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Rumi is the greatest Sufi mystic and poet.
He was from Persia and wrote all his poems and stories in the Persian language. His teachings have widely influenced mystical thought and literature throughout the world.
In the stories of the Masnavi by Rumi, he talks about the real power of a man, and he reminds us that if the power is in the physical strength, then the elephant is much stronger than a man! He reminds us that the real power is love and tenderness.
He calls on to men and says:
“Don’t claim in spring on stone some verdure grows
Be soft like soil to raise a lovely rose—
For years you’ve been a stony-hearted man
Try being like the soil now if you can!”
His suggestion is to open the heart; if we become softhearted, we will find our true power (our love and tenderness).
Then he says, “Woman is a ray of God. She is not that earthly beloved: she is creative, not created.”
This part of the poem looks like this in Farsi:
زن پرتوی خداست. او آن محبوب زمینی نیست: او خلاق است ، نه آفریده
This basically means she is not your beloved (she doesn’t belong to you). She is an uncreated ray of light directly from God. That is how Rumi describes the spiritual importance of women.
Throughout history, it has always been a fear to empower women. In many traditions and cultures, women have been limited to staying in the shadows, so they don’t shine their lights too brightly into the world.
Maybe it’s been a fear of the power she has? Fear of when she connects to her true soul and wild nature. If a woman knows of her true power, she can’t be tamed, and that’s what most religions and cultures tried to suppress.
Even in Sufism, there’ve been many restrictions on women so that they stay aside and don’t become the center of attention. One example of this is the Sufi whirling, which prohibits women from performing in public. Even now, only men can perform whirling in traditional Sufi celebrations, and women can only witness.
A true Sufi-hearted man (or any sage) knows that a part of him becomes feminine when he reaches God. He would never deny the immense power of the woman; he would embrace and acknowledge it. Maybe even use her power to unite our souls—to become closer to the essence of Godliness. God is feminine and masculine in the realm of love; there is no discrimination of genders.
So my hope is for all women to know their true power—to embrace their goddess within.
Let go of all the shame, blame, guilt, and limitations. I hope for a time when women can live in-touch with their beautiful femininity and true power, and celebrate life in its total freedom.
I am calling all women to get in touch with their wild, authentic parts and have the courage to live it out of the veils of any religion, culture, or limiting beliefs.
And for all the men to also get in touch with their true power of the heart. Only then can we all celebrate life in unity and ecstasy of liberated souls.