Friday, May 28, 2010

One Light

Some months ago, I came upon a beautiful website dedicated to collecting sacred poetic texts from around the world. This is the Poetry Chaikhana, an excellent project taken up by Ivan Granger, which collects works of both well-known and forgotten poets from around the world. The poetry on this site isn't restricted to one region, religion or language, instead it shows how every composed piece relates to the ultimate truth. I fell in love with the touching yet simplistic words of forgotten legends, the artistic photographs that accompany each poem, and the half-minute music samples that add another dimension to the poems. Nearly every day I receive an email from Poetry Chaikhana that absolutely makes my day...for a few minutes I can take a break and let the beauty of the words, images and music sink in. Here is one brilliant piece that I wish to share, written by Mahmud Shabistari (english translation by Andrew Harvey):

One Light:

What are "I" and "You"?
Just lattices
in the niches of a lamp,
through which the One light radiates.

"I" and "You" are the veil,
Between Heaven and Earth,
lift this veil and you will see,
how all sects and religions are one.

Lift this veil and you will ask:
when "I" and "You" do not exist,
what is mosque?
what is synagogue?
what is fire-temple?

-Taken from Shabistari's Gulistan-e-Raaz (the Rose Garden of Mystery)

Here's a link to Poetry Chaikhana:
do visit!

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