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(Masnavi Book 2: 07) The answer of an ascetic who was warned not to weep, lest he should become blind

How a certain person frightened an ascetic, saying, Weep little, lest you become blind.”

445. A comrade in the work (of religion) said to an ascetic, “Weep little, lest yours eye come to harm.”

The ascetic said, “The case is not outside of (admits only) two (alternatives): the eye will see, or it will not see, that (Divine) Beauty.

If it see the Light of God, what is there to grieve about? How little are two eyes (to him that is) in union with God! And if it shall not see God, let it go! Let such a miserable eye become blind!”
Do not grieve for your eye when that Jesus is yours; do not go to the left (but to the right), that he may give you two right (sound) eyes.

450. The Jesus of your spirit is present with you: beg aid from him, for he is a goodly aider;

But do not every moment lay on the heart of (that) Jesus the unprofitable work of (providing for) a body full of bones, Like the fool whom we mentioned in the story for the sake of the righteous.
Seek not you from your Jesus the life of the body, ask not from your Moses the wish of a Pharaoh.

Burden not your heart with thoughts of livelihood; livelihood will not fail: be (constant in attendance) at the (Divine) Court.

455. This body is a tent for the spirit, or like an ark for Noah.

When the Turcoman is there, he will find a tent, especially when he is one held in honour at the Court (of God).

Conclusion of the story of the coming to life of the bones at the prayer of Jesus, on whom be peace!

Jesus pronounced the Name of God over the bones on account of the young man’s entreaty.
For the sake of that foolish man the decree of God gave life to the form which those bones had possessed. A black lion sprang forth, smote once with its paw, and destroyed his (bodily) image.

460. It tore up his skull: his brain was scattered on the spot-the brain (kernel) of a nut, for in him was no brain. If he had had a brain, his being broken to pieces would have been no injury at all except to his body.
Jesus said (to the lion), “How did you maul him so quickly?” The lion said, “Because you wert troubled by him.”

Jesus asked, “How did not you drink the man’s blood?”  In the (Divine) dispensation it was not granted to me to drink (it),” replied the lion.

Oh, many a one that like that raging lion has departed from the world without having eaten his prey!

465. His (ordained portion is not (even) a straw, while his greed is as (great as) a mountain; he hat no means (of satisfying his desires), though he has gotten the (material) means.

O you who have made it easy for us to do unrewarded and fruitless labour in the world, deliver us! To us it seems a (tempting) bait and It is (really) a hook: show it to us even as it is.
The lion said, “O Messiah, (my killing) this prey was merely for the purpose that warning might be taken (by others).

Had there (still) been for me in the world an allotted portion (of food), what business indeed should I have had with the dead?”

470. This is the punishment deserved by him that finds pure water, and like an ass stales impertinently in the stream. If the ass know the value of the stream, instead of his foot he will pull his head in it.
He (the fool) finds a prophet like that, a lord of the (life-giving) Water, a cherisher of life:
How does not he die before him, saying, “O lord of the Water, make me living by the command ‘Be’? Take heed! Do not wish your currish (fleshy) soul alive, for it is the enemy of your spirit since long ago.

475. Dust be on the head of the bones that hinder this cur from hunting the spirit!

(If) you are not a cur, how are you in love with bones? Why are you in love with blood, like a leech?

What (sort of) eye is that that has no sight, and gets nothing but disgrace from the tests (to which it is put)? Opinions are sometimes erroneous, (but) what (sort of) opinion is this that is blind to the (right) road?
O eye, you makest lament for others: sit down awhile and weep for yourself!

480. The bough is made green and fresh by the weeping cloud, for the (same) reason that the candle is made brighter by (its)
Wheresoever people are lamenting, sit you there (and lament), because you have a better right to moan (than they have), Inasmuch as they are (concerned) with parting from that which passes away, and are forgetful of the ruby of everlasting-ness
that belongs to the mine (of Reality);
Inasmuch as the stamp of blind imitation is (as) a lock upon the heart;-go, scrape off (dissolve) its lock with tears-; Inasmuch as imitation is the bane of every good quality; imitation is (but) a straw, (even) if it is a mighty mountain.

485. If a blind man is big and choleric, deem him (only) a piece of flesh, since he has no eye (eye-sight). Though he (the blind imitator) speak words finer than a hair, his heart has no knowledge of these words.
He has a certain intoxication from his own words, but there is a good way (distance) between him and the Wine. He is like a river-bed: it does not drink any water; the water passes through it to the water-drinkers.
The water does not settle in the river-bed because the river-bed is not thirsty and water-drinking.

490. Like a reed-flute, he makes a piteous lament, but he (only) seeks a purchaser (admirer).

The imitator in his discourse is (like) a professional mourner: that wicked man has no motive except cupidity.
The professional mourner utters burning words (of grief), but where is the glow of heart (heartfelt sorrow) and the rent skirt? Between the true knower and the blind imitator there are (great) differences, for the former is like David, while the other is (but) an echo.

The source of the former’s words is a glow (of feeling), whereas the imitator is one who learns old things (by rote).

495. Beware! Be not duped by those sorrowful words” the ox bears the load, but it is the cart that moans (creaks).

Even the imitator is not disappointed of the (Divine) recompense: the professional mourner gets his wages at the (time of) reckoning.

(Both) infidel and true believer say “God,” but there is a good difference between the two. The beggar says “God” for the sake of bread; the devout man says “God” from his soul.
If the beggar distinguished (God as He really is) from his own saying (the name of God), neither less nor more would remain before his eye.

500. For years that bread-seeker says “god”; like the ass, he carries the Qur’an for the sake of (being fed with) straw. Had the word on his lips shone forth in his heart, his body would have been shivered to atoms.
In sorcery the name of a demon finds the way (to success); you are earning a petty coin by means of the Name of God.

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