Like The Soul You Are Going Secretly Into My Soul

Ghazal 17861

Like the soul, you are going secretly2 into my soul. You are my flowing3 cypress, O splendor of my garden.

If you are going, don't go without me; don't go without (my) body, O soul of (my) soul! And don't go beyond my sight, O my luminous flame!

When you look, as (does) a beloved), into my astonished4 soul, I tear up the seven heavens and I surpass the seven seas [out of joy].

(Ever) since you came into my heart,5 (both) infidelity and faith have become my servants, O you (whose) sight (is) my religion, and O you (whose) face (is) my faith.6

You made me helpless;7 you made me lacking sleep and food. Come in, drunk and laughing,8 O my Joseph of Canaan!9

I have become like the soul because of your kindness, and I have become hidden from myself, O you (whose) existence has become hidden within my hidden being.10

Powerless (before) you, the rose tears its garment,11 O you (by whom) the narcissus eye12 is drunk,13 you (by whom) the branches are pregnant,14 O my endless garden.

One moment you pull me to the brand; another moment you pull me to the garden.15 You pull me before the lamp so that my eyes become opened.

O soul prior to (all) souls16 and O mine prior to (all) mines (and) O time prior to (all) times, O my own, my own.17

Our dwelling place (is) not earth; there is no (cause for) worry if the body is scattered (into pieces). My concern (is) not (about) the heavens, O (you for whom) your union18 (is) my highest heaven.19

For those (on) ships, the grave is forever in the ocean. (But) where (is) death in the Water of (everlasting) Life,20 O my ocean, my sea?21

O you (whose) scent (is) in my sigh, and O you (whose) sigh (is) my traveling companion, color and scent became bewildered in hope22 for my emperor.

(Since) my soul, like a mote (of dust) in the air, has become separated from every (kind) of weight, why should it be without you, why, O origin of my four elements?

O my king Salâhuddîn,23 knower of my way (and) seer of my way, O (you who are) free of my authority, O (you who are) higher than my possibility!24

--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, 6/21/15

Ibrahim Gamard (translation, footnotes, & transliteration)

Notes on the text:

1Ghazal 1786: Compare to the translation by A. J. Arberry, "Mystical Poems of Rumi," 2009, pp. 227-28.

2secretly [dozdîda]: lit., "in the manner of a thief or burglar," strealthily. This refers to the unseen entry of the soul into the body of the human fetus.

3flowing [kharâmân]: lit., "gracefully walking."

4astonished: lit., "head-spinning." Means dizzy, confounded, amazed.

5my heart [bar-am]: lit., "my chest," "bosom."

6This verse refers to a state of overwhelming love for the spiritual master in which mental concepts about the (true) faith [îmân] or rejection and denial [kufr] of the faith are transcended, and in which pure spiritual love for the master is here compared to faith and religion [dîn]. This kind of provocative verse, which appears to be irreligious (but is not, because it is a mystical interpretation of Islam) is not uncommon in Sufi poetry. As Mawlana Rumi said elsewhere: "Because the (mystic) lover is drunk in the immediate moment, therefore he is superior to (both) unbelief and belief [kufr-o îmân]. (Masnavi IV: 3280).

7helpless [bê-pâ wo sar]: lit., "without foot and head." An idiom.

8drunk and laughing: refers to an ecstatic spiritual state.

9Joseph of Canaan [yusûf-e kan`ân]: the Prophet Joseph, depicted in the Qur'ân as uncommonly beautiful.

10This verse expands on the theme of the first verse about how the soul of the spiritual master has entered the soul of the disciple in a hidden manner.

11the rose tears its garment: an idiom referring to how the petals fall off the rose.

12the narcissus eye: an idiom meaning beautiful eyes.

13drunk [mast]: means joyful, ecstatic. (It does not mean intoxicated from an alcoholic beverage--which is forbidden in Islam.)

14the branches are pregnant: an idiom meaning prepared to blossom.

15you pull me to the brand... to the garden: A pun on "brand" [dâgh] and "garden" [bâgh].

16soul prior to (all) souls: this may be a reference to the Universal Soul [nafsu 'l-kull], viewed as the origin of particular souls.

17O time [ay ân]: a pun with "O mine" [ay ân-e man].

18your union [WaSl-e tô]: This means being united with the beloved and, on another level, being "united with God" (a mystical metaphor meaning nearness to God).

19the highest heaven [kaywân]: lit., Saturn, the ruler of the seventh heaven in the sky.

20the Water of (Everlasting) Life [âb-e Haywân]: A fabled spring of water said to confer immortality on the one who drinks from it.

21sea [`Ummân]: The Sea of Oman, a metaphor for "sea."

22scent [bôy]: There is a pun with a metaphor of "hope" [bôy], as in a "scent of hope."

23possibility: May also be translated as potentiality. There is a word-play with two related Arabic words, "possibility" [imkân] and "authority" [tamkîn].

24Salahuddin: This refers to SalâHu 'd-dîn Zarkôbî, who was Mawlana Rumi's closest disciple after the final disappearance of his beloved master, Shams-i Tabrizi. This poem shows how Mawlana showered the same devotional love upon Salahuddin as he had upon Shams. It also expresses Mawlana's psth of mystical love: showering spiritual love upon a human beloved as a means of attaining a lofty state of love for God, the Divine Beloved. This path is known in sufism as attaining annihilation in God [fanâ fî 'llâh] via annihilation in the human master [fanâ fî 'sh-shaykh].


18683 dozdîda chûn jân mê-raw-î, andar meyân-é jân-é man

sarw-é kharâmân-é man-î, ay rawnaq-é bostân-é man

chûn mê-raw-î bê-man ma-raw, ay jân-é jân bê-tan ma-raw

w-az chashm-é man bêrûn ma-shaw, ay shu`la-yé tâbân-é man

haft âsmân-râ bar der-am, wa-z haft daryâ be-g'Zar-am

chûn del-barâna be-n'gar-î, dar jân-é sar gardân-é man

tâ âmad-î andar bar-am, shod kufr-o îmân châker-am

ay dîdan-é tô dîn-é man, w-ay rôy-é tô îmân-é man

bê-pâ-wo sar kard-î ma-râ, bê-khwâb-o khwor kard-î ma-râ

sar-mast-o khandân andar â, ay yûsuf-é kan`ân-é man

az luTf-é tô chûn jân shod-am, w-az khwêshtan penhân shod-am

ay hast-é tô penhân shoda, dar hasta-yé penhân-é man

gol jâma-der az dast-é tô, ay chashm-é narges mast-é tô

ay shâkh-hâ âbest-é tô, ay bâgh-é bê-pâyân-é man

yak laHza dâgh-am mê-kash-î, yak-dam ba-bâgh-am mê-kash-î

pêsh-é charâgh-am mê-kash-î, tâ wâ shaw-ad chashmân-é man

ay jân-é pêsh az jân-hâ, w-ay kân-é pêsh az kân-hâ

ay ân-é pêsh az ân-hâ, ay ân-é man ay ân-é man

manzil-gah-é mâ khâk nê, gar tan be-rêz-ad bâk nê

andêsha'am aflâk nê, ay waSl-é tô kaywân-é man

mar ahl-é keshtî-râ laHad, dar baHr bâsh-ad tâ abad

dar âb-é Haywân marg kû? ay baHr-é man `ummân-é man

ay bôy-é tô dar âh-é man, w-ay âh-é tô ham-râh-é man

bar bôy-é shâhenshâh-é man, shod rang-o bô Hayrân-é man

jân-am chô Zarra dar hawâ, chun shod ze-har Siqlê jodâ?

bê-tô cherâ bâsh-ad cherâ? ay aSl-é châr arkân-é man

ay shah salâHu 'd-dîn-é man, rah-dân-é man rah-bîn-é man

ay fârigh az tamkîn-é man, ay bartar az imkân-é man

(rajaz sâlim [muthamman])