This poem by Robert Graves is beautiful. Poets come far closer to the truth than the philosophers, the theologians, the priests, the scholars, the so-called learned people. Poets are a little bit crazy; that’s why they can have a few glimpses of the beyond. They are not logical; hence they can comprehend something which is bigger than logic. Theologians, philosophers, scholars – they are just fools hiding their foolishness. And it is because of these so-called learned people that the world has become so poor physically, spiritually, in every way.
Just the other day I was reading a news item from Pakistan. It says that great scholars of morality are nowadays busy banishing the word ishq, love, from prose and poetry prescribed for university students in Pakistan.
Ishq is far more significant than the word love. Love is only one of the dimensions of ishq. Love means of the world. Ishq has two aspects: either it can be an ordinary love, the love between a man and a woman, or it can be a love between man and existence.
Banishing the word, the very word ishq, from all prose and poetry prescribed for the university courses is such a foolish idea. And these are the great scholars of morality! I was puzzled because if you banish the word ishq, then particularly in the language that is spoken in Pakistan – that is the official language of Pakistan, Urdu – there will not be anything left at all, because the whole of Urdu poetry and prose is centered on the word ishq. All the great poets, from Mir and Ghalib to Iqbal, will have to be banished. In fact, no other language of the world has such beautiful poetry as Urdu. Urdu is tremendously expressive. In just two small lines, Urdu can say more than any other language can manage to say in a whole page. It is very telegraphic, and it is full of love.
Banish the word love and you banish all the great poets, all the great mystics. You will have to banish all the Sufis because they talk about love. And they are not only banishing poetry and prose devoted to love, even the word love, ishq, has to be removed – even the mention of the word!
These are the fools who have been dominating humanity for centuries. They would like to destroy even the possibility of love. There is a certain logic in it, because humanity up to now has existed in a very insane way. It has continuously been preparing for war. There are only two periods in history: either people are fighting – that is war time, hot war – or people are preparing for the war that is going to happen sooner or later. You can call it peace time, but it is not peace time at all; it is only a gap between two wars. It is needed because unless you prepare, how are you going to fight? It is cold war.
The whole of human history up to now can be divided into two periods: hot war and cold war. And because man has been continuously fighting, destroying, murdering, there is no possibility of growing roses of love. We have to make factories for war; we have to create soldiers, not lovers.
My sannyasins are lovers, not soldiers. They herald a new beginning. To me, love is synonymous with God. These words of Graves are tremendously significant:
Those who dare give nothing
are left with less than nothing….