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

Chapter 82

Gabriel's Wing


By Khurram Ali Shafique

The sixth enclave in the Garden is Gabriel’s Wing. It is a dense population of diverse genres, some of them unknown. Without a table of contents it looks like a rainforest of spiritual varieties.

You are greeted by the Poet at the entrance. His voice has taken a new candor since his meeting with God in the spiritual journey. “Come, let’s recharge the sun for a new journey,” he says to you. “Let’s rekindle the spent-out breaths of days and nights.”

You have to solve a riddle before entering this enclave. The riddle is actually an ashloka from Bhartari Hari, the Sanskrit poet you met in Paradise:

The heart of a diamond can be cut with a flower petal!
Subtle and gentle speech has no effect on a stupid person!

Does the Poet mean that the heart of a diamond can be cut with a flower petal, or does he mean that it cannot be?

In the first case, the ashloka would mean that influencing a stupid person with subtle and gentle speech is more difficult than cutting the heart of a diamond with a flower petal.

In the second case, it would mean that influencing a stupid person with subtle and gentle speech is impossible like cutting the heart of a diamond with a flower petal.

Does it matter whether he means one thing or the other? Either of the two readings would convey the same message. Welcome to the Wisdom of Love, the fourth zone of the Garden.

Marker of the Beginning
Of the Wisdom of Love

I did not delve deeper into the religious law than this,
That the one who refutes Love is an infidel and heretic.

Gabriel’s Wing is divided into two halves, each starting with the Quranic verse, “In the name of God, the Rahman, the Rahim.”

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The reader enters the Wisdom of Love through Gabriel’s Wing.
Persian text