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Chapter 3: A Rolling Stone

Sufis talk about love, of paradise, of the garden of paradise. They think of God as the Beloved. They talk about wine; wine is their symbol. They talk about drunkenness; they are drunkards, drunkards of the divine. They abandon themselves in dance and song. They feast, they celebrate. That seems absolutely logical. Enough of the desert - they have to balance it by an inner garden.

Buddhism was born on the banks of the Ganges, one of the most fertile lands in the world, one of the most beautiful, in the shadows of the Himalayas. All was beautiful outside, all was green outside. Now to think of greenery inside too will be monotonous. To think of beautiful valleys and rivers will be boring. Buddha thinks of inner emptiness, nothingness, the inner desert, the silence of the desert, the utter purity of the desert - no dance, no song. You cannot imagine Buddha dancing.

You cannot imagine Rumi not dancing. If Rumi is anything at all, he is nothing but a dance. He attained to his first samadhi by dancing continuously for thirty-six hours. He danced and danced.and his ecstasy was such that hundreds of people started dancing. He created such a field of ecstasy that whosoever came to watch what had happened to him started dancing. By the time he reached his ultimate samadhi, thousands of people were dancing around him. That’s how he attained. He fell on the ground for hours in utter drunkenness - just like a drunkard! When he opened his eyes, he had seen the other world, he had brought the beyond with him.

Buddha attained to his ultimate samadhi sitting silently doing nothing - so utterly silent that you could have thought that there was no man but just a marble statue. It is not just a coincidence that Buddha’s statues were the first to be made, it started with Buddha’s statues. His statues were the first, then others’ statues followed. He was so statue-like. In his silence, sitting under the Bodhi Tree, he must have looked like a piece of marble: cool, white, still. The white marble became a metaphor for Buddha.

But you cannot make a statue of Rumi, because he is never for two consecutive moments in the same posture. If you want to make a statue of Rumi, you will have to make a statue of a fountain, or a willow in a strong wind. Impossible to make a statue of Rumi.

Buddha lived, was born, in Nepal under the shadows of the eternal Himalayas and its eternal beauty. This is again a polarity. Outside is the beauty of the Himalayas, and Buddha searches for an inner desert of absolute negation. Rumi lived in a desert; outside is the infinite desert, inside he creates a small garden, a paradise, a walled garden. That is the meaning of the word “paradise,” firdaus - a walled garden, an oasis.

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