The lost cause of unconditional love

A dogs’ life isn’t long enough for many things. But long enough to do just one thing right – to love unconditionally!

Not a selfish kind of love we humans are accustomed to — where give and take is quantified and measured and the terms of the same are renegotiated every other day.

A dog’s love is playful, fulfilling, & unconditional. Sometimes I feel that the purpose of my life is to create such love and spread it to every being I meet.

But then,  I am not a dog ! A fixed dose of judgements, calculations, defensiveness enters my conditioned brain, once I try to become a “Dogable person”.

The dreadful irony is that “mankind” believes itself to be so superior to its earthmates, that even the image of God – a universal energy that created existence – is carved out of the image of a human being, preferably a man.

Even after declaration of the creator God in its own image, a human is incapable of selfless love. Even when one loves one’s kids, it  is with an ulterior motive of finding a helping hand in the wretched old age.

All the other species love & protect their offsprings just as much as required by nature, without expections in future – the kind of love that is self- sustaining, courageous, & unconditional.

But for man, the downfall came when he decided to conquer the elements of nature, & in such a conquiring, imagined itself to be the master of universe. 

Maybe a “dog’s love” is a gentle reminder to the decadent human race, of the kind of love we could have been capable of, if we didn’t stumble to the serpentine greed of power and self-importance – the original sin we all are culprit of !

Diary Entry of a Labrador Pup

Here she is – adorable but lazy at times, my hooman (human).  Lately my hooman has been kind of low in energy. Sometimes I feel she is sad. Or maybe she’s what they call “bored”.

Ya, “bored”! A word I picked up from hooman vocab. When I was with my mum & bros & sis, I didn’t know the word, or what it feels like to be bored. Though one of my fat brothers did prefer sleeping , and used to get annoyed if asked to play or share his stick, everyone else was playful in my family and never compained of being bored.

We would randomly run around in circles, pulling our mum’s tail and ears, and scratching her face. A rather lil in size sis of mine was so naughty, that she literally galloped like a deer, & didn’t know how to walk like a lab girl.

To 7 of us boisterous siblings, it didn’t matter if it was a stick to chase, or a shoe ( my personal favorite), we created play out of just everything life threw at us ( A labrador’s trait) . It annoyed my mum occasionally, and dad all the time.

IMG_20161103_113911

Well,  my hooman was pretty lively too for the first 6 months. She would take me on awesome walks, jog with me, & play fetch (like 3 times a day).

But recently she’s been a lil low. Sometimes I see her all down and quiet, so I bark my lungs out to snap her out of it.

At times, it gets really annoying, especially  when she digs her eyes into that black toy with bright light. I literally scream at the top of my girly high pitched bark to get her to leave it.

What does she try to find in it anyway ? I just don’t like the vibes that come out of it. Anyway the stuff looks pretty toxic to me & I keep a safe distance from it.  Yet on good days, strange noise comes out of it and she dances like a happy gal! 🙂

Oh how I love her when she asks me to dance with her. Her all time favorite track is a delight to my ears, “Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase”. It’s pretty adorable when she changes it to , “Hakuna Matata what a wonderful daze”. Well that’s me, a short name for “Daisy”!

Also, I absolutely love it when she looks deep into my eyes, and tells me that I am so so so pretty. And that she loves me. And that she’ll do whatever it takes to always protect me.

Well at that moment, she seems cuddly labradorable (labra-adorable) & kissable to me. So, next day, I wake her up by planting random kisses on her face, & pulling her hair with love. It’s a pretty cool partnership going on here , with my messed up, but in a tolerable way, hooman. 😀

I used to want buyers for my words

A handful of people are known ‘Sufis‘ – mystics who rather prefer to live in seclusion.

A small percentage of Sufis become revered Sufi saints.

And an even smaller percentage of Sufi saints are known worldwide for their poetry.

Mevlana Rumi is among the smaller percentage of Sufi mystics, whose mysticism tears down the walls of religions, whose poetry inflames a deep fire we run away from daily, whose love for God and his master is deep and soulful.

Simple, to the point, and lyrical, the fountain of poetry exploded in Rumi’s heart when he came in contact with his master, Shams-e-Tabriz.

As it turns out, Rumi was a popular scholar turned poet, whose poetic genious was revealed to him after his unquenchable thirst for God was ignited by his master.

“I used to want buyers for my words,

  Now I wish someone would buy me away from words”.

– Rumi

Story-telling, a craft used by Sufis, offers an amusing lesson to the reader, in the most shocking way.

Here’s an interesting poem picked up from “The Essential Rumi” by Coleman Barks .

It is about a Sufi mystic who is overtly worried about his old donkey, and requests the servant repeatedly to give the donkey a proper meal and care.

The assurances given by the servant were all in vain, when the Sufi later realizes that the donkey wasn’t tended to as promised.

The ordinary story is not so ordinary.

It is the lesson in the ordinary things in life that’s become the essence of Sufism.

And here’s how the poem unfolds, giving the reader an advice on life:

“There are such vicious and empty flatterers in your life.

Do the careful, donkey-tending work.

Don’t trust that to anyone else.

There are hypocrites who will praise you, but who do not care about the health of your heart-donkey.

Be concentrated and leonine in the hunt for what is your true nourishment.

Don’t be distracted by blandishment-noises, of any sort.”

– After the Meditation, Rumi 🙂

(Note: The picture has been sourced from the net. No infringement intended.)

 

Copyright © [Meru]. All rights reserved.

Khalil Gibran: A poet par excellence

It was a usual day in the library. For the first time in life, I finally knew what I yearned for: knowledge & a place where there’s plenty of it: university’s library.

A.C. Joshi Library, located in the Panjab university, is not for the casual students. It is a “respite for soul” place for the curious ones. The ones who want to know it all. The ones with insatiable hunger for more!

Though I was a post-graduate student at that time, the name “Khalil Gibran” (or Kahlil Gibran) didn’t ring any bells. But the word “Lebanese” poet aroused some curiosity, and that’s how I opened the first page.

khalil gibran

And then I couldn’t put it down for a moment – read it while eating, in the class, in the hostel common room, almost everywhere. There it was, one of the most enchantingly romantic works one could read, “The Broken Wings: Khalil Gibran“.

A take on spiritual love, with its purity intact, The Broken Wings is like an intense lyric, the depths of which are unfathomable to a mortal being. Here’s an excerpt from the text:

“Every young man remembers his first love and tries to recapture that strange hour, the memory of which changes his deepest feeling and makes him so happy in spite of all the bitterness of its mystery…

Today, after many years have passed, I’ve nothing left out of that beautiful dream except painful memories flapping like invisible wings around me, filling the depths of my heart with sorrow, and bringing tears to my eyes; and my beloved, beautiful Selma, is dead and nothing is left to commemorate her except my broken heart and tomb surrounded by cypress trees. That tomb and this heart are all that is left to bear witness of Selma.

The silence that guards the tomb does not reveal God’s secret in the obscurity of the coffin, and the rustling of the branches whose roots suck the body’s elements do not tell the mysteries of the grave, by the agonized sighs of my heart announce to the living the drama which love, beauty, and death have performed. “

The tragedy of love is beautifully captured in the masterpiece. But love’s not the only facet of Gibran’s work. Another classic, “The Prophet“, discusses practical answers to spiritual & philosophical aspects of daily life. Matters of marriage, death, talking, children, giving, etc. are touched upon with soft-soothing words, showing his creative genius in the poetic form.

Here’s an excerpt from “On Talking” by Khalil Gibran:

On Talking

“You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts;
And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips,
And sound is a diversion and a pastime.
And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered.
For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words may indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly…

There are those among you who seek the talkative through fear of being alone.
The silence of aloneness reveals to their eyes their naked selves and they would escape… “

The Guest House by Rumi: Sufism

The first glimpse of Sufism

I remember it. My first glimpse of Sufism. An unusual book was lying on the table, with the name “Bulleh Shah” printed on it. The name struck a chord. Just like the name “Rumi” did later on. Bit by bit, poem by poem, the love for his poetry solidified into supreme devotion, and a new gate opened for me – the golden gate of Sufi ecstasy!

So, who is a Sufi ?

Is he the one immersed in deep meditative silence? Or is he the one whirling in a divine ecstasy? Or perhaps the one whose dance has solidified into a deep silence?

images

As waves upon my head the circling curl,
So in the sacred dance weave ye and whirl.
Dance then, O heart, a whirling circle be.
Burn this flame - is not the candle he? 
- Rumi

A Sufi can be just anybody: a wanderer, a saint, a beggar, a poet, an ascetic. He can easily fit into any of these categories. Or he can transcended all these mind-imposed categories & move into the realm of nothingness.

“The Guest House” by Rumi is a stroke of genius, an enchanting lyric, a masterpiece that started a life-long addiction to Rumi and his works.

The Guesthouse by Mewlava Jallaludin Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
 Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
 As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
 Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
 who violently sweep your house
 empty of its furniture,
 still treat each guest honorably.
 He may be clearing you out
 for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Note: The image has been sourced from the Internet. No infringement intended.