Chapter 1: Polishing the Mirror of the Heart
We tried reasoning
our way to him:
it didn’t work;
but the moment we gave up,
no obstacle remained.
He introduced himself to us
out of kindness: how else
could we have known him?
Reason took us as far as the door;
but it was his presence that let us in.
But how will you ever know him,
as long as you are unable
to know yourself?
Once one is one,
no more, no less:
error begins with duality;
unity knows no error.
The road your self must journey on
lies in polishing the mirror of your heart.
It is not by rebellion and discord
that the heart’s mirror is polished free
of the rust of hypocrisy and unbelief:
your mirror is polished by your certitude -
by the unalloyed purity of your faith.
from your chains you have forged about yourself;
for you will be free when you are free of clay.
The body is dark - the heart is shining bright;
the body is mere compost - the heart a blooming garden.
Hakim Sanai - this name is as sweet to me as honey, as sweet as nectar. Hakim Sanai is unique, unique in the world of Sufism. No other Sufi has been able to reach to such heights of expression and such depths of penetration. Hakim Sanai has been able to do almost the impossible.
If I were to save only two books from the whole world of the mystics, then these would be the two books. One would be from the world of Zen, the path of awareness, Sosan’s Hsin Hsin Ming. I have spoken on it; it contains the quintessence of Zen, of the path of awareness and meditation. The other book would be Hakim Sanai’s Hadiqatu’l Haqiqat, The Walled Garden of Truth, in short, the Hadiqa, the Garden. This is the book we are entering today.
The Hadiqa is the essential fragrance of the path of love. Just as Sosan has been able to catch the very soul of Zen, Hakim Sanai has been able to catch the very soul of Sufism. Such books are not written, they are born. Nobody can compose them. They are not manufactured in the mind, by the mind; they come from the beyond. They are a gift. They are born as mysteriously as a child is born, or a bird or a roseflower. They come to us, they are gifts.
So first we will enter into the mysterious birth of this great book, the Hadiqa, the Garden. The story is tremendously beautiful.
The Sultan of Ghazna, Bahramshah, was moving with his great army towards India on a journey of conquest. Hakim Sanai, his famous court-poet, was also with him, accompanying him on the journey of this conquest. They came by the side of a great garden, a walled garden. That is the meaning of firdaus, the walled garden. And from firdaus comes the English word paradise.