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(Masnavi Book 3: 90) The perfidious Lover

How the Beloved caressed the senseless lover, that he might return to his senses.

The Sadr-i Jahan, from kindness, was drawing him little by little from senselessness into (the capacity for) clear expression.

4665. The Prince cried into his ear, 0 beggar, I bring gold to scatter oer thee; spread out your skirt.
Thy spirit, which was quivering (with distress) in separation. from me—since I have come to protect it, how has it fled?
O you who have suffered heat and cold in separation from me, come to yourself from selflessness
and return!
The domestic fowl, in the manner of a host, foolishly brings a camel to her house.
When the camel set foot in the hen’s house, the house was destroyed and the roof fell in.

4670. The hen’s house is our (weak) intelligence and understanding the good intelligence is a seeker of God’s she-camel
When the she-camel put her head into its water and clay, neither its clay remained there (in
existence) nor its soul and heart.
Pre-eminence in love made Man overweening: because of this desire for excess he is very unjust
and very ignorant.
He is ignorant, and in this difficult chase the hare is clasping a lion in his arms. How would he clasp the lion in his arms, if he knew and saw the lion?

4675. He is unjust to himself and to his own soul: behold an in-justice that bears away the ball (the palm) from (all) justices!
His ignorance is the teacher to (all) knowledges, his injustice has become the right way for (all)
He (the Sadr-i Jahán) took his (the lovers) hand, saying, This man whose breath has departed will (only) then come (to life) when I give him (spiritual) breath.
When this man whose body is dead shall become l through Me, (then) it will be My spirit that turns its face towards Me.
By means of this spirit I make him possessed of high estate:(only) the spirit that I give sees
(experiences) My bounty.

4680. The unfamiliar (unprivileged) spirit does not see the face of the Beloved: (none sees it)
except that spirit whose origin is from His dwelling-place.

Butcher-like, I breathe upon this dear friend, in order that his goodly inward part may leave the skin.”
He said, 0 spirit that have fled from tribulation, We have opened the door to union with Us;
O you whose selflessness and intoxication is (caused by) Our Self, O you whose being is incessantly (derived) from Our Being,
Now, without lip, I tell you the old mysteries anew: hearken!

4685. (I tell you silently) because those (bodily) lips are fleeing from (are unable to apprehend) this Breath (Word); it is breathed forth on the lip (bank) of the hidden River.
At this moment open the ear of earlessness for the sake of ‘(hearing) the mystery of God doeth what He -willeth.
When he began to hear the call to union, little ‘by little, the dead man began to stir.
He (the lover of God) is not less than the earth which at the zephyrs blandishments puts on (a garment of) green and lifts up it head from death;
He is not less than the seminal water from which at the (Divine) bidding there are born Josephs
with faces like the sun;

4690.He is not less than a wind (from which) at the command “Be! peacocks and sweet- voiced birds came to being in the (birds) womb
He is not less than the mountain of rock which by parturition brought forth the she-camel that brought forth a she-camel
Leave all this behind. Did not the substance of non bring forth, and will it not bring forth
continually, a (whole)Universe?
He (the man of Bukhárá) sprang up and quivered and whirled once or twice (in dance) joyously, joyously; (then) fell to worship.

How the senseless lover came to himself and turned his face in praise and thanksgiving to the Beloved.

He said,O ‘Anqa of God, (you who art) the place of the spirit’s circling flight, ( give) thanks that you hart come back from yonder mountain of Qaf.

4695. O Siráffl (Seraphiel) of Love’s resurrection place O Love of love and O Heart’s-desire of love,
I desire, as the first gift of honour you wilt give me, that you lay yours ear on my window.
Albeit through (your) purity you knowest my feelings, lend ear to my words, O cherisher of your slave.
Hundreds of thousands of times, O unique Prince, did my wits fly away in longing for your ear— That hearing of yours and that listening of yours, and those life-quickening smiles of thine;

4700. That hearkening unto my lesser and greater (matters), (and unto) the beguilements of my evil-thinking (suspicious) soul.
Then my false coins, which are well-known to you, you didst accept as (though they were) genuine money; For the sake of the boldness (importunity) of one (who was) impudent and deluded, O you beside whose clemency (all) clemencies are (but) a mote!
Firstly, hear that when I abandoned (your) net the first and the last {this world and the next) shot
away (disappeared) from before me;
Secondly, hear, O loving Prince, that I sought long, (but) there was no second to thee;

4705. Thirdly, since I have gone away from you, it is as though I have said, the third of three
Fourthly, forasmuch as my cornfield is burnt-ups, I do not know the-fifth (linger) from the fourth

Wherever you findest blood on the sods, (if) you investigate, it will certainly (prove to) be
(blood) from mine eye.
My words are (as) the thunder, and this noise and moaning demands of-the cloud that it should rain upon the earth.
Between words and tears I continue (in doubt) whether I should weep or speak: hew shall I do?

4710. If I speak, the weeping will be lost; and if I weep, how shall I render thanks and praise?
Heart’s blood is falling from mine eye, O King: see what has befallen me from mine eye!
The emaciated man said this and began to weep (so violently) that both base and noble wept for him.
So many ecstatic cries ca up from his heart (that) the people of Bukhára made a ring around
(He was) speaking crazily, weeping crazily, laughing crazily: men and women, small and great were bewildered.

4715. The (whole) city, too, shed tears in conformity with him: men and women were gathered together as (at) the Resurrection.
At that moment the heaven was saying to the earth, If you have never seen the Resurrection,
behold it (now)!”
The (intellect (was) bewildered, saying, “What is love and what is ecstasy? (I know not) whether separation from .Him or union with Him is the more marvellous.”
The sky read the letter (announcement) of Resurrection (and was so distraught that) it rent its
garment up to the Milky Way.
Love bath estrangement with (is a stranger to) the two worlds: in it are two-and-seventy madnesses.

4720. It is exceedingly hidden, and (only) its bewilderment is manifest the soul of the spiritual sultans is pining for it
Its religion is other than (that of) the two-and-seventy sects: beside it the throne of Kings is
(but) a splint-bandage.
At the time of the sama Love’s minstrel strikes up this (strain): “Servitude is chains and lordship headache.”
Then what is Love? The Sea of Not-being: there the foot of the intellect is shattered’ Servitude and sovereignty are known: loverhood is concealed by these two veils.

4725. Would that Being had a tongue; that it might remove the veils from existent beings! O breath of (phenomenal) existence, whatsoever words you mayest utter, know that thereby you have bound another veil upon it (the mystery). .
That utterance and (that) state (of existence) are the bane of (spiritual) perception: to wash
away blood with blood is absurd, absurd.
Since I am familiar with His frenzied ones, day and night I am breathing forth (the secrets of
Love) in the cage (of phenomenal existence).
You art mightily drunken and senseless and distraught: yesternight on which side have you slept, O (my) soul?

4730. Beware, beware! Take heed lest you utter a breath! First spring up and seek a trusted friend.
You art a lover and intoxicated, and your tongue (is) loosed!
—God! God! you art (like) the camel on the water-spout’! When the tongue tells of His mystery and coquetry, Heaven chants (the prayer), “O You that art goodly in covering!
What covering (can there be)? The fire is in the wool cotton whilst you art covering it up, it is
(all the) more manifest.

When I endeavour to hide His (Loves) secret, He lifts up His head, like a banner, saying, Look, here am I!”

4735. In despite of me He seizes both my ears, saying, O scatter-brain, how wilt you cover it Cover it (if you canst)!
I say to Him, “Begone! Though you have bubbled up (have become fervid), (yet) you art (both)
manifest and concealed, like the soul.
He says,This body of mine is imprisoned in the jar, (but) like wine I am clapping hands (making a merry noise) at the banquet.”
I say to Him, “Go ere you art put in pawn (confinement) lest the bane of intoxication befall
He says,I befriend the day with (my) delicious cup until the evening-prayer.

4740. When evening comes and steals my cup, I will say to it, Give (it) back, for my evening has not come.
Hence the Arabs applied the same mudam to wine, because the wine-drinker is never sated.
Love makes the wine of realisation to bubble: He is the cup- bearer to the şiddiq (true lover) in secret.
When you seek (the reality) with good help (from God), the water (essence) of the spirit is the
wine, and the body is the flagon.
When He increases the wine of His help, the potency of the wine bursts the flagon.

4745. The water (the spirit) becomes the Cup-bearer, and the water (is) also the drunken man. Tell not how! And Go best knoweth the right.
It is the radiance of the Cup-bearer that entered into the must: the must bubbled up and began to dance and waxed strong.
On this matter, ask the heedless (sceptic), When did you (ever) see must like this?”
To every one who has knowledge it is (self-evident) without reflection, that together with the person disturbed there is a Disturber.

Story of the lover who had been long separated (from his beloved) and had suffered much tribulation.

A certain youth was madly enamoured of a woman: the fortune of union was not granted to him.

4750. Love tortured him exceedingly on the earth: why, in sooth, does Love bear hatred (to the lover) from the first?
Why is Love murderous from the first, so that he who is an outsider runs away? Whenever he sent a messenger to the woman, the messenger because of jealousy would become a highwayman (barring the way against him);
And if his secretary wrote (a letter to be sent) to the woman, his delegate (messenger) would read the letter (to her) with tashíf;
And if in good faith he made the zephyr his envoy, that zephyr would be darkened by a (cloud
of) dust.

4755. If he sewed the letter on the wing of a bird, the bird's wing would be burnt by the ardour of the letter.
The (Divine) jealousy barred (all) the ways of device and broke the banner of the army of cogitation.
At first, expectation was the comforting friend of (his) sorrow; at last, there broke him—who?
Even (the same) expectation.
Sometimes he would say, “This is an irremediable affliction”; sometimes he would say, No, it is the life of my spirit.”

Sometimes (self-) existence would lift up a head from him (appear in him); sometimes he would eat of the fruit of non-existence.

4760. When this (bodily) nature became cold (irksome and useless) to him, the fountain of union (with the beloved) would boil hotly.
When he put up with (contented himself with) the unprovidedness of exile, the provision of
unprovidedness hastened towards him.
The wheat-ears of his thought were purged of chaff: he became, like the moon, a guide to the night-travellers.
Oh, there is many a parrot that speaks though it is mute; oh, there is many a sweet-spirited one whose face is sour.
Go to the graveyard, sit awhile in silence, and behold those eloquent silent ones;

4765. But, if you see that their dust is of one colour, (yet) their active (spiritual) state is not uniform.
The fat and flesh of living persons is uniform, (yet) one is sad, another glad.
Until you hear their words, what should you know (of their feelings), inasmuch as their (inward)
state is hidden from you?
You may hear words—(cries of) y, y; (but) how will you perceive the (inward) state that has a hundred folds?
Our (human) figure is uniform, (yet) endued with contrary qualities: likewise their dust is
uniform, (yet) their spirits are diverse.

4770. Similarly, voices are uniform (as such), (but) one is sorrowful, and another full of charms.
On the battle-field you may hear the cry of horses; in strolling round (a garden) you may hear
the cry of birds.
One (voice proceeds) from hate, and another from harmony; one from pain, and another from joy.
Whoever is remote from (ignorant of) their (inward) state, to him the voices are uniform.
One tree is moved by blows of the axe, another tree by the breeze of dawn.

4775. Much error befell me from (I was greatly deceived by) the worthless pot, because the pot was boiling (while) covered by the lid.
The fervour and savour of every one says to you, “Come” the fervour of sincerity and the fervour of imposture and hypocrisy.
If you have not the scent (discernment derived) from the soul that recognises the face (reality), go, get for yourself a (spiritual) brain (sense) that recognises the scent.
The brain (sense) that haunts yon Rose-garden—it is it that makes bright the eyes of (all) Jacobs. Come now, relate what happened to that heart-sick (youth), for we have left the man of Bukhárá
far behind, O son.

How the lover found his beloved; and a discourse showing that the seeker is a finder, for he who shall do as much good as the weight of an ant shall see it (in the end).

4780. (It happened) that for seven years that youth was (engaged) in search and seeking:
from (cherishing) the phantasy of union he became like a phantom.
(If) the shadow (protection) of God be over the head of the servant (of God), the seeker at last will be a finder.
The Prophet said that when you knock at a door, at last a head will come forth from that door.
When you sit (wait) on the road of a certain person, at last you will see also the face of a certain person[#]
When, every day, you keep digging the earth from a pit, at last you will arrive at the pure water.

4785. (Even) if you may not believe (it), all know this, (that) one day you will reap whatsoever you are sowing.
You struck the stone (flint) against the iron (steel): the fire did not flash out! This may not be; or if it be (so), it is rare.
He to whom felicity and salvation are not apportioned (by God)—his mind regards naught but the
(He says) that such and such a one sowed seed and had no crop, while that (other) one bore away an oyster-shell (from the sea), and the shell had no pearl (within it).
(He says that in the cases of) Balam son of Bá‘úr and the accursed Iblís, their acts of worship and their religion availed them not.

4790. The hundreds of thousands of prophets and travellers on the Way do not come into the mind of that evil-thinking man.
He takes these two (examples) which produce (spiritual) darkness: how should (his) ill fate put aught but this in his heart?
Oh, there is many a one that eats bread with a glad heart, and it becomes the death of him: it sticks in his gullet.
Go, then, O ill-fated man, do not eat bread at all, lest you fall like him into bale and woe!
Hundreds of thousands of folk are eating loaves of bread and gaining strength and nourishing the
(vital) spirit.

4795. How have you fallen into that rare (calamity), unless you art deprived (of blessedness)
and art born a fool?
He (the ill-fated man) has forsaken this world full of sunshine and moonlight and has plunged his head into the pit,
Saying, If it is true, then where is the radiance? Lift up your head from the pit and look, O
miserable wretch!
The whole world, east and west, obtained that light, (but) whilst you art in the pit it will not shine upon you.
Leave the pit, go to the palace and the vineyards; do not wrangle here, know that quarrelling is unlucky.

4800. Beware! Do not say, “Mark you, such and such a one sowed seed, and in such and such a year the locusts devoured what he had sown.
Why, then, should I sow? for there is danger in this respect. Why should I scatter this corn(-
seed) from my hand?”
And (meanwhile) he who did not neglect to sow and labour fills his barn (with grain), to your confusion.
Since he (the lover) was patiently knocking at a door, at last one day he obtained a meeting in
From fear of the night-patrol he sprang by night into the orchard: (there) he found his beloved, (radiant) as candle and lamp.

4805. At that moment he said to the Maker of the means (by which he had attained to his desire), O God, have mercy on the night-patrol!
Unbeknown (to me), You have created the means: from the gate of Hell You have brought me
to Paradise.
You have made this affair (dread of the night-patrol) a means, to the end that I may not hold
(even) a single thorn in contempt.”
In (consequence of) the fracture of a leg God bestows a wing; likewise from the depths of the pit
He opens a door (of escape).

(God saith), “Do not consider whether you art on a tree or in a pit: consider Me, for I am the
Key of the Way.”

4810. If you wish (to read) the rest of this tale, seek (it), O my brother, in the Fourth Book.

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