Spiritual Teachings #50 Rishi-Sufi

“The search after Truth is the one thing by which the shape of human life should be determined.

Genuine desire itself opens the road to fulfilment.”    

Sri Anandamayi Ma

The Inner War between Luminosity and Darkness

from Lalla to Nuruddin by Jaishree K. Odin

“Awake, I fell asleep. Alas! Restless am I everywhere.

Rejecting the permissible, I ate the impermissible.

Alas! Never did I cherish the sanctuary within.”

Nuruddin says: “God created man with the earthly nature and shaped him in the frame of clay. He created all things from clay” (v.48). Then, He breathed the divine spirit into him. The spirit thus possesses all the angelic attributes of luminosity, subtlety, and unity, whereas the body, made out of clay, is marked with denseness, darkness, and dispersion.

These two different modalities, the spirit and the body, are brought into interaction through the soul, which thus combines in it the unity and dispersion, subtlety and denseness, and luminosity and darkness. Humans are a mix of two qualities, one pushing them towards the material reality of denseness and darkness, and the other towards the spiritual reality of luminosity and subtlety. The soul (nafs) or the individual awareness as the intermediary between the body and the spirit shares the world of light reflected by the spirit (ruh) as it desires, knows, and illuminates, but it is also connected to the world of ignorance, darkness, and the lack of divinity as reflected in the body.

Within the above broader context of the reality of the soul and the spirit, Nuruddin comments on the finer connections between the mind, the body, and the ego. At birth, the mind and the body start working together and as both grow and mature, they mutually affect one another. The mind that shapes the ego and the body that is the medium through which the body-mind complex functions in the workings of the ego are important in their own way.

After birth, the body joined with “I” becomes precious.

He who controls the body, his impurities are removed.

In the end, it becomes auspicious.

He who controls the mind purifies his nature.

For him, the door to the inner sanctuary is open. (v.89)

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

Spiritual Teachings #45 Rishi-Sufi

Remembering the Beloved

from Lalla to Nuruddin by Jaishree K. Odin

Heart is a fish: don’t leave it dry.

Irrigate it with the remembrance of God:

It will flourish then.

This self is a jewel: don’t lose it.

Lord is the Beloved:

He will thus be pleased.

     Through remembering God, the seeker focuses on the life-giving traits to illuminate the consciousness. The preoccupation with material reality is equivalent to associating with ignorance and darkness as true existence only belongs to God. Offering prayers regularly with sincerity opens up the heart, purifies the soul, and transforms one’s thoughts and actions. The negative thoughts are thus eliminated and the focus shifted to the positive thoughts. Only then do the seeds blossom into noble traits that manifest as compassion, love, caring, and selflessness, among others.

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

Spiritual Teachings #40 Rishi-Sufi

Trapping the Thief

From I, Lalla – Poems of Lal Ded translated from the Kashmiri by Ranjit Hoskote

I locked the doors of my body,

trapping the thief of life and held my breath.

Chaining him in my heart’s dark cave,

I stripped off his skin with the whip of Om.

    A thousand times at least I asked my Guru

to give Nothingness a name.

Then I gave up. What name can you give

to the source from which all names have sprung?

Whoever chants Shiva’s name as he walks the Swan’s Way,

planting trees with no thought of the fruit,

he’s won the grace of the Teacher

who is first among the Gods.

I can’t believe this happened to me!

I made a mess of everything, no shore in sight.

A klutz of a mason plastered my ceiling to the floor.

Serves me right: it’s time I got to know myself.

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

Spiritual Teachings #29 Rishi-Sufi

The Inner Journey of Nuruddin Rishi

from Lalla to Nuruddin by Jaishree K. Odin

A portrait of Niruddin Rishi’s inner journey can be created through weaving a tapestry of the experiences recorded in his verses before he established himself as a teacher. Many of his verses deal with his struggle of being pulled in two directions, one drawing him to the worldly life and another away from it. The (nafs) or the lower self is the major actor in this struggle with the higher Self. He compares the higher Self to the fragrant wood from a sandalwood tree with healing properties and the lower self or the ego to the hard and unyielding wood of a arkhol tree, which is good for nothing. In the initial stages of his inner journey, he also compares the power of the lower self to that of a mad elephant that has crushed him underneath. He is full of despair as he experiences himself overpowered by his lower self. Its continuous hunger for material things pulls him away from his spiritual aspirations. He knows that just “one in a thousand escapes” the egos clutches, while “all others are trampled.” Thus, he says:

My ego is like a poker for shovelling out hot coal.

Every moment it and asks for more.

My body is too weak to remember God.

Remember God I must.

As a transient guest I have come to the world –

Spiritual Teachings #24 Rishi-Sufi

Remembering the Beloved

from Lalla to Nuruddin by Jaishree K. Odin

Heart is a fish: don’t leave it dry.

Irrigate it with the remembrance of God:

It will flourish then.

This self is a jewel: don’t lose it.

Lord is the Beloved:

He will thus be pleased.

     Through remembering God, the seeker focuses on the life-giving traits to illuminate the consciousness. The preoccupation with material reality is equivalent to associating with ignorance and darkness as true existence only belongs to God. Offering prayers regularly with sincerity opens up the heart, purifies the soul, and transforms one’s thoughts and actions. The negative thoughts are thus eliminated and the focus shifted to the positive thoughts. Only then do the seeds blossom into noble traits that manifest as compassion, love, caring, and selflessness, among others.

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

Spiritual Teachings #19 Rishi – Sufi

Trapping the Thief

from I, Lalla – Poems of Lal Ded translated from the Kashmiri by Ranjit Hoskote

I locked the doors of my body,

trapping the thief of life and held my breath.

Chaining him in my heart’s dark cave,

I stripped off his skin with the whip of Om.

    A thousand times at least I asked my Guru

to give Nothingness a name.

Then I gave up. What name can you give

to the source from which all names have sprung?

Whoever chants Shiva’s name as he walks the Swan’s Way,

planting trees with no thought of the fruit,

he’s won the grace of the Teacher

who is first among the Gods.

I can’t believe this happened to me!

I made a mess of everything, no shore in sight.

A klutz of a mason plastered my ceiling to the floor.

Serves me right: it’s time I got to know myself.

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

Spiritual Teachings #14 Rishi-Sufi

The Teachings of Shams – The Guru of Rumi

You must have full command over your own habits and qualities. Maintain silence at the time of silence,

answer when you need to respond, oppose and separate at the time of controversy,

and offer kindness at the time of kindness.

Otherwise, your virtues and habits become your own source of misery and torture.

He who is in love with and dependent on his logic is foolish, not knowing anything beyond.

That is to say, whatever he does not know does not exist for him.

The world is bad only to those who do not understand it.

Once they know and learn about the world, then they ignore it.

Push the unworthy fools out of your life, those who for some petty wealth are willing to sell their soul.

If a person has a prominent quality and virtue, this will compensate for all his minor faults;

But if the person has a dominant defect it diminishes all his positive qualities.

Look at he who has left joy and now he is worshipping sorrow.

Whichever state you are in, give away what you have;

and if you do not have things to give away, try to earn them.

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis

Spiritual Teachings #9 Rishi-Sufi

Ask a Question

The Pain of the lover for the Beloved

     The Sufi’s deep longing for union became a poetic ‘pain’. Pain is the longing of the ‘lover’ to rejoin the ‘Beloved’. Pain represents the friction and struggle that comes from having to live in this transient world with an ageing body, all the while longing for union with one’s own vast God-consciousness which transcends the trivialities of this world. Uncertainty and insecurity of every arising moment and day, not knowing how the mind will unfold in its search of the path is also the source of this pain. This is a pain without a cure. The Sufi would rather die than live without the pain of that longing for union. It is a joyful pain, the pain of being alive, the pain of being in love with, but separated from, the Beloved.

The Beloved is indeed the goal, the lover is the veil,

The Beloved is indeed immortal, the lover’s life must fail. – Rumi

There is no hindrance between the Beloved and the lover,

You are yourself the veil in-between; remove the cover. – Hafiz

O Lord

My painful nagging is that your pain will not fade.

He who bears the pain of the Friend would become immortal

in the love and grace of His Fellowship. – Ansari

I have fallen in an ocean and I see no shore.

I am afflicted with a pain that has no cure. – Attar

I have inherited a pain from the Friend,

Which I will not exchange for a hundred thousand cures.

– Rumi

*****

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Seth Kelly Curtis