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(Masnavi Book 2: 25) The blind beggar who said, “I have two blindnesses”








How a sightless beggar said, “I have two blindnesses.”



There was a blind man who used to say, “Pity! I have two blindnesses, O people of the time.

Therefore, hark ye, show unto me twice as much compassion, since I have two blindnesses, and I (live) between (them.)”


1995. (Somebody) said, “We see one blindness of yours: what may the other blindness be? Explain.”

He answered,I have an ugly voice and unpleasing tones: ugliness of voice and blindness are double (blindness). My ugly cry becomes the source of annoyance: the people's love is lessened by my cry.
Whithersoever my ugly voice goes, it becomes the source of anger and annoyance and hatred.

Double your compassion for (these) two blindnesses: make room (in your hearts) for one who gets so little room.”


2000. The ugliness of (his) voice was diminished by this plaint: the people became of one mind in (showing) compassion for him.

When he had told the secret (and explained his meaning), his voice was made beautiful by the graciousness of the voice of his heart;

But that one whose heart's voice also is bad—(for him) those three blindnesses are banishment everlasting (from the favour of
God);

Yet it may be that the bounteous (saints), who give without cause, will lay a hand (of blessing) upon his ugly head.

Since his (the blind beggar's) voice became sweet and pitiable, the hearts of the stonyhearted were made (soft) as wax thereby.


2005. Inasmuch as the infidel's lament is ugly and (like) braying, for that (reason) it meets with no (favourable) response.

Be silent has come down (has been revealed in the Qur’án) against the ugly-voiced (infidel), for he was drunken with the people's blood, like a dog.

Inasmuch as the lament of the bear attracts compassion, (while) your lament is not like this, (but) is unpleasing, Know that you have behaved with wolfishness to (a) Joseph, or have drunk of the blood of an innocent.
Repent, and empty yourself of what you have drunk; and if your wound is old (and unhealed), go, cauterise (it).





          Continuation of the story of the bear and of the fool who had put trust in its good faith.

2010. The bear, too, when it was delivered from the dragon and received such kindness from that brave man—

Like the dog of the Men of the Cave, that poor bear became an attendant at the heels of him that bore the burden (of the fight with the dragon).

That Moslem, from fatigue, laid down his head (to rest); the bear, from devotion (to him), became (his) guard.
A certain man passed by and said to him, “What has happened? O brother, who is this bear (in relation) to you?” He recounted the adventure, and the story of the dragon. The other said, “Do not set your heart on a bear, O fool!


2015. The friendship of a fool is worse than (his) enmity: it (the bear) ought to be driven away by every means you know.”

He (the man with the bear) said (to himself), “By God, he has said this from envy; otherwise,” (he said aloud), “why do you look at the bearishness (of the bear)? Behold this affection (which it has for me)!”

The affection of fools,” said the other, “is beguiling; this envy of mine is better than its (the bear's) affection.

Hey, come with me and drive away this bear: do not choose the bear (as your friend), do not forsake one of your own kind!”

Go, go,” said he, “mind your own business, O envious man!” Said the other, “This was my business, and it was not your fortune (to follow my advice).


2020. I am not less than a bear, O noble sir: abandon it, in order that I may be your comrade. My heart is trembling with anxiety for you: do not go into a forest with a bear like this.
This heart of mine has never trembled in vain; this is the Light of God, not pretence or idle brag.
I am the true believer who has become seeing by the Light of God. Beware and beware! Flee from this fire-temple!” He said all this, and it entered not his ear: suspicion is a thick barrier to a man.


2025. He took his hand, and he (the man with the bear) withdrew his hand from him. The other said, “I will go, since you are not a well-guided friend.”
Go,” cried he; “be not troubled for me; don't carve (retail) so much wisdom, O meddlesome one!”

He answered him, (saying), I am not your enemy: it would be a kindness if you would come after me.”

I am sleepy,” said he; “let me alone, go!” He replied, “Pray, give in to your friend,

So that you may sleep under the safeguard of a sage, under the protection of one loved (by God), a man of heart (spiritual insight).”


2030. The man was thrown by his (the other's) earnestness into a (groundless) fancy: he became angry and quickly averted his face,

Thinking, “Mayhap this man has come to attack me—he is a murderer; or he has hope (of gain)—he is a beggar and a tout; Or he has wagered with his friends that he will make me afraid of this companion.”
From the wickedness of his heart, not (even) one good surmise came into his thoughts at all.

His good opinions were wholly for the bear: to be sure, he was of the same kind as the bear.


2035. Through currishness, he suspected a sage and deemed a bear affectionate and just.

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