The poetics of universal imagination – The Sunday Guardian

Mirza Ghalib (1797-1869) and Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) belong to two different times and spaces: one an Indian Urdu and Persian poet during the Mughal Empire, and the other a Germen post-modern philosopher. One thing was strikingly common between the two: the belief that the divine pervades and interpenetrates every part of the universe, while extending beyond space and time.Indias formidable Urdu poet-philosopher, Ghalib was a proponent of an ontological oneness, Tawhid e Wajudi, interchangeably known as Wahdatul Wajud, in Sufi traditions. This has been encapsulated in his Persian poetry, where he says in a couplet:Jaroob e Laa byaar ki eein shirk fil wajudBa gard e farsh o sinaa ba-aywan barabar ast.Explanation: Our hearts are similar to an Aiwan (porch or veranda) and our belief in duality (Shirk in the existence) is something like dust on it. We need to sweep and clean the dust!The German philosopher, Nietzsche, in his famous conversation with the Iranian mystic Zarathustra, as he sees the latter going to the forest for self-isolation (Khalwat), asks him why. The mystic says he is going to find time with God. After Zarathustra leaves for his self-isolation, the narrator, who is Nietzsche, says: the mystic does not know God is dead.Thus, Nietzsche leaves us with the basic question as to how man should reach God. I wonder if Zarathustra could return and get a chance to meet Nietzsche after his self-isolation or Khalwat, he would have responded or retorted the postulate, God is dead. But I assume he didnt.


The poetics of universal imagination - The Sunday Guardian

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