Swami Anand Kulbhushan
With Alluring Woman, Jug of Wine, Loaf of bread, Book of Poetry in Undisturbed in Desert
|A book of Verses underneath the Bough,|
|A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou|
|Beside me singing in the Wilderness—|
|O, Wilderness were Paradise enow!
-The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Generations of love starved men have swooned over these four lines of poetry by Omar Khayyam. Reading these lines, they dream of luscious, slim waisted, alluring woman, an intricately carved jug full of wine, a loaf of bread and a book of poetry while resting under a palm tree, undisturbed in the silent desert. What more can one ask? Yes, this is paradise. Happyho also provides best Meditation and Tarot classes in Noida and Delhi NCR India area
With this translation from the original Persian into English by Walter Fitzgerald in 1859, Omar Khayyam became popular as a romantic poet of wine, women, poetry and song.
From 1800 to 1850, during the era of Britain’s Romantic Poetry of Byron, Shelly, Wordsworth, Keats, and Coleridge, among others, this translation was lapped up by the people.
So, Omar Khayyam was branded as a poet of the good life. This was a totally opposite meaning of what he intended to convey. What Khayyam, as a Sufi master, was alluding to is pure spirituality. In the Sufi parlance, the four lines or a quatrain, known in Persian as a Rubaiyat, ‘a book of verse’ means a spiritual work, ‘underneath the bough’ means in the shadow of the master, ‘a jug of wine’ means meditation, and ‘Thou” means the divine singing sings in the wilderness to transform it into a paradise. Remember, the Sufis see the divine as a beautiful woman.
Hailed as a romantic, Khayyam was, in fact, a mathematician and a philosopher as proved by his other books. But the British came to know him as a romantic with this translation by Fitzgerald because he could not decipher the secret spiritual messages in his poetry.
Osho interpreted Khayyam correctly when he says, “Omar Khayyam writes about women, wine, love. Reading him you will think this man must have been the greatest hedonist ever; and the beauty of his poetry is simply incomparable. But the man was a celibate, he never got married, he had no love affairs. He was a mathematician; he was not even a poet. He was a Sufi, and what he is writing when he writes about beauty…. You will think he is talking about the beauty of women — no, he is talking about the beauty of God.”
Osho adds, “To the Sufis, God is a woman, the beloved, and you are the lovers. When he is talking about love, he means love between you and God. Now, can you visualize what kind of love is possible between you and a God who does not exist at all, whom you have never seen? And he is talking about the beauty of God.
“His books in Persian are illustrated and God is actually there as a beautiful woman having wine in her hands to offer to you. Sufis use wine as a symbol: to the man who loves God, God offers a kind of intoxication that does not make him unconscious, but makes him perfectly conscious an intoxication that wakes him up from his sleep.
“Fitzgerald, the English translator of Omar Khayyam, had no idea of these symbols. He was a simple earthbound poet, and really a better poet than Omar Khayyam. When he translated, he simply understood that a woman means a woman, wine means wine, love means love. These were not symbols to him.
“Fitzgerald made Omar Khayyam world-famous by his misunderstanding. If you try to understand Omar Khayyam in the original you will find such a gap between Omar Khayyam and Fitzgerald that you cannot conceive how Fitzgerald managed to create such beautiful poetry out of this mathematician’s mind,” Says Osho, From Misery to Enlightenment, Ch 3.
In the past century, thousands of paintings have been created to show these versus, many hundreds of carpets woven showing this scene, many bars were named after Khayyam but when people came to know his real spiritual message, all these trends faded away.
Now let us discover the real, spiritual Sufi master Khayyam by reading his masterpiece, Rubaiyat.