A stanza from Omar Khayyam’s ‘Rubaiyat’

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“What he means simply is that you should not feel guilty. Whatever you do – if it is not right, don’t do it again,” comments Osho.

One great Sufi poet, Omar Khayyam, has written in his Rubaiyat, his world-famous collection of poetry:

“I am going to drink, to dance, to love. I am going to commit every kind of sin,
because I trust God is compassionate – he will forgive.
My sins are very small; his forgiveness is immense.”

When the priests came to know about his book – because in those days books were written by hand, there were no printing presses…. When the priests discovered that he was writing such sacrilegious things, that he was saying, “Don’t be worried, go on doing anything you want because God is nothing but pure compassion and love. How much sin can you commit in seventy years of life? – in comparison to his forgiveness, it is nothing.”

He was a famous mathematician too, renowned in his country. The priests approached him and said, “What kind of things are you writing? You will destroy people’s religiousness! Create fear in people, tell people that God is very just: if you have committed a sin, you will be punished. There will be no compassion.”

Omar Khayyam’s book was burned in his day. Whenever a copy was found, it was burned by the priests, because this man was teaching such a dangerous idea. If it spreads among human beings and everybody starts rejoicing in life, what will happen to the priests? What happen to the saints? What will happen to their mythologies of hell and heaven and god? All will disappear in thin air.

At least with me, Omar Khayyam is one of the enlightened Sufi mystics, and what he is saying has immense truth in it. He does not mean that you should commit sin. What he means simply is that you should not feel guilty. Whatever you do – if it is not right, don’t do it again. If you feel it hurts somebody, don’t do it again. But there is no need to feel guilty, there is no need to be repentant, there is no need to do penance and torture yourself.

I want to change your focus completely. Rather than counting how many times you forgot to remember to be aware, count those few beautiful moments when you were crystal clear and aware. Those few moments are enough to save you, are enough to cure you, to heal you. And if you pay attention to them, they will go on growing and spreading in your consciousness. Slowly, slowly the whole darkness of unawareness will disappear.

Osho, The Hidden Splendor, Ch 11, Q 1 (excerpt)

Quote  from Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, 1947 Edition

Series compiled by Shanti
All excerpts of this series can be found in: 1001 Tales

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