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(Masnavi Book 1: 20) Commentary on a saying of Fariduddín Attar



Commentary on the saying of Farídu’ddín ‘Attár, may God sanctify his spirit—
“Thou art a sensualist: O heedless one, drink blood (mortify thyself) amidst the dust (of thy bodily existence), For if the
spiritualist drink a poison, it will be (to him as) an antidote.”
It does not harm the spiritualist (saint) though he drink deadly poison for all to see,
Because he has attained to (spiritual) health and has been set free from (the need for) abstinence, (while) the poor seeker (of God) is (still) in the (state of) fever.

1605. The Prophet said, “O bold seeker, beware! Do not contend with any one who is sought.”
In thee is a Nimrod: do not go into the fire. If thou wish to go in, first become Abraham!
When thou art neither a swimmer nor a seaman, do not cast thyself (into the sea) from a (feeling of) self-conceit.
He (the saint) fetches pearls from the bottom of the sea, from losses he brings gain to the surface.
If a perfect man (saint) take earth, it becomes gold; if an imperfect one has carried away gold, it becomes ashes.

1610. Since that righteous man is accepted of God, his hand in (all) things is the hand of God.
The hand of the imperfect man is the hand of Devil and demon, because he is in the trap of imposition and guile.
If ignorance come to him (the perfect man), it becomes knowledge, (but) the knowledge that goes into the imperfect man becomes ignorance.
Whatever an ill man takes becomes illness, (but) if a perfect man takes infidelity, it becomes religion.
O thou who, being on foot, hast contended with a horseman, thou wilt not save thy head. Now hold thy foot (desist)!

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