The On Being Project

Rumi
Rumi

was a 13th-century Persian Sunni Muslim poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic. Rumi's influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions: Iranians, Tajiks, Turks, Greeks, Pashtuns, other Central Asian Muslims, and the Muslims of South Asia have greatly appreciated his spiritual legacy for the past seven centuries.

“On Love”

As translated from Discourses of Rumi by Fatemeh Keshavarz: Wherever you are, whatever you do, be in love… Listen to the poem read in Persian: by Fatemeh Keshavarz by Houman Pourmehdi  by Soleyman Vaseghi 

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“On Love”

“Language”

As translated from Discourses of Rumi by Fatemeh Keshavarz: To speak the same language is to share the same blood, to be related To live with strangers is the life of captivity Many are Hindus and Turks who share the same language Many are Turks who may be alien to one another The language of […]

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“Language”

“God”

As translated from Discourses of Rumi by Fatemeh Keshavarz: When His light shines — without a veil — neither the sky remains nor the earth, not the sun, nor the moon. God embraces all…there is nothing that is not a part of him already. Remember God! His remembrance is the strength in the wings of […]

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“God”

“Like This”

As translated from Rumi’s Divan by Fatemeh Keshavarz: If anyone asks you about the huris, show your face, say: like this! If anyone asks you about the moon, climb up on the roof, say: like this! If anyone seeks a fairy, let them see your countenance, If anyone talks about the aroma of musk, untie […]

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“Like This”

“A Great Wagon”

Read the poem: When I see your face, the stones start spinning! You appear; all studying wanders. I lose my place. Water turns pearly. Fire dies down and doesn’t destroy. In your presence I don’t want what I thought I wanted, those three little hanging lamps. Inside your face the ancient manuscripts Seem like rusty […]

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“A Great Wagon”

“The World”

As translated from Discourses of Rumi by Fatemeh Keshavarz: The world is a mountain Whatever you say, good or bad, it will echo it back to you Don’t say I sang nicely and mountain echoed an ugly voice… That is not possible The human intellect is a place where hesitation and uncertainty take root There […]

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“The World”

“The Promise”

As translated from Rumi’s Divan by Fatemeh Keshavarz: When pain arrives side by side with your love I promise not to flee When you ask me for my life I promise not to fight I am holding a cup in my hand By God if you do not come Till the end of time I […]

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“The Promise”

“Song of the Reed”

As translated by Coleman Barks: Listen to the story told by the reed, of being separated. “Since I was cut from the reedbed, I have made this crying sound. Anyone apart from someone he loves understands what I say. Anyone pulled from a source longs to go back. At any gathering I am there, mingling […]

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“Song of the Reed”