Ode 314 – by Rumi: Poem with Explanation
Having written over 70,000 poetic verses, Rumi is by far one of the most searched, and inspiring poets of all times. Not just is he every poetry lover’s awe, but is also an acclaimed national poet for three countries! His soulful thoughts on a human’s individual growth concerning several life aspects have influenced several hearts and minds. Ode 314, which focuses on the phrase ‘Let them sleep’ include some of Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī’s classic lines that seem plain in words, but are rooted in their intent.
Ode 314 talks about the celestial bond between the almighty God and humans. Clear your minds to journey through his profound reflections about the same.
Those who don’t feel this Love
pulling them like a river,
those who don’t drink dawn
like a cup of spring water
or take in sunset like supper,
those who don’t want to change,
let them sleep.
This Love is beyond the study of theology,
that old trickery and hypocrisy.
I want to improve your mind that way,
I’ve given up on my brain.
I’ve torn the cloth to shreds
and thrown it away.
If you’re not completely naked,
wrap your beautiful robe of words
– Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi
Rumi begins his poem but excluding all those people who cannot accept the supernatural love as offered out of this group of people who can have an enduring bond with God. If His love doesn’t allow you to feel the strong currents of happiness like a lover does, then they should continue to sleep in this materialistic world as it is. Similarly, those who cannot feel refreshed with the view of sunrise and satiated with the view of the sunset, God’s radiant creations, they can never survive this bond.
The poet asserts that one who is not open to changes should make do with worldly life, for a bond with God requires a superficial understanding of life. They should live their regular hard-working lives, and sleep, just as a routine.
Any human who wants to be persistent in achieving this ethereal relationship with God should forget about everything ordinary. This love is nowhere close to the subjects we study, the magic we perform and the treachery we are a part of.
Personally, Rumi confirms that he has cut cords with the world. Thus he says,
‘ I’ve given up on my brain.
I’ve torn the cloth to shreds
and thrown it away.’
This means, he no longer relies upon the understanding he gained from the experiences and people. He has cut chords with everything he knew and thrashed it in a place where it isn’t procurable anymore. He suggests being in a clean slate of understanding when wanting to connect with the supreme power.
By the end of this ode, when he says ‘If you’re not completely naked’ it means that one should be able to be free from human thoughts and materialistic wants, then the chances of this loving bond is complicated. In fact, Rumi makes sure to express to such people that they should continue to live in this mortal world with temporary people. They should, as he has throughout suggested, ‘sleep on’.
Look at life this way; if you aim to build a path to connect with the supreme power, then don’t lean on your understandings gained from this world. As a matter of fact, one should use the power of introspection and be in pursuit of Heavenly Love.
What’s impressive about these poetic verses is that, while they do make a very intense suggestion for the permanent soul, it gives a human the liberty to choose. To emphasize, one can find happiness in the fleeting life as a human, and sleep on and awake in routine. Or, he/she can be on the quest for a delightful soul, which is indeed immortal and the way to bind with God’s love!