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(Masnavi Book 3: 85) The Foal that would not drink






Parable of the foal's refusing to drink the water because of the bawling of the grooms.

As he has said in his discourse, the foal and its mother were drinking the water.
Those persons (the grooms) were bawling incessantly at the horses, “Come on! Hey, drink!” (The noise of) that bawling reached the foal: it was lifting its head and refusing to drink.

4295. Its mother asked,O foal, why art you always refusing to drink this water?” The foal said, These people are bawling: I am afraid of the occurrence of their shouts.
Therefore my heart is trembling and jumping: dread of the occurrence of the outcry is coming on
me.”
The mother said, Ever since the world existed, there have been busybodies of this sort on the earth.”
Hark, do your own business, O worthy man: soon will they tear their beards (in sorrow).

4300. The time is restricted, and the abundant water is flowing away: (drink) ere, through being parted (from it), you fall to pieces.
There is a famous conduit, full of the Water of Life: draw the Water, in order that verdure may grow up from you.
We are drinking the water of Khizr from the river of the speech of the saints: come, O heedless
thirsty man!
If you do not see the water, artfully after the fashion of the blind bring the jug to the river, and dip it in the river.
Forasmuch as you have heard that there is water in this river-bed, (go and try): the blind man
must practise conformity.

4305. Carry down to the river the water-skin that has thoughts of the water, so that you may find your water-skin heavy.
When you have found it heavy, you will be led to infer (the truth): at that moment your heart is delivered from dry conformity.
If the blind man does not see the river-water ocularly, yet he knows, when he finds the jug
heavy,
That some water has gone from the river into the jug; for this (jug) was light, and (now) it has become heavy and swollen with water;
Because, (he will say), “every wind used to sweep me away, (but now) the wind does not sweep me away: my weight has increased.”

4310. The foolish are swept away by every gust of desire, because they have no weight
(ballast) of (intellectual) faculties.
The wicked man is an anchorless ship, for he finds no precaution (means of defence) against the perverse (contrary) wind.
To the intelligent man the anchor of intelligence is security: beg (such) an anchor from the intelligent.
Since he (the Sage) has borne away the succours (supplies) of intelligence from the pearl- treasury of that Sea of Bounty,
By such succours (replenishments) the heart is filled with knowledge: it (that knowledge) shoots
from the heart, and the eye too becomes illuminated,

4315. Because the light from the heart has settled upon this eye so that your eye, having become the heart, is (physically) inactive.
When the heart too has come into contact with the intellectual Lights, it bestows a portion thereof on the eyes also.
Know, then, that the blessed Water from Heaven is the inspiration of (men's) hearts and the true
explanation (of every mystery).
Let us also, like that foal, drink the water of the stream; let us pay no regard to the evil suggestions of the railer.
(If) you are a follower of the prophets, tread the Way: deem all the railing of (human) creatures to be a (vain and empty) wind.

4320. When have the Masters who have traversed the Way lent ear to the clamour of curs?

The remainder of the story of the guest in the guest-killing mosque.

Relate what appeared in the mosque to that self-sacrificing valiant man, and what he did.
He slept in the mosque, (but) where (how) in sooth had he sleep? How should a submerged man sleep in the river?
Always, for the lovers (of God) beneath the flood of a (great) passion, there is (only) the sleep of
birds and fishes.
At midnight came an awful voice, I come, I come upon you, O you that seekest advantage.”

4325. Five times came such a terrible voice, and his heart was being rent piecemeal.

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