Monday, April 27, 2009

A quote from Mawlana

It is quite dark today. It is gloomy and rainy. A litte bit sick and tired of writing petitions I would like to cite something from Rumi.

"If in thirst you drink water from a cup, you see God in it. Those who are not in love with God will see only their own faces in it."

Gazing around, watching a tree with birds on it, would make you feel like there is a God or a spirit moving around the universe and if you could integrate with the universe you could feel it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lumberjack and Devil

I know I have been lazy and couldn't write for a while.

Yesterday it was a chilly night in İstanbul and as usual we were taking our lessons at the backyard of the philosopy school. Even the topic of the lecture was the "Sound of Silience" (an article from old Tibetian text) it was ended with a sufi story which I want to recite here.

Once upon a time there was a lumberjack who was a very good man in good faith. And there were living a viceous tribe next to his village and they were slitting people's head tieing them to a so called sacred tree.

One day, lumberjack decides to log that tree down in order to save innocent people. He takes his axe and runs to the village. On his way he comes across with devil. Lumberjack makes a ring round with devil, rises his axe to terminate him and devil starts begging: "Come on lumberjack! You'll log that tree and they'll find another, then another and this battle will last forever. Instead of this meaningless battle, I'll give you two pieces of gold every morning. So you won't need to work again and with the rest of the money you could help people". Lumberjack thinks about this offer and says "Oh that makes sense" and he goes his home wakes up in the morning and finds two pieces of gold. He prooves his family's needs and helps other people with the rest of his money. However, next day he cannot find two pieces of gold. He becomes frustrated and set off to find the devil. They come across again this time he cannot beat the it. So; lumberjack asks "Yesterday, I just beat you in a minute, I was about to kill you easily. But today, I cannot do anything." Devil says: "Yesterday you were so powerful because you were going to log that tree down for other people's sake. However, today you want something for yourself. That's why I could beat you now."

I think, life goes similar to that story. When we want something for other people's benefit, it generally realize. But we always wishing things for only ourselves.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Law of Attraction

I really believe there is a law of attraction in the universe. Yesterday, I went to Üsküdar for my regular philosophy class. Topic of yesterday was "Feeling Emptiness". Our tutor told us a story from Masnavi.

Masnavi starts with the story of "ney" (reed). Ney complains from banisment from its home. Lament of the ney refers the emptiness. Ney suffer because it was departured from osier bed. Humans also suffer since he/she departured from celestial love. However, we are trying to complete the emptiness with things other than celestial. Therefore, this emptiness never become completed...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Waking up on a word

Yesterday, I slept reading Mawlana's short stories compliation and this morning I just woke up on one of his aphorisms which influences me deeply.

Mawlana says: "Value of a person is measured with what he/she seeks". Then I thought while riding work. What I am seeking in my life? Yesterday, I spend my all evening searching for a gym center. Upon this word, (which really slapped me in the face) it just seem so useless.

What are you really seeking for? What is your value?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Everyday works

Someone said: "With all my heart and soul I intent to serve God. however I cannot find an opportunity to serve you since I had to confront with Mongolian affairs".

Mawlana said: These works are also done for sake of God too. Because you are making people safe from the Mongol attacks. You sacrifice yourself and your property to in order to provide safety and peace of your country.

Some religious people think their works keep them devoting themselves to God. However, doing things to public benefit is also worshiping him.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Good or Bad?

The second discourse of Fihi Ma-Fih, starts with someone saying "Mawlana does not utter a word". Mawlana replies; it was the thought of me, which brings him to my presence. My imagine without words draws him here.

Words are the shadow reality, one piece of it in several pieces. If shadow could draw, reality would draw all the more. Words are just pretexts. It is the inner bond that binds one people to another, not words. Although someone witnesses to several miracles, hears hundreds of words, if he/she does not have the inner bond with that prophet or saint, it is useless.

It is the imagines draws everything. Imagine of a garden, brings us a garden. Imagine of a shop brings us a shop. (Does it remind you the very popular book "Secret" but this is another hot topic to be treated) However, there is a deception hidden in these images. Sometimes, you go somewhere with the expectation of good, however you just find disappointment there. These images are just shrouds covering something.

I remembered a story upon this discourse of Mawlana.

Once upon a time, there was a Sultan and his best friend. One day, they go hunting in the forest. However, when the Sultan shots, something happens to his rifle and his thumb falls apart with the bullet he fired. He wails within pain. He rebels against God. His best friend says, "Don't worry your majesty. Maybe that is good for you. Nobody but only God could know what is good for us." Sultan gets very angry to his best friend and sentences him to jail and his friend says "Maybe that is good for me, as God wanted this happen".

A few years pass and Sultan leaves for an overseas vacation. Unfortunately his ship sinks and he reaches to an island. However, there a cannibal tribe lives on the island and they capture the Sultan. While they are preparing the fire to cook him, they realize that the Sultan has a missing thumb and they give up eating him since their believe does not allow them to eat people with missing organs. Feeling a great happiness, Sultan leaves the island and return his country and starts with releasing his best friend from jail. Sultan says; "You were right, I missed my thumb that was good for me because cannibals released me, however you were also wrong because I imprisoned you that was bad for you. You spend several years in jail." His friend says: "No my friend that was good for me either. If you did not put me in jail, I would be accompanying you in your trip and since I have all my organs in full, they would be eaten me".

I think just like that, we are not in capable of foreseeing everything and know what is good or what is bad for us. So sometimes (maybe always) it is best to grasp the things coming from God...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Intention of Being

First story of Fihi Ma-Fih starts with a proverb regarding scholars. Mawlana says; The worst of scholars are those who visit princes. Such a great prince stands at the door of the poor; such a wretch poor stands at door of the prince.

Mawlana says; most of the people do not understand the inner meaning of this proverb and explains: The worst scholars are those who behave upon princes. They revolve their life in order to get princes' attention and praise.

In a very pragmatic way of thinking it could be said that, even though the purpose is attaining the princes praise, the person becomes a scholar and there is nothing wrong with it. However, purpose of an action is attached importance in Islam. It is believed that, if intention of an act is pure good, the people will deemed in good deeds even the results occurred badly.

I just recall a memory of mine. Once I met with an Imam when I was in law school. I asked him, "if I decide to be a judge, what shall I do while rendering a decision, what if I decide wrong?". He said that, "If you believe in what you decide and your decision is right, lets say you will have 100 good deeds. Deciding wholeheartedly and according to law of course, if you give wrong decision you will have 10 good deeds instead of 100. The matter is, if you believe, your decision is right or not." This story impressed me so much. However I have not become a judge. Story of another day...