Hafiz was born sometime between the years 1310-1325 A.D. at Shiraz, in South-central Iran. His full name was Khwajeh Shamseddin Mohammad Hafiz-s Shirazi. Pen-Name was Hafiz or Hafez (a title given to those who had memorized the Koran by heart) It is claimed that Hafiz had done this in fourteen different ways).
His Father’s name was Baha-ud-Din and had two older brothers. Hafiz married in his twenties, even though he continued his love for Shakh-e Nabat, as the manifest symbol of her Creator's beauty. Hafiz had one child. His father who was a coal merchant died, leaving him and his mother with much debt. Hafiz and his mother went to live with his uncle (also called Saadi). He left day school to work in a drapery shop and later in a bakery.
On the subject to Hafiz, his favorite poet, Baba said:
There is no one equal to Hafiz in poetry. He was a Perfect Master. He was fat and very ugly and born of poor parents. His father was a coal merchant. Hafiz, too, was a coal merchant and very black with soot, so imagine how he must have looked.
From his childhood, he had a penchant for hearing stories of Perfect Masters. He knew the Koran by heart, and hence was given the title of Hafiz.
When Hafiz was 21 years old, while passing by a big mansion, he saw a very beautiful girl on the terrace. He fell in love with her at that instant and decided he would marry her. The girl did not even take notice of the ugly Hafiz in the street. Hafiz felt helpless, and he thought of gaining her by the 40-days' penance. He succeeded in his attempt (of chilla-Nashini), and on the fortieth day, the archangel Gabriel came to him and told him to ask for anything he wished. Gabriel's beauty was so astounding that Hafiz forgot the beauty of the girl. He thought that if Gabriel could be so beautiful, how much more would be the beauty of God! So, he at once replied, "I want God!"
Gabriel directed him to the Perfect Master Attar. Hafiz served Attar for 40 long years. He broke his head at the feet of Attar, so it is said, but the Master still seemingly had no compassion for Hafiz. After 40 years of such hell on earth, one day Attar suddenly gave Hafiz God-realization. After having the divine experience, Hafiz began reciting poems, and that is why his poetry is Truth, and so beautiful and knowledge-giving.
Baba ended by stating:
Powers have no significance. Hafiz says that the one who does not lay his life at the feet of a Perfect Master cannot know God. It is very difficult to become one with God. A Master's grace makes it very easy, but to get his grace is as difficult as trying to realize God by one's own efforts. It becomes easy once one becomes a slave at the feet of a Perfect Master. Ages of restlessness get eased as soon as one drops one's life at his feet. This does not mean cutting off one's head and putting it at the feet of the Master. It means literal obedience.
In this phase, up to the age of 69 when he died, he composed more than half of his ghazals and continued to teach his small circle of disciples. His poetry at this time, talk with the authority of a Master who is united with God.
Some 500 ghazals, 42 Rubaiyees, and a few Ghaseedeh's, composed over a period of 50 years. Hafiz only composed when he was divinely inspired, and therefore he averaged only about 10 Ghazals per year. His focus was to write poetry worthy of the Beloved.
Hafiz did not compile his poetry. Mohammad Golandaam, who also wrote a preface to his compilation, completed it in 813 A.H or 1410 A. D, some 21-22 years after Hafiz's death.
Also another person who compiled Hafiz's poetry was one of his young disciples SayyidKasim-e Anvar, who collected 569 Ghazals attributed to Hafiz. He died in 1431 A. D. some 42-43 years after Hafiz's death.
Died on 1388 or early 1389 A.D., at the age of 69, His tomb in Musalla Gardens, along the banks of Ruknabad River in Shiraz, is referred to as Hafezieh.
Baba praised Hafiz, “There has been no poet like Hafiz for at least 2000 years. All Urdu and Persian poets have taken inspiration from his works.”
In 1933, relating a final story of faith, Baba spelled out:
Once Hafiz's Master (Attar) ordered one of his disciples to go home and kill his child. Hafiz was present and heard the order and began to wonder. But the man to whom the order was given simply thought there must be some good reason for it, so he at once went home, killed the child and brought its body to his Master. All the time Hafiz was having doubts, but he said nothing. Others were thinking the same thing, but they also said nothing.
The Master told Hafiz to take the body of the child far away and bury it deep. Hafiz did so, and according to the Persian custom lit a candle and placed it over the grave. As he looked at the flame of the candle he heard a voice saying, "I have been benefited ... It is for my own good." To his astonishment he saw the form of a child rise out of the candle flame. As Hafiz stared in amazement he saw millions of child forms rising out of the candle flame. Aghast, Hafiz went running back to the Master. On his way, wherever he looked he saw the forms of children until he came and sat near the Master.
The Master then told the father of the child, "Go and bring your child who is at home." The man went at once without stopping to think that he had killed the child, and even Hafiz did not ask questions anymore. The man found his child walking around the house, quite well and happy.
This incident convinced Hafiz of the tremendous powers of the Master and his working, which is always mysterious and cannot be grasped by the intellect, and so misleads people. From that day on, his faith in his Master increased tremendously.
After Hafiz got Realization, he wrote, "I failed my Master; but that man did not fail him, and yet that man was not in his circle and did not gain Realization." And then he wrote, "He is the select one who believes without question and obeys whatever his Master says."
So when I (Baba) tell you to do something unusual it is always for your own good. If you do anything (on your own) which is out of the ordinary, you are bound by it; but the One who is beyond good and evil can never get you bound. He uses maya to draw you out of maya. It is as if, when you are having a long beautiful dream, you must have a short shocking dream to wake you up.
|In 1953, Baba repeated a verse from Hafiz about giving up life for the sake of the Beloved, explaining:|
Hafiz never meant giving up life itself, for instance, by cutting one's throat. He was referring to giving up one's will, which is 100 percent impossible. He who gives it up Realizes — becomes one with — the Master, the Beloved. Another couplet of Hafiz asks:
Why are you after Union, love and spiritual progress?
Leave all these to the will of your Beloved!
Therein you will find everything!
To achieve the will of the Beloved, do not argue. No why and wherefore here because the chosen ones accept from the bottom of their hearts what the Master says. If I tell Nilu, "Tomorrow I will make you the King of Persia," don't doubt it. Accept it. If the next day I tell him, "Nilu, I will make you a sweeper in Africa," accept that too, willingly. The third day I may order him, "Nilu, leave everything and go out begging." Accept this too, with full devotion. Then Nilu will become Nilkanth!
Now, how to seek God? Hafiz declares: "Only if you carry your life on your sleeves can you enter the path of divine love."
So merely to say "I want to see God" or "I want to realize God" is similar to an ant saying "I want to become an elephant!" Mere words have nothing in them. The heart must thirst to seek God!
Persian record of Hafiz's poetry was played, and Baba translated its meaning:
Do not procrastinate. Start to love from this very moment.
Do not forget the Beloved even for one instant.
Baba explained about Hafiz's Master, Attar. He had long tresses of black hair, and Hafiz would comb his hair. The songs revealed what Hafiz said of him:
Do not let your hair flow freely,
As my heart receives an arrow from every hair.
Hafiz also said of Attar:
O Beloved Master! These tears that I shed
Are tears of blood so precious
That you should consider them as pearls
and wear them as earrings.
Also by Hafiz:
God says, O lover of mine, if you want to enter my lane,
First let your head roll under my feet and be kicked by me as a ball."
The lover replies:
I have been killed by your love,
And yet, you cruel Beloved, you do not even glance at me.
At Baba's request, Raosaheb recited a couplet of Hafiz in Persian, which was also translated into English, Telugu and Gujarati. The meaning of it was:
How can you tread the path of Truth unless you
step out of the boundary of your own nature?
In 1962, Aloba recited three Persian couplets by Hafiz, which were translated by Baba:
Obey the Master implicitly and willingly,
then that solves all your difficulties.
What you hear about a Perfect Master, never say it is wrong,
Because, my dear, the fault lies in your own incapacity to understand him.
I am the slave of the Master who has released me from ignorance.
Whatever the Master does is of the highest benefit to all concerned!