Celebrating the return of Shams (of Tabriz) to Konya after his first extended absence, Rumi recited these lines, with a heart full of joy and love for his master and dear companion.
My sun and moon has come, my ears and eyes have come!
Those limbs of argent, that mine of gold has come!
Let ebriation fill my head and light my eyes –
If there’s anything else you like, that too has come!
The highwayman, breaker of repenting vows has come!
That Joseph with skin so fair, so sudden at my side!
Today beats yesterday, my friend of auld lang syne,
And yesterday I was drunk since news of you had come!
The one I sought for yesterday, lamp in hand
Swept today like wildflowers straight into my hand! 1
Rumi’s words for Shams resonate so deeply through my being. For all these years my soul has been aching to meet the one who will guide me to my destiny. Transform my life and help me find the purpose of this existence. The search itself took me to places, made me meet people, awakened beings, and masters of their own path. Many even said I should give up the search and then some wise ones said the famous saying “When the student is ready, the master will appear.” So I had to keep working on myself. Keep the fire alive. Keep the search on.
While thoughtfully picking the clothes I should wear for my first meeting with Him, all the stories that I have ever read or heard about a disciple meeting his master were ringing in my head. Paramhansa Yoganada’s first meeting with Sri Yukteshwar Giri; Shams’ and Rumi’s visions of each other’s whereabouts and then off course Mohini’s (a close friend) first encounter with her master.
I had decided that since its high time I get the answer, I am going to ask Him directly if he was my Guru – the master who would show me the path, the one I have been waiting for. With determined questions and high on Sufi love from the books I have been recently reading, I sat myself in a corner in the hall which had been carefully decorated and lovingly prepared to receive the presence of someone very special – Dadashreeji.
Dadashreeji – I had heard this name so many times in the past few months that it had almost begun to bug me. Everyone I met amongst my seeker friends kept chanting His name and called Him their Divine Friend. Over a period of time, constant effort and something beyond my control, I had started feeling some affection for the image that is referred as Shrimurti and has been in my sight ever so often.
In my personal conversations with divinity, I have called Him with various names from time to time, taking after my grandmother I would call Him Thakurji (a name for Shri Krishn), Shiv Baba (from Brahmakumaris), just Baba (to the loving Divine Father) but recently all this had been replaced by “Dada” – just plain Dada. Like an elder brother, like a friend, like a father, like love at the center of my heart. And it was finally time to meet my Dada and to know if I had come to the right place and my prayers have been answered.
As I opened my eyes after the usual chanting, I saw this young man seated where Dadashreeji was supposed to be. For a second, I thought this can’t be it. He can’t be Him. He is too young. He is probably younger than me (not that I am too young!). But this person seemed too young to be a spiritual master.
And the initial denial was replaced by the thought that He is so different from His pictures (Shrimurti). The photographer hasn’t been able to portray His personality completing.
This young man, seated in front of the gathering, was glowing with youth. He seemed so light as if there was no baggage that He had ever carried. He was simple, too simple to be where He was. But then isn’t that my own imagination. I carried a certain image of a spiritual master in my head all this while and He didn’t match with it completely. Nevertheless, there was something about Him that eventually grasped my complete attention. All initial thoughts vanished and I was completely engaged in His words about the new world order. The positive, constructive world order – a society that I have always dreamt of. Yes! It didn’t matter if He was Divine, if He was a spiritual master, if He was mine and I, his. What mattered was that if He is going to lead us into a constructive change then I am with Him and this feeling was stronger than any doubt or question.
Coming to questions, when the final moment arrived where I could go to Him and ask, point – black, if He was the one; I had forgotten all my questions. I found myself standing infront of Him looking into his eyes and oozing gratitude that my prayers have been answered. I couldn’t hold my gaze and couldn’t look at His face for more than a second because my eyes failed me, the tears blurred my vision and the sheer gratitude towards the Divine that overtook my heart was too overwhelming.
With a bowed head and open hands I received whatever He gave and walked away contented.
My Sun had come.
With Gratitude for Divine,
~ Maitreyi Kanika
- Translation taken from the book “Rumi – past and present, east and west” by Franklin D. Lewis (2000), Oneworld Publications