We carry on like machines with our tiresome daily routine. How eagerly the mind accepts a pattern of existence, and how tenaciously it clings to it! As by a driven nail, the mind is held together by idea, and around the idea it lives and has its being. The mind is never free, pliable, for it is always anchored; it moves within the radius, narrow or wide, of its own center. From its center it dare not wander; and when it does, it is lost in fear. Fear is not of the unknown, but of the loss of the known. The unknown does not incite fear, but dependence on the known does. Fear is always with desire, the desire for the more or for the less. The mind, with its incessant weaving of patterns, is the maker of time; and with time there is fear, hope and death.
— Jiddu Krishnamurti – The Book of Life
I laugh when I hear that the fish in the water is thirsty.
You don’t grasp the fact that what is most alive of all is inside your own house;
and so you walk from one holy city to the next with a confused look!
Kabir will tell you the truth: go wherever you like, to Calcutta or Tibet;
if you can’t find where your soul is hidden,
for you the world will never be real!
— Kabir – Ecstatic Poems (Robert Bly)
“I” and “you” are but the lattices,
in the niches of a lamp,
through which the One Light shines.
“I” and “you” are the veil
between heaven and earth;
lift this veil and you will see
no longer the bonds of sects and creeds.
When “I” and “you” do not exist,
what is mosque, what is synagogue?
What is the Temple of Fire?
—Sa’d Ud Din Mahmud Shabistari – The Secret Rose Garden – Part IX – Man: His Capabilities and his Destiny (p. 64)
From each, Love demands a mystic silence.
What do all seek so earnestly? Tis Love.
Love is the subject of their inmost thoughts,
In Love no longer “Thou” and “I” exist,
For self has passed away in the Beloved.
Now will I draw aside the veil from Love,
And in the temple of mine inmost soul
Behold the Friend, Incomparable Love.
He who would know the secret of both worlds
Will find that the secret of them both is Love.
— Attar (Essential Sufism)
Steadfast a lamp burns sheltered from the wind;
Such is the likeness of the Yogi’s mind
Shut from sense-storms and burning bright to Heaven.
When mind broods placid, soothed with holy wont;
When Self contemplates self, and in itself
Hath comfort; when it knows the nameless joy
Beyond all scope of sense, revealed to soul —
Only to soul! and, knowing, wavers not,
True to the farther Truth; when, holding this,
It deems no other treasure comparable,
But, harbored there, cannot be stirred or shook
By any gravest grief, call that state ‘peace’,
That happy severance Yoga; call that man
The perfect Yogin!
— Bhagavat Gita VI: 19-23 (Arnold’s translation)
When learned priests
forget their stuff,
they read the good old Vedas —
without their books,
they don’t have a clue
to the secret of things.
When they see
they pounce on it
with words like karma,
they apply their theories
of the four ashramas.
They’ve taught the four ages
the gāyatrī mantra —
go ask them
whom it has set free.
Whenever they touch someone
to purify themselves —
tell them who’s really
the inferior one.
They take great pride
in their many good qualities,
but so much vanity
doesn’t make them any good.
Only the One
who’s the Destroyer of Pride
can deal with their arrogance.
Give up the thought
of being proud of your birth,
look for the text
the eternal bodiless
only when the sapling
has spoilt the seed.
— Kabir – Sapling and Seed – The Weaver’s Songs – Page 149
The most important lesson that man can learn from his life is not that there is pain in this world, but that it depends upon him to turn it into good account, that it is possible for him to transmute it into joy.
— Rabindranath Tagore – Sadhana – Chapter 3
The moon has become a dancer
at this festival of love.
This dance of light,
This sacred blessing,
This divine love,
to a world beyond
only lovers can see
with their eyes of fiery passion.
They are the chosen ones
who have surrendered.
Once they were particles of light
now they are the radiant sun.
They have left behind
the world of deceitful games.
They are the privileged lovers
who create a new world
with their eyes of fiery passion.
— Jalalud’din Rumi – The Privileged Lovers
Chasing after the world
Allowing it all to come to me
— Zen Gatha
(many thanks to Jennifer for drawing my attention to Gathas with her wonderful article.)