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(Masnavi Book 5: 23) The Puppies that barked before they were born






A mystic saw a bitch big with young, in whose womb the young were barking. He remained in amazement, saying, The reason of a dog's barking is to keep watch (against strangers): to bark in the mother's womb is not (for the purpose of) keeping watch; and, again, barking may be a call for help, or its cause may be a desire for milk, etc.; and there is no such purpose in this case. When he came to himself, he made supplication to God—and none knoweth the interpretation thereof except Allah. Answer came: It represents the state of a party who pretend to (spiritual) insight and utter (mystical) sayings without having come forth from the veil (of materiality) and before the eyes of their hearts have

been opened. Thence neither to themselves do strength and support accrue, nor to their hearers any guidance and right direction.

1445. During a chila (forty days' religious seclusion), a certain man dreamed that he saw a bitch big with young on a road.
Suddenly he heard the cry of puppies: the puppies were in the womb, invisible.
The yelps astonished him exceedingly: (he wondered) how the puppies called out in the womb.
Puppies howling in the wombhas any one, (he thought), ever seen this in the world?”
When he sprang up from his dream and came to himself, his perplexity was increasing at every moment.

1450. During the chila there was none by whom the knot should be untied except the Presence of God
Almighty and Glorious.
He said, O Lord, on account of this difficulty and debate I am deprived of recollection (dhikr) of you during the chila.
Loose my wings, that I may soar and enter the garden of recollection and the apple-orchard (of gnosis).”
At once (in reply) there came to him a mysterious voice, saying, Know that it is an emblem of the idle talk of the ignorant,
Who, without having come forth from the veil and curtain, (being) blindfold have begun to speak in vain.”

1455. The yelp of the dog in the womb is (useless) loss: (in such a case) he is neither a starter of hunted animals nor a keeper of watch by night.
He has not seen the wolf, so as to prevent him; he has not seen the robber, so as to repel him.
He (a man of this sort), because of covetousness and desire for eminence, is dull as regards (spiritual)
vision and bold in prating.
From desire for the purchaser and warm admirer, (being) devoid of insight, he begins to talk nonsense. Without having seen the Moon, he gives indications: thereby he perverts (misleads) the (ignorant) countryman.

1460. On account of the purchaser he gives a hundred indications describing the Moon which he has never seen, for the sake of (gaining) power.
There is in truth one Purchaser who is profitable, but concerning Him they (these impostors) have a (great)
suspicion and doubt.
In their desire for the inglorious purchaser, these people have thrown the (real) Purchaser to the winds. He is our PurchaserGod has purchased: hark, rise above anxiety for any (other) purchaser.
Seek the Purchaser who is seeking you, One who knows your beginning and end.

1465. Beware, do not try to win every purchaser: it is bad to make love to two sweethearts.
You wilt not get interest or capital from him, if he purchase (you): in sooth he has not the price for (your)
reason and intellect.
He has not even the price of half a horseshoe, and you art offering him (what is precious as) corundum and rubies.
Cupidity has blinded you and will deprive you (of blessedness): the Devil will make you accursed like himself.
Just as that wrathful (fiend) made accursed like himself the Fellows of the Elephant and the people of Lot.

1470. The patient (devout and self-denying) have gained the Purchaser, since they did not hasten towards every purchaser.
He that averted his face from that Purchaserfortune and felicity and everlasting life are quit of him. Grief remains for ever (as a doom) on the covetous, as happened to the people of Zarwán in their envy.

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