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Interpretation of Rumi's Poems & Quotes - Introduction.

Recently, I was introduced to the beautiful world of Rumi’s literature by one of my friends through the book named “Rumi – A New Translation” by Farrukh Dhondy. Although, this was not the first time I have been introduced to Rumi. A few years back, another friend of mine gave me a book on love between Rumi and his Guru Shams; named Forty Rules of Love. It is also one of the best books I have ever read, but as always, there is a huge difference between reading about someone Vs reading someone. Forty Rules of Love is “about” Rumi & Shams through the eyes of the author Elif Shafak whereas “Rumi – A New Translation” by Farrukh Dhondy is the translation of Rumi’s own work.

As we went into reading and understanding Rumi’s Poetry, it looked like a new world of divine wisdom was opened to us. This brought the idea of writing my interpretations of Rumi’s Poetry and posting on social media platforms which can be beneficial for everyone. It seems that Rahu in Pisces transit is giving another beautiful and poetic result in life and so I'll try to interpret Rumi's poems.

At the outset, I can only say that I can’t be at Rumi’s consciousness level. I can only write about what I understood from Rumi’s words. So, these interpretations will be solely my understanding.

Mawlana Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī – In case, someone doesn’t know about Rumi then as per Wikipedia – “Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī, or simply Rumi, was a 13th-century poet, Hanafi faqih, Islamic scholar, Maturidi theologian and Sufi mystic originally from Greater Khorasan in Greater Iran. Rumi's works were written mostly in Persian, but occasionally he also used Turkish, Arabic and Greek in his verse.”

In case, someone is confused about Sufi or Sufism then Sufi is a person who has crossed the theology part of Religion and now, he wants to experience God through direct experience. He can device many ways or paths to reach up to the divine. Hence, Sufi’s path and a Mystic’s path is very similar.

Rumi’s Poetry & Interpretations – As I understood, Rumi’s poetry on the surface looks like of love and romance but in actuality, it is surrounding Divine Love and Divine Romance. We have to see some higher meanings in Rumi’s words and we should not limit our interpretations within mundane things of life. The biggest mistake I would do if I just limit myself in interpreting these poems as mundane love poems. Many a times, we can be amazed that by way of these romantic poems, Rumi is letting us know the way to divine supreme consciousness. So, I would try to take as higher meaning as possible within my abilities of Rumi’s poems.

As I already said that we can understand something only up to our own level of understanding, so consider these interpretations as my understanding of Rumi’s divine work. Just to give a glimpse of what I am planning to write, here is a very famous Rumi’s quote & a poem and thereafter my interpretation of it –

Rumi’s Quote

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, There is a field.
I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, The world is too full to talk about."

My Interpretation

Ideas are of the Human Mind and the Human Mind is always conditioned by the Society in which it develops after birth.
Conditioned by the ideas of Good/Bad or Right/Wrong etc, as that particular society thinks correct.
As I understand, Rumi is saying that beyond that conditioned mind of Ideas of right/wrong, there is a place. What is that place?
Pure Consciousness, without any conditioning. I will meet you there at the Consciousness level.
Because once an individual settles down there at Consciousness level then there is nothing in this outer world to even pay attention about.

Now, Rumi’s Poem -

“Tongue”

O Tongue, you are the fount of countless gems.
The Artisan of complex diadems.
You are also the spring of all diseases.
The plague that withers Roses on their stems.

Interpretation – As we can see here, Rumi is speaking about the importance of words spoken. Rumi is telling us that how words spoken in an aware state can create countless gems and crowns for us. Rumi is also letting us know that same words spoken recklessly can create unpleasant situations, not only for us but for others around us too.

We can agree that whenever we hear good things about us, we evolve and feel valued by others. It brings life to us and we can also agree that whenever someone speaks ill to us, we feel withered and lifeless. Words spoken always have a huge impact on our Psyche.

This reminds me of a Hindi Movie Anand [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anand_(1971_film)] where protagonist of the movie is a jovial, fun loving and highly talkative guy and he happens to meet a Guru who has taken a vow of silence. He asks only one blessing from Guru that he should continue to speak but speak good and he should never hurt others by his speech.

Now, the main confusion which can come in mind is that “Is Rumi telling us to speak a language which is always people pleasing”? "Does Rumi want us to be a sweet talker?"

As I see, No. A Sufi or a Mystic can have no concern about pleasing people and society. He has become Sufi only by violating the rules of Society. So, he will be the last person to be concerned about the reactions of people and society. Then what is the message?

Message is the use of Words with Awareness. We should be speaking with an aware state of mind. We should not speak in an absent-minded state. In an aware state, we can’t be using wrong words and in an unaware state, we can’t be doing anything right though it may look like right initially.

Also, we can understand this situation from the perspective of Master rather than Disciple. A Disciple may feel that words spoken by Guru or Master are very harsh or rude but Master knows that those words are much required for improvement of disciple. So, from Master's perspective, those harsh words are useful whereas from Disciple's perspective, they are harsh or rude.

Series on Rumi’s Poetry & my interpretations – So, I will try to post interpretation of at least one poem every week; most preferably on Fridays. There was also a suggestion as to make YouTube Videos/Shorts of these interpretations. I will be open to this thought after seeing the initial response by people regarding written interpretations. I will post these interpretations under Spiritual Musing Tab on website.

So, let’s start this journey of understanding Rumi and Sufism from coming Friday.

Hope this helps. Thanks,

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