For this week, I bring you this verse from Rumi’s Masnavi Volume 6 . The chapter is called Peace with in the Heart. Translated from Persian by Ibrahim Gamard (with gratitude for R. A. Nicholson’s 1934 British translation) .
The original verse in Persian :
az ko-jâ jôy-êm `ilm? az tark-é `ilm
az ko-jâ jôy-êm silm? az tark-é silm
If you read the above lines, the flow in couplet is flawless and rhythm perfect. The original verse didn’t even have the brackets of true and false, they were added while translating for ease of readers to differentiate between the two.
The words of Rumi are always soul deep, playing with few words and putting reader into utter confusion is his best game and he is not even willing to teach you wisdom so easily, Right? You need to sit back and keep wondering what he meant by his words, like a tricky homework from teacher.
Although one thing is always certain; he definitely meant something beyond our normal routine life offers to teach us.
How can we search true knowledge? : By abandoning false knowledge! But what is false knowledge? It could mean different things to different people, in world of information where we live today; we are blasted with data and information every microsecond of every minute of the events happening around the world and now it has become our habit to stay connected and keep checking.
If I talk about updates from Newspapers that I have subscribed to (unfortunately no better options available), some example of News:
A celebrity is getting divorced, or another is caught dating with someone! How a cruel murder was plotted, a minister slammed another minister on twitter? How an ex-wife avenged her ex-husband?
Do we need to know all of it? May be 1 % is the useful information and rest is all just crap.
Knowledge is awareness of facts; or possession of some skill .What could be false awareness and false skills? May be something which is not useful for us or others, abandoning such knowledge would magnify our view on more useful facts and skills that will benefit us and others. Instead of wasting our time on something insignificant, learning or acquiring a useful skill will give us true knowledge.
With the first jargon a bit solved, second one seems easy.
How can we seek true peace? : By abandoning false peace.
Peace is a quiet state or state with no conflicts, or absence of war between any two parties.
Let us take an example: There is a cruel king and his subjects. The subjects never protested to King for his ways of treating them but they are not happy, this is also a state of no conflict, there is no war, the King might think his kingdom is in peace, but we can easily say it is false peace. Both the parties are not happy and there is also a presence of fear in one of them. This could not continue for long, one day they will protest and yearn for true peace.
I feel it similarly, we are all cruel kings that don’t listen to our inner selves, we keep indulging in our desires that give us pleasures but momentarily, we are happy for some time but then unhappiness returns; we then chase for our next desire and so on! The conflict keeps rising until one of the self gives up. Which one gives up depends on what we choose! We become a seeker of true peace or a follower of false peace.
True peace for me is a state of no conflict between my outer and inner self. The moments of quietness of mind, tranquillity in heart and absence of fear from it are the moments of peace for me.