The instruction given by a Shaykh

The instruction given by a Shaykh to disciples, or by a prophet to a people, who are unable to receive the Divine lesson and have no familiar acquaintance with God, may be compared with the case of a parrot which has no such acquaintance with the (inward) form of a man, so that it should be able to receive instruction (directly) from him. God most High holds the Shaykh in front of the disciple, as the mirror (is held) in front of the parrot, while He (Himself) dictates from behind the mirror, saying, “Do not move thy tongue to hasten it (the Revelation); it is naught but an inspiration that is inspired (by God).” This is the beginning of an endless problem. When the parrot, which ye call the image, moves its beak in the mirror, the movement is not (made) by its own volition and power: it is the reflexion of the (movement made in) articulation by the parrot outside, which is the learner; not the reflexion of (the movement made by) the Teacher behind the mirror; but the external parrot’s articulation is controlled by the Teacher. This, then, is (only) a comparison, not a (complete) similitude. تمثیل تلقین شیخ مریدان را و پیغامبر امت را کی ایشان طاقت تلقین حق ندارند و با حق‌الف ندارند چنانک طوطی با صورت آدمی الف ندارد کی ازو تلقین تواند گرفت حق تعالی شیخ را چون آیینه‌ای پیش مرید هم‌چو طوطی دارد و از پس آینه تلقین می‌کند لا تحرک به لسانک ان هو الا وحی یوحی اینست ابتدای مسله‌ی بی‌منتهی چنانک منقار جنبانیدن طوطی اندرون آینه کی خیالش می‌خوانی بی‌اختیار و تصرف اوست عکس خواندن طوطی برونی کی متعلمست نه عکس آن معلم کی پس آینه است و لیکن خواندن طوطی برونی تصرف آن معلم است پس این مثال آمد نه مثل

طوطیی در آینه می‌بیند او
عکس خود را پیش او آورده رو
A parrot sees its reflexion (image) facing it in the mirror.
در پس آیینه آن استا نهان
حرف می‌گوید ادیب خوش‌زبان
The teacher is concealed behind the mirror: that sweet-tongued well-instructed man is talking.
طوطیک پنداشته کین گفت پست
گفتن طوطیست که اندر آینه‌ست
The little parrot thinks that these words uttered in low tones are spoken by the parrot in the mirror.
پس ز جنس خویش آموز سخن
بی‌خبر از مکر آن گرگ کهن
Therefore it learns (human) speech from one of its own kind, being unaware of the cunning of that old wolf.
از پس آیینه می‌آموزدش
ورنه ناموزد جز از جنس خودش
He is teaching it behind the mirror; otherwise (it would not talk, for) it does not learn except from its congeners.
گفت را آموخت زان مرد هنر
لیک از معنی و سرش بی‌خبر
It (really) learned to talk from that accomplished man, but it is ignorant of his meaning and mystery.
از بشر بگرفت منطق یک به یک
از بشر جز این چه داند طوطیک
It received speech, word by word, from Man; (but) what should the little parrot know of Man except this? 
هم‌چنان در آینه‌ی جسم ولی
خویش را بیند مردی ممتلی
Similarly, the disciple full (of egoism) sees himself in the mirror of the Shaykh’s body.
از پس آیینه عقل کل را
کی ببیند وقت گفت و ماجرا
How should he see Universal Reason behind the mirror at the time of speech and discourse?
او گمان دارد که می‌گوید بشر
وان گر سرست و او زان بی‌خبر
He supposes that a man is speaking; and the other (Universal Reason) is a mystery of which he is ignorant.
حرف آموزد ولی سر قدیم
او نداند طوطی است او نی ندیم
He learns the words, but the eternal mystery he cannot know, for he is a parrot, not a boon-companion.
هم صفیر مرغ آموزند خلق
کین سخن کار دهان افتاد و حلق
Likewise, people learn the note of birds, for this speech (of birds) is an affair of the mouth and throat;
لیک از معنی مرغان بی‌خبر
جز سلیمان قرانی خوش‌نظر
But (all are) ignorant of the birds’ meaning, except an august Solomon of goodly insight.
حرف درویشان بسی آموختند
منبر و محفل بدان افروختند
Many learned the language of (true) dervishes and gave lustre therewith to the pulpit and assembly-place.

یا به جز آن حرفشان روزی نبود
یا در آخر رحمت آمد ره نمود
Either nothing was bestowed upon them except those (formal) expressions, or at last (the Divine) mercy came and revealed the (right) way.




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