Home > Ruhnama blog > SPECIAL REPORT: Analysis of The Ruhnama of Saparmyrat Turkmenbashy the Great (Book Two)

SPECIAL REPORT: Analysis of The Ruhnama of Saparmyrat Turkmenbashy the Great (Book Two)

July 27, 2008

©  Reflections on the Ruhnama
By Steve in Wisconsin
Publication date:  July 27, 2008  (revision)

I originally posted this report online on 30-JAN-2007. This latest version, while shorter than the original, has been further revised and is presented in response to the growing interest in the Ruhnama worldwide. The numbers appearing in brackets [ ] refer to page numbers in the English hardcover edition published in Ashgabat.

Background information
The Ruhnama, or Book of the Soul, is a spiritual treatise written by Saparmyrat Niyazov (1940-2006), the late President of Turkmenistan, who proclaimed himself “Turkmenbashy the Great” – the Father of all Turkmen. [3] Whereas this report is an analysis of Book II, it is recommended that you first read my earlier report on Book One.

Obtaining the book: It’s available… sometimes
If you live in the United States it is possible (at the time of this report) to purchase the Ruhnama.

A word of caution, however.

There are several websites advertising the book for sale in the United States. Some of these booksellers DO NOT have the book in stock, and some are unable to get the book. I suggest that you send an email to the seller and confirm the book is available for shipment before you place the order.

If you live in Russia or the CIS you should be able to locate a source for the book by inquiring with Turkmen organizations, friendship societies, representatives, etc.

Ruhnama: A Holy Book
The second book, like the first, begins with an Oath of Allegiance, the National Anthem, a portrait of the late President and color pictures of the Turkmen flags and state emblem. Turkmenbashy then greets the reader and explains why he wrote a second volume:

My Beloved Citizens!

We declared the twenty-first century to be the golden century of the Turkmen.

We established a peaceful, neutral and stable state.

Following Ruhnama, I have read the letters that reached me everyday, reflected on them and finally decided to write a second volume of Ruhnama, entitled “Spiritual Wealth of the Turkmen,” which is in your hands now. [9]

Turkmenbashy makes reference in the first book that Ruhnama is not a holy book, but I questioned this in my earlier report. Clearly the requirement that the Ruhnama be placed in Mosques alongside the Qur’an tells you something in this regard.

In the second book, however, the “reverence” which is to be accorded the Ruhnama is detailed so as to leave no doubt that the book is considered holy by its author:

Whenever you take Ruhnama in your hand, remember you are turning it into a drop pouring into the Ocean of the Turkmen Soul! Then, the comfort, pleasure and bliss of a drop reaching the Ocean shall fill your heart.

When you read Ruhnama, you shall be purified, justified; your life and existence shall have a justification; your objectives and intentions shall be fulfilled.

Your existence among the Turkmen shall be accepted!

Do not read Ruhnama hastily; let every bit of thought penetrate your heart!

Read Ruhnama on a table or on something like a prayer rug!

Take Ruhnama into your hand after you purify your heart and body!

Read Ruhnama as if you are saying your prayers; saying prayers means speaking of God and listening to His creatures rather than speaking of His creatures.

Attach great importance to Ruhnama! Do not ever let it lay in an improper place. Do not let it lay under other things. Keep Ruhnama in a special case or cover it…

Read Ruhnama all your life! Read it again and again in childhood, adolescence, boyhood, youth, adulthood and old age since Ruhnama’s pearls of meaning spill out new aspects of every phase of life. [30-32]

Turkmenistan: Laying the groundwork for the Golden Age
Whereas the first book pertains to history, philosophy, government and spiritual matters, the second book concentrates primarily on Turkmen customs, good manners, acceptable behavior, ethics and morals. Clearly, the text is written to educate the people towards becoming good citizens, instilled with a pride in the achievements of past Turkmen civilizations, while preparing them to live in the orderly society envisioned for Turkmenistan’s Golden Age.
It is mandatory to water the mature tree of wisdom and science with the water of newness and freshness of life. Then, human beings, who are customers of mind fruits can enjoy the abundance of wisdom and the science tree. [19]
Turkmenbashy acknowledges the contributions made by religion:
My friends!

Religion is important for us in our Golden Age and in our community life in terms of two aspects. The first one is that religion is a means to learn our beliefs and creed. The second one is that religion is the meaning of life. In the Independent and Eternally Neutral Turkmen State, a secular approach is adopted in life. However, we support the principles and moral values of religion; because morals take its roots from religion. [261]

Environmentalism and the creation of a paradise on earth in Turkmenistan are an integral part of the Golden Age:
By protecting the nature from being deforested, we allowed it to heal in the meantime and treat itself. Nature is the enemy of emptiness. Nature can rapidly fill emptiness with various plants and heals itself. However, this was not enough. With this end, I signed an Edict to turn Turkmenistan into a vast garden. So, we started to help Turkmen nature to flourish and grow plants everywhere.

Mobilization for forestation of Turkmen territory emerged. The trees planted in Turkmen earth in the fall and spring are innumerable. By 2020, if we can implement the State plan thoroughly, Turkmenistan shall turn into a forested and beautiful country. At the moment, millions of fruit trees and millions of trees providing shade are being planted. The abundance of fruits growing in Turkmen territory is the key for strengthening and solidifying people’s health.

I regard planting fruit trees and trees providing shade as the most important state policy because when a tree is planted, Turkmen soil and the heart of Turkmen people will become more beautiful. Turkmenistan shall turn into an evergreen land! [77]

Ruhnama Book II
“The Spiritual Wealth of Turkmen”

Ruhnama II is divided into 21 sections listed in the Table of Contents as follows:

I. The Cultural Life of Turkmen
2. Spirit of Patriotism
3. Happiness at Home
4. Parental Affection
5. Manners for Children
6. Sacredness of Fraternity
7. Manners for Neighbors
8. Manners for Relatives
9. Knowing a Person by His Friend
10. Meaning of Life
11. The Dignity of Being Great
12. Do not be low, Be a Man!
13. Mother; Affection Reflected on Human-Beings
14. How a Young Turkmen Should Be
15. Read, Learn, Know!
16. Everyone His Own Gardener
17. Owner of Heart
18. The Turkmen Does Not Spare His Life in Battles, and His Property at Weddings!
19. Funerals and Commemorations
20. Good Manners of Individuals
21. May Your Soul Be High! (Be Hopeful! Have High Morale!)

Whereas the book is 440-pages I am only able to present selected excerpts but I will do so from each of the 21 sections.

1. The Cultural Life of Turkmen
Turkmenbashy writes:

I am musing over the course of my fruitful life. I am putting all my life, which I have told my people, on a balance. Like a tree having to live on soil for three seasons and generously bearing fruits in the fourth, I read, learnt and thought all through my life and in my sixties, I decided to write Ruhnama.

In the first volume of Ruhnama, I wrote down some of my reflections concerning our people. However, the matters regarding a people cannot be written down, elaborated on or sealed in a single book. I have concluded about our nation: a nation is unity which has two essences. The former is the material essence and the latter is the spiritual essence.

On the one hand, we should follow the path of our ancestors. On the other hand, we should systematize new thoughts, observations and new values, according to the necessities, which our era is highlighting… I thought it necessary to broaden former limits of our adventure of good manners in the first volume of Ruhnama; to turn its direction to life; to accelerate the movement thanks to new ideas, definitions, situations and opinions. [18-19]

2. Spirit of Patriotism
Turkmenbashy writes:
The fatherland is your life.

The fatherland is your root and veins.

The bones of your ancestors are beneath the territory of this fatherland.

Is it possible to see your fatherland which has the angel-looks of your ancestors and motherly affection, the same as a foreign territory? Thanks to your own root, you carry humidity of life to your tree of life.

O Turkmen, is there any door you can knock on if you leave your fatherland?! You can be a guest in foreign lands but you cannot own a house, because foreign lands are already owned.

You can live abroad, but you can be a Turkmen only in this fatherland. [24-25]

3. Happiness at Home
Turkmenbashy writes:
Society begins with family. If you want your society to be decent and neat, you should assure that the family is decent and neat.

No matter how large the family is, it is an ancient tradition to gather around the same table and go through the same door. I have personally witnessed many times that strangers were awed by seeing a grandfather who had six married sons and was now living with his ten or twenty grandchildren under the same roof. Yet, in recent years, this is not a common way of life. The father opens a new house for his newly married son and enables him to survive alone with his father’s blessings and prayers. According to Turkmen traditions, the house of the father is left to the youngest son. Have you ever thought about this? This is because youth symbolizes the future and continuation of the generation. First of all, the youngest son has to carry the teachings of his father to the future. The main purpose of this union is to maintain infinite continuity of life. There can be no dishonesty or cursing like deserting the father’s home or forgetting your ancestor’s graves. [64-65]

4. Parental Affection
Turkmenbashy writes:
Hippocrates: “Human liquid passes through all his organs. For this reason, if a man is healthy, his child will be healthy, too. If he is sick, his children will be ill, too.” Parental affection should be thoroughly instilled before a baby is born, after it is born, when he walks, is breast-fed or while it is sitting, running and eating. [84]

If spring water is contaminated, it will be because of the spring itself. If a brook gets contaminated, the source will be the reason behind that! [86]

The holy child; as sweet and beautiful as the heavens! A child has the innocence, sweetness and cuteness of creation. Man or animal, offspring of all sorts of beings are sweet and beautiful. [89]

Every child has his own world, wishes and dreams. A child regards himself as a grown-up according to himself. Keep them happy and both a child’s heart and himself should be optimistic! [90]

Morality is a child’s door to fortune! Neither fortune nor misfortune occurs haphazardly as if they lost their way. If you are a man of honesty and morality, fortune shall follow you on its own, because honesty is the door to fortune. [107]

5. Manners for Children
This section contains lengthy discourses on courtesy and a child’s respect for his or her parents.

Here is one example:

Love your mother and father, respect them and be polite to them! Your mother and father are your best friends and your most loyal beloved ones. When they love you, be cheerful! When they are sad, comfort them! Be sincere to them! Because you are a part of their heart! Do your best for them because they did their best for you! [139]
6. Sacredness of Fraternity
Turkmenbashy writes:
Beloved boy, beloved girl!

Turkmen is the friend of Turkmen!

Approach each other always with love and affection, be siblings! Then all your concerns shall be relieved; your work shall be successful and you shall have good fortune! [154]

7. Manners for Neighbors
Turkmenbashy writes:
During the judgment of your life on Earth, one of the important witnesses, in terms of your confession of bad deeds and ratification of your good deeds, is your neighbor.

Zerdusht, who is believed to be the prophet who reflected on the judgment day by going beyond the time, pointed out that neighborhood is not only a mundane relation but it is also related with faith. On the judgment day, the amount of your sins is up to the statement of your neighbor. Your neighbor is your supervisor in this world and witness in the other world.

So, carry out your manners of neighborhood! Then, you will make both this world and other worlds prosperous!

Why did God Almighty give an important place to neighbors among significant witnesses?! Because your neighbor is the person who observes all your deeds closely and knows you very well, as supervisor of your life. [162]

8. Manners for Relatives
Turkmenbashy writes:
The Turkmens evaluate a person not only on his personality but also by his relatives and the family he is raised in. First of all, family line is analyzed and later the person.

Since it is important, the conditions for the manners for relatives have been elaborated in details and certain lines are drawn.

Every one of the Turkmens should first consider the reputation of their relatives and kin. Don’t be cold and ignorant to your relatives!

One of the loves which warms up your heart is kinship.

Help your relatives, if you can. The Turkmens are a helpful people; if something occurs to someone, they certainly help him or her out. [178]

9. Knowing a Person by His Friend
Turkmenbashy writes:
Where there is friendship, there will be no burden.

Friendship is like one heart in two separate bodies.

Friendship is a source of happiness and the reason for this is the existence of someone that you fully trust. The fortune which never cheated on me is friendship. [188]

10. Meaning of Life
Turkmenbashy writes:
How beautiful has God created the world that we live in. If our inner world is not as beautiful, pure, clean and worth loving as our outer world, our soul does not develop and remains immature. The food of the soul is love! The wing of the soul is love! Our ancestors have believed that “when a man loves his sacred country more than himself, knows the value of his people; when his country is in danger, he saddles his horse and dies on the field of battle, and he will go directly to heaven.” The souls of lovers that fly like pigeons, from a period of youth onwards, are the most mature souls. For their bodies are under the spell of their souls and their bodies will be flying in the sky with their souls.

Our soul is our essence!

The farmer cultivates, sows, fertilizes, and waters. The white wheat fields run like the sea. When the harvest comes, he stacks his blend like a mountain, reaps the produce and seeks Haydar Baba’s blessing. From the stack that is like a mountain, only a hill of winnowed grain is left behind!

That is the meaning of life! Someday, we have to reap our produce. The greater your produce, the greater your credibility and your trustworthiness becomes. God has created the universe, the whole world, the sons of Adam, the crown of all the creatures, from His love, His mercy, His light and His soul. The sons of Adam love, swim in the sea of compassion, purify, and mature in this world and go back to God.

My dear son!

My dear daughter!

Love, be loved, and lead a great life!

Life is love. You live in a world where there is love. In this beautiful world, in this beautiful life, may your love be beautiful like you! [218-219]

11. The Dignity of Being Great
Turkmenbashy writes:
We should get rid of the idea of living a life of dependency, so embedded in us during the Soviet era. We should digest the spirit of sovereignty and freedom that independence has brought.

Once our independent state consolidated, some politicians, economists, and journalists who viewed themselves as the guardians of democracy, knowing that I made natural gas, electricity, water, and salt free for my people, advised me:

– Nothing is free in a free market ecomony. Economics prefers transaction. That is the rule of economics.

Indeed, economics does have rules. For we are humans after all. However, I absolutely believe that man should not be a slave to the rules of economics. On the contrary, the rules of economics must serve mankind. [226]

12. Do not be low, Be a Man!
Turkmenbashy writes:
A person’s eyes are a mirror to their heart and inner soul… People lie, even when they are under oath, but they cannot lie with their eyes.

Good-hearted people, people who have a rich spiritual life, their eyes will gush out with light, enthusiasm, and affection will scatter from them.

There are eyes such that enthusiasm and affection are so centrally precious.

There are eyes just like an angel’s eyes.

When you look at those eyes, you fill up with affection, you will be exalted as if you have seen God’s face. [239]

My dear Turkmen:

Even if the days are the same for everyone, the road leading to our goals is not.

Sometimes you may face problems that seem like climbing mountains. Sometimes your business will be as easy as going downhill.

One day you may be victorious or a failure at a small task.

In reality, life consists of large and small victories and defeats. Sometimes things will go smooth and sometimes what needs to happen does not.

For people who are locked on their target, their eagerness will never be broken. [240-241]

For those who spend their time beautifully never have enough time. Those engaging in trivial tasks never know how to make use of time. Man must not be a slave to time but must know how to utilize it on his own behalf.

I never have enough time. Twenty-four hours are not enough time for me… I want to see the beautiful plays in the most famous theatres around the world but cannot find the time for it. Archimedes once said “Show me a proper fulcrum and I will lift the world.” If God Almighty should give me enough time, I will at least create a heaven out of Turkmenistan. [244]

Man is very sensitive. You can elevate one to the skies with just one word. A nice word can put wings on a person and make him fly. I have come to understand that the most beautiful, most valuable thing in the world is a beautiful word. I have come to understand that the greatest word in the world is a smiling face. Mankind is looking for riches in the earth’s crust; excavates mountains, ores, diamonds, gold; searches beneath the sea for corals, pearls.

Mankind has been gathering wealth, keeping treasures, and building iron safes to preserve them, since it began living. It thinks that true richness is gold and ore. However, good words are the most important richness of mankind. People hide beautiful words in the most special corners of their hearts. It is not possible to buy or sell good words. I did not write the poem “Say beautiful words to each other” for nothing. The ideas there are my yearnings. I have been living with those hopes since my youth. I have gathered pleasant words from around the world. Those words are all my treasures. The compassionate and blessful things that my mother said half a century ago are still in the most special part of my heart. The compassionate and blessful things that my mother said half a century ago still energize me.

I underline it once again: Do not keep beautiful words from each other. Always be kind, joyful, say pleasant things, pleasant words have wings. Pleasant words give wings to humans. Pleasant words cover life with rainbows. [252-253]

13. Mother; Affection Reflected on Human Beings
This chapter covers a variety of subjects, not just those concerning motherhood. However, it is important to note that in Turkmenistan, unlike the neighboring states of Iran and Afghanistan, women do not wear the veil, burqa or hijab.

Turkmenbashy writes:

Gorgut Ata set the principles of the structure of the Turkmen family. He stated that the woman had an important place. As a lecturer in the field of morals, he declared that the women also had to abide by a variety of moral codes just like men. He said that a good-mannered woman was the base of the household, family. [267]
14. How a Young Turkmen Should Be
Turkmenbashy writes:
Make use of the opportunities you have. A person who believes that time, life and food are provided by God, who is aware that God likes working and motivation, is hopeful, decisive, enthusiastic; since his spirit is in peace. [271]
According to Ruhnama, Islam survived as a result of Turkmen during the crusades of the Middle Ages:
Turkmen people served Islam a great deal.

In history, you can find many documents stating how Turkmen preserved Islam. I would like to give one example from a historian, Riza Nur. At first, Turkmen were against Islam. Turks adopted Islam in the tenth century. After the Turkmen adopted Islam completely, they became a safeguard of the religion. The Turkmen, who were a bridge between Europe and China till then, set a barrier before the crusades in the Middle Ages, they made them fail. Turkmen people alone proved Europeans’ vain in occupying Asia. [280]

However, after extoling the virutes of Turkmen bravery and fighting ability, Turkmenbashy makes a distinction between ‘bravery’ and ‘bullying’:
Respecting people starts first of all by respecting those around you… We should be brave, not like a wolf but like a ram, we should be peaceful and good intentioned like a sheep. Only then can the individuals and all the people live in peace. [282]
15. Read, Learn, Know!
Turkmenbashy writes:
Schools are means of sowing the seeds granted by God in the soil and to get yield from it. [293]

Beloved son, dear daughter!

You should consider school and manners of school values related to the essence and meaning of life. [295]

16. Everyone His Own Gardener
Turkmenbashy writes:
God has created man free, but made him dependent on his being about certain issues. The meaning of freedom consists of the fact that both happiness and wickedness are the consequences of your own will. Toil [hard work] is also a source of happiness that is connected to the will. Thus if you want to be completely happy, you must get accustomed to working from your early ages. Learn to work, to labor, to see their results, to enjoy life at an early age. Happiness is the peak, but you cannot reach the peak instantly. You can only reach the peak gradually. [323]

Achieving to do a simple thing gives it a value. Everything that man accomplishes appears to him as simple. But this leads him to reach higher goals. Mankind ascends continuously in time… Do not hurt yourself by starting to do the job that you are not going to achieve, show your seriousness in the job that you will accomplish! [324, 326]

Love your job! Then you will be happy. If you do your job, your house will be beautiful, you will be beneficial to your people, and your profession will be valuable.

Happiness is gained by working. Zeal is hard work’s comrade. Toil and zeal create miracles. [326]

The Story of Michelangelo and the the Marble-cutter
I want to tell you a story about Michelangelo. The famous master was walking in the market. He visited the marble-cutter. There he saw a big piece of marble. He walked around the marble and stared at it for a long time. The master asked its price.

The marble-cutter replied, “If you want this, you can take it for free! It has been lying here for twelve years. You are the first to show an interest in it. If you think that you can use it, please, take it.”

The master took the stone and worked on it for a year. In a year, the experienced sculptor made the famous magnificent statue from the stone. He depicted Virgin Mary with the pretty baby Jesus in her arms. The master went to the market to show the marble-cutter how a beautiful statue could be made from that stone.

The marble-cutter could not believe his eyes when he saw the statue:

“Where did you buy this beautiful statue?” he asked.

“This is the marble that you gave me for free, the stone which you said that you could not sell for twelve years.”

“How did the idea arise to create a wonderful work of art from that dull and worthless stone?” asked the marble-cutter.

Michelangelo replied, “I did not consider it at that moment. I had the intention to make a gigantic statue like this. When I came to the market, the idea came to my mind. I was wandering under its effect. I looked at the stone that was waiting for twelve years. I would not like to exaggerate, but I thought that I saw Jesus Christ in the stone. He was saying: ‘I am in this stone. Save me.’ I listened to my heart. I felt that I was not deceived. I cut the useless parts from the stone that I took from you, and saved Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary.” [326-327]

Turkmenbashy concludes the story thus:
By telling this event, I aimed to tell you that you should listen to your heart and get accustomed to it. Our heart is the most reliable advisor in our lives. The heart does not betray. We push ourselves into difficult conditions by following it because of our desires. [327]
17. Owner of Heart
Turkmenbashy writes:
Decency does not only smarten a person’s condition and movements, it also purifies his heart. Because decency is not a value of physical beauty, it is, in fact, the unity of inner beauties. Our ancestors, who were mentally and spiritually mature, realized that physical beauty would be meaningless if a person’s inside is not disciplined. When the beauty of position and movement develops with the beauty of heart, the maturity will be perfect and faultless. When the discipline of position and movement becomes dependent on the decency of heart, decency transforms itself into a perfect and complete spiritual wealth.

The decency of believing is the decency of heart. [355]

Turkmen youth must believe in God, and be afraid of Him. Being afraid of God is not being incompetent because the meaning of this fear is different. God is not a physical being. The possession of the Supreme Soul (Zat-i Uluhiyet), who is independent from time and space, must be recognized, and you must obey Him through your entire spiritual life. [362]

Turkmenbashy points out that true Islam iis a religion of peace:
Islam advises purity, simplicity, the clearness of hopes and thoughts, and generosity, and forbids fraud, parsimony, and cruelty.

Islam is a religion founded on the basis of love and respect, and does not oppress the people from other religions, and does not prevent them from practicing their religion. In every country of [true] Islam, the Muslims live in harmony with the people from other religions, and everybody lives according to the rules of their own religion. They have no obstacles. On the contrary, if a religion clashes with another, Islam negotiates between them. In the past, some religions did not allow the religious minorities to live freely, but Islam has never given permission to that. Some leaders attempt to create disagreements by using religion. They want to base it on a foundation, but that does not have a specific basis. The thing that has no foundation collapses easily. Today, there are three thousand religious practices. But there is a single faith on the basis of all these. [363]

Turkmenbashy emphasizes in Book One that Turkmenistan has adopted Islam “with its own interpretations”:
One of the factors that differentiates Turkmens from other nations is our approach towards religion… [Our nation] has accepted Islam with its own interpretations. It managed to synthesize pre-Islamic beliefs and traditions with Islamic ones without deviating from the essence of Islamic principles.” [I:173]
He reiterates this concept again in Book II:
My dear people!

Turkmen people have purified and developed their old tradition for centuries, and brought them to our time; they did not give up their customs and traditions when they changed religion.

Their previous beliefs, customs, and traditions played a significant role in the acceptance of Islam by the Turkmen people’s own will. They declared to the instructors of Islam that they would accept Islam as Turkmen’s religion on the condition that the best manners of their former customs and traditions had to live together with Islam. Since the instructors of Islam realized that Turkmen beliefs and customs coming from the past could not damage the new religion, they set people free in choosing Islam as their religion. [362-363]

I point this out to my readers as this is Turkmenbashy’s justification for placing the Ruhnama alongside the Qur’an in Turkmen mosques. Some have likened Ruhnama as ‘supplementing’ the Qur’an – which in a sense it does, by adding local customs, folklore, history and accomplishments, spiritual beliefs, etc., that are not included in the Qur’an itself.
Turkmen people have believed in the religion of Islam with all their hearts; they have assimilated it in their souls with their beliefs, customs and traditions from the past. [363]
18. The Turkmen Does Not Spare His Life in Battles,
and His Property at Weddings!

Turkmenbashy writes:
The feature that makes Turkmen a real Turkmen is his self-sacrifice in war, and his openhandedness [willingness to give of his possessions] in the festivities and weddings. The courage, fame, and honor of a man are indicated with these measures. The one who can give up his life on the day of war, and his property on the day of festivities is always respected and praised. [385]
19. Funerals and Commemorations
Many aspects of Turkmenbashy’s beliefs regarding death and eternity are compatible with Divine Science and New Thought.

For example, he writes:

Maturity of an individual indicates itself by not only his/her understanding of life but also his/her thoughts on death… Life is a whole and flows towards eternity. Existence is a whole, it is permanent and continuous; on the one side, there is liveliness at one side and death on the other; one of its circles is liveliness and the other is death. To look from this perspective, death is not a final point; it is the inception of life in a different dimension, that is, death covers just a specific period in life, which keeps running. [401]
The remainder of the chapter addresses local Turkmen customs with regard to funeral arrangements and memorial services.

20. Good Manners of Individuals
Turkmenbashy writes:
Good manners of an individual are very important in the spiritual and civic development of the Turkmen people as a nation. [413]

When you notice the small excuses of others, ask yourself whether you have those excuses or not. At this point, you will notice that you have big excuses. Look at yourself first, and then look at others. Wisdom is the guarantee of happiness and the conscience is the guarantee of maturity. If you do not want to be hurt, do not hurt!

You cannot find rest and confidence if your mind does not control your tongue. If you train your will with mind and conscience, happiness comes quickly.

Do not wait for happiness, look for it; do not think that evilness and bad luck vanish; go over them with wisdom and conscience.

A fair person likes his own fairness. Therefore, a person who can sense his fairness, does not need to look for other pleasures. It is not possible to suppress the one who has conscience and fairness.

The one who respects the rights of others cannot be beaten. He becomes more powerful when he is attacked. It is not possible to destroy him. If you destroy his body, you cannot cope with his soul that is a thousand times more powerful than the body. [422-423]

21. May Your Soul Be High! (Be Hopeful! Have High Morale!)
Turkmenbashy writes:
My Dear Citizens!

The aim of good manners is to have the rules of beautiful morality adopted as habits. The best among the good manners is definitely supremacy of the soul.

Having a high soul and holding your head up means to enjoy the cheer and pleasures of life together.

Everything on the earth moves. Even life always flows towards eternity. If you want to understand the reality of life, you have to join it. Therefore, it is necessary to be in high morale to run from success to success. This means, you have to target a bigger one, when you achieve a smaller one. There is no stabilization of movement. There is stabilization only for death, and stabilization suits it.

On hard days, a good mood has much more importance. Since, during hard times, motions of the body and soul slow down. On harder days, they may stop, nothing has resulted. In those days, a human being needs a power not from the outer world, but the inner world. This is a good mood. Silence, unwillingness, and boredom are the enemy of the human. You search for the enemy inside, not outside. They are the hangmen of your rest and confidence. [424-425]

Remember that wealth, success, wisdom, and talent are a test when the way is difficult; poverty, failure, title and reputation are also a means of examination! Give to people on your wealthy days, so that you can have a door to knock at on your hard days. Be a person who is appreciated while everything goes well on your good days, so that others can give a hand when you have hardships. [429]

All the secrets of life are hidden in your relations with life, not in life itself. If you manage to be cautious about wealth and success, on your good days, your perception will not be blurred and you will not be surprised; if you are eager against difficulties during hard days, you won’t be surprised at all. In fact, everything is up to you; if you are in a good mood and earnest, you won’t be surprised in any case. Be modest during your good days and do not lose your hope on your bad days! [430]

Excerpts from the book’s conclusion
I have always been decisive and hopeful. I have always been reading and learning.

My Ruhnama books and collected poems are the literary declaration of my inner world. They are the transfer of my soul to the outer world.

While I am passing the year of the Messenger in these days, like a fruitful tree, I present my spiritual fruits to my people.

The target of my principles and meaning and taste of my life are the same: gaining the happiness of my people and to live in a golden age. [436-437]

My dear Turkmen people, dear Turkmen citizens!

Today, I have deep conviction that the path we follow is the right one.

While finishing the Ruhnama book, this is my wish for every one of you: May God bestow constant great love to the Turkmen territory, state, nation, religion and language for good! [438]

Concluding Comments
Ruhnama Books I and II complement each other and it would be difficult to choose one as my favorite. Both contain wisdom, history, philosophy and guidelines for daily living that are useful to everyone – regardless of where you may live or what religious or spiritual path you are treading.

In preparing this report I have had to, regrettably, omit much material that I would have liked to include. However, I did try to give the reader a general introduction to the book and a glimpse of Turkmenbashy’s perspective on a variety of subjects.

Interestingly, I came across a passage on page 246 that I felt would be a good spiritual conclusion (even though it was in the middle of the book). I noted it as such.

Turkmenbashy writes:

If your endeavors do not come to a successful conclusion, you should not blame the world or God for that.

The problem lies with our thinking! If we think of our life, our world, our surroundings, our personality, and our thoughts as bricks, we build our life with those bricks. If our thought and ideas are strong, so our life will be strong. If our ideas are not baked with our heart, our structure built with wet mud will not stand for too long.

The center of the world, and that of the universe, is our thoughts. Being permanent, dying, the road to damnation are all in our thoughts. A man who is in charge of his thoughts can realize any of his desires. The person who can control his thoughts can, with the help of the sail, the wind, and the rudder, go to whichever island he pleases on the endless sea that is life. In contrast, a person who is a slave to his own thoughts is doomed to go where the sea drifts him.

You are the owner of your own thoughts! If your thoughts are strong and if you have a mature heart, you can fully taste the blessings of life. But, if your thoughts are faulty, your chain of mistakes will continue throughout your life.

If mankind takes the stars as a guide at night, he seeks counsel from great thinkers and his own thoughts during the day time. [246]

Our fruit is our thoughts.
We sail to the future with our thoughts. [247]

“What kind of good things can I do today for my beloved citizens?
I start the day bearing this idea in mind.”

— Turkmenbashy


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