He dwells not only in temples and mosques

by Sarmad

English version by Isaac A. Ezekiel
Original Language Persian/Farsi

He dwells not only in temples and mosques --
The whole creation is his abode.
The whole world is bewitched by his tale,
     but wise are those who are lost in his love.

-- from Sarmad: Martyr to Love Divine, by Isaac A. Ezekiel

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

He dwells not only in temples and mosques --
The whole creation is his abode.


We humans tend to like our categories and definitions, a sort of thinking that's very effective in the world. But that same form of thinking ensnares us when we engage with the deeper aspects of reality. We want to know where to go to find God. We want to know what to do, how to act, what to keep separate from, so that we might know ourselves to be holy. That approach can help to focus our intention... in the beginning. But at some point we need Sarmad's reminder: Everything is sacred. All of creation is holy ground. There is no boundary to the Eternal.

Where you are, worship.

The whole world is bewitched by his tale,
     but wise are those who are lost in his love.


I really like these two lines. All of existence isn't 'real' in the way we usually imagine it to be. Creation isn't fixed; it flows. Things don't exist in and of themselves; they are really relationships, an immense network of interaction. Seen this way, everything we experience is part of a drama. Any good storyteller knows that a good tale plays with fears and joys and questions of survival, hooking our attention while surreptitiously revealing something of the deeper truths of life.

As Sarmad says, the whole world is a story told by God. It is so rich and detailed that we can become "bewitched" by it. We become like actors who forget that there is a backstage. The wise, however, lose themselves -- their costumes, their egos. They know, once they've said their few lines, how to fall silent again, and enjoy the unfolding tale from the wings.



Recommended Books: Sarmad

Real Thirst: Poetry of the Spiritual Journey The Drunken Universe: An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry Sarmad: Martyr to Love Divine Sarmad: Jewish Saint of India Sarmad the Saint





He dwells not only