Once a Young Woman Said To Me
Once a young woman said to me,
“Hafiz, what is the sign?
of someone who knows God?”
I became very quiet,
and looked deep into her eyes,
“My dear, they have dropped the knife.
Someone who knows God has dropped
the cruel knife
that most so often use upon their tender self
Daniel Ladinsky, a notable scholar of Hafiz, says that there are two stories he keeps very close while working on verses, this is one of them. His interpretation is as follows: “Drop the knife. Those are profound words to me, for they encapsulate and distill the essence and goal of spiritual aspirants. Surely every human wants to avoid suffering, though self-caused afflictions are complex. There is a poem where Hafiz says, “I have found the power to say no to any actions that might harm myself or another.” Think about that a moment. My take is that one’s experience of God – one’s joy, one’s creative potential – is in direct proportion to the ability to no longer harm oneself and others physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.”
Meher Baba, an indian spiritual master,
whom Landinsky lived with for a 21-year period in western India