Fourth – and this is really amazing – I did not mention Plato’s Dialogues of Socrates. Perhaps I forgot because of Plato. Plato is not worth mentioning, he was just a philosopher, but his Dialogues of Socrates and his Death is impossible to overpraise and should be included.
Fifth…I also forgot The Notes of the Disciples of Bodhidharma. When I talk of Gautam Buddha I always forget Bodhidharma, perhaps because I feel as if I have included him in his master, Buddha. But no, that is not right; Bodhidharma stands on his own. He was a great disciple, so great that even the master could be jealous of him. He himself did not write a word, but a few of his disciples, unknown because they did not mention their names, wrote some notes of Bodhidharma’s words. These notes, though few, are as precious as the Kohinoor. The word Kohinoor, do you know, means the light of the world. Noor means the light, kohi means of the world. If I had to describe anything as Kohinoor, yes, I would indicate towards those few notes by the anonymous disciples of Bodhidharma.
Sixth: I also forgot the Rubaiyat. Tears are coming to my eyes. I can apologize for forgetting everything else but not the Rubaiyat. Omar Khayyam…I can only cry, weep. I can only apologize with my tears, words won’t do. The Rubaiyat is one of the most misunderstood and also one of the most widely read books in the world. It is understood in its translation, it is misunderstood in its spirit. The translator could not bring the spirit to it. Rubaiyat is symbolic, and the translator was a very straight Englishman, what in America they would call a square, not hip at all. To understand Rubaiyat you need a little bit of hip in you.
The Rubaiyat talks of wine and women and nothing else; it sings of wine and women. The translators – and there are many – are all wrong. They are bound to be wrong because Omar Khayyam was a Sufi, a man of tasawuf, a man who knows. When he talks of the woman he is talking about God. That is the way Sufis address God: “Beloved, O my beloved.” And they always use the feminine for God, this should be noted. Nobody else in the world, in the whole history of humanity and consciousness, has addressed God as a woman. Only Sufis address God as the beloved. And the “wine” is that which happens between the lover and the beloved, it has nothing to do with grapes. The alchemy which happens between the lover and the beloved, between the disciple and the master, between the seeker and the sought, between the worshipper and his God…the alchemy, the transmutation – that is the wine. Rubaiyat is so misunderstood, perhaps that is why I forgot it.