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(Masnavi Book 3: 28) The Lover who read a love-letter in the presence of his Beloved







Story of a lover's being engrossed in reading and perusing a love-letter in the presence of his beloved, and how the beloved was displeased thereat. It is shameful to seek the proof in the presence of that which is proved, and blameworthy to occupy one's self with knowledge after having attained to that which is known.

A certain man, (when) his beloved let (him) sit beside her, produced a letter and read it to her. In the letter were verses and praise and laud, lamentation and wretchedness and many humble entreaties.
The beloved said, If this is for my sake, (to read) this at the time of (our) meeting is to waste one's life.
I am here beside you, and you reading a letter! This, at any rate, is not the mark of (true)
lovers.”

1410. He replied, You art present here, but I am not gaining my pleasure well (completely). That which I felt last year on account of you is non-existent at this moment, though I am experiencing union (with thee).
I have drunk cool water from this fountain, I have refreshed eye and heart with its water.
I am (still) seeing the fountain, but the water is not there: maybe some brigand has waylaid (and cut off) my water.
She said, “Then I am not your beloved: I am in Bulghár, and the object of your desire is in Qutú

1415. You art in love with me and (also) with a state of feeling; the state of feeling is not in your hand (in your possession), O youth.
Therefore I am not the whole of that which is sought by thee; I am (only) part of the object of your quest at the present time.
I am (only) the house of your beloved, not the beloved (herself): (true) love is for the cash, not for the coffer (that contains it).”
The (real) beloved is that one who is single, who is your beginning and end.
When you findest him, you wilt not remain in expectation (of aught else): he is both the manifest and also the mystery,

1420. He is the lord of states of feeling, not dependent on any state: month and year are slaves of that Moon.
When he bids the “state, it does his behest; when he wills, he makes bodies (become) spirit. One that is stopped (on the way) is not (at) the (journey's) end; he will be seated, waiting and seeking the state.”
His (the perfect saint's) hand is the elixir that transmutes thestate: (if) he move his hand, the copper becomes intoxicated with him.
If he will, even death becomes sweet; thorns and stings become narcissus and wild-rose.

1425. He that is dependent on thestate is (still) a human being: at one moment he is
(made) greater by the “state, at another moment he is in decrease.

In similitude the Súfí is “the son of the time, but the pure one (şáfí) is unconcerned withtime”
and “state.
“States are dependent on his decision and judgement; (they are) vivified by his Messiah-like breath.
You art in love with your ‘state,’ you art not in love with me; you art attached to me in the hope of (experiencing) the state.’”
He that at one moment is deficient and at another moment perfect is not He that was worshipped by Khalíl (Abraham): he is one that sinks;

1430. And he that is liable to sink and is now that and (now) this is not the (true) beloved: “I
love not them that sink.”
He that is now pleasing and now unpleasing, at one time water and at one moment fire,
May be the mansion of the Moon, but he is not the Moon; he may be the picture of the Adored
One, but he is not conscious.
The Súfí that seeks purity is ‘the son of the time’: he has clasped thetime tightly as (though it were) his father.
The pure one áfí) is plunged in the Light of the Glorious (God); he is not the son of any one, (he is) free from ‘times and states’—

1435. Plunged in the Light which is unbegotten: (the description) He neither begetteth nor is
He begotten belongs to God (alone).
Go, seek a love like this, if you art (spiritually) alive; otherwise, you art a slave to the changing
“time.”
Do not regard your ugly or beauteous form; regard Love and the object of your search.
Do not regard the fact that you art despicable or infirm; look upon your aspiration, O noble one. In whatsoever state you be, keep searching; O you with dry lip, always be seeking the water,

1440. For that dry lip of yours gives evidence that at last it will reach the springhead. Dryness of lip is a message from the water (to say) that this agitation (anxious search) will certainly bring you to the water,
For this seeking is a blessed motion; this search is a killer of obstacles on the Way to God.
This search is the key to the things sought by thee; this (search) is your army and the victory of your banners.
This search is like chanticleer crowing and proclaiming that the dawn is at hand.

1445. Although you have no equipment, do you be ever seeking: equipment is not necessary on the Way of the Lord.
Whomsoever you seest engaged in search, O son, become his friend and cast your head before him,
For through being the neighbour of the seekers you (yourself) wilt become a seeker, and from
the shadows (protection) of the conquerors you (yourself) wilt become a conqueror.
If an ant has sought (to attain) the rank of Solomon, do not look languidly (contemptuously) on its quest.
Everything that you have of wealth and (skill in) a handicraft (or profession) was it not at first a quest and a thought?

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