Eighth: Another woman, because I have not yet balanced that heavyweight champion, Blah-Blah Blavatsky. This woman will do it. She is a Sufi; her name is Rabiya al-Adabiya. Al-Adabiya means “from the village of Adabiya.” Rabiya is her name, al-Adabiya is her address. That’s how the Sufis named her: Rabiya al-Adabiya. The village became a very Mecca when Rabiya was still alive. Travelers from all over the world, seekers from everywhere, came searching for Rabiya’s hut. She was really a ferocious mystic; with a hammer in her hand she could have broken anybody’s skull. She actually broke many many skulls and brought out the hidden essence.
Once, Hassan came to her searching, seeking. One morning while staying with her he asked for the Koran for his morn ing prayer. Rabiya gave him her own book. Hassan was aghast; he said, “This is condemnable. Who has done this?” Rabiya had corrected the Koran! She had crossed out many words in many places. She had even cut out whole passages. Hassan said, “This is not allowed. The Koran cannot be edited. Who can edit the prophet – the last messenger of God?” That’s why the Mohammedans call him the last messenger – because there will be no more prophets after Mohammed, so who can correct his words? He is correct, and not correctable.
Rabiya laughed and said, “I don’t care about tradition. I have seen God face to face, and I have changed the book according to my experience. This is my book,” she said; “you cannot raise any objection. It is my possession. You should be thankful that I allowed you to go through it. I have to be true to my experience, not to anybody else’s.”
This is Rabiya, the incredible woman. I include her in my list. She is enough to put Madame Blavatsky in her place. Again, Rabiya’s words are not written by her, but are just disciples’ notes, like Devageet’s. Rabiya would say something out of context – nobody could figure out any context; suddenly she would say something and it was noted down. So were the anecdotes she related and the anecdotes that her life itself became. I love that.
Meera is beautiful, but without salt, just sweet. Rabiya is very salty. As you know I am a diabetic, and I cannot eat or drink too much of Meera – Devaraj won’t allow it. But Rabiya is okay, I can have as much salt as I want. In fact I hate sugar, and I hate saccharin even more, the artificial sugar created especially for diabetics – but I love the salt.
Jesus said to his disciples: Ye are the salt of the earth. I can say of Rabiya: Rabiya, you are the salt of all the women that have existed and will ever exist on the earth.
Ninth: Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, his songs. He roamed around the known world of his day with a single follower, Mardana. Mardana means manly – “the really brave.” To be a follower one has to be brave. Nanak used to sing while Mardana played on his sitar, and that’s how they roamed around the world spreading the fragrance of the ultimate. His songs are so beautiful, they bring tears to my eyes. Just because of his songs a new language was created. Because he wouldn’t listen to any grammar, any rules of language, regulations, he created Punjabi – just by his songs. It is a tremendously strong language, just like the sharp edge of a sword.