How an inquirer asked

How an inquirer asked

How an inquirer asked (a preacher) about a bird that was supposed to have settled on the wall of a city “Is its head more excellent and estimable and noble and honourable or its tail?” and how the preacher gave him a reply suited to the measure of his understanding. سال سایل از مرغی کی بر سر ربض شهری نشسته باشد سر او فاضل‌ترست و عزیزتر و شریف‌تر و مکرم‌تر یا دم او و جواب دادن واعظ سایل را به قدر فهم او

واعظی را گفت روزی سایلی کای تو منبر را سنی‌تر قایلی
One day an inquirer said to a preacher, “O thou who art the pulpit’s most eminent expounder,
یک سالستم بگو ای ذو لباب اندرین مجلس سالم را جواب
I have a question to ask. Answer my question in this assembly-place, O possessor of the marrow (of wisdom).
بر سر بارو یکی مرغی نشست از سر و از دم کدامینش بهست
A bird has settled on the city-wall: which is better its head or its tail?”
گفت اگر رویش به شهر و دم به ده روی او از دم او می‌دان که به
He replied, “If its face is to the town and its tail to the country, know that its face is better than its tail;
ور سوی شهرست دم رویش به ده خاک آن دم باش و از رویش بجه
But if its tail is towards the town and its face to the country, be the dust on that tail and spring away from its face.”
مرغ با پر می‌پرد تا آشیان پر مردم همتست ای مردمان
A bird flies to its nest by means of wings: the wings of Man are aspiration, O people.
عاشقی که آلوده شد در خیر و شر خیر و شر منگر تو در همت نگر
(In the case of) the lover who is soiled with good and evil, do not regard the good and evil; (only) regard the aspiration.
باز اگر باشد سپید و بی‌نظیر چونک صیدش موش باشد شد حقیر
If a falcon be white and beyond compare, (yet) it becomes despicable when it hunts a mouse;
ور بود چغدی و میل او به شاه او سر بازست منگر در کلاه
And if there be an owl that has desire for the king, it is (noble as) the falcon’s head: do not regard the hood.
آدمی بر قد یک طشت خمیر بر فزود از آسمان و از اثیر
Man, no bigger than a kneading-trough (scooped in a log), has surpassed (in glory) the heavens and the aether (the empyrean).
هیچ کرمنا شنید این آسمان که شنید این آدمی پر غمان
Did this heaven ever hear (the words) We have honoured which this sorrowful Man heard (from God)?
بر زمین و چرخ عرضه کرد کس خوبی و عقل و عبارات و هوس
Did any one offer to earth and sky (his) beauty and reason and eloquence and fond affection?
جلوه کردی هیچ تو بر آسمان خوبی روی و اصابت در گمان
Didst thou ever display to heaven thy beauty of countenance and thy sureness of judgement in (matters of) opinion?
پیش صورتهای حمام ای ولد عرضه کردی هیچ سیم‌اندام خود
Didst thou ever, O son, offer thy silvery limbs to the pictured forms in the bath-house?
بگذری زان نقشهای هم‌چو حور جلوه آری با عجوز نیم‌کور
(No); thou leavest those houri-like figures and displayest thyself to a half-blind old woman.
در عجوزه چیست که ایشان را نبود که ترا زان نقشها با خود ربود
What is there in the old woman that was not in them, so that she rapt thee away from those figures (and attracted thee) to herself?
تو نگویی من بگویم در بیان عقل و حس و درک و تدبیرست و جان
(If) thou wilt not say (what it is), I will tell (thee) plainly: ’tis reason and sense and perception and consideration and soul.
در عجوزه جان آمیزش‌کنیست صورت گرمابه‌ها را روح نیست
In the old woman there is a soul that mingles (with the body): the pictured forms in the hot-baths have no (rational) spirit.
صورت گرمابه گر جنبش کند در زمان او از عجوزه بر کند
If the pictured form in the hot-bath should move, it would at once separate thee from the old woman.
جان چه باشد با خبر از خیر و شر شاد با احسان و گریان از ضرر
What is soul? (Soul is) conscious of good and evil, rejoicing on account of kindness, weeping on account of injury.
چون سر و ماهیت جان مخبرست هر که او آگاه‌تر با جان‌ترست
Since consciousness is the inmost nature and essence of the soul, the more aware one is the more spiritual is he.
روح را تاثیر آگاهی بود هر که را این بیش اللهی بود
Awareness is the effect of the spirit: any one who has this in excess is a man of God.
چون خبرها هست بیرون زین نهاد باشد این جانها در آن میدان جماد
Since there are consciousnesses beyond this (bodily) nature, in that (spiritual) arena these (sensual) souls are (like) inanimate matter.
جان اول مظهر درگاه شد جان جان خود مظهر الله شد
The first soul is the theatre of the (Divine) court; the Soul of the soul is verily the theatre of God (Himself).
آن ملایک جمله عقل و جان بدند جان نو آمد که جسم آن بدند
The angels were entirely reason and spirit (but) there came a new Spirit of which they were the body.
از سعادت چون بر آن جان بر زدند هم‌چو تن آن روح را خادم شدند
When, by happy fortune, they attached themselves to that Spirit, they became subservient to that Spirit, as the body (is subservient to the spirit dwelling in it).
آن بلیس از جان از آن سر برده بود یک نشد با جان که عضو مرده بود
Hence Iblís (Satan) had turned his head away from the Spirit: he did not become one with it because he was a dead limb.
چون نبودش آن فدای آن نشد دست بشکسته مطیع جان نشد
Since he had it not, he did not become devoted to it: the broken hand does not obey the spirit (which rules the body).
جان نشد ناقص گر آن عضوش شکست کان بدست اوست تواند کرد هست
(But) the Spirit is not impaired though its limb is broken, for that (limb) is in its power, and it can bring it to life.
سر دیگر هست کو گوش دگر طوطیی کو مستعد آن شکر
There is another mystery (to be told), (but) where is another ear? Where is a parrot capable of (eating) that sugar?
طوطیان خاص را قندیست ژرف طوطیان عام از آن خور بسته طرف
For the elect parrots there is a profound (occult) candy: to that food the eyes of the vulgar parrots are closed.
کی چشد درویش صورت زان زکات معنیست آن نه فعولن فاعلات
How should one who has (only) the appearance of a dervish taste of that purity? It is spiritual reality, not (mere) fa‘úlun fá‘ilát (amphibrachs and cretics).
از خر عیسی دریغش نیست قند لیک خر آمد به خلقت که پسند
Candy is not withheld from the ass of Jesus by him (Jesus), but the ass is naturally pleased with straw.
قند خر را گر طرب انگیختی پیش خر قنطار شکر ریختی
If candy had roused delight in the ass, he would have poured hundredweights of sugar in front of the ass.
معنی نختم علی افواههم این شناس اینست ره‌رو را مهم
Know that this is the (inner) meaning of We seal their mouths: this (knowledge) is important for the traveller on the Way,
تا ز راه خاتم پیغامبران بوک بر خیزد ز لب ختم گران
That perchance, by (his following) the Way of the Seal of the prophets, the heavy seal may be lifted from his lips.
ختمهایی که انبیا بگذاشتند آن بدین احمدی برداشتند
The seals which the (former) prophets left were removed by the religion of Ahmad (Mohammed).
قفلهای ناگشاده مانده بود از کف انا فتحنا برگشود
The unopened locks had remained (as they were): they were opened by the hand of Lo, We have opened (unto thee).
او شفیع است این جهان و آن جهان این جهان زی دین و آنجا زی جنان
He is the intercessor in this world and in yonder world in this world (for guidance) to the (true) religion, and yonder (for entrance) to Paradise.
این جهان گوید که تو رهشان نما وآن جهان گوید که تو مهشان نما
In this world he says, “Do Thou show unto them the Way,” and in yonder world he says, “Do Thou show unto them the Moon.”
پیشه‌اش اندر ظهور و در کمون اهد قومی انهم لا یعلمون
It was his custom in public and in private (to say), “Guide my people: verily they know not.”
باز گشته از دم او هر دو باب در دو عالم دعوت او مستجاب
By his breath (powerful intercession) both the Gates were opened: in both worlds his prayer is answered.
بهر این خاتم شدست او که به جود مثل او نه بود و نه خواهند بود
He has become the Seal (of the prophets) for this reason that there never was any one like him in munificence nor ever shall be.
چونک در صنعت برد استاد دست نه تو گویی ختم صنعت بر توست
When a master surpasses (all others) in his craft, don’t you say (to him), “The craft is sealed on thee”?
در گشاد ختمها تو خاتمی در جهان روح‌بخشان حاتمی
In the opening of seals thou (O Mohammed) art the Seal: in the world of the givers of spiritual life thou art the Hátim.
هست اشارات محمدالمراد کل گشاد اندر گشاد اندر گشاد
The purport (is this, that) the indications (esoteric teachings) of Mohammed are wholly revelation within revelation within revelation.
صد هزاران آفرین بر جان او بر قدوم و دور فرزندان او
A hundred thousand blessings on his spirit and on the advent and cycle of his sons!
آن خلیفه‌زادگان مقبلش زاده‌اند از عنصر جان و دلش
Those fortunate Caliph-born sons of his are born of the substance of his soul and heart.
گر ز بغداد و هری یا از ری‌اند بی‌مزاج آب و گل نسل وی‌اند
Whether they be of Baghdád or Herát or Rayy, they are his progeny without admixture of water and earth.
شاخ گل هر جا که روید هم گلست خم مل هر جا که جوشد هم ملست
Wherever the rose-bough blossoms, ’tis still the (same) rose; wherever the wine-jar bubbles, ’tis still the (same) wine.
گر ز مغرب بر زند خورشید سر عین خورشیدست نه چیز دگر
If the sun uplift its head (rise) from the west, ’tis the same sun, not anything else.
عیب چینان را ازین دم کور دار هم بستاری خود ای کردگار
O Maker, by means of Thy veiling grace keep the fault-pickers blind to this (mystic) utterance.
گفت حق چشم خفاش بدخصال بسته‌ام من ز آفتاب بی‌مثال
God said (in answer to my prayer), “I have blindfolded the eyes of the evil-natured bat (so as to prevent it) from (seeing) the peerless Sun.
از نظرهای خفاش کم و کاست انجم آن شمس نیز اندر خفاست
From the glances of the infirm and feeble bat even the stars of that Sun are concealed.”


 

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