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If you are seeking Allah
by Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai

English version by D. H. Butani

If you are seeking Allah,
Then keep clear of religious formalities.
Those who have seen Allah
Are away from all religions!
Those who do not see Allah here,
How will they see Him beyond?

Let us go to the land of Kak
Where love flows in abundance,
There are no entrances, no exits,
Every one can see the Lord!

There is no light nor day
Every one can see the Lord!
Those who love the Lord
The world cannot hold them.
Palaces do not attract them,
Nor celebrity nor servants
Nothing binds them:
The renouncers leave everything behind.

A message came from the Lord:
A full moon shone
Darkness disappeared
A new message came from the Lord:
It does not matter what caste you are
Whoever come, are accepted.

Where shall I take my camel,
All is Light…
Inside there is Kak, mountain and valley,
The Lord and the Lord: there is nothing but the Lord.

— from The Melody and Philosophy of Shah Latif, by D. H. Butani


Poetry Chaikhana Blog » Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai – If you are seeking Allah

*
edited slightly for moral and political correctness.

Ivan Granger's commentary expresses probably too well my bias about organized religion.
Religion is base camp (and the National Geographic).  Spirituality is mountaineering.
But i think "base camp" is a good metaphor, mountaineering isn't isn't so much because it plays into the Jacob's Ladder version of spirituality and ignores the pagan circle (Sarah's circle).  Discipline is nice, but even those without it may be graced by visions of eternity and infinity.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
bardcat
Apr. 19th, 2012 12:16 am (UTC)
That's rather old stuff Bobby. It's not one or the other, but both and when it comes to religion and spirituality. There are many ways to God, including religious formalities as well as religious informalities. What a put down of religions when quite frequently they are at least an attempt to deal with ultimate questions. Yes, religions have their weaknesses, multiple failures but that is because they are full of humans like you and me. Who sets Shah Latif up to be God and to tell the rest of us what's right or wrong? That's as much a crock as some conservatives in Christianity express. Very old arguments Bobby, just rather shallow. Sound pretty. Has some validity, weaving in and out of this and that, but ultimately it comes up pretty short. Why pretend openness, Bobby, on the one hand and devalue and degrade on the other hand?
bobby1933
Apr. 19th, 2012 03:29 am (UTC)
Yes, indeed. And i still do struggle with what should have been long ago put to rest. I am like Rumi's Moses, criticizing the shepherd's religious practice when it was deeper and closer to truth than his own.
I do hear you.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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