Search Poetry

Loading...

(Masnavi Book 4: 64) The King and his Boon-companion and the Courtier who acted as intercessor







How a king was enraged with his boon-companion, and an intercessor interceded on behalf of the object of (the king's) anger and begged the king (to pardon the
offender); and how (when) the king accepted his intercession, the boon-companion resented the action of the intercessor and asked, “Why did you intercede?

A king was enraged with a boon-companion and was about to reduce him to smoke and dust. The king drew his sword from the scabbard that he might inflict upon him the punishment for that disobedience.

2935. No one had the courage to utter a word nor any intercessor to venture on intercession, Except one amongst the courtiers namedImádu l-Mulk, (who was) privileged in respect of intercession, like Mustafá (Mohammed).
He sprang up and at once prostrated himself: the king immediately put away from his hand the sword of vengeance,
And said, If he is the (very) Devil, I forgive him; and if he has done a satanic deed, I cover it up. Since you have intervened, I am satisfied, (even) if the culprit has committed a hundred acts of harm.

2940. I can break (annul) a hundred thousand angers, seeing that you have such excellence and such worth;
(But) nowise can I break (annul) your supplication, because your supplication is assuredly my
supplication.
(Even) if he had thrown earth and heaven into confusion, this man would not have escaped from
(my) vengeance;
And if (the whole world) atom by atom had become a suppliant (for his release), he would not have saved his head from the sword at this moment.
We confer no obligation on you (by this), O noble one; but (on the contrary) it is (only) to
explain your honour (the honour in which I hold thee), O boon-companion.

2945. You didst not make this (intercession), for assuredly I made it, O you whose qualities are buried in my qualities.
In this (matter) you art the one employed to do the work, not the (prime) doer (of it), inasmuch
as you art borne by me and art not (yourself) the bearer.
You have become (the instrument of my action, according to the text) You didst not throw when you threwest: like the foam, you have abandoned yourself in the wave.
You have become not; (now) take up your abode beside except. This is wonderful, that you art both a prisoner and a prince.
You didst not give what you gavest: the king gave it. He alone is. God best knoweth the right
course.”

2950. And the boon-companion who had been delivered from the stroke of calamity was offended with this intercessor and drew back from (his former) fealty.
He cut off all (relations of) friendship with that sincere man, and turned his face to the wall in order that he might not give (him) the salaam.
He became estranged from his intercessor; in astonishment at this the people began to talk,
Saying, (If) he is not mad, how did he cut off friendly relations with the person who redeemed his life?
He (the intercessor) redeemed (saved) him from beheading at that moment: he (the culprit)
ought to have become the dust of his (the intercessor's) shoe.

2955. He has gone the reverse way and has taken (the course of) renouncing (his friend): he has taken to cherishing enmity against a beloved like this.”
Then a certain mentor reproached him, saying, Why are you acting so unjustly towards a loyal friend?
That elect beloved redeemed your life and saved you from beheading at that moment.

If he had done evil (towards you), you ought not to have turned away (from him; but) that praiseworthy friend was especially your benefactor.
He replied, “Life is freely given for the king's sake: why should he come as an intercessor between (us)?

2960. At that moment mine was (the state described by the words) I am with God in a state wherein no chosen prophet is my peer.’
I desire no mercy but the blows of the king; I desire no refuge except that king.
I have naughted all besides the king for the reason that I have devoted myself to the king. The king, if he behead me in his wrath, will bestow on me sixty other lives.
It is my business to hazard (and lose) my head and to be selfless; it is the business of my
sovereign king to give (me) a (new) head.”

2965. Honour to the head that is severed by the King's hand! Shame on the head that betakes itself to another!
The night which the King in his wrath covered with pitch (pitchy darkness) holds in disdain a
thousand days of festival.
Verily, the circumambulation performed by him who beholds the King is above wrath and grace and infidelity and religion.
Not one word (capable of) expressing it has (ever) come into the world, for it is hidden, hidden, hidden,
Inasmuch as these glorious names and words were manifested from the reel (uttered from the mouth) of Adam.

2970. He (God) taught (him) the names was an Imám (an infallible authority) for Adam; but
(the teaching was) not in the garb of (letters such as)ayn and lám.
When he put on his head the cap of water and clay, those spiritual names became black-faced, For they assumed the veil of letters and breath, (only) in order that the essential reality might (gradually) be made manifest to the water and clay.
Although from one point of view speech is a revealer, yet from ten points of view it is a curtain
and concealer.

No comments:

Post a Comment