Today's Beautiful Gem: `Alone With Thee' by Raabi'a al-'Adwiya.

"Oh my Lord, the stars are shining
and the eyes of men are closed,
and kings have shut their doors,
and every lover is alone with his beloved,
and here I am alone with Thee."

Note: Raabia hails from Basra (in the present day Iraq), a former slave of non-Arab origin. She was an expert flute player before she became a mystic. The ardent longing of the soul for God can be found in her prose and poetry. She used to go up to her roof and under the canopy of stars recite the above prayer.

Om s'aantih: Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao