How did the eternal and temporal separate,
That one became the world, and the other God?
If the knower and known are the One pure essence,
What are the aspirations of this handful of earth?


THE life of the ego is to bring non-ego into existence,
The separation of the knower and known is good.
Our ideas of eternal and temporal are due to our way of reckoning,
Our reckoning is the result of the spell of mathematical time.
We constantly talk of yesterday and to-morrow, 5
We deal with "is," "was," and "might be."
To sever ourselves from Him is our nature,
And also to be restless and not to reach the goal.
Neither do we get worth in separation from Him,
Nor does He feel peace without union with us; 10
Neither He without us, nor we without Him! How strange!
Our separation is separation-in-union.
Separation gives to this dust (i.e. man) an insight,
It gives the weight of a mountain to a straw.
Separation is a token of love; 15
It agrees with the nature of lovers.
If we are alive, it is due to this affliction (of separation),
And if we are immortal, it is due to it.
What is "I" and "He"? It is a divine mystery
"I" and "He" are a witness to our immortality.1 20
The light of the Essence is everywhere, hidden and apparent ;
To live in company is real life.
Love does not acquire insight without company,
And without company, it does not become self-conscious.
In our assembly, there are divine manifestations, behold! 25
The world is non-existent and He is existent,2 behold.
Doors and walls, cities, towns and streets are not there,
For here there is nothing existent except we and He.
Sometimes He makes Himself a stranger to us,
Sometimes He plays upon us as upon a musical instrument. 30
Sometimes we fashion His idol out of stone,
Sometimes we prostrate before Him without having seen Him.
Sometimes we tear every veil of Nature,
And boldly see His beautiful face.
What fancy has this handful of dust? 35
It is due to this fancy that his inner self is illumined.
What a nice fancy that he bewails in separation
And yet he grows and develops through it.
This separation developed in him such a spiritual insight,
That he turned his dusk into a dawn. 40
He made the ego subject to affliction:
Thus turned the ancient grief into an ever-living joy.
He got strings of pearls from the tears of his eyes
From the tree of bewailing he got sweet fruit.
To press the ego tightly to the bosom 45
Is to turn death into everlasting life.
What is Love? It is to tie all the different stages in a knot.
What is Love? It is to pass beyond all goals.
Love does not know of any termination,
Its dawn has no dusk. 50
There are no bends in its way as in that of intellect,
In its lustre of a moment, there is a world.
Thousands of worlds lie along our path,
How can our endeavours reach their finale?
O traveller I live for ever and die for ever, 55
Take hold of the world that comes before you.
It is not the goal of our journey to merge ourselves in His ocean.
If you catch hold of Him, it is not fana (extinction).
It is impossible for an ego to be absorbed in another ego,
For the ego to be itself is its perfection.3 60

[Explanatory Note] [See Notes]