The Gordian Knot

English: Photograph of Tumulus MM (The Great T...

English: Photograph of Tumulus MM (The Great Tumulus) at Gordion, Turkey, as seen from the ancient city mound at sunset. This huge burial mound, constructed in the second half of the eighth century BC, covered the tomb of the Phrygian King Midas or his father. Copyright, Elizabeth Simpson, 1997 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The tale of the Gordian Knot is one of the best known stories told about Gordion, and one of the few that features Gordion in a popular figure of speech. The story recounts an episode that took place in 333 BCE during the campaigns of Alexander of Macedon against the Persian Empire. Alexander was advancing with his army across Anatolia and came to Gordion, probably because this was a natural stopping point on the road that led inland from the Aegean Coast towards Ankara (ancient Ancyra) and further east.



While at Gordion, the Macedonian king learned about a special wagon that was situated in the Temple of Zeus. The pole of the wagon was tied to the wagon body with an intricate knot of cornel bark, and a prophecy had foretold that whoever could unfasten the knot would go on to rule over Asia (or even the whole settled world, in one version). Seized by a longing to test the prophecy, Alexander tried to unfasten the knot by unraveling it, but when he was unable to do so, he drew his sword and cut right through it. From this comes the proverbial expression “to cut the Gordian Knot”, meaning to cut right to the heart of a matter without wasting time on external details.


For the site of ancient Gordion, however, this account owes its interest not only to the connection with Alexander, but also to the explanatory legend attached to it, one that describes the reason for the existence of the knot and the wagon, and its dedication in the Temple of Zeus. The general outline of the legend is as follows: there was once a poor Phrygian peasant named Gordios who was plowing his fields, when an eagle came and sat on the yoke of his plow, remaining there all day.  Perturbed as to what this might mean, he consulted the Telmessian people, an ancient race of prophets. Gordios came upon a Telmessian woman, standing in a doorway, who ordered him to sacrifice to Zeus. Gordios did so and also married the woman, who produced a son named Midas. When Midas was grown, he happened one day to drive up into Gordion in his father’s wagon, while the city was in the midst of civil strife. The people of Gordion immediately proclaimed Midas as their king, since they had been told by an oracle that a wagon would end their civil war by bringing them a king. The newly proclaimed king Midas accepted the throne and dedicated the wagon in the Temple of Zeus as a thank-offering to the god and as acknowledgement of the sign of the eagle, the sacred bird of Zeus, that had predicted his kingship.


This legend can be found in several accounts of Alexander’s campaigns, although with some variations in details: in a few cases it was Midas who was proclaimed king, while in others, the honor was given to his father Gordios, and Midas followed him in the kingship. All variants are consistent, however, in connecting the legend with the foundation of royal hegemony in Gordion.  The core of the story may well preserve a local Phrygian tradition recounting how Midas, and perhaps also his father Gordios before him, claimed the throne of Phrygia with divine aid. Gordios himself is a shadowy figure, little known outside of this story, but Midas is a well-known ruler whose reign, 738 – 696 BCE, as recorded by the early church historian Eusebios, coincides with the references to a king named Mita of Mushki in the annals of the Assyrian king Sargon II.


The presence of Zeus and his eagle strongly implies divine approval of Midas’s kingship, while the reference to the prophetically gifted Telmessian maiden in the doorway may well allude to the Phrygian Mother goddess, regularly depicted standing in a doorway, and her role in proclaiming Midas’s kingship. Several elements of the legend fall into well-known ancient Near Eastern story patterns of kingship foundation: the divine messenger (the eagle) from the gods, the use of the wagon as a symbol of kingship, the close connection between a new king and a prominent female divinity. But the legend as we have it from the Alexander historians seems to preserve a unique version that was local to Gordion and Phrygia, recording how the kingship of Midas was established in Gordion with the support of the dominant male and female divinities in the Phrygian pantheon. The legend gives us a small window into the Phrygians’ traditions of their own past that are otherwise lost to us.


Isfi 2012 Ajmer


The second edition of the International Sufi Festival will begin from 4-11th October 2012 at the Holy City of Ajmer. A commemorative tribute to the blessed Hazrath Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty ( R. A ). In its second year, the festival has many new additions covering every aspect of Sufism.

The Introductory series will be on the 4th Oct 2012 at 6 pm at the Al Ikhlas Gallery. The Series of Rang – e – Raqs ( Sufi paintings ) and Ahle Suffe ( Sufi Literature / Books ) will be unveiled. The Introduction of the first International Sufi Film Festival will be officially announced, and the official logo with the poster will be released. Sufi Films and Exhibitions will be screened until the 11th Oct 2012.

The 5th October will be the official inaugural ceremony of the International Sufi Festival at 6 pm at the Jawahar Rang Manch. The cultural event will be followed and the Mehfil – e – Sama continues in Honour of Khwaja Saab until the 11th October, 6 pm onwards. The First ISFI Award will be introduced in the Sufi Tradition of Art and Culture. An Award that will acknowledge and honour the Sufi Singers, Artiste, Dancers, Writers and also Film Makers. The ISFI Platinum Award will be the highest award by the organisation in the field of Art and Culture. ISFI Gold Award will honour the artiste in various fields.

The festival has successfully covered all areas related to the Sufi Culture of Art and Culture. We have introduced Sufi Literature as a beginning with Films, Paintings, Music, Discussion and also Sufi Awards. All entry for all events will be free. The day programmes will be at the Gallery Al Ikhlas from 11 am – 6 pm and the Mehfil – e – Sama will be from 6 pm onwards at the Jawahar Rang Manch said Mr. Bohra, spokesperson Divine Abode.

International Sufi Festival India

Rumi Turning Ecstatic at International Sufi Film Festival 2012

Understanding the phase of the transcendent path is another dimension of inner life. Sufism is “the name given to the mysticism of Islam'” It is “the movement from within as a characteristic of Islam” called `Islamic mysticism’ by Western scholars. Its resemblance to Christian and other forms of mysticism elsewhere. And the continuous historical and even institutionalized trend has millions of an enthusiast down to the present day. Indeed, if we look over the world, every soul strives towards finding the inner peace. The journey leads the individual to varied stages of artistic creativity and practical knowledge of the UNKNOWN.
The 4th October 2012 will take the audience towards a mystical journey of reality. The introductory series of the 2nd edition of the International Sufi fete begins in the Holy City of Ajmer. RANG – E – RAQS the Introductory series of the International Sufi fete will unveil the mystical series by German Artist Michael Templin. Templin’s encounters with Ms Begum lead towards a spiritual journey for the European Designer and Artist. THE CONFERENCE OF THE BIRDS a book of poems by PERSIAN AUTHOR FARID UD-DIN ATTAR inspired the artist to create a collection for the ISFI event.
The powerful series of ‘THE LIFTING OF THE VEIL’ is one more series of paintings by the artist capturing the exploration of one woman’s journey towards Sufism, the mystical side of Islam. In the midst of global disruption ‘The Lifting of the Veil ‘focuses on the soul’s expression of artistic legacy of Sufism and Spirituality. Gulshaa Begums ‘DESERT SPIRITUALITY’ is another added fiesta leading the audience to another phase of the celebration AHLE SUFFE. AHLE SUFFE- The voice of the scholars leads towards the ISFI challenge to bring in the Sufi literature exhibition. Another aspect of Divine Grace. This year ISFI will introduce the Sufi literature exhibitions with Books of various worldwide Sufi authors enlightening the viewers on the mysticism of the creation.

Canadian actress and filmmaker, Tina Petrova says ‘A dream in which the 13th century mystical poet, Jelaluddin Rumi, asked her to organise a fete in Toronto to showcase his work. The event was a success with the participation of Coleman Barks; whose translations have contributed to Rumi being the most popular poet in America for the last decade. By then, Petrova embarked on a spiritual journey to find out more about Rumi’s extraordinary impact on the world. And resulted in the immensely powerful documentary of the decade “RUMI TURNING ECSTATIC’. Scenes of Turkish and American whirling dervishes, the film takes you to a journey that requires you to become empty so that you can be balanced, centered, and fully aware of the Divine Presence.
Another Revelation led the mystic Artists, Scholars, Film makers to come together into another theme of the expressions of the great saints from the past which lead Ms Begum, to bring in the INTERNATIONAL SUFI fete in the blessed city of Khwaja Saab. Indeed, a blessing from the Saint and a grace from the creation lead Ms Begum towards her journey towards the mystical calling from the creation. The guidance and the pathway with many barrier and confrontation lead in the creation of the brilliant ISFI Festival, a Spiritual Tribute to the blessed Saint and a Tribute to the Creation. A journey of Love, Peace & Brotherhood towards bringing about the shift towards the new movement of the planetary assisting humanity in its ascension process. The key to Soul Evolution of enlightening and practical advice that will enhance your spiritual growth and contribution to universal evolution.

ISFI 2012 Rang – e – Raqs will unveil the most celebrated work of German Artist Michael Templin

One of the highest honors for an artist is to be considered and regarded as a master. They desire to produce artwork that is remembered forever.

The First series of ISFI 2012 Rang – e – Raqs will unveil the most celebrated work of German Artist Michael Templin. His connection to the Gallery on a spiritual level made him venture into the eastern mysticism creating masterpieces.

‘Journey of a Mystic’ is indeed a Masterpiece that allows the audience to interact with the Art in a way that it achieves its desired purpose.

‘Conference of the Birds ‘is inspired by the Persian book of poems by Farid ud-Din Attar . In the poem, the birds of the world gather to decide who is to be their king, as they have none. Besides being one of the most celebrated book of Persian poetry.

Templin says he began to incorporate new technology and experiment with live Events and interactions. The artwork is created to have its true meaning and intentions.

Explore the rest of the work at the Al Ikhlas Gallery from 4-11th October 2012 at the Rang e Raqs the 2nd Edition of the ISFI Festival.