The first time i heard of the poetry of Rumi was while listening to a talk by Deepak Chopra at the Chinmay Centre in Delhi. In a particular reference he spoke with deep admiration of how the words of this 13th Century mystic poet create a profound impact, often startling you with their imagery while describing the “soul-essence.” Over the years one has sought out and read many verses composed by this sufi poet…some of them truly sublime and profound. One of my favourites is this line from his poem ’The Fragile Vial’ ~
“The body is a device to calculate
the astronomy of the spirit.
Look through that astrolabe
and become oceanic”
Often while watching the ocean, the waves breaking on the shore-line, those words come unbidden to my mind…”become oceanic…” They seem to have a mystical-lyricism to them. In another poem he says “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.”
It’s an interesting image…each individual like a drop of water caught in the water-cycle; our birth a journey from cloud to earth; our life a flow towards the ocean; mingling with those waters only to rise as mist and fall to the earth again. Again and again till finally there comes a time when all water returns to the source and boundaries cease to exist. Like the body and the soul ~ the globule that holds the water dissolves, the water within doesn’t die ~ it ‘becomes oceanic’