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(Masnavi Book 2: 66 Book Complete) The miracles wrought by an ascetic in the desert




How the pilgrims were amazed at the miracles of the ascetic whom they found (living) alone in the desert.


Amidst the desert lived an ascetic, absorbed in devotion like the people of ‘Abbádán*.

The pilgrims from (different) countries arrived there: their eyes fell upon the parched ascetic.


3790. The dwelling-place of the ascetic was dry, (but) he was moist in temperament: in the simoom of the desert he had a remedy (for his moistness).

The pilgrims were amazed at his solitude and his welfare in the midst of bane.
He stood on the sand, (engaged) in the ritual prayersand from the heat whereof the water in a pot would boil. You would have said he was (standing) enraptured amongst herbs and flowers, or mounted on Buráq or Duldul; Or that his feet were on silk and broidered cloths; or that to him the simoom was more pleasant than the zephyr.


3795. They (the pilgrims) stood waiting, (whilst) he remained standing in prayer, (sunk) in long meditation.

When the dervish came back (to himself) from (his state of) absorption (in God), one of that company, a man (spiritually) alive and of enlightened mind,

Observed that water was trickling from his hands and face, (and that) his garment was wet with the traces of ablution; So he asked him, “Whence have you water?” He lifted his hand, (indicating) that it came from heaven.
He (the pilgrim) said, “Does it come whenever you wilt, without (any) well and without (any) rope of palm-fibre?


3800. Solve our difficulty, O Sultan of the Religion, in order that your (spiritual) experience may give us certain faith. Reveal to us one of your mysteries, that we may cut from our waists the cords (of infidelity).
He (the ascetic) turned his eyes to heaven, saying, “(O God), answer the prayer of the pilgrims!

I am accustomed to seeking daily bread from above: you have opened to me the door from above,

O you who from non-spatiality have brought space into view, and have made manifest (the fact that) in heaven is your daily bread.


3805. In the midst of this orison a fair cloud suddenly appeared, like a water bearing elephant,

And began to pour down rain, like water from a water-skin: the rain-water settled in the ditch and in the hollows. The cloud kept raining tears, like a water-skin, and the pilgrims all opened their water-skins.
One party (among them), in consequence of those marvellous happenings, were cutting the cords (of unbelief) from their waists.

The certainty (faith) of another group was on the increase because of this miracle—and God knows best how to guide aright.


3810. Another group (were) unreceptive, sour and unripe, eternally imperfect ones. (Here) ends the discourse.

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