Saturday, July 30, 2016

We Are All Slave-girls!

RUMI has narrated a story of a slave girl of Samarqand. According to the narrative, once the king of an adjoining state visited the bazaar of Samarqand.

There in the shop of a goldsmith, he saw a beautiful slave girl. He instantly fell in love with her, unaware of the fact that the slave girl was in love with the goldsmith.

On return to his capital, the king ordered one of his viziers to bring that slave girl to his court at any cost. The vizier went back to the goldsmith of Samarqand, enticed him and bought the slave girl from him.

 The vizier presented the slave girl to the king who immediately took her as his wife. Later on, the king discovered that the slave girl was not happy with the new arrangement and remained depressed and melancholic all the time. The king also became melancholic and did not know how to make her happy.
One night the king had a dream. In his dream a spiritual guide appeared to him and inquired about his miserable state. The king told the spiritual guide the whole story about how he fell in love with the slave girl of Samarqand and how she remained unhappy despite all his best efforts to make her happy. 
The spiritual guide told the king that he would visit his palace the next day to solve his problem, then and there. The next day the king along with his courtiers waited outside the city walls for the spiritual guide. When the much-awaited spiritual guide arrived, the king was very happy to see him. He rushed towards the guide, kissed his hands and took him to his palace with honour and respect.
There the spiritual guide demanded a private session with the slave girl. During his discourse with the girl, he described in exotic terms the bazaars and markets of Samarqand. Suddenly the slave girl broke her silence. She confessed to the spiritual guide that she was madly in love with the goldsmith of Samarqand; that this was the precise cause of her unhappiness with her marriage to the king.
The next morning the spiritual guide told the king about the cause of the melancholic moods of the slave girl and advised him to summon the young goldsmith of Samarqand to his court in order to help her recover from her misery.
 Eventually the goldsmith was brought to the palace and found the beloved of his yesteryear there. The king allowed them privacy and gradually the slave girl recovered from her miserable state. Together she and her lover enjoyed music, dance, good food and had lots of fun in the palace for many days.
Gradually, the spiritual guide started poisoning the goldsmith. First he became yellowish, and then weaker by the day.
 One day the slave girl felt repulsed by him and finally abandoned him to his disease. The goldsmith died and the slave girl found her new lover in the person of the king. The spiritual guide left the palace the very next day.

This narrative contains symbolic meaning for us, in two contexts. The first context is personal and affects all of us in these days of spiritual vacuum. The slave girl is a symbol of our sick hungry souls; the goldsmith is our unbridled ego-desire; the king is our heart seeking satisfaction; the palace is our primordial spiritual state of existence to which we want to return; and finally the spiritual guide is a person or spiritual idea to show us the path to self-satisfaction.

.I was watching the movie Baraka and it has these harrowing images from around the world of people running and striving and running with a vacant look in their eyes.

The uncontrolled desire chambers of our ego has made our hearts more and more dissatisfied. The more we desire to possess and own; the more our soul becomes melancholic and cut of from its real purpose. 

We are all running like the slave girl.

Our slave girl is enamored by the material objects and toys of globalization. 

You must live to consume is the dictum.I love David Mitchel's novel Cloud Atlas, in oneof its russian doll like stories is about a genetic clone in a dystopian materialist  future--in this all too possible future, society is only constructed to facilitate and encourage consumption and those who refuse to become drones, are outcast and penalized. 

Our cognitive matrix is only populated with fanciful objects and bodies.  
We have become objectified brands, WE ARE WHAT WE OWN.Our identity is Nike, Apple or Gap.We identify and categories human beings by what they are wearing, listening to or driving.This consumption makes us more sad and we feel meaningless and hollow inside.

Everybody is monitored by precise gadgets of control. Our thoughts are regulated. Our networks are watched. Our freedom is mechanical and our choices are shaped by the sinister machine of our civilization. It is driven by the ever-more complex cycles of cultural mechanisms of consumption and destruction. It is dominated by the subtle moves of electronic capitalism.

There is another way to live.We need to find the silence within and construct our identity on spiritual rather than material parameters.You only become what you own/buy /consume when you are too spiritually lazy to find out, who you really are!


  1. Brilliant. But there is hope. We must suffer some more! Then there is nowhere to go but inward, if we are on a path. This morass of confusion and pain will be fertile ground for sincere seekers. Too much of comfort and stability numbs us into mediocrity

  2. Brilliant. Every image announces its Origin. Every object is an image. We stop at the image and dont follow it to its natural conclusion: gatherdness in the One. The diwan of Shaykh Muhammad Al Habib says " I had an illusion. When it departed, the heart looked upon the light of eternity. It rode upon the desire which flew with it, so the heart drew near to its Beloved until there was unification. It saw created beings as fleeting imaginations' and the form of existence was obliterated and vanished"
    from the Departure of Illusion.