Bewilderment … to the point of infinity


“Love is the ark appointed for the righteous,
Which annuls the danger and provides a way of escape.
Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.
Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment intuition.”

Hazrat. Maulana Jalal-ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (r.a) – Book IV Masnawi

The Center

Your eye has not strength enough
to gaze at the burning sun,
but you can see its brilliant light
by watching its reflection
Mirrored in the water.
So the reflection of Absolute Being
Can be viewed in this mirror of Not-Being,
For non-existence, being opposite Reality,
Instantly catches its reflection.
Know the world from end to end is a mirror;
In each atom a hundred suns are concealed.
If you pierce the heart of a single drop of water,
From it will flow a hundred clear oceans;
If you look intently at each speck of dust,
In it you will see a thousand beings,
A gnat in its limbs is like an elephant;
In name a drop of water resembles the Nile,
In the heart of a barley-corn is stored an hundred harvests,
Within a millet-seed a world exists,
In an insect’s wing is an ocean of life,
A heaven is concealed in the pupil of an eye,
The core in the center of the heart is small,
Yet the Lord of both worlds will enter there.

The Secret Rose Garden
Hazrat Sa’d ud Din Mahmud Shabistari r.a


Statement: “Honestly lowering the shutter button is only the first step – it’s like jumping off a high point with wings extended and eased to fly. I take the raw images and craft what I see in my mind’s eye. Requesting and easing out consistencies present in the shot or sometimes adding them. Enhancing the divergence of light and dark to create the atmosphere and emotions I felt and feel. In the end, it’s all about deciphering the core of one’s existence and creating a visual depiction of what is sensed the instant the shutter is released.”



THE past has flown away,
the coming month and years do not exist;
ours only is the present’s tiny point.
Time is but a fancied dot ever moving on
which you have called a flowing river-stream.
I am alone in a wide desert,
Listening to the echo of strange noises.


The Secret Rose Garden
Hazrat Sa’d ud Din Mahmud Shabistari r.a



Unseen World

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.

The Secret Rose Garden
Hazrat Sa’d ud Din Mahmud Shabistari r.a



Appear as One

The world is an imaginary figure,
A diffused shadow of the Infinite;
One breath created the worlds of command
And all living things.
As they appear to come forth, so they appear to go.
Though there is no real coming and going.
For what is going but coming?
All are one, both the visible and the invisible.
God most high, the Eternal One,
Creates and destroys both worlds.
The varied forms you see are but phantoms of your fancy,
And by revolving quickly in a circle
Appear as one.


The Secret Rose Garden
Hazrat Sa’d ud Din Mahmud Shabistari r.a






The Real and the Unreal

THE imagination produces phenomenal objects
Which have no real existence,
So this world has no substantial reality,
But exists as a shadowy pageant or a play.
All is pervaded by Absolute Being
In its utter perfection.
There are many numbers,
but only One is counted.


The Secret Rose Garden
Hazrat Sa’d ud Din Mahmud Shabistari r.a


Light of Lights 

LET reason go. For his light
Burns reason up from head to foot.
If you wish to see that Face
Seek another eye. The philosopher
With his two eyes sees double,
So is unable to see the unity of the Truth.
As his light burns up the angels,
Even so doth it consume reason.
As the light of our eyes to the sun
So is the light of reason to the Light of Lights.


The Secret Rose Garden
Hazrat Sa’d ud Din Mahmud Shabistari r.a



The Atoms

TAKE one atom away from its place
And the whole world will fall to pieces;
The world is whirling dizzily, yet no one part
Moves from the limit of its place.
Each atom, held in bondage,
Despairs at its separation from the whole;
So though imprisoned, yet moves,
Though unclothed, yet is clothed again,
Though at rest, yet is always wandering,
Never beginning and never ending;
Each possessing self-knowledge, and so
Hurrying towards the throne on high.
Each atom hides beneath its veil
The soul-amazing beauty of the Beloved’s Face.

The Secret Rose Garden
Hazrat Sa’d ud Din Mahmud Shabistari r.a



Thinking is passing from the false to the true
And seeing the Absolute Whole in the part.
When the idea enters the mind,
It is a reminiscence of a former state,
And passes on to interpretation.
He who sees by illumination
Discerns God first in everything,
But he who sees by logic only,
And seeks to prove the necessary,
Is bewildered and sometimes travels
Backward in a circle, or is imprisoned
In a chain of proofs.
Fool! he seeks the dazzling sun
By the dim light of a candle in the desert.


The Secret Rose Garden
Hazrat Sa’d ud Din Mahmud Shabistari r.a



 I have known in my body the sport of the universe
I have escaped from the error of this world.
The inward and the outward are become as one sky,
the Infinite and the finite are united
I am drunken with the sight of this All!
This Light of Thine fulfills the universe
the lamp of love that burns on the salver of knowledge.
Kabîr says: “There error cannot enter, and the conflict of life and death is felt no more.”

The Songs of Kabir, tr. by Rabindranath Tagore, intro. by Evelyn Underhill, [1915]

 The shadows of evening fall thick and deep,
and the darkness of love envelops the body and the mind.
Open the window to the west, and be lost in the sky of love;
Drink the sweet honey that steeps the petals of the lotus of the heart.
Receive the waves in your body: what splendour is in the region of the sea!
Hark! the sounds of conches and bells are rising.
Kabîr says: “O brother, behold! the Lord is in this vessel of my body.”

 The Songs of Kabir, tr. by Rabindranath Tagore, intro. by Evelyn Underhill, [1915], at

Life is a part of the contents of Time’s consciousness.
The cause of Time is not the revolution of the sun:
Time is everlasting, but the sun does not last for ever.
Time is joy and sorrow, festival and fast;
Time is the secret of moonlight and sunlight.
Thou hast extended Time, like Space,
And distinguished Yesterday from To-morrow.
Thou hast fled, like a scent, from thine own garden;
Thou hast made thy prison with thine own hand.
Our Time, which has neither beginning nor end,
Blossoms from the flower-bed of our mind.
To know its root quickens the living with new life:

 The Secrets of the Self, by Muhammad Iqbal, tr. by Reynold A. Nicholson, [1920],

 “We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”

 T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets


Sâlik Tarîqat Eternal Mirror

Does a man feel such pleasure in acting on compulsion
As he exhibits when committing wrong actions?
You battle like twenty men against those
Who give you good advice not to do that act;
Saying to them, “This is right and quite proper;
Who dissuades me from it but men of no account?”
Does a man acting on compulsion talk like this?
Or rather one who is erring of his own freewill?
Whatever your lust wills you deem freewill,
What reason demands you deem compulsion.
Whoso is wise and prudent knows this,

That cleverness comes from Iblis, but love from Adam.
Cleverness is like Canaan’s swimming in the ocean;
‘Tis no river or small stream; ’tis the mighty ocean.
Away with this attempt to swim; quit self-conceit.
‘Twill not save you; Canaan was drowned at last.
Love is as the ark appointed for the righteous,
Which annuls the danger and provides a way of escape.
Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment;
Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment intuition.

Make sacrifice of your reason at the feet of Mustafa,
Say, “God Sufficeth me, for He, is sufficient for me.”
Do not, like Canaan, hang back from entering the ark,
Being puffed up with vain conceit of cleverness.
He said, “I will escape to the top of high mountains,
Why need I put myself under obligation to Noah?”
Ah! better for him had he never learnt swimming!
Then he would have based his hopes on Noah’s ark.
Would he had been ignorant of craft as a babe!
Then like a babe he would have clung to his mother.
Would he had been less full of borrowed knowledge!
Then he would have accepted inspired knowledge from his father.
When, with inspiration at hand, you seek book-learning,
Your heart, as if inspired, loads you with reproach.
Traditional knowledge, when inspiration is available,
Is like making ablutions with sand when water is near.
Make yourself ignorant, be submissive, and then
You will obtain release from your ignorance.

For this cause, O son, the Prince of men declared,
“The majority of those in Paradise are the foolish.”
Cleverness is as a wind raising storms of pride;
Be foolish, so that your heart may be at peace;
Not with the folly that doubles itself by vain babble,
But with that arising from bewilderment at “The Truth.”
Those Egyptian women who cut their hands were fools
Fools as to their hands, being amazed at Yusuf’s face.
Make sacrifice of reason to love of “The Friend,”
True reason is to be found where He is.
Men of wisdom direct their reason heavenwards,
Vain babblers halt on earth where no “Friend” is.
If through bewilderment your reason quits your head,
Every hair of your head becomes true reason and a head.


The Spiritual Couplets of Hazrat Maulana Jalaluddin Muhammad Rumi r.a
From The Masnavi, tr. by E.H. Whinfield, [1898] Book IV.

* Notes: Then follow commentaries on the text, “O thou enfolded in thy mantle;” On the proverb, “Silence is the proper answer to a fool;” Based on the hadith of holy prophet muhammad (p.b.u.h.), “God created the angels with reason and the brutes with lust, but man he created with both reason and lust; the man who follows reason is higher than the angels, and the man who follows lust is lower than the brutes;” on the text, “As to those in whose heart is a disease, it will add doubt to their doubt, and they shall die infidels,” and a comparison of the struggle between reason and lust to that between Majnun and his she-camel, he trying to get to his mistress Laila, and the she-camel trying to run home to her foal.








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