Hearken to the reed-flute, how it complains, lamenting
its banishment from its home:
“Ever since they tore me from my osier bed,
My plaintive notes have moved men and women to tears.
I burst my breast, striving to give vent to sighs, and to
express the pangs of my yearning for my home.
He who abides far away from his home
Is ever longing for the day he shall return.
My wailing is heard in every throng,
In concert with them that rejoice and them that weep.
Each interprets my notes in harmony with his own
But not one fathoms the secrets of my heart.
My secrets are not alien from my plaintive notes,
Yet they are not manifest to the sensual eye and ear.
Body is not veiled from soul, neither soul from body,
Yet no man hath ever seen a soul.”
The above was an abstract from Masnavi (the works of Rumi); the translators of the book have translated the work into many languages and tongues but none did the job of interpretation.
Here, Rumi is clearly beginning the book with the tale of a reed which was separated from its wood long long ago.
The very passage actually talks about the soul of man been separated from God. The essence of Sufism is that, the soul has come from the eternal and has to go back to eternal, the world temporal has got it all bounded and it longs for the love of life that is God.
Now, take the above epitome and instead of reading it with a mind-set of reed flute, put soul of a man into it and read the tale of reed. 🙂