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(Masnavi Book 3: 74) The appearance of the Holy Spirit in human shape to Mary, the Mother of Jesus













The appearance of the Holy Spirit (Gabriel) in the shape of a man to Mary when she was undressed and washing herself, and how she took refuge with God.

3700. Before the slipping away of your possessions, say to the form (of created things), like
Mary, (I take) refuge from you with the Merciful (God).”
Mary in her chamber saw a form that gave increase of life a life-increasing, heart-ravishing one.
That trusted Spirit rose up before her from the face of the earth, like the moon and the sun.
Beauty unveiled rose up from the earth (in) such (splendour) as the sun rises from the East. A trembling came over Mary's limbs, for she was undressed and was afraid of evil.

3705. (’Twas) such a form that if Joseph had beheld it plainly, he would have cut his hand in amazement, like the (Egyptian) women.
It blossomed from the earth like a rose before her—like a phantasy which lifts its head from the heart.
Mary became selfless (beside herself), and in her selflessness she said,I will leap into the Divine protection,
Because that pure-bosomed one had made a habit of betaking herself in flight to the Unseen.
Since she deemed the world a kingdom without permanence, she prudently made a fortress of that (Divine) Presence,

3710. In order that in the hour of death she should have a stronghold which the Enemy would find no way to attack.
She saw no better fortress than the protection of God: she chose her abidingplace near to that castle.
When she beheld those amorous reason-destroying glances whereby hearts were ever being pierced (as) by arrows
King and army are enthralled by Him, the sovereigns of wit (intelligence) are made witless by
Him;
Hundreds of thousands of kings are held in servitude by Him; hundreds of thousands of full- moons He has given over to (love's) wasting fever;

3715. Zuhra has not the courage to breathe (a word); Universal Reason, when it sees Him, humbles itself.

What shall I say? for He has sealed my lips: His furnace has consumed the place (channel) of my breath.
I am the smoke of that fire, I am the evidence for it—far from that King be their false interpretation!
Verily, there is no evidence for a sun except the light of the lofty sun.
Who (what) is the shadow that it should be an evidence for Him? It is enough for it that it should be abased before Him.

3720. This majesty (which I have attributed to Him) in (the matter of) evidence declares the truth: all perceptions are behind (Him), He is outstripping (them).
All perceptions are (mounted) on lame asses; He is mounted on the wind that flies like an arrow. If He flee, none (of them) finds the dust of the King; and if they flee, He bars the way in front (of
them).
All the perceptions are unquiet: it is the time for battle, not the time for the (festal) cup.
One perceptive faculty is flying like a falcon, while another, (swift) as an arrow, is tearing its place of passage;

3725. And another is like a ship with sails, and another is turning back every moment. When an object of chase appears to them from afar, all those birds (the perceptions) increase (the speed of) their onset.
When it vanishes from sight, they become lost: like owls, they go to every wilderness, Waiting, with one eye closed and one eye open, that the delectable prey may appear.
When it tarries long, they say (from weariness), We wonder whether it was a (real) prey or a
phantom.

3730. The right course is that, for a short while, they should gather come strength and vigour by (taking) a rest.
If there were no night, on account of cupidity all people would consume themselves by the agitation (of pursuit).
From desire and greed of amassing gain, every one would give his body to be consumed.
Night appears, like a treasure of mercy, that they may be delivered from their greed for a short while.
When a feeling of (spiritual) contraction comes over you, O traveller, it is (for) your good: do not
become afire (with grief) in your heart,

3735. For in that (contrary state of) expansion and delight you are spending: the expenditure
(of enthusiasm) requires an income of (painful) preparation (to balance it).
If it were always the season of summer, the blazing heat of the sun would penetrate the garden And burn up from root and bottom the soil whence its plants grow, so that the old (withered) ones would never again become fresh.
If December is sour-faced, (yet) it is kind; summer is laughing, but (none the less) it is burning
(destroying).
When (spiritual) contraction comes, behold expansion therein: be fresh (cheerful) and do not let wrinkles fall on your brow.

3740. Children are laughing, and sages are sour: sorrow appertains to the liver, and joy arises from the lungs.
The eye of the child, like (that of) the ass, is (fixed) on the stall; the eye of the wise man is
(engaged) in reckoning the end.
He (the child) sees the rich fodder in the stall, while this (wise man) sees his ultimate end to be death by (the hand of) the Butcher.
That fodder is bitter (in the end), for this Butcher gave it: He set up a pair of scales for our flesh.
Go, eat the fodder of wisdom which God has given (us) disinterestedly from pure bounty.


3745. O slave (to your lusts), you have understood bread, not wisdom, (to be meant) in that
(text) which God has spoken unto youEat ye of His provision.
God's provision in the (present) stage (of your existence) is wisdom that will not choke you at the last (in the world hereafter).
(If) you have closed this (bodily) mouth, another mouth is opened, which becomes an eater of
the morsels of (spiritual) mysteries.
If you cut off your body from the Devil's milk, by (thus) weaning it you will enjoy much felicity. I have given a half-raw (imperfect) explanation of it, (like) the Turcomans' illboiled meat: hear
(it) in full from the Sage of Ghazna.

3750. In the Iláhí-náma that Sage of the Unseen and Glory of them that know (God) explains this
(matter).
(He says), Eat (feel) sorrow, and do not eat the bread of those who increase (your) sorrow
(hereafter), for the wise man eats sorrow, the child (eats) sugar (rejoices).”
The sugar of joy (hereafter) is the fruit of the garden of sorrow (here): this (sensual) joy is the wound and that (spiritual) sorrow is the plaster.
When you see (spiritual) sorrow, embrace it with passionate love: look on Damascus from the
top of Rubwa.
The wise man is seeing the wine in the grape, the lover (of God) is seeing the thing (entity) in the non-existent.

3755. The day before yesterday the porters were quarrelling (and crying), Don't you lift (it), let me lift his load (and carry it off) like a lion!”
Since they were seeing profit in that toil, each one was snatching the load from the other.
What comparison is there between God's reward and the reward given by that worthless creature? The former gives you a treasure as your reward, and the latter a groat.
(God gives you) a golden treasure that remains with you when you lie (buried) under the sand and is not left as a heritage.
It runs before your hearse and becomes your companion in the tomb and in the state where all is strange.

3760. For the sake of your death-day be dead (to self), now, so that you may be (united) with everlasting Love, O fellow-servant.
Through the curtain of the struggle (against self) renunciation sees the face like a pomegranate-
flower and the two tresses of the Desired One.
Sorrow is as a mirror before the struggler, for in this contrary there appears the face of the
(other) contrary.
After the (one) contrary, (which is) pain, the other contrary, that is, gladness and triumph, shows its face.
Observe these two qualities (contraction and expansion) in the fingers of your hand: assuredly
after the closing of the fist comes the opening.

3765. If the fingers be always closed or entirely (invariably) open, he (their owner) is like an afflicted person.
His work and action is regulated by these two qualities: these two conditions are (as) important
for him as the bird's wings (to the bird).
When Mary was all at once dismayed, like those fishes on land,

[How the Holy Spirit said to Mary, I am sent to you by God: be not agitated and do not hide from me, for this is the (Divine) command.”]

The Exemplar of (Divine) Bounty cried out to her, I am the trusted (messenger) of the Lord: be not afraid of me.
Do not turn your head away from the exalted (favourites) of (Divine) Majesty, do not withdraw yourself from such goodly confidants.”

3770. He was saying this, and (meanwhile) from his lips a wick (ray) of pure light was going up to Simák (Arcturus) step by step (uninterruptedly).
You art fleeing from my existence into non-existence (the Unseen World): in non-existence I
am a King and standard-bearer.
Verily, my home and dwelling-place is in non-existence: solely my (outward) form is before the
Lady (Mary).
O Mary, look (well), for I am a difficult form (to apprehend): I am both a new moon and a phantasy in the heart.
When a phantasy comes into your heart and settles (there), it is (still) with you wheresoever thou
fleest—

3775. Except an unsubstantial and vain phantasy which is one that sinks (and disappears) like the false dawn.
I am of the light of the Lord, like the true dawn, for no night prowls around my day.
Hark, do not cry Lá hawl against me, O daughter of Imrán, for I have descended hither from hawl.
Lá hawl was my origin and sustenance—the light of that Lá hawl which was prior to the spoken word.
You art taking refuge from me with God: I am in eternity the image of (Him who is) the (only)
refuge.

3780. I am the refuge that was oft (the source of) your deliverance. You takest refuge (from me), and I myself am that refuge.
There is no bane worse than ignorance: you art with your Friend and do not know how to make love.
You art deeming your Friend a stranger: upon a joy you have bestowed the name of a grief.Such a date-palm, which is our Friend's favour—since we are robbers, His date-palm is our gallows.
Such a musky (fragrant) object, which is the tress of our Prince—since we are demented, this
(tress) is our chain.

3785. Such a (Divine) grace is flowing like a Nilesince we are Pharaohs, it is becoming like blood.
The blood is saying, I am water. Beware, do not spill (me)! I am (really) Joseph, (but) you make me the wolf, O contentious man.
Don't you see that a long-suffering friend becomes like a snake when you have grown hostile to him?
His flesh and fat (real nature) is unchanged: (’tis) only in appearance (that) he has become so
evil.

How that Wakil, (moved) by love, made up his mind to return to Bukhara recklessly.

Leave the candle of Mary lighted, for that aredent (lover) is going to Bukhara,

3790. Mightily impatient and in the blazing furnace (of love). Go, make a transition to the
(story of the) Şadr-i Jahan.
This “Bukhara is the source if knowledge; therefore every one who has that (knowledge) is a native of Bukhara.”

In the presence of a Shaykh you are in Bukhara”: see that you do not look onBukhara as lowly.
Save with lowliness (shown by you), its difficult ebb and flow will not give (you) entrance into the
Bukhara of his heart.
Oh, happy he whose carnal soul is abased! Alas for that one whose recalcitrance destroys (him)!

3795. Separation from the Şadr-i Jahan had shattered (the Wakils) foundations to pieces in his soul.
He said, I will rise up and go back thither: if I have become an infidel, I will believe once more.
I will go back thither and fall before him-before its (Bukhara’s) kindly-thinking Şadr (Prince) I will say,I throw myself before you: revive (me) or cut off my head, like a sheep!
It is better to be slain and dead before you, O Moon, that to be the king of the living in another
place.

3800. I have put it to the test more than a thousand times: I don not deem my life sweet without you.
Sing to me, O object of my desire, the melody of resurrection! Kneel, O my she-camel! The joy is complete.
O earth, swallow my tears- surely they are enough. Drink, O my soul, a draught that is now pure!
You have returned to us, O my festival! Welcome! How goodly is the refreshment you have brought, O Zephyr!’”
He said, “Farewell, my friends: I have set out towards the Şadr who commands and is obeyed. Moment by moment I am being roasted in the flames. (of separation from him): I will go thither,
come what may!
Although he is making his heart like a hard rock (against me), my soul is bound for Bukhara.
It is the abode of my Friend and the city of my King: in the lover’s eyes this is (the meaning of)
love of ones native land.”

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