Monday, November 19, 2012

There is nothing else but the Self

The beginning, the end, the manifest and the hidden.
The seer and the listener, all is Him,
He is in everything yet He is beyond,
there is nothing else, everything is Him;
abandon the duality of me and you,
see one, there aren't two at all,
understand this and disappear in it;
when you are not, then truly He is.

- Hazarat Ali

Hazarat Ali was the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad. Sufis identify him as the founder of their strain of Islam. For his courage, wisdom and compassion he is revered by Muslims (the Alawis even consider him to be an incarnation of the Divine), and he has also been greatly praised by Western scholars since the 18th century. The poet Kahlil Gibran wrote of Ali:

"In my view, ʿAlī was the first Arab to have contact with and converse with the universal soul. He died a martyr of his greatness, he died while prayer was between his two lips. The Arabs did not realise his value until appeared among their Persian neighbors some who knew the difference between gems and gravels."

The Prophet, Ali, Husayn and Hasan in Paradise, public domain image from wikimedia commons.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Changadeva Pasashti

To become one with the Self,
surrender all impulses of the mind.
Then you will know the sleep beyond sleeping, 
the wakefulness beyond waking.

-Shri Jnaneshwara, Chângadeva Pâsashtî

This statue, garlanded with marigolds, depicts the Hindu deity Shri Vishnu with half opened eyes, awakening from, or entering, cosmic sleep. Budhanilkantha Temple, Nepal.