Thursday, April 29, 2010

32. The King of Afghanistan

This is Chapter 31 from the revised online version of The Republic of Rumi: a Novel of Reality. Since the New Adam is likely to be perceived in Asia long before being understood in the West, the enclave is dedicated to the King of Afghanistan.
“I have dedicated these few pages to His Majesty the King of Afghanistan,” the Poet tells you. Beautiful images appear in each stanza of the dedicatory poem and the Poet goes elaborating the meaning of each image.
Stanza 1

The thirty-one year old Amanullah Khan, the ruler of Afghanistan since 1919, has given stalemate to the British in the Third Anglo-Afghan War and won the independence of his nation by revoking the condition imposed by the British in 1879 that Afghanistan will have “no windows looking on the outside world” except towards the British India. Just as the royal liberator is receiving tributes from rulers of the world, the Poet appears to offer a gift of verses that match the lofty ambition of the youthful king.
“O king, son of a king,” says the Poet. “Accept from me this humble offering.”
Stanza 2

The Poet comes into contact with the infinitude of Goethe’s imagination, discovers the narrow breadth of his own and then his soul discovers itself with the help of Rumi. He mentions Goethe to the Afghan king with due respect while complaining that unlike the Germans who made good use of their thinker’s gift, the East has not recognized the worth of the message of the Poet to whom God has revealed the truths of statecraft and religion both.
“So mean is fortune that it favours fools,” says the Poet to the king “Woe to the gifted, who defy its rules!”
Stanza 3
Arabs have lost their way in the desert, the Egyptians are being drowned in the whirlpool of the Nile and the Middle East is being painted red with Turkish blood. Iran has nothing of its old fire except ashes and the Indian Muslim is indifferent to everything except earning bread by serving foreign rulers.
“Muslims have lost the ways that charmed the world,” says the Poet to the king. “There are no more Khalid bin Walid, Umar the Great and Saladin.”
Stanza 4
Afghans are the proud sons of the mountains whose instinct makes him more fitted for democracy than any other people in Asia but they are yet to receive their share of the modern world. The young King Amanullah appears on the scene with an enlightened soul and a love of religion.
“Become a source of power for the religion,” says the Poet to him. “So that your name may be written among those rendered the highest service to the Muslim nation.”
Stanza 5
“Knowledge is the virtue that abounds,” says God. Europe acquires a new life by grasping the knowledge of things and enslaves the East where souls are without awareness of the wealth buried in their lands.
“There are pure rubies buried in your Badakhshan,” says the Poet. “The lightning of Sinai is dormant inside your mountains.”
Stanza 6

Devils roam around disguised as human beings. They are earning respect through noble pretenses.
Rumi, who was born in Afghanistan, now appears on the scene and addresses the modern king. “The nemesis of every nation that perished in the past was that it mistook stone for incense.”
Stanza 7
A traveler enters the Persian city of Ctesiphon and finds a porter to carry the luggage. When he tries to pay, the porter refuses and says, “It is my duty to serve. I am the governor of this city.” He is none other than Salman, the Persian companion of the Prophet and as governor of the ancient capital of the Persian Empire he is acting on the command of the Prophet: “The ruler of a people is their servant.” At night, Salman uses a stone instead of pillow and sleeps more peacefully than most other rulers ever could.
“Rise and serve the same wine of Love again,” says the Poet to the king. “Deliver once again the message of Love in the mountains.”
Through seven stanzas, the Poet has brought the King of Afghanistan to reconciliation between matter and spirit – or power and love. Ideals begin to move closer to reality as you move on into the enclave.


  1. Great chapter, but just a quick observation and correction: "The thirty-one year old Abdur Rahman, the ruler of Afghanistan since 1919.."

    It was actually King Amanullah Khan, and not Abdur Rahman Khan who declared Afghanistan's independence from the British on August 19, 1919.
    King Abdul Rahman Khan[who's mentioned in above article] ruled Afghanistan from 1880-1901.

  2. Sologak, thanks. The correction has been made. The error resulted from a "FIND+CHANGE" edit in the original Word document.