Festival of Eternal Beauty (miscellaneous tributes)

On Christmas, we revere the Beloved, the Beautiful One  –

the Beloved God, adored by the the mystics:

Rabiʿa al-Basri (717–801), Muslim female mystic and poet,  composed this prayer, revered by Sufis:

Oh, my Lord, if I worship Thee from fear of Hell, burn me in Hell,

and if I worship Thee in hope of Paradise, exclude me thence,

but if I worship Thee for Thine own sake,

withhold not from me Thine Eternal Beauty

(quoted in: Images of Jesus Christ in Islam)

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And our poets: (Dante)

“Heat cannot be separated from fire, or beauty from The Eternal.”

― Dante Alighieri

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Aleksandr Pushkin

To the Beauty

She’s all just harmony and wonder,
Higher than passions and the world,
She rests, with her sweet shyness, under
Her beauty’s ritual abode;
She looks around self in silence:
There’re no contenders hers, no friends,
Our beauties’ circle, pale and blend,
Fades out in her dazzling brightness.

Wherever weren’t you hurry, yet,
Even to date with your beloved,
What sense with weren’t your heart upset,
Even with song of highest sound, –
But having met her in alarm,
You suddenly shall stop, embarrassed –
In ecstasy, like one of prayers,
Feeling the holiness of charm.

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, December, 2001

***see end of post for recitation in Russian

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Beauty takes the shape of Healing through Jesus:

On Jesus by Rumi

From the Masnawi (lines 298-363): by Rumi, mystical poet of Islam

(See blog post: Rumi and Jesus)

The house of Jesus was
the banquet of the followers of the heart
Oh, the suffering one! Don’t quit
his door.
From all sides people gathered
around his house
Some were blind, some lame,
and some insane.
Each morning they went to his door
So that their defects could be
healed by Jesus’ Breath
Jesus, that man of the good path,
would say his prayers
And would come out, seeing
many groups of sick and weak
people
Sitting and waiting at his door
of hope.
Jesus would say: Oh, the stricken
ones!
God has granted your needs and
cures.
The people would then walk,
with no pain and trouble,
Toward the blessings and mercy
of the Divine.
Like the camel whose chains
were lifted from their feet
The people would walk freely
and joyfully toward home.
They all were cured by the
prayers of Jesus.
And now, you, my friend!
Have you examined your own
defects?
Have you found a healthy state
of being
In the presence of the masters of
the good path?
Has your lame walking on the
spiritual path been cured?
Has your soul been free from the
sufferings and sorrows of this world?

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Beauty, which is God, shines through Christ and the beauty of soul, cherished and beloved by the lover, is contained within every human being:

“To love someone means to see them as God intended them.” (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

” There is in the world only one figure of absolute beauty: Christ. That infinitely lovely figure is, as a matter of course, an infinite marvel.” (Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Letter to niece Sofia Alexandrovna)

(See Post on Dostoyevsky and Christianity)

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Look, too, at these beautiful Christmas cakes from India:

Christmas in Kerala, India —

Modern: Plum Cakes for Christmas in India

See Plum Cakes Christmas CelebrationKerala-Christmas-dish.jpg

Ancient Syriac Christians in IndiaMalabar_Christians_of_19th_century.jpg

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Russian Recitation of Pushkin Poem:

Here, at a technological school near San Francisco, a sculpture reminds us that Truth is Beauty too:

Truth is Beauty: sculpture  (See: Truth is Beauty Art)tib_about.jpg