Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi

The Journey

Come, seek, for search is the foundation of fortune:
every success depends upon focusing the heart.
Unconcerned with the business of the world,
keep saying with all your soul, “Ku, ku,” like the dove.
Consider this well, o you whom worldliness veils,
God has tied “invocation” to “I will answer.”
When weakness is cleared from your heart,
your prayer will reach the glorious Lord.

[III, 2302-5]

Even though you’re not equipped,
keep searching:
equipment isn’t necessary on the way to the Lord.
Whoever you see engaged in search,
become her friend and cast your head in front of her,
for choosing to be a neighbor of seekers,
you become one yourself;
protected by conquerors,
you will yourself learn to conquer.
If an ant seeks the rank of Solomon,
don’t smile contemptuously upon its quest.
Everything you possess of skill, and wealth and handicraft,
wasn’t it first merely a thought and a quest?[III, 1445-49]

O God, You who know all that is hidden
You who speak with compassion,
don’t hide from us the errors of our wrong pursuits;
nor reveal to us the lack within the good we try to do,
lest we become disgusted and lose the heart
to journey on this Path.[IV, 1348-54]

On Resurrection Day God will ask,
“During this reprieve I gave you,
what have you produced for Me?
Through what work have you reached your life’s end?
Your food and your strength, for what have they been consumed?
Where have you dimmed the luster of your eye?
Where have you dissipated your five senses?
You have expended eyes and ears and intellect
and the pure celestial substances;
what have you purchased from the earth?
I gave you hands and feet as spade and mattock
for tilling the soil of good works;
when did they by themselves become existent?[III, 2147-2153]

The Prophet said, “I am like an Ark in the Flood of Time.
I and my companions are as the Ship of Noah:
whoever clings to us will gain spiritual graces.”
When you are with the Sheikh you are far removed from evil:
day and night you are a traveller in a ship.
You are under the protection of a life-giving spirit:
you are asleep in the ship and proceeding on the way.
Don’t break with the prophet of your day:
don’t rely on your own skill and footsteps.
Lion though you are, to go on the way without a guide
is arrogant, foolish, and contemptible.
Step aboard the ship and set sail,
like the soul going towards the soul’s Beloved.
Without hands or feet, travel toward Timelessness
just as spirits flee from non-existence.[IV, 538-43;57-8]

O Muslim, while you are still engaged in the quest,
good manners are nothing but forbearance
with everyone who is unmannerly.
When you see anyone complaining
of such and such a person’s ill-nature and bad temper,
know that the complainant is bad-tempered,
forasmuch as he speaks ill of that bad-tempered person,
because he alone is good-tempered who is quietly forbearing
towards the bad-tempered and ill-natured.[IV, 771-4]

By God, don’t linger
in any spiritual benefit you have gained,
but yearn for more like one suffering from illness
whose thirst for water is never quenched.
This Divine Court is the Infinite Plane.
Leave the seat of honor behind:
the Way is your seat of honor.[III, 1960-91]