Meaning Behind Rumi’s Quote: What Strikes the Oyster Shell Does Not Damage the Pearl

“Everyone is so afraid of death, but the real Sufis just laugh: nothing tyrannizes their hearts. What strikes the oyster shell does not damage the pearl.”


You must have read this quote somewhere and now you are wondering what Rumi is trying to say. Well, read this article till the end and find out the meaning behind what strikes the oyster shell and does not damage the pearl.

Meaning: “What Strikes the Oyster Shell Does Not Damage the Pearl”

oyster and pearl

We live on the surface, like an oyster. As the oyster shell covers the pearl but it never becomes the pearl, in the same way, our temperament, our mental and physical states, our likes and dislikes all these things are essential for our existence and cover this bodily cloak. However, there is more to us and that’s what Sufi Rumi is trying to say.

We all have a pearl inside of us. Some people call it “our true self” or “soul” or “spirit” but no matter what you call it, all of our best qualities and our very existence appear to spring from deep within us where the pearl lies. Even though an oyster(our body and mind) may be struck by illness, pain, self-doubt, or life experience, the inner essence(pearl or soul) will always remain the same and untouched.

Intact and brilliant, the pearl always survives.

Hence, Rumi in this quote emphasizes that death is an illusion since it is unable to take away our souls and it can only take away our outer bodies, much as a blow to an oyster will only break the shell and not the pearl that is inside.

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Written by Mukund Kapoor

I'm Mukund Kapoor, a reader, thinker, and self-taught writer. Welcome to Mukund Kapoor's blog. I love to write about Spirituality, Success and Self-improvement. I sincerely hope my articles help you find the answers you're looking for, and I wish you a pleasant voyage over the vast expanse of existence. Wishing you all the best.

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