Nazir on Love of God

This tavern has good wine, fine decanters and beautiful cups; but there is no Saqi (server of wine). I wish to set this tavern on fire and consume it to ashes.

If life is passed in the midst of wealth, prosperity, mundane success, rest and comfort, excitement and pleasure, but without love, it has no value; it is no better than a crematorium, says Kabir, another poet-sage.

By love we do not mean the love of a Juliet or love for a geographical area called a country, or for a creed, meaningless by itself, but that object which possesses our soul by the intensity of its beauty and peace, inspiration, benevolence, and which desires to cover all with forgiveness and delight.

What really makes life worth while is not luxury, or architectural or decorative beauty, a lovely garden, shady bowers, or artificial springs of water gushing forth from rocks; unless there is love, all this is useless. It gives no satisfaction to the soul; it does not inspire the mind with noble ideas or charitable ambitions.

In this verse the poet Nazir, who has a strong spiritual bent of mind, denounces the life of pleasure and excitement, luxury and rest, without Saqi. In the Persian tradition ‘Saqi’ means a young and beautiful girl who is employed in a tavern to serve wine to the guests.

This does not imply any amatory connection. Who is the Saqi in this world? It is first remembrance of God, then love of God, and finally absorption of the individual in the contemplation of God.

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This article is from the Winter 2017 issue of Self-Knowledge Journal.