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(Masnavi Book 3: 12) The Jackal that fell into the dyeing-vat and pretended to be a Peacock




How the jackal fell into the dyeing-vat and was dyed with many colours and pretended amongst the jackals that he was a peacock.

A certain jackal went into the dyeing-vat, stayed in the vat for a while,

And then arose, his skin having become particoloured, saying, I have become the Peacock of
‘Illiyn.
His coloured fur had gained a charming brilliance, and the sun shone upon those colours.
He beheld himself green and red and roan and yellow, (so) he presented himself (gleefully) to the jackals.

725. They all said, O little jackal, what is the matter, that you have in your head manifold exultation?
Because of exultation you have turned aside from us (with disdain): whence have you brought
this arrogance?”
One of the jackals went to him and said, O so-and-so, have you acted deceitfully or have thou
(really) become one of those whose hearts rejoice (in God)?
You have acted deceitfully to the end that you mayest jump on to the pulpit and by your palaver give this folk (the feeling of) regret.
You have striven much, (but) you have not felt any (spiritual) ardour; hence from deceit you have exhibited a piece of impudence.”

730. (Spiritual) ardour belongs to the saints and prophets; on the other hand, impudence is the refuge of every impostor;
For they draw the people's attention to themselves, saying, We are happy (with God), though within (at heart) they are exceedingly unhappy.

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