Are you already singing the Autumn blues? How about melancholy? Melancholy is – according to the Swedish Karin Johannison – the classical example of psychic suffering. Aristotle was already wondering why all prominent people were melancholics. Johannison has studied the history of melancholy and has shown its shapes in different cultures. She has also studied related concepts like depression. Here is a list she has produced connected to acedia (in my own translation):

Indifference (tepiditas)
Weakness (mollities)
Drowsiness (somnolentia)
Idleness (otiositas)
Slowness (dilatio)
Tardiness (tarditas)
Negligence (negligentia)
Lack of perseverance (inconsummatio)
Feebleness (remissio)
Being uncurbed (dissolutio)
Being untended (incuria)
Listlessness (ignavia)
Lack of dedication (indevotio)
Despondency (tristitia)
Despair (desperatio)
Fatigue (taedium vitae).

The Kashf-ul-Asrar (Unveiling of Mysteries) is a book which has been attributed to Khwaja Mo’inuddin Chishti. This is of relevance to the present subject:

“The life of a human being knows four seasons, just like the world has four seasons:

– Summer is the time that you are a child
– The years you are a young person is the harvest of spring
– The time that goes by in a passive way is autumn
– Old age is like the harvest of autumn”.

It is remarkable that winter is not mentioned. This is however also the case in a somewhat different version, which tells this about our subject: “The age of decline which is like the beginning of autumn and old age which is like autumn”.

Mawlana Rumi in his Kolliyaat-e-shams-e-tabrizi also appears to skip winter in between autumn and spring:

The garden of the soul has yellowed like autumn from regret at separation.
When will Your spring arrive to make it flourish?

Shaykh Iraqi states about autumn (paa’iz): “It is said to be the station of abatement” or: Maqaam-e-khomud raa guyand. The word khomud means abating; going out (of a flame or fire).

This is another definition of autumn. It “symbolizes the station of complete manifestation of the effects of the realm of sovereignty (maqaam-e-kamaal-e-zohur-e-‘aasaar-e-‘aalam-e-molk) and the conditions governing that manifestation”.

This definition has been derived from the Persian translation of the Russian book Sufism and the Proper Manners in Sufism by Bertels. Words, words, too much words… so it is possible that they may give you the autumn blues.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. KgnReshma says:

    Bismillaha KGN,
    Many thanks for the translation of the Poems in English Dervish & indeed ‘God is with me, God is watching me, God looks at me; be it summer ,winter or autumn. Goodness me the autumn?

    Autumn & a Story:

    Oh! Devotees seldom have Autumn Blues,
    Beloved’s words are precious, devotees are amused.
    What can a Seeker as lowly as self present?
    Ah a Lotus at thy feet as the autumn descends!
    A lotus smiles from ‘ In Tune with Tagore’,
    Cheer up with a story, as it’s thee I adore.
    Edited work of Suresh Dalal & Kallolini Hazarat,
    Reminds me of a dear Beloved Hazrat!

    SUDAS, THE GARDENER, plucked from his tank the last lotus left by the ravage of winter & want to sell it to the king at the palace gate.
    There he met a traveler who said to him, ‘Ask your price for the last lotus,-I shall offer it to Lord Buddha.’
    Sudas said, ‘If you pay one golden masha it will be yours.’
    The traveler paid it.

    At that moment the king came out & he wished to buy the flower, for he was on his way to see Lord Buddha, & he thought, ‘It would be a fine thing to lay at his feet the lotus that bloomed in winter.’
    When the gardener said he had been offered a golden masha the king offered the Gardner ten, but the traveler doubled the price hence.

    The gardener, being greedy, imagined a greater gain from him (Buddha) for whose sake they were bidding. He bowed & said, ‘I cannot sell this lotus.’

    In the hushed shade of the mango grove beyond the city wall Sudas stood before Lord Buddha, on whose lips sat the silence of love & whose eyes beamed peace like the morning star of the dew-washed autumn.

    Sudas looked in his face & put the lotus at his feet & bowed his head to the dust.

    Buddha smiled & asked, ‘What is your wish, my son?’
    Sudas cried, ‘The least touch of thy feet.’

  2. KgnReshma says:

    Bismillah KGN,
    Kashf-ul-Asrar is silent on the season of winter,
    Pray pour some Tea with biscuits made of ginger.
    Mawlana Rumi too skips the winter?
    Are my words bold, worst & bitter?

    May thy *Prophet bring Sunshine,
    To thee in cold winter, Shaykh divine.
    Warmth & happiness fill thy home,
    Whilst Joy rejoices, in thy heart & dome.

    For winters with showers, wind & cold,
    Sunlight I transmit, an Umbrella to hold.
    Wood I transport to make some fire,
    And fuel of love, arrives on a mystic tyre.

    In Chariot thee ride on streets so white,
    Thy footprints make gloomy lanes so bright.
    Glamour of X-mas tree does seem less,
    In patched cloak, beauty of raven tress.

    Ridicule Masnavi & face the wrath,
    Disgrace of Shaykh, tend to lose His path.
    Winter in hearts remain enforced,
    From Beloved, lover has been divorced.

    O Shaykh thee might get over this cold,
    In March the spring shall dance & hold.
    Promise of cheer, fun & frolic,
    O listen reed plays tunes melancholic!

    Rumi whirled while meditating & writing,
    Whence I sing His praise, candles start lighting.
    Now I stop this pen so swift with praise,
    Pray Murshid forgives me with tears & grace.


    That beloved, who
    The promise of faithfulness did not keep,
    Was going & I was holding his skirt
    With humility deep;
    He was saying that
    Hereafter thou shalt see me in dreams.
    He was thinking, perhaps,
    That in separation from him I could sleep?
    Sunshine peeps from “Abu Said Abi-I-Khair & his Rubaiyat” as snow gives way to Dr Zahurul Hassan Sharib.


    Rumi: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”

    Thank You.

  3. KGNRESHMA says:

    KGN, Haji Malang Baba, Nasiruddin Baba, Siraj Baba:-
    Salaams & Namaste,

    Source: Phool Waalon Ki Sair 2019 by Smt.USHA Dayal.( Narration Sh. Yogeshwar Dayal)
    1]Autumn is the time of festivals for Delhiites.
    2]The week long Mughal days festival ‘ Phool Waalon Ki Sair’ is being celebrated by the citizens since 1812.
    3]The festival was held for the first time during the reign of Akbar Shah II.
    4]Queen Mumtaz Mahal Begum ( wife of Akbar shah II) was the pioneer in starting this week long festival.
    5]The Queen’s son Mirza Jahangir was exiled to Allahabad under orders of Sir Seton.
    6]The Queen had prayed to the sufi saint Khwaja Qutubuddin Bhaktiyar Kaki for the release of her son Mirza Jahangir.
    7]After a couple of years, Mirza Jahangir was released.
    8]Queen Mumtaz Mahal Begum offered a ‘ Chadar’ of flowers at the Dargah of Khawaja Bhaktiyar Kaki at Mehrauli.
    Thus started the festival.

    Phool Waalon Ki Sair !
    [Procession of the florists]

    Beautiful flowers smiling around,
    Marigold flowers make a crown.
    O, what a glory & what a sight !
    Mehrauli looking nice & bright.

    Listen to Red-White Orchid’s tale,
    Here Peace & harmony swifty sail.
    This being ‘Procession of florists’,
    Festival of love with hidden benefits.

    Khwaja Qutbuddin Bhaktiyar Kaki’s abode,
    Decorated with flowers at each node.
    Here Music of love flows all about,
    With adabe you pray, don’t doubt.

    The Sufi saint shall grant thy wish,
    Keep it short & sweet, I mean thy list.
    For The Sufi saint is powerful & great,
    Wishes are fulfilled, less is the wait.
    For this being ‘Procession of florists’,
    Festival of love with hidden benefits.

    Dank je!

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