Drunk, I asked my teacher, "Please, I need to know
What it means to be, or not to be."
He answered me, said, "Go!
Relieve the suffering of the world and you'll be free."
#1680, from Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi
Edited by Badiozzaman Forouzanfar (Tehran, Amir Kabir, 1988).
Translated by Zara Houshmand
Zara Houshmand's features index
The Life Teachings and Poetry of Jalal al-Din Rumi
By Frankin D. Lewis
By Coleman Barks (Translator)