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(Masnavi Book 2: 35) The dog and the blind mendicant






How the dog attacked the mendicant who was blind.



A dog was attacking, as (though it were) a warlike lion, a blind mendicant in a certain street.


2355. The dog rushes angrily at dervishes; the moon smears her eyes with dust of (the feet of) dervishes.

The blind man was made helpless by the dog's barking and by (his) fear of the dog; the blind man began to pay honour to the dog.

Saying, “O prince of the chase, and O lion of the hunt, yours is the (upper) hand: refrain your hand from me!”—

For, (moved) by necessity, that (renowned) philosopher paid honour to (one vile as) the tail of an ass, and gave him the title of “noble.”

He (the blind man) too, of necessity, said, “O lion, what (good) will come to you from such a meagre prey as I am?

2360. your friends are catching onagers in the desert; you art catching a blind man in the street; this is bad. your friends seek on agers by hunting (them); you in (mere) malice seekest a blind man in the street.”
The knowing dog has made the onager his prey, while this worthless dog has attacked a blind man.
When the dog has learned the knowledge (imparted to him), he has escaped from error: he hunts lawful prey in the jungles. When the dog has become knowing (álim), he marches briskly; when the dog has become a knower of God (‘árif), he becomes (as) the Men of the Cave.


2365. The dog has come to know who is the Master of the hunt. O God, what is that knowing light?
(If) the blind man knows it not, It is not from (his) having no eye (to see); nay, It is because he is drunken with ignorance. Truly, the blind man is not more eyeless than the earth; and this earth, by the grace of God, has become a seer of (God's)
enemies.

It saw the Light of Moses and showed kindness to Moses; (but) Qárún it engulfed, (for) it knew Qárún.

It quaked for the destruction of every false pretender: it understood (the words that came) from God, “O earth, swallow (thy water)! 2370 Earth and water and air and sparking fire are unacquainted with us, but acquainted with God.
Contrariwise, we are aware of (things) other than God, (but) unaware (heedless) of God and of so many warners (prophets). As a necessary consequence, they (the elements) all shrank from (accepting) it (the trust offered to them): (the edge of) their
impulse to partake of life was blunted.

They said, “We all are averse to this life, (namely), that one should be living in relation to created beings and dead in relation to God.”

When he (any one) remains away from created beings, he is orphaned (single): for intimacy with God, the heart must be free (from relations with aught besides).


2375. When a thief steals some article of property from a blind man, the blind man is blindly lamenting. Until the thief say to him, “It is I that stole from you, for I am an artful thief,”
How should the blind man know his thief, since he has not the eye's light and that radiance (of vision)?

When he (the thief) speaks (and confesses), at once take tight hold of him, that he may tell the marks (descriptive) of the (stolen) goods.

The Greater Jihád (Holy War), then, consists in squeezing (him) to the dregs, in order that he may tell what he has stolen and what he has carried off.


2380. First, he has stolen your eye-salve; when you take it (from him), you will regain (your) insight.

The goods of wisdom, which have been lost by (your) heart, are certainly to be found with the man of heart (the saint).

The blind of heart, notwithstanding (his possession of) life and hearing and sight, is never knowing the devilish thief by the traces (which he leaves).

Seek (that knowledge) from the man of heart; do not seek it from the inanimate, for (all other) people are inanimate beside (in comparison with) him.

The seeker of counsel approached him (the saint who was feigning madness), saying, “O father who have become (as) a child, tell (me) a secret.”


2385. He answered, “Begone from this door-ring, for this door is not open. Turn back: to-day is not the day for secrets.

If the spatial had (any) access to the non-spatial, I should be (seated) on the bench, (giving instruction) like the Shaykhs (spiritual directors).”

1 comment:

begum rasheeda said...

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