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(Masnavi Book 2: 36) The Police Inspector and the drunken man

How the Police Inspector summoned the man who had fallen dead-drunk (on the ground) to (go to) prison.

The Inspector came at midnight to a certain place: he saw a man lying at the bottom of a wall.

He cried, “Hey, you are drunk: tell (me), what have you been drinking?” Said the man, I have drunk of this which is in the jar.”

Pray, said he, explain what is in the jar.” He replied, “Some of what I have drunk.” “(But), said the Inspector, “this is hidden (from sight).”

2390. He asked (again), “What is it that you have drunk?” He rejoined, “That which is hidden in the jar.”

These questions and answers were becoming a (vicious) circle. The Inspector was left (stuck) in the mud, like an ass. The Inspector said to him, “Come now, say ‘Ah’”; (but) the drunken man, at the moment of utterance, said “Hú, Hú.”
I told you to say ‘Ah’,” said he; “you are saying ‘Hú’.” “(Because) I am glad,” he replied, “while you are bent with grief.

Ah’ is (uttered) on account of pain and grief and injustice; the ‘Hú, Hú’ of the wine-drinkers is from joy.

2305. The Inspector said, “I know nothing about this. Get up, get up! Don't retail mystic lore, and leave off this wrangling.” Go away, said the man; “what have you to do with me?” “You are drunk,” the Inspector said. “Get up and come to prison.” Said the drunken man, “O Inspector, let me alone and go away. How is it possible to carry off pledges from one that is naked?
If indeed I had had the power to walk, I should have gone to my house—and (then) how would this (affair between us) have occurred?

Were I (still) possessed of understanding and of contingent (unreal) existence, I should be on the bench, (giving instruction)
like the Shaykhs.

How the inquirer, for the second time, drew that eminent (saint) into conversation, in order that his condition might be made better known (to the inquirer).

2400. That seeker said, “O you mounted on the cane, pray, ride your horse this way for one moment.”

He rode towards him, crying, “Hark, say as quick as you can (what you want), for my horse is very restive and fierce- tempered.

Be quick, lest he kick you: explain clearly what you are asking about.”
He (the inquirer) saw no opportunity to tell his heart's secret: he at once made an evasion and drew him into jesting talk. He said, “I wish to marry a woman in this street: who is suitable for one like me?

2405. “There are three kinds of women in the world,” said he: “two of those are a sorrow, and one is the soul's treasure. The first, when you marry her, is wholly yours; and the second is half yours and half separate (from you);
And the third, know she is not yours at all. You have heard this. Away (with you)!I start in a trice— Lest my horse let fly a kick at you, so that you fall and never rise up (again).”
The Shaykh rode off amongst the children, (but) the young man shouted to him once more,

2410. “Come, prithee declare the exposition of this. you have said that these women are of three kinds: pick (them) out.”

He rode towards him and said to him, “The virgin of your choice will be wholly yours, and you will gain freedom from sorrow;

And she that is half yours is the (childless) widow; and she that is nothing (to you) is the married woman with a child: When she has a child by her first husband, her love and whole heart will go there.
(Now) get away, lest my horse launch a kick, and the hoof of my restive horse land upon you.”

2415. The Shaykh gave a loud cry of jubilation and rode back: he again called the children to him. That inquirer shouted to him once more, “Come (hither), I have one question left, O sovereign king.”
He rode back in this direction. “Say what it is,” he cried, “as quick as you can, for yonder child has enraptured my heart*.”

Said the other, “O king, with such intelligence and erudition (as you has), what dissimulation is this? What acting is this? Oh,
it is a marvel!

You transcendest the Universal Intellect in (thy power of) elucidation. you art a sun: how art you hid in madness?

2420. He replied, “These rascals are proposing to make me Cadi in this their city.

I raised objections, (but) they said to me, ‘Nay, there is none so learned and accomplished as thou.

Whilst you art in existence, it is unlawful and wicked that any one inferior to you should cite Prophetic Traditions in the office of Cadi.
Permission is not (given) in the Law, that we should appoint one less than you as (our) prince and leader.’ By this necessity I was made distraught and mad (in appearance), but inwardly I am just the same as I was.

2425. My intelligence is the (hidden) treasure, and I am the ruin (which covers it); if I display the treasure, (then) I am mad

The (real) madman is he that has not gone mad, he that has seen this night patrol and has not gone home.

My knowledge is substantial, not accidental; and this precious (thing) is not for (the purpose of gaining) every (worldly)
I am a mine of candy, I am a plantation of sugar-canes: it is growing from me, and at the same time I am eating (of it). Knowledge is conventional and acquired (not real), when he (its owner) laments because the hearer is averse to (hearing) it.

2430. Since it is (learned) as a bait (for popularity), not for the sake of (spiritual) enlightenment, he (the seeker of religious knowledge) is just as (bad) as the seeker of vile worldly knowledge;
(For) he is seeking knowledge on account of the vulgar and the noble, not in order that he may win release from this world. Like a mouse, he has burrowed in every direction, since the light drove him (back) from the door (the entrance to the hole) and
said, ‘Away!

Inasmuch as he had no way (of getting out) to the open country and the light, he continued to make (such) an exertion even in that darkness.

If God give him wings, the wings of Wisdom, he will escape from mousiness and will fly like the birds;

2435. But if he seek not wings, he will remain underground with no hope of traversing the path to Simák. Dialectic knowledge, which is soulless, is in love with (eager for) the countenance of customers;
(But) though it is robust at the time of disputation, it is dead and gone when it has no customer. My purchaser is God: He is drawing me aloft, for God has purchased.
My bloodwit (the reward of my self-sacrifice) is the beauty of the Glorious One: I enjoy my bloodwit (as) lawful earnings.

2440. Abandon these insolvent customers: what purchase can be made by a handful of (worthless) clay? Do not eat clay, do not buy clay, do not seek clay, because the eater of clay is always pale-faced.
Eat your heart (in love of God), that you may be young always, (and that) your visage (may be rosy) with Divine illumination, like the arghawán.

O Lord, this gift is not (within) the compass of our work (achievement): verily, (the gift of) your grace is (not according to our work, but) according to your mysterious grace.

Take our hands (help us); buy (redeem) us from our hands (self-existence); lift the veil (between you and us), and do not tear

our veil (do not expose us to shame).

2445. Redeem us from this filthy self (nafs): its knife has reached our bones.

Who will loose these strong chains from helpless ones like us, O king uncrowned and unthroned? Who except (You in) your bounty, O Loving One, can loose such a heavy lock?
Let us turn our heads from ourselves towards you, inasmuch as you art nigher unto us than we (unto ourselves).

Even this prayer is your gift and lesson (to us); else, wherefore has a rose-bed grown in an ash-pit?

2450. Save through your munificence, It is impossible to convey understanding and reason into the midst of blood and entrails.

This flowing light (proceeds) from two pieces of fat (the two eyeballs): their waves of light reach up to the sky. The piece of flesh which is the tongue—from it the flood of Wisdom is flowing, like a stream,
Towards a cavity, whereof the name is “ears,” up to the orchard of the (rational) soul, whereof the fruit is intellections.

Its main course is the highway of the orchard of souls; the orchards and gardens of the world are its branches.

2455. That, that, is the source and fountainhead of joy: quick, recite (the text), (gardens) beneath which flow the rivers.

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