by Sharafuddin Maneri
English version by Paul Jackson
If You welcome me, then I am Your accepted one:
If You do not, I am still Your rejected servant!
I should not be worried whether You accept or reject me:
My task, in either state, is to remain preoccupied with You!
-- from In Quest of God: Maneri's Second Collection of 150 Letters, by Sharafuddin Maneri / Translated by Paul Jackson
Poetry Chaikhana | Sharafuddin Maneri - If You welcome me, then I am Your accepted one
Don't miss Ivan Granger's commentary on this poem athttp://www.poetry-chaikhana.com as of January, 27, 2014.
At first i disliked it.
Of course God accepts you, you idiot,
or else She/He/It would not be "God."
Then i saw that the important line, is the last.
":My task...is to remain preoccupied with You"
Neither prose nor arithmatic
tells anything about the Divine
Poetry does better,
but it is still human words
filtered through human minds
(and, hopefully, through loving human hearts.)
Rabia said it, and St Catherine.
God is not a Mobster nor a Businessperson,
someone with whom deals and bargains can be made
God is Something Else, beyond something and nothing,
I say "unconditional love." not even close
but it will have to do.
I say "Tao," just another word
and "Ground of Being," just three words.
A person who reacts (or fails to react)
equally to acceptance and rejection
is either a saint or a fool.
I am certainly not a saint.
so i will be a fool, like Ryokan, like St. Francis.
My task, in any case,
is to remain preoccupied with the Divine.