There Is No Seeker Other Than Him

Ghazal 4251

4471 For the lovers,2 there is no seeking (done) by themselves,
(for) there is no additional seeker in the world other than Him.3

This world and the next are a single substance; in reality,
there is no unbelief, religion or faith.4

O you whose breath (is like that of) Jesus!5 Don't breath from
(such) a distance! I am the admirer6 of the one who is not
far-thinking.7

If you say, "I'll go behind," Don't go! (There's) no behind.
(And) if you say, "[I'll go] ahead," No! There's no way ahead.8

4475 Open (your) hand [and be generous], (and) grab (the hem of)
your own robe9 [and be merciful]. (For) there is no bandage for
this wound except this garment.10

All good and bad (qualities) are parts of the dervishes;11 whoever is
not like this, is not a dervish.

Whoever has gone beyond "place," his (only) place is the heart --
such a heart12 for which there is no place in the world!13


--From The Dîwân-é Kabîr (also known as "Kulliyat-é Shams" and
"Dîwân-é Shams-é Tabrîz") of Jalaluddin Rumi.
Translated from the Persian by Ibrahim Gamard
Ibrahim Gamard (translation, footnotes, & transliteration)
First published on "Sunlight" (yahoogroups.com), 10/13/99

Notes on the text, with line number:

1. Ghazal 425: Compare to: the version by Coleman Barks (based on
a translation from Persian by John Moyne), "Open Secret," 1984,
pp. 27, re-printed in "The Essential Rumi, 1995, p. 205 (entitled,
by Barks, "There's Nothing Ahead")

2. (4471) the lovers: means the lovers of God.

3. (4471) other than Him: Chittick translated this (single) line as,
"Lovers themselves do not seek-- in the whole world, there is no
seeker but He." ("The Sufi Path of Love," 1983, p. 210). Sufis have
often extended the Islamic creed, "There is no divinity except
God," to obtain further mystical realizations, such as: there is no
(ultimate) being, existence, reality, actions, qualities, etc. except
God's Being, Existence, etc.-- and here, that there is no seeker
except God. This is another way of saying, "Seek God within, not
outside of yourself, and you will find that you don't exist, because
there exists only God who is the Seeker of Himself"-- seeking the
reflection of His own Divine Attributes in the completed human
being.

4. (4472) or faith: means that all of creation (including this world and
the next world, good and bad) is a unity (reflecting the Divine
Unity of God). And in contrast to the mystic's direct experience of
the overwhelming reality of the Presence of God, mental beliefs
about the Divine are irrelevant.

5. (4473) breath of Jesus: refers to the healing miracles brought by
God through the Prophet Jesus (Qur'an 5:113).

6. (4473) I am the admirer: literally, "I am the slave of." An idiom
expressing admiration.

7. (4473) far-thinking: Rumi usually uses this term in a positive
sense, relating to the wisdom of foresight. Here, however, he uses
it as a word play to his beloved spiritual master (Shams-i Tabriz):
"Don't think about being far away!"

8. (4474) no way ahead: means, "You and I are not separate; in our
mystical unity there is no distance behind or ahead that you can
go!"

9. (4475) your own robe: an idiom meaning to beg for help and
mercy by grabbing the hem of someone who has the power to be
merciful or just. Here it means: "Grab the hem of your own robe,
for my sake, and be merciful to me-- who is yourself!"

10. (4475) this garment: a pun on the two meanings of the word
"rêsh": "wound" (Persian) and "embroidered garment" (Arabic).
Means that the spiritual master's "robe of mercy" is the only
bandage (or poultice, with medicinal ointment on it) which can be
wrapped around and heal the wound of the lover's longing sorrow.

11. (4476) parts of the dervishes: means all the Divine Attributes,
beautiful or severe, can be reflected in someone who is a true
dervish-- and who is truly surrendered to the Divine Will.

12. (4477) such a heart: means that the heart of the dervish is
mystically transcendant and beyond physical location in the
universe.

13. (4471) for which there is no place in the world: The circumstances
of the composition of this ode were described by Aflaki (1353,
eighty years after Rumi died): "Sirâjuddîn said that one day
Hazrat-i Mawlana [Rumi] said, 'All of the world are parts of a
single person, and in reference to [the saying of the Prophet
Muhammad], 'O God, guide my people for truly they do not know,'
is an expression of this-- (meaning) 'My people! O parts of me!'
For if the unbelievers are not parts of him, (then) he is not the
whole." After quoting this poem, Aflaki added two verses in the
same rhythm and rhyme: "Whoever has been soothed by the grace
of Shams-i Tabriz, there is no stinging wound on his heart caused
by oppression./ He pounds the drum of (spiritual) kingship in the
kingdom of (spiritual) poverty, since because of the treasure of
(mystical) knowledge, he is not poor!" [har ke luTf-é shams-é dîn
be-n'wâz-ad-ash/ bar del-ash az qahr-é zakhm-é nêsh nêst. kûs-é
sulTânî zan-ad dar mulk-é faqr/ k-ô ze-ganj-é ma`rifat darwêsh
nêst] (Farûzânfar, footnote; see Aflaki, p. 163, 661)

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`âshiq-ân-râ jost-o jô az khwêsh nêst
dar jahân jôyanda joz ô bêsh nêst

în jahân-o ân jahân yak gawhar-ast
dar Haqîqat kufr-o dîn-o kêsh nêst

ay dam-at `îsà, dam az dûrî ma-zan
man ghulâm-é ân-ke dûr-andêsh nêst

gar be-gôy-î pas raw-am nay pas ma-raw
w-ar be-gô-î pêsh, nay rah pêsh nêst

4475 dast be-goshâ dâman-é khwad-râ be-gîr
marham-é în rîsh joz în rêsh nêst

juzw-é darvêsh-and jumla nêk-o bad
har kî na-b'w-ad ô chon-în, darwêsh nêst

har ke az jâ raft jây-é ô del-ast
ham-chô del andar jahân jâyê-sh nêst

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Meter: XoXX XoXX XoX)

Ramal mahzûf musaddas)