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Divani Nurbakhsh Sufi Poetry

From beginning to end, this collection of Sufi poetry is uncompromisingly direct and lucid. Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi order for over fifty years, poet and psychiatrist Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh knew the twists and turns of the psyche and the soul, and the way of love. His message here is clear, stark, and beautiful.

In this new translation of 188 ghazals, 20 poems in the masnavi form, 45 quatrains, and 55 five-verse poems, seekers from many paths will find accurate and unflinching guidance combined with unfailing generosity. Love and truth manifest in these verses, as do correction and direction. The poems always lead the reader along a straight path. They very much take into account the sometimes challenging territory of spiritual endeavor, and although the way to the Beloved may not always be easy, the poems show how to get there, encouraging, chiding, and illuminating as they go.

A concise glossary and footnotes offer English-speakers and those proficient in the Persian language a fresh and comprehensive approach to the body of Dr. Nurbakhsh’s poetry in its authentic Sufi context. Beginners, long-time practitioners and students of contemplative and mystical traditions will find joy and fellowship in these pages.


Excerpt from Divani Nurbakhsh Sufi Poetry

The People of Loving-Kindness

We are the people of Loving-kindness-leaders,
     guides of one another.
From the purity of Love’s footstep,
     we are helpers of one another.

though in body separate, we are all
     but one spirit,
Soul and spirit, heart and possessor of hearts
     of one another.

We are all one peopke,
     without “you and I,” only “we,”
All equal, all Love, all beloveds
     to one another.

But for us, no one is allowed
     to enter our courtyard.
We are chained to each other, all sympathizers
     with one another.

Each one would sacrifice himself
     for the other here.
All are candles and moths, all flowers and garden
     for one another.

Our assembly, no doubt, is the solitude
     of companionship.
All are drunk and sober
     from one another.

The armies of the self
     have fled from us,
For we are all fellow soldiers here, all commanders
     of one another.

Our pain requires
     neither doctor nor rememdy.
We are all the cure, all the sickness
     of one another.

If you call someone here,
     all will say “yes,”
For all have one name; all are companions, vigilant
     for one another.

O Nurbakhsh it is from being without
     “I and we”
That we are the desire and the customer
     of one another.


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