Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

(1207 - 1273 / Persia)

What Hidden Sweetness Is There


217

What hidden sweetness there is in this emptiness of the belly!
Man is surely like a lute, no more and no less;
For if, for instance, the belly of the lute becomes full, no
lament high or low will arise from that full lute.
If your brain and belly are on fire through fasting, because of
the fire every moment a lament will arise from your breast.
Every moment you will burn a thousand veils by that fire; you
will mount a hundred steps with zeal and endeavor.
Become empty of belly, and weep entreatingly like the reed
pipe; become empty of belly, and tell secrets with the reed pen.
If your belly is full at the time of concourse, it will bring Satan
in place of your reason, an idol in place of the Kaaba.
When you keep the fast, good habits gather together before
you like slaves and servants and retinue.
Keep the fast, for that is Solomon’s ring; give not the ring to
the div, destroy not your kingdom.
Even if your kingdom has gone from your head and your army
has fled, your army will rise up, pennants flying above them.
The table arrived from heaven to the tents of the fast, by the
intervention of the prayers of Jesus, son of Mary.
In the fast, be expectant of the table of bounty, for the table of
bounty is better than the broth of cabbages.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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