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(Masnavi Book 5: 27) Death and Resurrection









The (Divine) answer, (namely), One who does not regard causes and diseases and sword-wounds will likewise pay no regard to your action, O Azrael, for you too art a (secondary) cause, although you art more concealed than those (other) causes.” And maybe it (the real nature of Azrael) is not concealed from the sick (dying) man, for He (God) is nigher to him than ye are, but ye do not see.

1710. God said, He who perceives the origin (does not regard the derivative): how, then, should he be conscious of your intervention?
Although you have concealed yourself (Your real nature) from the vulgar, still to the clear-eyed (mystics) you art (no more than) a veil (instrument).”
And (indeed) those to whom death is (sweet) as sugarhow should their sight be intoxicated (dazzled)
with the fortunes (of this world)?
Bodily death is not bitter to them, since they go from a dungeon and prison into a garden.
They have been delivered from the world of torment: none weeps for the loss of (what amounts to) nothing, nothing.

1715. (If) an elemental spirit breaks the bastion of a prison, will the heart of any prisoner be angry with him?
(Will they say?) Alas, he has broken this marble stone, so that our spirits and souls have escaped from confinement.
The beautiful marble and the noble stone of the prison-bastion were pleasing and agreeable (to us).
Why did he break them, so that the prisoners escaped? His hand must be broken (cut off) as a penalty for
this (crime).”
No prisoner will talk such nonsense except that one who is brought from prison to the gallows.

1720. How should it (death) be bitter to one whom they take from amidst snake-poison towards sugar? The soul, freed from the turmoil of the body, is soaring on the wings of the heart (spirit) without bodily feet (means of movement),
Like the prisoner in a dungeon who falls asleep at night and dreams of a rosegarden,
And says, O God, do not bring me (back) to my body, (but let me alone) in order that I may walk as a prince in this garden.”
God says to him, Your prayer is granted: go not back”and God best knoweth the right course.

1725. Consider how delightful is such a dream! Without having seen death, he (the dreamer) goes into
Paradise.
Does he feel any regret for (his former) wakefulness and for the body (which he has left) in chains at the bottom of the dungeon?
(If) you art a true believer, come now, enter the ranks of battle, for a feast has been (prepared) for you in
Heaven.
In the hope of journeying upwards, (arise and) take your stand before the mihráb, (to pray and weep) like a candle, O youth!

Let your tears fall like rain, and burn (be ardent) in search (aspiration) all night long, like the candle beheaded (by the flame).

1730. Close your lips against food and drink: hasten towards the Heavenly table.
Continually keep your hope (fixed) on Heaven, dancing (quivering) like the willow in desire for Heaven. Continually from Heaven (spiritual) water and fire will be coming to you and increasing your provision. If it (Your aspiration) bear you thither, it is no wonder: do not regard your weakness, regard your search (aspiration);
For this search is God's pledge (deposited) within you, because every seeker deserves something sought
(by him).

1735. Strive that this search may increase, so that your heart (spirit) may escape from this bodily dungeon. People will say, “Poor so-and-so is dead,(but) you wilt say, I am living, O ye heedless ones!
Though my body, like (other) bodies, is laid to rest, the Eight Paradises have blossomed in my heart.
When the spirit is lying at rest amidst roses and eglantines, what does it matter if the body is (buried) in that dung?
What should the spirit (thus) laid asleep know of the body, (or care) whether it (the body) is in a rose- garden or an ashpit?

1740. (For) in the bright (celestial) world the spirit is crying, Oh, would that my people knew!
If the spirit shall not live without this body, then for whom shall Heaven be the palace (of everlasting abode)?
If your spirit shall not live without the body, for whom is the blessing (promised in the words) in Heaven is your provision?

Explaining the banefulness of the fat and sweet things of the World and how they hinder one from (receiving) the Food of God, as he (the Prophet) has said—“Hunger is the Food of God with which He revives the bodies of the true (witnesses to Him),” i.e. in hunger the Food of God is (forthcoming); and he has said, “I pass the night with my Lord and He gives me food and drink”; and God has said, “being provided for, rejoicing.

(If) you are delivered from this provision of gross scraps, you will fall to (eating) dainty viands and noble food.
(Even) if you are eating a hundred pounds' weight of His viands, you will depart pure and light as a peri;

1745. For they will not make you a prisoner of (incapacitated by) wind and dysentery and crucify you with gripes.
(In the case of material food) if you eat (too) little, you will remain hungry like the crow; and if you eat your fill, you will suffer from eructation.
If you eat (too) little, (the result will be) ill-temper and anaemia and consumption; if you eat your fill, your body will incur (the penalty of) indigestion.
Through (partaking of) the Food of God and the easily digested (delicious) nutriment, ride like a ship on such a (spiritual) ocean.
Be patient and persistent in fasting: (be) always expecting the Food of God;

1750. For God, who acts with goodness and is long-suffering, bestows (His) gifts (on them that are) in expectation.
The full-fed man does not wait expectantly for bread, (wondering) whether his allowance will come soon or late;
(But) the foodless man is always asking, “Where (is it)?and expecting it hungrily and seeking and searching (for it).
Unless you are expectant, that bounty of manifold felicity will not come to you.
(Practise) expectation, O father, expectation, like a (true) man, for the sake of the dishes from above.

1755. Every hungry man obtained some food at last: the sun of (spiritual) fortune shone upon him.

When a magnanimous guest will not eat some (inferior) food, the host brings better food, Unless he be a poor host and a mean one. Do not think (so) ill of the generous Provider!
Lift up your head like a mountain, O man of authority, in order that the first rays of the Sun may strike upon you;
For the lofty firm-based mountain-peak is expecting the sun of dawn.

Reply to the simpleton who has said that this world would be delightful if there were no death and that the possessions of the present life would be delightful if they were not fleeting, and (has uttered) other absurdities in the same style.

1760. A certain man was saying, “The world would be delightful, were it not for the intervention of death.”
The other said, If there were no death, the tangled world would not be worth a straw. It would be (like) a stack heaped up in the field and neglected and left unthreshed.
You have supposed (what is really) death to be life: you have sown your seed in a barren soil.
The false (discursive) reason, indeed, sees the reverse (of the truth): it sees life as death, O man of weak judgement.”

1765. Do you, O God, show (unto us) everything as it really is in this house of illusion.
None that has died is filled with grief on account of death; his grief is caused by having too little provision
(for the life hereafter);
Otherwise (he would not grieve, for) he has come from a dungeon into the open country amidst fortune and pleasure and delight;
From this place of mourning and (this) narrow vale (of tribulation) he has been transported to the spacious plain.
(’Tis) a seat of truth, not a palace of falsehood; a choice wine, not an intoxication with buttermilk.

1770. (’Tis) the seat of truth, and (there) God is beside him: he is delivered from this water and earth of the fire-temple.
And if you have not (yet) led the illuminative life, one or two moments (still) remain: die (to self) like a
man!

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