They call Him Emptiness who is the Truth of truths,
in Whom all truths are stored!
There within Him creation goes forward,
which is beyond all philosophy;
for philosophy cannot attain to Him:
There is an endless world,
O my Brother! and there is the Nameless Being,
of whom naught can be said.
Only he knows it who has reached that region:
it is other than all that is heard and said.
No form, no body, no length, no breadth is seen there:
how can I tell you that which it is?
— Kabir – Songs of Kabir – LXXVI (transl. Rabindranath Tagore)
(image source: poemhunter.com)
Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī
Oh you who have devoted yourself to strife,
you have not discerned yourself from others!
Whenever you come upon a form,
you stop and say, “I am this.”
By God, you are not that! . . .
How can you be that?
You are that unique one, happy, beautiful,
and intoxicated with yourself.
You are your own bird, prey, and snare,
your own seat of honor, carpet, and roof.
“Substance” subsists in itself,
those things that derive from it are accidents.
If you are born of Adam,
sit like him and behold his progeny within yourself.
What does the vat contain that is not in the river?
What does the room encompass that is not in the city?
This world is the vat, and the heart the running stream,
this world the room, and the heart the city of wonders.
— Jalalud’din Rumi – Mathnawi IV: 803-811 – “The Sufi Path of Love” (transl. William C. Chittick)
(image source: rumibook.info)
Outward beauty, loveliness of form, charm of personality, whether it is yours or possessed by another, is of no lasting worth. Be not allured by this false show. Be not deluded by these transitory qualities. Handsome or ugly, fair or dark, delicate or coarse, exquisite or plain in appearance, all the forms that you behold are born of dust. They are dolls of clay. They are fleeting forms that will soon vanish and be no more. They are exactly like garments that we have purchased at the vanity-fair of this world, but which have to be discarded before we depart. Your aim in life should be to transcend them.
— Baba Sawan Singh
Sri Anandamayi Ma in Samadhi
The Lover’s love is apparent, his Beloved hidden.
The Friend is absent, his signs are everywhere.
Leave this desire for outward forms.
Love should go beyond form and face.
The one you love is not mere form,
Whether it be of heavenly or earthly kind.
Whatever the form that is the object of your love,
You do not forsake it because life leaves it!
The form is still there. Why the disgust at it?
Lover, realize what your true Beloved is.
And since love increases fidelity
How can you fail when form abides beyond the apparent?
When the Sun shines on a wall
The wall is lit up, but by the Sun’s borrowed light.
O ignorant one! Love not the brick or stone.
Seek out the source that lights it up!
— Jalalud’din Rumi – It is the True Beloved Who Causes All Outward Earthly Beauty to Exist
(original picture source unknown)
You have heard much of this world,
Yet what have you seen of this world?
What is its form and substance?
What is Simurgh, and what is Mount Kaf?
What is Hades and what is Heaven and Hell?
What is that unseen world
A day of which equals a year of this?
Come and hear the meaning.
You are asleep, and your vision is a dream,
All you are seeing is a mirage.
When you wake up on the morn of the last day
You will know all this to be Fancy’s illusion;
When you have ceased to see double,
Earth and Heaven will become transformed;
When the real sun unveils his face to you,
The moon, the stars, and Venus will disappear;
If a ray shines on the hard rock
Like wool of many colours, it drops to pieces.
— Sa’d Ud Din Mahmud Shabistari – The Secret Rose Garden – Part V – Time and this Dream-World (The Dream of Life)