Knowledge should mean a full grasp of knowledge:

by Yunus Emre

English version by Nam§k Kemal Zeybek
Original Language Turkish

Knowledge should mean a full grasp of knowledge:
Knowledge means to know yourself, heart and soul.
If you have failed to understand yourself,
Then all of your reading has missed its call.

What is the purpose of reading those books?
So that Man can know the All-Powerful.
If you have read, but failed to understand,
Then your efforts are just a barren toil.

Don't boast of reading, mastering science
Or of all your prayers and obeisance.
If you don't identify Man as God,
All your learning is of no use at all.

The true meaning of the four holy books
Is found in the alphabet's first letter.
You talk about that first letter, preacher;
What is the meaning of that-could you tell?

Yunus Emre says to you, Pharisee,
Make the holy pilgrimage if need be
A hundred times -- but if you ask me,
A visit to the heart is best of all.

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

Knowledge should mean a full grasp of knowledge:
Knowledge means to know yourself, heart and soul.
If you have failed to understand yourself,
Then all of your reading has missed its call.


Sages of all lands keep reminding us that the spiritual journey is a journey of awareness, and specifically self-awareness. It is not a journey of acquisition. Or intellect. Or adherence to rules.

It is not a matter of how many books we've read. Or how many times we've read them. The only question of any value is whether we've yet recognized their truths... within ourselves.

It is not a matter of how often you pray. Or how perfectly you enunciate each prescribed word. The question is, have you discovered how the prayer wells up within you on its own.

Make the holy pilgrimage if need be
A hundred times -- but if you ask me,
A visit to the heart is best of all.


Follow each prescribed step of the journey, and bring your books, but what you seek is found only and always in the heart of the heart.



Recommended Books: Yunus Emre

Poetry for the Spirit: Poems of Universal Wisdom and Beauty Music of a Distant Drum: Classical Arabic, Persian, Turkish & Hebrew Poems Quarreling with God: Mystic Rebel Poems of the Dervishes of Turkey The Drop That Became the Sea: Lyric Poems of Yunus Emre The Poetry of Yunus Emre: A Turkish Sufi Poet





Knowledge should mean