Monday, December 10, 2007

Drops and Oceans

"Know that the world is a mirror from head to foot,
In every atom are a hundred blazing suns,
If you cleave the heart of one drop of water,
A hundred pure oceans emerge from it."
- Mahmud Shabistari

In this poem of Shabistari we see that the world is a mirror of the Universal Self. There is nowhere It can look without seeing Itself. It also recalls Kabir's saying about the the drop (the individual self) falling into the ocean (Supreme Self) - the ocean also falls into the drop. Thus ego annihilation/Self-realisation is not just an experience of loss, but of immense fullness.

Mahmud Shabistari (1288 – 1320s) is one of the most celebrated Persian Sufi poets of the 14th century. He was born in Tabriz in 1288 (687 AH), where he received his education. He became deeply versed in the symbolic terminology of Ibn Arabi. He wrote during a period of Mongol invasions. His most famous work is a mystic text called "The Secret Rose Garden" (Gulshan-i Rāz) written about 1311 in rhyming couplets.
"When the Quran asserts, 'Everything perisheth save His Face', the Sufis understand this truth as referring not to some future eschatological event but to the here and now. At this very moment, which is also the eternal now, everything is non-existent and has perished in itself save the the Face of God, and right now in whichever direction one turns there is His Face, if one could only see. To understand this reality is to realise the meaning of the oneness of Being."
-Seyyed Hossein Nasr, The Garden of Truth

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