The Republic of Rumi: A Novel of Reality
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The Republic of Rumi: a Novel of Reality

Chapter 51

Ideals are the Keys


By Khurram Ali Shafique

A prayer consisting of seven couplets is inscribed inside the door of the chamber. Each couplet is a wish but some appear to be negating some others.

A Prayer

O Lord! Grant me a conscious heart in my breast,
Give me an eye that could see the effect of wine in the wine itself.

This slave who did not live on anyone else’s breath
Be granted a sigh that comes not from another breast.

I am a torrent. Do not set me dribbling in a rivulet,
But give me to run around in valleys and spreading hills.

Now if you have made me boundless like an ocean,
Grant me the tranquility of a pearl as well as the tumult of the waves.

You have set my falcon to hunt down the leopard,
Now give it a high will and sharper claws.

I have now set out to hunt a bird sitting atop Your Holy Sanctuary.
Give me an arrow that could do the job without being shot.

Illuminate my lifeless clay with the light of the song of David.
Grant the rising spirit of sparks to every particle of mine.

DISCUSS

  • Is it possible that each couplet of the ‘Prayer’ indicates an ideal formed by the self at a particular stage in the present journey?


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A special prayer divides the poems of the “First Chamber” of the Temple into seven sets. It becomes obvious that the journey in the Garden also comprises of seven stages and the reader is now at the fourth.
Persian text