Parable of the camel

Parable of the camel

Parable of the camel, explaining that when some one tells of his good fortune and you do not perceive in him any appearance or sign of welfare, there is reason to suspect that he is an imitator therein (of those who have really attained to spiritual felicity). مثل آوردن اشتر در بیان آنک در مخبر دولتی فر و اثر آن چون نبینی جای متهم داشتن باشد کی او مقلدست در آن

آن یکی پرسید اشتر را که هی از کجا می‌آیی ای اقبال پی
A certain man asked a camel, “Hey, whence comest thou, O thou whom fortune attends?
گفت از حمام گرم کوی تو گفت خود پیداست در زانوی تو
He replied, “From the hot-bath in thy street.” Said the other, “Truly, ’tis manifest in (the state of) thy knees!”
مار موسی دید فرعون عنود مهلتی می‌خواست نرمی می‌نمود
(When) Pharaoh, the obstinate rebel, saw Moses’ snake, he begged for a respite and showed meekness.
زیرکان گفتند بایستی که این تندتر گشتی چو هست او رب دین
The men of intelligence said, “This man (Pharaoh) ought to have been fiercer, since he is the Lord of the Judgement.
معجزه‌گر اژدها گر مار بد نخوت و خشم خدایی‌اش چه شد
Whether the miracle was a dragon or a snake, what has become of the pride and wrath proper to his divinity?
رب اعلی گر ویست اندر جلوس بهر یک کرمی چیست این چاپلوس
If he is the Supreme Lord seated on the throne, what is this blandishment on account of a single worm?”
نفس تو تا مست نقلست و نبید دانک روحت خوشه‌ی غیبی ندید
So long as your fleshly soul is intoxicated with the dessert and date-wine (of sensuality), know that your spirit has not beheld the cluster belonging to the World Unseen,
که علاماتست زان دیدار نور التجافی منک عن دار الغرور
For the signs of that vision of the Light are (consist in) your withdrawal from the abode of delusion.
مرغ چون بر آب شوری می‌تند آب شیرین را ندیدست او مدد
Since the bird is frequenting a briny (piece of) water, it has not seen (found) help (for its thirst) in the sweet water;
بلک تقلیدست آن ایمان او روی ایمان را ندیده جان او
Nay, its faith is (mere) imitation: its spirit has never seen the face of faith.
پس خطر باشد مقلد را عظیم از ره و ره‌زن ز شیطان رجیم
Hence, because of the accursed Devil, the imitator is in great danger from the road and the brigand;
چون ببیند نور حق آمن شود ز اضطرابات شک او ساکن شود
(But) when he beholds the Light of God, he becomes safe: he is at rest from the agitations of doubt.
تا کف دریا نیاید سوی خاک که اصل او آمد بود در اصطکاک
The sea-foam (scum) is (always) in collision till it comes to the earth (land) which is its origin.
خاکی است آن کف غریبست اندر آب در غریبی چاره نبود ز اضطراب
The foam (scum) is earthly: it is an exile in the water: in exile agitation is inevitable.
چونک چشمش باز شد و آن نقش خواند دیو را بر وی دگر دستی نماند
When his (the imitator’s) eye is opened and he reads those characters (of Reality), the Devil hath no power over him any more.
گرچه با روباه خر اسرار گفت سرسری گفت و مقلدوار گفت
Although the ass spoke of (spiritual) mysteries to the fox, he spoke superficially and like an imitator.
آب را بستود و او تایق نبود رخ درید و جامه او عاشق نبود
He praised the water, but he had no longing (for it); he tore his face and raiment, but he was no lover.
از منافق عذر رد آمد نه خوب زانک در لب بود آن نه در قلوب
The excuse made by the hypocrite was bad, not good, because it was (only) on their lips, not in their hearts.
بوی سیبش هست جزو سیب نیست بو درو جز از پی آسیب نیست
He (the hypocrite) has the smell of the apple, but no part of the apple (itself); and in him (even) the smell is only for the purpose of (coming into) contact (with the true believers).
حمله‌ی زن در میان کارزار نشکند صف بلک گردد کارزار
The charge of a woman in battle does not break the (hostile) ranks; nay, her plight becomes pitiable.
گرچه می‌بینی چو شیر اندر صفش تیغ بگرفته همی‌لرزد کفش
Though you see her take the sword (and fight) like a lion amidst the ranks, (yet) her hand trembles.
وای آنک عقل او ماده بود نفس زشتش نر و آماده بود
Alas for him whose reason is female, while his wicked fleshly soul is male and ready (to gratify its lust)!
لاجرم مغلوب باشد عقل او جز سوی خسران نباشد نقل او
Of necessity, his reason is vanquished: his movement is towards naught but perdition.
ای خنک آن کس که عقلش نر بود نفس زشتش ماده و مضطر بود
Oh, blest is that one whose reason is male, while his wicked fleshly soul is female and helpless;
عقل جزوی‌اش نر و غالب بود نفس انثی را خرد سالب بود
Whose particular (individual) reason is male and dominant, (so that) his intellect deprives the female fleshly soul (of power to do mischief).
حمله‌ی ماده به صورت هم جریست آفت او هم‌چو آن خر از خریست
The attack of the female, too, is bold in appearance; her defect, as (in the case of) that ass, arises from asininity.
وصف حیوانی بود بر زن فزون زانک سوی رنگ و بو دارد رکون
The animal nature prevails in woman, because she has an inclination towards colour and scent.
رنگ و بوی سبزه‌زار آن خر شنید جمله حجتها ز طبع او رمید
(When) the ass heard of the colour and scent of the meadow, all arguments (in favour of trust in God) disgusted him.
تشنه محتاج مطر شد وابر نه نفس را جوع البقر بد صبر نه
The thirsty man wanted rain, and there was no cloud; the fleshly soul was ravenously hungry, and there was no self-restraint.
اسپر آهن بود صبر ای پدر حق نبشته بر سپر جاء الظفر
Self-restraint is an iron shield, O father: upon the shield (of self-restraint) God hath written (the words), “Victory will come.”
صد دلیل آرد مقلد در بیان از قیاسی گوید آن را نه از عیان
The imitator brings forward a hundred proofs in his exposition, (but) he speaks (gives) them from ratiocination, not from immediate experience.
مشک‌آلودست الا مشک نیست بوی مشکستش ولی جز پشک نیست
He is tinctured with musk, but he is not musk: he has the scent of musk, but he is only dung.
تا که پشکی مشک گردد ای مرید سالها باید در آن روضه چرید
In order that a piece of dung may become musk, O disciple, one must browse for years in that (spiritual) garden.
که نباید خورد و جو هم‌چون خران آهوانه در ختن چر ارغوان
One must not eat straw and barley, like asses: browse on arghawán, like the musk-deer in Khutan.
جز قرنفل یا سمن یا گل مچر رو به صحرای ختن با آن نفر
Do not browse on aught but clove, jasmine, or roses: go to the plain of Khutan in company with those (saintly) personages.
معده را خو کن بدان ریحان و گل تا بیابی حکمت و قوت رسل
Accustom your belly to the sweet basil and the rose, that you may gain the wisdom and (spiritual) food of the prophets.
خوی معده زین که و جو باز کن خوردن ریحان و گل آغاز کن
Break your belly of its habit of (eating) this straw and barley: begin to eat the sweet basil and the rose.
معده‌ی تن سوی کهدان می‌کشد معده‌ی دل سوی ریحان می‌کشد
The corporeal belly leads to the straw-barn; the spiritual belly leads to the sweet basil.
هر که کاه و جو خورد قربان شود هر که نور حق خورد قرآن شود
Whoever feeds on straw and barley becomes a sacrifice (qurbán); whoever feeds on the Light of God becomes the Qur’án.
نیم تو مشکست و نیمی پشک هین هین میفزا پشک افزا مشک چین
Beware! Half of you is musk and half is dung. Beware! Do not increase the dung, increase the Chinese musk.
آن مقلد صد دلیل و صد بیان در زبان آرد ندارد هیچ جان
The imitator brings on to his tongue a hundred proofs and explanations, but he has no soul.
چونک گوینده ندارد جان و فر گفت او را کی بود برگ و ثمر
When the speaker has no soul and (spiritual) glory, how should his speech have leaves and fruit?
می‌کند گستاخ مردم را به راه او بجان لرزان‌ترست از برگ کاه
He boldly directs people in the Way (to salvation), (though) he is more tremulous (infirm) in soul than a blade of straw.
پس حدیثش گرچه بس با فر بود در حدیثش لرزه هم مضمر بود
Therefore, though his discourse may be splendid, tremor (infirmity) is also latent in his discourse.


 

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