of hurt. Once they have done this healing – no other pain from the world can break the beautiful love which lives in their heart. They know that all the important battles are fought inside oneself.
The intelligent and the brave
Open every closet in the future and evict
All the mind’s ghosts who have the bad habit
Of barfing everywhere.
He says the truly smart people are the ones who go into all their thoughts of the future and remove the expectations which live here. He calls these expectations as ghosts and say they basically ruin everything. The smart ones do not expect much from the future.
For a long time the Universe
Has been germinating in your spine
But only a Saint has the talent,
The courage to slay
The past-giant, the future-anxieties.
Hafez says that this strength has been building in the warrior’s spine – growing steadily. Spine because it is from the spine that the energy moves up the body. He says that only a Saint though has the guts to heal all of the past hurts and issues and calm all the future anxiety. He emphasizes that a true warrior is also a saint. He is like a Samurai who has his sword tucked away in it’s sheath – but he always has a hand on it and can wield it effortlessly when required.
Wisely sits in a circle
With other men
Gathering the strength to unmask
A warrior is one who knows himself truly, who can completely unmask his own ego – not just in solitude but also in front of a group of men. It is someone who can be himself completely in front of any audience or when alone.
like a great illumined planet on
This warrior-saint then becomes like a light giving planet who spreads the light wherever he goes and keeps enlightening this world. He becomes a channel for the Divine’s service with the only purpose of giving. This is similar to what Krishna advices Arjuna in the battlefield – do your duty but do not be attached to the results. Become a channel for God’s divine energy to flow through you – whether it be in the battlefield or elsewhere. Follow your dharma.
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky
Image credit : https://pixshark.com/spartan-warriors-in-battle.htm
Here is my interpretation of Hafez’s poem ‘The woman I love’
Because the Woman I love lives inside of you,
I lean as close to your body with my words as I can
and I think of you all the time,
Hafez is talking to the woman he is in love with – he refers to her as the woman inside her – because he is actually in love with the soul (not merely the body) of this woman. So he says, instead of leaning his body closer to his lover’s – he prefers to lean closer to her with his words and thoughts. He cannot stop thinking of her.
Because the One I love goes with you wherever you go,
Hafiz will always be near.
He says, because he thinks of the one inside her all the time (this means God – as God dwells inside all of us) – he is going to be near her always, even though physically he is distant. He is alluding to the fact that we are all connected via energy and via God as we all are nothing but unit consciousness.
If you sat before me, wayfarer, with your aura bright from
your many charms,
my lips could resist rushing to you, but my eyes, my eyes
can no longer hide the wondrous fact of who
you really are.
He says that if he were physically beside the woman he loves, he would see her aura shining around her bright. This bright aura is an indication of the many good quality that this woman cultivates within her being – here is where he gets a glimpse of God within her. He says, he could control himself from the urge to kiss her – but his eyes are going to give him away. They are going to give away the secret that he is in awe of her and that he can clearly see the divinity that lives inside her and is very much in love with it. He calls her pilgrim and traveller to show the fact that ultimately, she is on her way to be one with God.
The Beautiful One whom I adore
has pitched Her royal tent inside of you,
so I will always lean my heart
as close to your soul
as I can.
He says, God has made a permanent home inside her. And so he will try to be with her soul always, through his heart – love, prayer and thoughts. He is talking here about a divine kind of love, where the lover does not physically need the beloved in his life. It is a love that surpasses physical limitation. It is a love that extends into the 5D of love, thoughts and prayers – where he can love her through any distance and where one day, they both will be one with God and merge with each other in him.
Taken from The Subject Tonight is Love by Daniel Ladinsky
Image credit : Bernd Vogel / Corbis
When I am with you, we stay up all night.
When you’re not here, I can’t go to sleep.
Praise God for these two insomnias!
And the difference between them.
This poem describes the feelings of lovers – when they meet they don’t want to sleep – they would rather do other things and not waste their time sleeping.
And when they are not together, they cannot sleep because they miss the other and are lost in thoughts of their lover – due to which the brain cannot relax and they cannot sleep.
Rumi thanks God for these feelings and these two different reasons for having this insomnia. He is basically emphasizing what a wondrous thing love is! In love one can enjoy being apart as much as being together. As love is the core feeling which is given by God and takes us near God as well.
Taken from The Essential Rumi
translated by Coleman Barks
Image credit : Google Images
Here is my interpretation of Rumi’s poem called ‘Enough Words’
How does a part of the world leave the world?
How can wetness leave water?
Wholeness cannot be broken. Not everything can be divided. Emphasizes on the non-duality, wholeness, completeness of everything. Can positivity be removed from negativity?
Don’t try to put out a fire
by throwing on more fire!
Don’t wash a wound with blood!
Negativity cannot be fought with negativity. If you want to change something, you cannot keep doing the same thing and wish that thing to go away.
No matter how fast you run,
your shadow more than keeps up.
Sometimes, it’s in front!
You can try to stay away from negativity or keep it away from you. But it is going to show up sooner or later. This is because a part of negativity is inside of you. Mainly because you have not understood the wholeness of things. You will still judge things as negative or positive.
Only full, overhead sun
diminishes your shadow.
When you get enlightened, you will see the clear picture. You will see the wholeness of things. You will see that all is one. Negative and positive. It’s just the same.
But that shadow has been serving you!
What hurts you, blesses you.
Darkness is your candle.
Your boundaries are your quest.
So until then, understand this – every bad thing, negative thing teaches you, serves a great purpose in your life. You will get the amount of pain that is necessary for you to get this perspective on life.
I can explain this, but it would break
the glass cover on your heart,
and there’s no fixing that.
This is a harsh truth. The only way to reach knowledge is through darkness. The only way to peace or real happiness is through great pain. You have to go through it and it will break a part of your heart. The ego-heart. He wants to avoid talking about this, as everyone has to experience it anyways.
You must have shadow and light source both.
Listen, and lay your head under the tree of awe.
Creation is impartial and will give everyone both the good and the bad. Simply observe and try to understand what life is giving you with wonder.
When from that tree, feathers and wings sprout
on you, be quieter than a dove.
Don’t open your mouth for even a cooooooo.
When after observing and understanding these patterns of life, you get some wisdom or some supernatural powers – be quiet.
When a frog slips into the water, the snake
cannot get it. Then the frog climbs back out
and croaks, and the snake moves toward him again.
When you dip into this wisdom/knowledge stay there. Don’t come out because, the negativity might get you again. This is basically telling us to stay in the blissful state of knowing.
Even if the frog learned to hiss, still the snake
would hear through the hiss the information
he needed, the frog voice underneath.
Though we might try to conquer negative behavior by the neutrality/positivity of our behavior. We might still be called out and attacked again. Because this is only the awakening, beginning on the path of enlightenment.
But if the frog could be completely silent,
then the snake would go back to sleeping,
and the frog could reach the barley.
Rumi suggests to remain silent, hold your peace in your blissful state and the negativity shall go away by itself. Once you are through the suffering and the dark night of your soul is over go inside your inner peace again.
The soul lives there in the silent breath.
Silence, i.e., non-explanation, non-confrontation, non-argument – will get to to that state of inner-peace. Where our soul resides.
And that grain of barley is such that,
when you put it in the ground,
Here is where you find that one true piece of yourself i.e., your soul, your consciousness – which if you preserve is what will fill your whole existence.
Are these enough words,
or shall I squeeze more juice from this?
Who am I, my friend?
Is this good enough? Or should I explain some more? Who am I? My soul. One soul. Knowing. Entire consciousness.
Taken from The Essential Rumi
translated by Coleman Barks
Image credit : me 🙂