“I didn’t come here of my own accord and I can’t leave that way.
Whoever brought me here, will have to take me Home.
Speaker: Now, Rumi is saying, “I didn’t come here of my own accord and I can’t leave that way. Whoever brought me here, will have to take me Home.”
So, “I didn’t come here of my own accord”. The mind is a machine and no machine drives itself. The mind cannot know who is driving it? So, Rumi is just being honest and saying, “I don’t know, why is all this happening? I didn’t come here on my own accord.” And because I didn’t come here on my own accord, look at the man’s simple, innocent intelligence; he is saying, “For sure I cannot be the one who can achieve salvation for myself”.
“Have I come here on my own accord? Then how can I get enlightenment on my own?” This is the beauty of the innocent mind. In one line, it is able to cut through all complexities. A complex mind, an analytical and comparative mind would probably write two hundred and fifty pages on this. What is salvation? What is liberation? What is freedom? Is there anything called enlightenment at all? Is it possible for the mind to be silent at all? Is all this not merely conceptual gossip? And he will discuss all these questions and say ten thousand things.
And look at the childlike expression of Rumi. “When I didn’t come here on my own, how will I be freed from this on my own? Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.”
Now, what is Rumi doing? Rumi is saying, “from level two to level one, you will have to take me.” And by saying this, Rumi is already at level two. So, what he could do, he has already done. This very statement indicates that Rumi is not at level three; Rumi is already at two. Rumi has done the fullest that the human mind can do. He has left no stones unturned. His efforts are honest and to the maximum. And after doing what he could do, he has simply raised his hands and surrendered. This is the utmost that this mortal form can do.
Now, beyond this? – “Sir, your territory. You take care of things; I cannot. In surrendering, I have already done the maximum that I could do. In coming to you and giving up myself, I have already done the maximum I could do. Now, whether or not you accept my obeisance, whether or not you consider me worthy for your blessings; now that is your jurisdiction; that is your privilege. Who am I to interfere? Who am I to demand?”
Man can only do what man can do and to expect more is pure arrogance. To ever say that, “Let me toil more, let me exert more. I am such a devotee that I will reach freedom through my efforts. And I will not stop and not breathe till I am liberated”, might sound like a statement of commitment and devotion and a deep mystical thirst; but it is actually just arrogance. “I am trying to impose my will upon the cosmic order. I am saying, I want to be liberated and existence will have to abide by my will. After all, I want to be liberated. Who are you to deny me of my wish?”
Rumi is saying, “I do not know who brought me here. Who am I to say that I can go back home? I have done the maximum by just, understanding this much. What is the fullest extent of my declaration? ‘I cannot do it’. I am not going into the territory of ‘who would do it’? What I know is I cannot do it.” And that is the utmost that a man must utter.
But you know, before one says that I cannot do it, one has to undertake that arduous journey from level three to level two. If at level three you say I cannot do it, then it is just a cunning statement. So, the one who has done this much, only he can say, “I cannot do it”.
You earn the right to say, “I cannot do it”, only after you have really done it. Only the one who has really, really done it, has earned the right to say, “I cannot do it”. If somebody else says, “I cannot do it”, then he is transgressing into prohibited and privileged territory. It’s just like saying, “I am not the body”. To say “I am not the body”, you must have really covered a lot of distance as a body.
You are not expressing achievements; you are only denying something. But even that denial requires a lot of effort, a lot of dedication. Usually people assert something after getting it. Usually when people say that, “I have achieved something”, “I am something”, it is a statement of achievement. It is a statement of positive acquisition- ‘I have something’.
But in the world of spirituality, you work a lot to not to say that you have something. In fact you say that “You have lost something”. And this difference is everything. In the world, you work a lot to claim that you have achieved something. And in the world of Truth you work a lot to claim, to earn the right to claim, that you have lost something.
In the world you are a fraud, if without achieving you claim that you have achieved. And in the world of Truth, you are a fraud if, without losing, you claim that you have lost.
So, when Rumi says, “I do not know”, he has earned the right to say that. Just as in the world you earned the right to say that, “I know! I have knowledge”. Similarly, in spirituality, you have to first earn the right to say that, “I do not know”. This statement must come from your innocence, not from your learning or concepts.
Otherwise, spiritual statements are so easy to make and everybody makes them, everybody. There is hardly anybody in the spiritual domain, who does not know the ‘Mahavakyas’ (The Great Utterances from the Upanishad). Anybody can say, ‘Tat Tvam Asi’ (You are That); anybody can say, ‘Prajnanam Brahma’ (The Self is Brahma). And if you are a little advance, you would have memorized a few verses from here and there, and anybody can utter them. But you must have the right to utter them. Rumi has that right.
To utter a verse by a Rishi or by a Rumi or by a Kabir or by a Krishna or Ashtavakra, without really being there, is blasphemy of the worst kind. Deeply engrossed in your body, if your tongue utters ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ (I am Brahma), then this is going to be punished. Existence is not going to forgive you. Are you getting this?
So just don’t go by the aesthetic appeal of Rumi’s words. He is not a poet; these are mystical utterances. You must be Rumi to utter them. Now, don’t take that as a warning; take that as an invitation. Because the ego could easily say, “You know, I am nowhere close to being Rumi. So why should I read Rumi? I am nowhere close to being Ashtavakra, so why should I read Ashtavakra? You know if I read Ashtavakra that would be hypocrisy. If I memorize his verses, it would be hypocritical. So why should I do that?”
The ego could come up with this kind of a cunning argument, to keep you away from the Saints. So, I am saying, it is not a warning but an invitation. If it could happen to Rumi, it could happen to you as well.
~ Excerpts from a Clarity session. Edited for clarity.
View the Session at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bw6lHli0DFw
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