Now No Trace Remains

by Niyazi Misri

English version by Jennifer Ferraro & Latif Bolat
Original Language Turkish

I thought that in this whole world
     no beloved for me remained.

Then I left myself.
     Now no stranger in the world remains.

I used to see in every object a thorn
     but never a rose--

the universe became a rose garden.
     Not a single thorn remains.

Day and night my heart
     was moaning "Ahhh!"

I don't know how it happened--
     now no "Ahhh" remains.

Duality went, Unity came.
     I met with the Friend in private;

The multitude left, the One came.
     Only the One remains.

Religion, piety, custom, reputation--
     these used to matter greatly to me.

O Niyazi -- what has happened to you?
     No trace of religion now remains.

-- from Quarreling with God: Mystic Rebel Poems of the Dervishes of Turkey, Translated by Jennifer Ferraro / Translated by Latif Bolat

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/ Photo by suchitra prints /


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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

I thought that in this whole world
     no beloved for me remained.

Then I left myself.
     Now no stranger in the world remains.


So long as we cling to the little self, everyone and everything else is separate. The ego asserts itself by continuously keeping itself in psychic opposition to everything it has defined as being outside itself. The ego pretends it is the center of reality while separating itself from the holistic vision of reality. In doing so, the ego makes itself both the prisoner and the prison.

In that shattered vision of a reality of separated fragments, we become blind to the true nature of reality -- and the beloved is not seen.

But when when we finally step outside the artificial boundaries of the little self, the mezmerizing but ever incomplete world of duality fades, to be replaced by the vision of Unity.

Duality went, Unity came.
     I met with the Friend in private;

The multitude left, the One came.
     Only the One remains.


We finally see how we flow into each other, how we are interwoven into a single, unified fabric of Reality. No one and nothing is outside of ourselves. That is when we can truly proclaim with Niyazi Misri that "Now now stranger in the world remains."

I used to see in every object a thorn
     but never a rose--

the universe became a rose garden.
     Not a single thorn remains.


The rose unfolds in a gentle circling that invites one to yield inward. The rose is a symbol of lovers and of union. The rose resonates strongly with the gently awakened heart.

The rose, with its wine-like scent and deep red color, is sometimes thought of as a more tangible embodiment of wine -- the drink of communion.

Religion, piety, custom, reputation--
     these used to matter greatly to me.

O Niyazi -- what has happened to you?
     No trace of religion now remains.


I love this Sufi iconoclasm. When deep realization comes, mystics have the troubling tendency to drop the forms of their religion. When the Eternal is finally recognized as here, now, alive in every way and in every form, the prescribed and proscribed ways of holiness lose their meaning.

This is not to say that one should not follow the recommended practices of one's faith. It is simple a reminder for us that the path (or paths) lead us to a Goal. Having reached the destination, the path has then served its purpose. Of course, the louder your assert this truth, the more friends you'll lose among the professional keepers of the path. It's dangerous to be an outspoken mystic.

Day and night my heart
     was moaning "Ahhh!"

I don't know how it happened--
     now no "Ahhh" remains.



Recommended Books: Niyazi Misri

Quarreling with God: Mystic Rebel Poems of the Dervishes of Turkey





Now No Trace Remains