The grapes of my body can only become wine

by Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

English version by Andrew Harvey
Original Language Persian/Farsi

The grapes of my body can only become wine
After the winemaker tramples me.
I surrender my spirit like grapes to his trampling
So my inmost heart can blaze and dance with joy.
Although the grapes go on weeping blood and sobbing
"I cannot bear any more anguish, any more cruelty"
The trampler stuffs cotton in his ears: "I am not working in ignorance
You can deny me if you want, you have every excuse,
But it is I who am the Master of this Work.
And when through my Passion you reach Perfection,
You will never be done praising my name."

-- from The Way of Passion: A Celebration of Rumi, by Andrew Harvey

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

This verse by Rumi says so much. Here he is telling us that the wine of the mystic is really the refined essence of oneself. It is formed from “the grapes of my body.” The wine is the juice emitted by the ego, the selfish, separate idea of the self when it finally surrenders and allows itself to be crushed into non-existence.

Of course, working toward that complete surrender can be terrifying... so long as we identify with the ego. There are times when the seeker calls out, "I cannot bear any more anguish, any more cruelty." But the Winemaker, caring for us too much to let us remain comfortably incomplete, continues with the work, knowing the pure sweetness of completion.

When we finally free ourselves from identification with the ego-self and reverently place it as a sacrifice upon the wine press, we watch it collapse into nothing, the old “you” becomes nothing -- it dies, but something new is born. From the death of the grape, the juice appears!



Recommended Books: Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

Poetry for the Spirit: Poems of Universal Wisdom and Beauty Perfume of the Desert: Inspirations from Sufi Wisdom Music of a Distant Drum: Classical Arabic, Persian, Turkish & Hebrew Poems Open Secret: Versions of Rumi The Way of Passion: A Celebration of Rumi
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