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(Masnavi Book 2: 60) John the Baptist and Jesus






How Yahyá*, on whom be peace, in his mother's womb bowed in worship to the Messiah (Jesus), on whom be peace.



The mother of Yahyá, before disburdening herself (of him), said in secret to Mary,

I see (it) with certainty, within you is a King who is possessed of firm purpose and is an Apostle endowed with knowledge
(of God).

When I happened to meet you, my burden (the unborn child) at once bowed in worship.


3605. This embryo bowed in worship to that embryo, so that pain arose in my body from its bowing.” Mary said, “I also felt within me a bowing performed by this babe in the womb.”


One raising a difficulty as to this story


The foolish say, “Cancel this tale, because it is false and erroneous.
Mary in (her) pregnancy was not joined (met) by any one: she did not return from without the town. Until that woman of sweet address was delivered outside of the town, she indeed came not into it.


3610. When she had given birth to him, she then took him up in her lap and carried him to her kinsfolk. Where did the mother of Yahyá see her to speak these words to her about what had happened?”



The answer to the difficulty


Let him (the objector) know that to one who receives ideas (from God) all that is absent in the world is present. To Mary, the mother of Yahyá would appear present, though she was far from her (bodily) sight.
One may see a friend (even) with eyes shut, when one has made the skin (the bodily envelope) a lattice (to let in spiritual ideas).


3615. And if she saw her neither from without nor from within, take the (essential) meaning of the story, O imbecile! Not like him who had heard (some) fables, and like sh stuck to the (literal) shape of them,
So that he would say, “How should Kalíla, having no language, hear words from Dimna who had no power of expression?

And (even) if they knew each other's accents, how should man understand it (their talk), (since it was) without any articulation?

How did Dimna become a messenger between the lion and the ox, and cajole them both with his palaver?

3620. How did the noble ox become the vizier of the lion? How was the elephant terrified by the reflection of the moon? This Kalíla and Dimna is entirely fiction, or else how has the stork a quarrel with the crow?”
O brother, the story is like a measure: the real meaning in it resembles grain (in the measure).

The man of intelligence will take the grain of meaning: he will not pay any regard to the measure, (even) if it is removed (altogether).

Listen to what passes between the rose and the nightingale, though in that case there is no overt speech.

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