Search Poetry

(Masnavi Book 2: 11) Parable for those who say “if”


A certain stranger was hasily seeking a house: a friend took him to a house in ruins.

740. He said (to the stranger),If this (house) had a roof, it would be a home for you beside me. Your family too would be comfortable, if it had another room in it.”
Yes,” said he, “it is nice (to be) beside friends, but my dear soul, one cannot lodge in ‘if’.”

All the world are seekers of happiness, and on account of a false happiness they are in the fire.

Old and young have become gold-seekers, but the common eye does not distinguish alloy from gold.

745. The pure (gold) shot a beam on the alloy: see that you choose not the gold on the ground of (mere) opinion, without a touchstone.

If you have a touchstone, choose; otherwise, go, devote yourself to him that knows (the difference).

Either you must have a touchstone within your own soul, or if you know not the Way, do not go forward alone. The cry of the ghouls is the cry of an acquaintance—an acquaintance who would lure you to perdition.
She (the ghoul) keeps on crying, “Hark, O caravan people! Come towards me, here is the track and the landmarks.”

750. The ghoul mentions the name of each, saying “O so-and-so,” in order that she may make that personage one of those who sink.

When he reaches the spot, he sees wolves and lions, his life lost, the road far off, and the day late. Prithee say, what is the ghoul's cry like? (It is) “I desire riches, I desire position and renown.” Prevent these voices from (entering) your heart, so that (spiritual) mysteries may be revealed.
Repeat (in prayer) the name of God, drown the cry of the ghouls, close your narcissus eye to this vulture.

755. Know the difference between the false dawn and the true, distinguish the colour of the wine from the colour of the cup, That, perchance, from the eyes which see the seven colours patience and waiting may produce a (spiritual) eye,
(With which) you may behold colours other than these, and may behold pearls instead of stones. What pearl? Nay, you will become an ocean, you will become a sun traversing the sky.
The Worker is hidden in the workshop: go you and in the workshop see Him plain.

760. Inasmuch as the work has woven a veil over the Worker, you cannot see Him outside of that work. Since the workshop is the dwelling-place of the Worker, he that is outside is unaware of Him.
Come, then, into the workshop, that is to say, non-existence, that you may see the work and the Worker together. As the workshop is the place of clairvoyance, then outside of the workshop there is (only) blindfold ness.
The rebellious Pharaoh kept his face towards existence, consequently he was blind to His (God's) workshop.

765. Consequently he was wishing to alter the (Divine) predestination, that he might turn back the (Divine) destiny from his door.

Truly the (Divine) destiny every moment was laughing derisively under its lip at the moustache (arrogance) of that cunning plotter.
He killed hundreds of thousands of innocent babes, in order that the ordainment and predestination of God might be averted. In order that the prophet Moses might not come forth, he laid on his neck (made himself responsible for) thousands of
iniquities and murders.

He wrought all that bloodshed, and (yet) Moses was born and was made ready for his chastisement.

770. Had he seen the workshop of the Everlasting (God), he would have ceased to move hand or foot in plotting. Moses (lay) safe within his (Pharaoh's) house, while outside he was killing the infants in vain,
Even as the sensual man who pampers his body and suspects some one else of a bitter hatred (against him),
Saying, “This one is a foe, and that one is envious and an enemy, (though) in truth his envier and enemy is that body (of his). He is like Pharaoh, and his body is his Moses: he keeps running (to and fro) outside, asking, “Where is my enemy?”

775. His fleshly soul (is) luxuriating in the house, which is his body, (while) he gnaws his hand in rancour against some one else.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mehroom e Tamasha Ko Phir Deeda e Beena de
Dekha Hai Jo Kuch Me ne Oron Ko bhi Dikhla Dee
. . . . . . . . . . . .(Allama Muhammad Iqbal)...

Post a comment