Feb 02 2018

Ghraib Nawaz – The Second Jesus

Published by at 10:09 am under Poetry

The Second Jesus
by Gharib Nawaz

English version by Peter Lamborn Wilson and Nasrollah Pourjavady

O Lord, it’s me: blanked out in divine light
and become a horizon of rays flashing from the Essence.

My every atom yearned for vision
till I fell drunk on the manifestations of lordship.

Love polished the rust from my heart’s mirror
till I began to see the mysteries;

I emerged from the darkness of my existence
and became what I am (you know me) from the Light of Being:

blackened like charcoal dark soul’s smoke
but mixed with love fires and illumined.

Some say the path is difficult;
God forgive them! I went so easily:

The Holy Spirit breathes his every breath into Mo’in–
who knows? Maybe I’m the second Jesus.

— from The Drunken Universe: An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry, Translated by Peter Lamborn Wilson / Translated by Nasrollah Pourjavady


/ Image by proama /

I love the phrase in which the poet describes himself as being “blanked in divine light.” This beautifully describes the loss of the ego self, the loss of the separate self. Instead we perceive ourselves as a point of awareness within a vast living radiance.

Another great line:

Some say the path is difficult;
God forgive them! I went so easily.

This reflects the sense that true spiritual striving must be crushingly difficult, and sometimes too vague to even comprehend. Yet, the sacred experience reveals itself as our natural state, effortless. In fact, effort implies that we are trying to attain something we don’t already have, making it even harder to recognize the state as being already present. We just have to get out of the way of the truth that is already present. That is all. We just make it seem difficult.

who knows? Maybe I’m the second Jesus.

Some Christians may be troubled by this final line. It is certainly provocative, but not necessarily intended to be blasphemous or offensive. Devout Muslims greatly revere the figure of Jesus but not in the absolute and iconic way that Christians do. In Muslim traditions, Jesus is often associated with the breath of God. This is why the reference to Jesus follows the recognition that the breath of the Holy Spirit flows uninhibited through him. That breath is there, so is Jesus. Gharib Nawaz is reveling in the giddy recognition of oneness with that subtle divine flowing Presence — the same as in Jesus, the same as in all of us.

Who knows, maybe we are all the second Jesus?


Recommended Books: Gharib Nawaz

The Drunken Universe: An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry


Gharib Nawaz

Iran/Persia & India (1142? – 1236?) Timeline
Muslim / Sufi

Khwaja Mu’in’ud-Din Chisti, called Hazrat Gharib Nawaz (which means “Helper of the Poor”), was born in Persia (Iran). The dates of his birth and death are uncertain, but he probably lived from the mid 12th to the mid 13th century.

Gharib Nawaz studied traditional sciences and taught at the important Islamic universities of Bhukhara and Samarkand. He, however, yearned for a deeper, inner knowing and became a devoted student of a Chisti Sufi master from Nishapur. He studied with this master for twenty years, traveling with him throughout Central Asia and Arabia, conversing with many of the important Sufi figures of their day.

After going on pilgrimage to Mecca, Gharib Nawaz felt called to bring his teachings to India. He spent forty days in spiritual retreat at the tomb of a Sufi saint in Lahore, and then began his travels through India and drew an enormous following. As a mark of his influence, today the Chishti order is no longer numerous in Iran, but it is the most widespread Sufi order in India.

Hazrat Gharib Nawaz eventually became the eighth head of the Chishti order.

Gharib Nawaz died and was buried at Ajmer in India. His tomb has become an important pilgrimage spot for both Muslims and Hindus in India. It is sometimes even referred to as “the Mecca of India.”

More poetry by Gharib Nawaz

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Ghraib Nawaz – The Second Jesus”

  1. christineon 02 Feb 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Ivan, I love the poem, but I love your commentary even more!
    I must totally remember this -“perceiving ourselves as a point of awareness within a vast living radiance.” Lovely way of putting it….

    And the non-efforting – yes – even though our deep longing drives us, yearning for *some*thing from the Divine… as the poet describes as his “atoms yearning for vision.” The longing is in the very core of our Being – yet we give up the striving and get out of the way, as you say, and just recognize what is already here within us and just follow the breath…

    And maybe we are “God” ItSelf! Yes? – not the “god” of belief, religion, tradition, the persona god, but as you say it – the subtle divine flowing Presence, the Divine Presence, that some call “god.”

    Lovely,just lovely… _/\_

  2. Karl W. Youngon 05 Feb 2018 at 7:33 am

    When I hear Love’s unceasing, silent purr within my heart,
    I know what is happening there.
    It is Beloved and I loving Each Other in Silence,
    gazing on Each Other with delight.

    Beneath the Earth

    Your cosmic radiation
    warms me silently
    as I lie by its embers
    the clamor of my body silenced

    the beauty of Our naked body’s
    light
    envelops Us nakedly
    in a different kind of sex
    far more passionate

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