Inter -  Faiths  Dialogue



Interreligious dialogue : Classics > Poems

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A nd the servants of the Most Merciful are those who walk upon the earth easily, and when the ignorant address them [harshly], they say [words of] peace,
And those who spend [part of] the night to their Lord prostrating and standing in prayer





Islam 4563 | 
AL FURQAN 25.63-64 







W e have no freedom to achieve our goal
Until from Self and fools we free the soul.
To be admitted past the veil you must
Be dead to all the crowd considers just
Once past the veil you understand the Way
From which the crowd's glib courtier blindly stray
If you have any will, leave women's stories,
And even if this search for hidden glories
Proves blasphemy at last, be sure our quest
Is not mere talk but an exacting test.
The fruit of love's great tree is poverty
Whoever knows this knows humility





Islam / Sufism 4527 | 
The Conference of the Birds 







F or [the ancestors] Soma is purified,
some accept the molten butter;
to the company of those, for
whom the honey flows, let him go!

To the company of those who
are invincible by spiritual discipline (tapas),
and through spiritual discipline have gone to heaven,
to men of great spiritual fire, let him go!

To the company of those who
fight contested battles, heroes
who cast away their lives, to those who
made a thousand gifts, let him go!

To those ancient followers
of the Law, steadfast in the Law,
who furthered the Law, to the Fathers, Yama,
great in their spiritual fire, let him go!

To the sage-poets, the leaders
of thousands, those who protect the sun,
to the Rishis of great spiritual discipline,
born of spiritual discipline, Yama! let him go!





Hinduism 4250 | 
Rig Veda 10.154.1-5 







W hich of these two came earlier, which came later?
How did they come to birth? Who, O Seers, can discern it?
They contain within them all that has a name,
while days and nights revolve as on a wheel.

You two, though motionless and footless, nurture
a varied offspring having feet and movement.
Like parents clasping children to their bosoms,
O Heaven and Earth, deliver us from evil!

These twin maidens (day and night), like two friendly sisters
nestled close together, rest in their parents' bosom
and kiss together the center of the world.
O Heaven and Earth, deliver us from evil!





Hinduism 4157 | 
Rig Veda 1.185.1,2,5 







G rant me, Lord, special grace to rest in Thee above all creatures, above all health and fairness, above all glory and honor, above all dignity and power, above all wisdom and policy, above all riches and crafts, above all gladness of body and of soul, above all fame and praising, above all sweetness and consolation, above all hope and promise, above all merit and desire, above all gifts and rewards that Thou mayst give or send besides Thyself, and above all joy and mirth that man's heart or mind may feel. And also above all angels and all the company of heavenly spirits, above all things that are not Thyself.

For Thou, Lord God, art most good, most high, most mighty, most sufficient and most full of goodness; most sweet, most comfortable, most fair, most loving, most noble, and most glorious above all things; in whom all goodness and perfection is, has been, and ever shall be. And therefore whatsoever Thou givest me besides Thyself, it is little and insufficient to me; for my heart may not rest nor fully be pacified so that it ascend above all gifts and above all manner of things that are created, unless in Thee :

0 my Lord, most loving spouse, most pure I-over and governor of every creature! Who shall give me wings of perfect liberty that I may fly high and rest in Thee! 0 when shall I gather myself together in Thee so perfectly that I shall -not, for Thy love, feel myself, but Thee alone, above myself and above all bodily things, and that Thou shalt visit me in such a way as Thou dost visit Thy faithful lovers? ...





Christianity 3823 | 
History of Myticism, Abhayananda, 1998; p. 292 







B rothers, my peace is in my aloneness.
My Beloved is alone with me there, always.
I have found nothing in all the worlds
That could match His love,
This love that harrows the sands of my desert.
If I come to die of desire
And my Beloved is still not satisfied,
I would live in eternal despair.

To abandon all that He has fashioned
And hold in the palm of my hand
Certain proof that He loves me---
That is the name and the goal of my search.





Islam / Sufism 3148 | 
translation by Andrew Harvey and Eryk Hanut - 'Perfume of the Desert' 







W onder from these thousand of "me's",
which one am I?
Listen to my cry, do not drown my voice
I am completely filled with the thought of you.
Don't lay broken glass on my path
I will crush it into dust.
I am nothing, just a mirror in the palm of your hand,
reflecting your kindness, your sadness, your anger.
If you were a blade of grass or a tiny flower
I will pitch my tent in your shadow.
Only your presence revives my withered heart.
You are the candle that lights the whole world
and I am an empty vessel for your light.





Islam / Sufism 3143 | 
"Hidden Music" - Maryam Mafi & Azima Melita Kolin 







O h! Supreme Lover!
Let me leave aside my worries.
The flowers are blooming
with the exultation of your Spirit.

By Allah!
I long to escape the prison of my ego
and lose myself
in the mountains and the desert.

These sad and lonely people tire me.
I long to revel in the drunken frenzy of your love
and feel the strength of Rustam in my hands.

I'm sick of mortal kings.
I long to see your light.
With lamps in hand
the sheikhs and mullahs roam
the dark alleys of these towns
not finding what they seek.

You are the Essence of the Essence,
The intoxication of Love.
I long to sing your praises
but stand mute
with the agony of wishing in my heart.





Islam / Sufism 3139 | 
The Love Poems of Rumi' - Deepak Chopra & Fereydoun Kia 







I n the dead of night, a Sufi began to weep.
He said, "This world is like a closed coffin, in which
We are shut and in which, through our ignorance,
We spend our lives in folly and desolation.
When Death comes to open the lid of the coffin,
Each one who has wings will fly off to Eternity,
But those without will remain locked in the coffin.
So, my friends, before the lid of this coffin is taken off,
Do all you can to become a bird of the Way to God;
Do all you can to develop your wings and your feathers."





Islam / Sufism 3135 | 
translation by Andrew Harvey and Eryk Hanut - 'Perfume of the Desert' 







O ut of Supreme love they swallow up each other
But separate again for the joy of being two.

They are not completely the same but neither are they different.
No one can tell exactly what they are.

How intense is their longing to be with each other.
This is their greatest bliss.
Never, not even in jest,
Do they allow their unity to be disturbed.

They are so averse to separation
That even though they have become this entire world,
Never for a moment do they let a difference come between them. […]

They created a difference to enjoy this world.
When that "difference" had one glimpse of their intimacy
It could not help but merge back into the bliss of their eternal union. […]

They become two for the sake of a divine play,
But in every moment they seek to become one again. […]

How can we distinguish these two from each other?
He appears because of Her,
And She exists because of Him. […]

To capture light we take hold of fire.
To capture the Supreme Shiva we must take hold of Shakti. […]

An object has a reflection:
When looking we see two images, yet there is only one thing.
Likewise, this world is a reflection of the Supreme Lord.
We may see two,
Yet only One exists.

Out of pure emptiness
She gives rise to the entire world.
Everything depends on Her.
Yet She exists
only because of Her Lord. […]

Merged in unity
there was nothing to do.
So Shakti, the bringer of good fortune,
Created this world for the sake of divine play.

She reveals Her Lord's splendor
by melting Herself and becoming everything;
And He glorifies Her
by hiding Himself completely. […]

He is so mysterious and subtle,
That while apparent
He cannot be seen.
It is by Her grace alone that He comes into being. […]

While He is sleeping,
She gives birth to all that exists and all that does not exist.
When She is sleeping, He has no form at all.

Look!
He is hidden, and cannot be found without Her.
For they are mirrors, each revealing the other. […]

She is His very form,
But Her radiance comes from Him.
Blending into one, they enjoy the nectar of their own union.

Shiva and Shakti are one,
Like air and the wind,
Like gold and its luster,

Shiva and Shakti cannot be separated.
They are like musk and its fragrance, like fire and its heat.

In the light of the Sun there is no difference between day and night.
In the Light of the Supreme Truth there is no difference between Shiva and Shakti. […]

Jnanadeva says,
I honor the union of Shiva and Shakti, who devour this world of name and form like a sweet dish.
All that remains is the One."

Embracing each other they merge into One,
As darkness merges with the light
At the breaking of dawn.

When we discover their Unity,
All words and all thoughts dissolve into silence,
Just as when the Universal Deluge comes, the waters of the ocean, and those of the Ganges, will merge into one …

The air and the wind will merge into the endless sky;
The sun and its light will merge into the Universal Fire.

With a true vision of them, the seer and the seen merge into one.
Again I honor the two who are one.

They are like an ocean of knowledge.
And only those who throw themselves in can drink of their waters.

I appear separate from them just so I can honor them.
But that separation is not real, it is only in name.





Hinduism 3114 | 
in Jonathan Star, the Inner Treasure, Tarcher Putnam, translated by Jonathan Star and Julle Lal from the Amritanubhava, Chapter 1. 







T he shadows of evening grow deep while love comes in to soothe every mind and body.
Look out toward the last glow of sunlight and look in to an endless sky.
Drink the nectar from the petals of your heart and let wave upon wave sweep through your body.
What glory in that ocean!
Listen!
The sound of conches!
The sound of bells!
Kabir says, "0 brother, listen! The Lord of all plays His song within you!"





Others Beliefs / Litterature 3106 | 
literal translations by Krishan Bakshi, Vinod Argawal, and Anand Mundra in Jonathan Star, the Inner Treasure, Tarcher Putnam. 







C ome, all you simple souls those without piety, grand talents, or lessons learned.

Come, all you who understand nothing of spiritual terms, who are filled with amazement at the eloquence of the learned.
Come, and I will teach you the secret, unreachable by those brilliant scholars-
The secret of perfection.
You will find this perfection within you, above you, below you, with every step you take.
Then you will be united with Godhand in hand you will walk.

Come, not to study the map of spiritual terrain,
But to possess it for yourself; To walk about in it without fear of going astray.

Why learn the theory of Divine Grace, and what it has been doing throughout the ages, when you can become and be the very instrument of its operation?

Come, not to discuss the words of others,
But to listen…
For in the sacredness of every moment
Divine Grace is telling you alone all that is required





Christianity / Catholicism 3093 | 
Ramiere, Rev. H., trans. Abandonment. New York: Benziger Brothers, 1887,pp. 79 







M y, soul said:
They brought me to God's workshop,
Where all things take form, and I flew.
Before this form of mine
even took shape-I flew and I flew.
And when I could fly no longer
They dragged me into this form,
and locked me into this house,
of water and clay.





Islam / Sufism 3056 | 
Star, Jonathan, and Shiva, Shahram, trans. A Garden Beyond Paradise. New York: Bantam Books, 1992 







I hold you in my heart.
I rock and sing you to sleep.
You are everywhere in everyone,
he holy baby in all of us,
that plays there.

The beautiful one,
born when we love,
the glowing child.

You are the meaning that blooms in the heart.





Islam / Sufism 2978 | 
Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.99 







L et us drown ourselves in the ocean of nonexistence and come out cloaked with the garment of divine existence.




Islam / Sufism 2964 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.98 







Y our enjoyment of the world is never right, till every morning you awake in Heaven; see yourself in your Father's Palace; and look upon the skies, the earth, and the air as Celestial Joys: having such a reverend esteem of all, as if you were among the Angels. The bride of a monarch, in her husband's chamber, hath no such causes of delight as you. You never enjoy the world aright, till the Sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens, and crowned with the stars: and perceive yourself to be the sole heir of the whole world, and more than so, because men are in it who are every one sole heirs as well as you. Till you can sing and rejoice and delight in God, as misers do in gold, and Kings in scepters, you never enjoy the world.
Till your spirit filleth the whole world, and the stars are your jewels; till you are as familiar with the ways of God in all Ages as with your walk and table; till you are intimately acquainted with that shady nothing out of which the world was made; till you love men so as to desire their happiness, with a thirst equal to the zeal of your own; till you delight in God for being good to all: you never enjoy the world. Till you more feel it than your private estate, and are more present in the hemisphere, considering the glories and the beauties there, than in your own house; till you remember how lately you were made, and how wonderful it was when you came into it; and more rejoice in the palace of your glory, than if it had been made but today morning.
Yet further, you never enjoy the world aright, till you so love the beauty of enjoying it, that you are covetous and earnest to persuade others to enjoy it…. The world is a mirror of infinite beauty, yet no man sees it. It is a Temple of Majesty, yet no man regards it. It is a region of Light and Peace, did not men disquiet it. It is the Paradise of God. It is more to man since he is fallen than it was before. It is the place of Angels and the Gate of Heaven. When Jacob waked out of his dream, he said "God is here, and I wist it not. How dreadful is this place! This is none other than the House of God and the Gate of Heaven.





Christianity 2848 | 
Thomas Traherne, taken from Thomas Traherne: Centuries, Poems, and Thanksgivings, edited by H. M. Margoliuth (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1958) 







C hrist has no body now on earth but yours,
no hands but yours, no feet but yours,
Yours are the eyes through which is to look out Christ's compassion to the world;
Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good;
Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now.





Christianity / Catholicism 2845 | 
Saint Teresa of Avila, from Eknath Easwaran's anthology God Makes the Rivers to Flow, copyright 1991, Nilgiri Press, Tornales, CA 94971. 







T o see a World in a grain of sand,

And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour …

The bat that flits at close of eve
Has left the brain that won't believe.
The owl that calls upon the night
Speaks the unbeliever's fright …

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine;
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine …

Every tear from every eye
Becomes a babe in Eternity…
The bleat, the bark, bellow, and roar
Are waves that beat on Heaven's shore …

He who doubts from what he sees
Will never believe, do what you please.
If the Sun and Moon should doubt,
They'd immediately go out …

God appears, and God is Light,
To those poor souls who dwell in Night;
But does a Human Form display
To those who dwell in realms of Day.





Others Beliefs / Litterature 2839 | 
William Blake, taken from William Blake: Collected Poems (New York: Penguin, 1991). 







W hat does it matter to me if Gabriel salute the Virgin
If he does not also bring me the same marvellous news?

God is the Light of Light, my saviour is the sun,
The Virgin is the moon, and I am their secret joy.

Know that God becomes a child, lies in the virgin's womb
So I can grow like him, and gather to me Godhead.

When God lay hidden in a young virgin's womb
Then a miracle occurred; the point contained the circle.

Virginity is noble, but a mother you must also be
Or be a field stripped bare of all fertility.

The Virgin is a crystal, her son divine Light:
She is utterly pierced by him, yet stays untouched.

I must be the Virgin and give birth to God
Should I ever be graced divine beatitude.





Others Beliefs / Litterature 2838 | 
Angelus Silesius, translated from the German by Andrew Harvey in Teaching of the Christian Mystics. 







O grace abounding that had made me fit
to fix my eyes on the eternal light
until my vision was consumed in it!

I saw within its depth how it conceives
all things in a single volume bound by Love,
of which the universe is the scattered leaves;

substance, accident, and their relation
so fused that all I say could do no more
than yield a glimpse of that bright revelation.

I think I saw the universal form
that binds these things, for as I speak these words
I feel my joy swell and my spirits warm.

Twenty-five centuries since Neptune saw
the Argo's keel have not moved all mankind,
recalling that adventure, to such awe

as I felt in an instant. My tranced being
stared fixed and motionless upon that vision,
ever more fervent to see in the act of seeing.

Experiencing that Radiance, the spirit
is so indrawn it is impossible
even to think of ever turning from it.

For the good which is the will's ultimate object
is all subsumed in it; and, being removed,
all is defective which in it is perfect.

Now in my recollection of the rest
I have less power to speak than any infant
wetting its tongue yet at its mother's breast;

and not because that Living Radiance bore
more than one semblance, for it is unchanging
and is forever as it was before;

rather, as I grew worthier to see, the more I looked,
the more unchanging semblance
appeared to change with every change in me.

Within the depthless deep and clear existence
of that abyss of light three circles shown
three in color, one in circumference:

the second from the first, rainbow from rainbow;
the third, an exhalation of pure fire
equally breathed forth by the other two.

But 0 how much my words miss my conception,
which is itself so far from what I saw
that to call it feeble would be rank deception!

0 Light Eternal fixed in itself alone,
by itself alone understood, which from itself
loves and glows, self-knowing and self-known;

that second aureole which shone forth in Thee,
conceived as a reflection of the first
or which appeared so to my scrutiny

seemed in itself of its own coloration
to be painted with man’s image. I fixed my eyes
on that alone in rapturous contemplation.

Like a geometer wholly dedicated
to squaring the circle, but who cannot find,
think as he may, the principle indicated

so did I study the supernal face.
I yearned to know just how our image merges
into that circle, and how it here finds place;

but mine were not the wings for such a flight.
Yet, as I wished, the truth I wished for came
cleaving my mind in a great flash of light.

Here my powers rest from their high fantasy,
but already I could feel my being turned
instinct and intellect balanced equally

as in a wheel whose motion nothing jars
by the Love that moves the Sun and the other stars.





Christianity / Catholicism 2826 | 
Dante Alighieri, Paradiso, canto 33, translated by John Ciardi (New York: Penguin, I970). 







A ll Glory to you, most high, omnipotent, and good Lord
Praise and honor forever, and every blessing.
To you alone, most high One, should these be given
And no man is worthy of naming you.
Glory to you, my Lord, for all your creatures
Especially our brother, the sun,
Who is the day, and by whom you give us light:
He is beautiful and radiant with great splendor
And bears witness to you, most high One.
Glory to you, my Lord, for sister moon and the stars
You have made in heaven clear, precious, and beautiful.
Glory to you, my Lord, for brother wind
And for air and cloud and serene sky
And all the different weathers
By which you sustain all creatures.
Glory to you, my Lord, for sister water
Who is very useful and humble
And precious and pure.
Glory to you, my Lord, for brother fire
By whom you illumine night
And he is beautiful and joyful and robust and full of power.
Glory to you, my Lord, for our sister mother earth
Who sustains and governs us And produces different fruits
And brightly colored flowers and grass.
Glory to you, my Lord,
For those who forgive for love of you
And bear sickness and ordeals.
Happy are those who bear them in peace
For they will be crowned by you, most high Lord.
Glory be to you, my Lord,
For our sister bodily death
From whom no living man can escape.





Christianity / Catholicism 2816 | 
Saint Francis of Assisi, translated from the Italian by Andrew Harvey in teaching of the Christian Mystics. 







L ord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
0 divine Master, grant that
I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.





Christianity / Catholicism 2815 | 
Saint Francis of Assisi, translated from the Italian by Andrew Harvey in teaching of the Christian Mystics. 







C ome, true light.
Come, life eternal.
Come, hidden mystery.
Come, treasure without name.
Come, reality beyond all words.
Come, person beyond all understanding.
Come, rejoicing without end.
Come, light that knows no evening.
Come, unfailing expectation of the saved.
Come, raising of the fallen.
Come, resurrection of the dead.
Come all-powerful, for unceasingly you create, refashion and change all things by your will alone.
Come, invisible whom none may touch and handle.
Come, for you continue always unmoved, yet at every instant you are wholly in movement; you draw near to us who lie in hell, yet you remain higher than the heavens.
Come, for your name fills our hearts with longing and is ever on our lips; yet who you are and what your nature is, we cannot say or know. Come, Alone to the alone. Come, for you are yourself the desire that is within me. Come, my breath and my life. Come, the consolation of my humble soul. Come, my joy, my glory, my endless delight.





Christianity / Orthodoxy 2806 | 
Saint Symeon the New Theologian, adapted from the translation by Kallistos Ware in The Orthodox Way (Crestwood, NY: St. V1adimir's Seminary Press, 1979). 







A soul shall wake in the Inconscient's house;
The mind shall be God-vision's tabernacle,
The body intuition's instrument,
And life a channel for God's visible power





Hinduism 2717 | 
"Savitri" by Sri Aurobindo, in the Teaching of the Hindu Mystics, by Andrew Harvey, Shambala. 







B ETWEEN THE pillars of spirit and matter the mind has put up a swing.
There swings the bound soul and all the worlds with not even the slightest rest.
The sun and moon also swing, and there is no end to it.

The soul swings through millions of births like the endless circling of the sun and moon.
Billions of ages have passed with no sigh of relief.
The earth and sky swing,
Wind and water swing,
Taking a body, God Himself swings.


Kabir, the servant of God, has seen it all.
0 brother seekers!
Only while you are alive is there hope of finding Him.
While you are alive, meditate.
While you are alive, contemplate.
Only while you are alive can liberation be found.


If you do not cut the noose of your karma while living, what hope is there of liberation when you are dead?
It is a hopeless dream to think that union will come after the soul leaves the body.


What you get now is what you get then-
Otherwise, all you get is a stay in hell.
To Embrace the real, Recognize the true Guru,
Have faith in the power of the Name!
Kabir says,
"Only spiritual practice will get you across;
be addicted to this practice."





Others Beliefs / Litterature 2677 | 
Kabir, The Inner Treasure by jonathan Star (New York: Tarcher-Putnam, 1999). 







Y ESTERDAY,
I lived bewildered,
In illusion.

But now I am awake,
Flawless and serene,
Beyond the world.

From my light
The body and the world arise.

So all things are mine,
Or nothing is.

Now I have given up
The body and the world,
I have a special gift.

I see the infinite Self.

As a wave,
Seething and foaming,
Is only water

So all creation,
Streaming out of the Self,
Is only the Self.

Consider a piece of cloth.
It is only threads!

So all creation,
When you look closely,
Is only the Self.
Like the sugar
In the juice of the sugarcane,
I am the sweetness
In everything I have made.

When the Self is unknown
The world arises,
Not when it is known.

But you mistake
The rope for the snake.


When you see the rope,
The snake vanishes.

My nature is light,
Nothing but light.

When the world arises
I alone am shining.

When the world arises in me,
It is just an illusion:
Water shimmering in the sun,
A vein of silver in mother-of-pearl,
A serpent in a strand of rope.

From me the world streams out
And in me it dissolves,
As a bracelet melts into gold,
A pot crumbles into clay,
A wave subsides into water.

I adore myself,
How wonderful I am!

I can never die.

The whole world may perish,
From Brahma to a blade of grass,
But I am still here.

Indeed how wonderful!
I adore myself.

For I have taken form
But I am still one.

Neither coming or going,
Yet I am still everywhere….

I am the infinite ocean.

When thoughts spring up,
The wind freshens, and like waves
A thousand worlds arise.

But when the wind falls,
The trader sinks with his ship.

On the boundless ocean of my being
He founders,
And all the worlds with him.

But 0 how wonderful!

I am the unbounded deep
In whom all living things
Naturally arise,
Rush against each other playfully,
And then subside.





Hinduism 2675 | 
From The Heart of Awareness: A translation by Thomas Byrom. 







T wo birds of beautiful plumage, comrades
Inseparable, live on the selfsame tree.
One bird eats the fruit of pleasure and pain;
The other looks on without eating.





Hinduism 2644 | 
Shvetashvatara Upanishad, translated by Eknath Easwaran, 1987; Nilgiri Press, Tomales, California 







O nce I, Chuang Chou, dreamed that I was a butterfly and was happy as a butterfly. I was conscious that I was quite pleased with myself, but I did not know that I was Chou. Suddenly I awoke, and there I was, visibly Chou. I do not know whether it was Chou dreaming that he was a butterfly or the butterfly dreaming that it was Chou. Between Chou and the butterfly there must be some distinction. [But one may be the other.] This is called the transformation of things.




Daoism 2228 | 
Chuang Tzu, chapter II (NHCC, 1: 18a-48b), in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 8. 





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