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(Masnavi Book 4: 48) The Man who failed to profit by the wise counsels of a Bird





Explaining that the promise made by the fool at the moment of seizure (punishment) and contrition is faithless, for though they should be sent back, they would surely return to that which they were forbidden to do, and verily they are liars. The false dawn keeps not faith.

Reason was saying to him, Folly is with you: with Folly (as your companion), the promise will be broken.
The keeping of promises appertains to reason: you have not reason: begone, O you whose value is that of an ass!
Reason remembers its covenant: understanding rends the veil of forgetfulness.

2290. Since you have not reason, forgetfulness is your ruler: it is your enemy and the bringer- to-naught of your devising.
From deficiency of reason the wretched moth does not re member the flame and the burning and
the (crackling) sound (when its wings are scorched).
When its wings are burnt, it repents; (but) cupidity and forgetfulness dash it (again) into the flame.


Grasp and apprehension and retentiveness and keeping in mind belong to Reason, for Reason has raised those (faculties).
When the pearl is not there, how should its lustre exist? When there is none to remind (admonish the fool), how should he turn back (from folly)?

2295. Moreover, this wish (to escape from the consequences of his folly) arises from his want of reason, for he does not see what is the nature of that folly.
That contrition was the result of pain, not of Reason which is bright as a treasure.
When the pain departed, that contrition became naught: that repentance and contrition has not the worth (even) of dust.
That contrition burgeoned from (was produced by) the darkness of pain; hence (as the proverb
says) day wipes out the words of night
When the darkness of pain is gone and he (the fool) has be come happy, its result and product also goes from his heart.

2300. He is making vows of repentance, whilst the Pir, Reason, is crying, Though they should be sent back, they would surely return.”


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