31 January 2020
Hear the Reed Flute as It Laments
We all have heard the poem "Listen to the Reed Flutes as It Laments", written by Mawlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī. When Mawlānā writes of separation in this poem, what kind of separation is he speaking about? When we read the Word of God, we see that we all have been separated from God. The story of the Bible answers the question raised in this poem and shows us how God has provided a way for us to be reconciled to God.
Translation of Parts of Rumi's Poem: Translation by Nicholson
1. Listen to this reed how it complains:
it is telling a tale of separations.
2. Saying, "Ever since I was parted from the reed-bed,
man and woman have moaned in (unison with) my lament.
4. Every one who is left far from his source
wishes back the time when he was united with it.
19. O son, burst thy chains and be free!
How long wilt thou be a bondsman to silver and gold?
20. If thou pour the sea into a pitcher,
how much will it hold? One day's store.
21. The pitcher, the eye of the covetous, never becomes full:
the oyster-shell is not filled with pearls until it is contented.
30. The Beloved is all and the lover (but) a veil;
the Beloved is living and the lover a dead thing.
31. When Love hath no care for him,
he is left as a bird without wings. Alas for him then!
32. How should I have consciousness (of aught) before or behind
when the light of my Beloved is not before me and behind?
33. Love wills that this Word should be shown forth: ***
if the mirror does not reflect, how is that?
34. Dost thou know why the mirror (of thy soul) reflects nothing?
Because the rust is not cleared from its face.