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

Chapter 78

Kausar


By Khurram Ali Shafique

Kausar is one of the most special streams in heaven. On its banks Iqbal and Rumi find Syed Ali Hamadani, a Sufi descendant of the Prophet. He brought science, crafts, education and religion to Kashmir. Sitting with him is a Kashmiri poet Ghani.

Kashmir

When the British captured Punjab, they sold Kashmir to a Hindu ruler who had helped them against his master.

Iqbal’s ancestors came from that part. On the banks of Kausar he recounts how he once heard a madman saying in the famous Nishat Bagh of Kashmir, “O morning breeze! Speak a word from me to the League of Nations if you should pass over Geneva. Say: they sold farmer, field, river and garden. They sold an entire people, and at what a low price!”

Hamadani

“If you cut off a part of the body, that part will be lost to you but a soul that is drunk with vision shall return to you if you give it away,” says Hamadani to the Poet. “You may buy Iran or India but the right to rule cannot be transferred. It has to be earned.”

Ghani

Nehrus who led the freedom struggle in India were originally from the same valley. Alluding to them as a symbol of hope, Ghani says that Kashmir is like a wave that must transgress the shore.

Bhartari Hari

Bhartari Hari was a Sanskrit poet from ancient India. He arrives on the scene when Iqbal recites a poem on Ghani’z invitation and houris start peeping from their chambers.

“This world you behold is not the handiwork of God,” says Bhartari. "Prostrate yourself before the Law of action’s reward, for from action are born Hell, Purgatory and Paradise.”

The voice of Bhartari penetrates the soul of Iqbal and he becomes intoxicated with it.

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In Paradise, Rumi and Iqbal meet the Sufi master Syed Ali Hamadani, and poets Ghani of Kashmir and Bhartari Hari on the bank of the sacred stream of Kausar.
Persian text