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(Masnavi Book 3: 83) Why the Saints take refuge in mountains and caves





It is explained that the going of the prophets and the saints, on whom be peace, to mountains and caves, is not for the purpose of hiding themselves and on account of their fear of being disturbed by the people, but for the purpose of guiding the people in the right way and inciting them to abandon this world as much as is possible.

4250. As for their saying that the saints are (dwelling) in the mountains in order that they may be hidden from the eyes of men,
In the sight of the people they are higher than a hundred mountains and plant their footsteps on
the Seventh Heaven.
Why, then, should he who is beyond a hundred seas and mountains become hidden and seek
(refuge in) the mountains?
He has no need to flee to the mountains, he in pursuit of whom the colt, Heaven, has dropped a hundred horse-shoes.
The celestial sphere revolved (so long) and never saw the dust of the spirit; (hence) Heaven
donned the garb of mourning.

4255. If, outwardly, the peri is hidden, (yet) Man is a hundred times more hidden than the peris.
In the view of the intelligent, Man is indeed a hundred times more hidden than the peri who is concealed.
Since, in the view of the intelligent, Man is hidden, how (hidden) must be the Adam who is pure
(chosen of God) in the unseen world!

Comparison of the form of the saints and the form of the speech of the saints to the form of the rod of Moses and to the form of the incantation of Jesus, peace be on them both!

Man is like the rod of Moses; Man is like the incantation of Jesus.
For the sake of justice and for the sake of decorum, the true believer's heart is in the hand of
God, between (His) two fingers.

4260. Its (the rod's) exterior (form) is a piece of wood, but (all created) existence is one mouthful to it when it opens its throat.
In the incantation of Jesus do not regard (merely) the letter and the sound: regard the fact that
Death turned and fled from it.
In his incantation do not regard the petty words: consider that the dead sprang up and sat down. In (the case of) that rod, do not regard the easy getting (of it): regard the fact that it cleft the
green sea.
You have seen from afar the black canopy: take a step forward and behold the army!

4265. From afar you see nothing but the dust: advance a little and see the man in the dust. His dust makes eyes bright; his manliness uproots mountains.
When Moses came up from the remotest part of the desert, at his advent Mount Sinai began to
dance.

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