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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sa`di: Pull the Cotton of Neglect out of your Ear


I beg you by Your truth to shut my eyes on the false
And by your light, not to burn me with your fire tomorrow
I am so helpless that my face is on the earth
And the dust of my sins rise up to heavens
O cloud of blessing let your rain fall once
For no dust can remain in the face of rain
In Your realm there is no place for me, for my sins
And there is no other realm to go to
You know well what is in the mind of dumb
And only You can lay poultice on the hearts of the weary

Anecdote 3

How well said the honest and poor dervish
When he repented at night and broke the vow at down:
“If He accepts the repentance, it remain intact
For our promises are weak and inconstant.”


God’s friends are for this reason elevated
That they receive many blows on the head from people.

Anecdote 22

My wise man, don’t be afraid of the reason
Why the doctor sends you bitter medicine
Take whatever a friend sends you


Attachment is a barrier and a futile tie
So when you loosen the bonds, you attain your goal


Do not be subservient to the lustful self
Which chooses a different Mecca every hour
Contentment exalts you , O man of intelligence,
While a covetous man’s head can never rise from shame
Greed pours sweat of disgrace on greatness
And to gain, an armful of pears is lost
As you can quench your thirst with the water of the stream
Why should you disgrace yourself for a bit of snow?
Affluence may bring you fortitude
But need will drive you to various doors
My Lord, shorten the arm of greed
You have no need of a long sleeve
One who has rolled p his scroll of avidity
Should never write “Your slave” or “your servant”
Expectation will drive you away from every gathering
Expel it yourself so that you are not driven away

Anecdote 8

I do not where I came across it in a book
That a man saw Satan in a dream
He looked graceful in stature, and handsome as a houri
His face shining as brightly as the sun
The man approached and said: “Is it truly you?”
I never saw an angel as fair as you
How is it that in spite of such a fine moon-like beauty
You are considered by the world as ugly as a dark night?
Why has the painter portrayed you in the royal hall
As a fierce, hideous and corrupt creature?
They all thought of you as having a horrible sight
And drew an ugly image of you in public baths!
The poor Devil on hearing those words
Cried and groaned with affliction and said:
“My dear man, that picture is not my real image
But unfortunately the enemy handles the bush
I drove them out of paradise
So in hostility they consider me ugly

Anecdote 16

Someone caviled at the Ghazna king, saying:
“It’s amazing, but Ayaz has no comeliness to speak of
A flower which has neither color nor odour
Would be strange if a nightingale fell in love with it”
Someone related this matter to Mahmood
Who displayed great sighs of uneasiness at this
Saying: “My friend, my love for him is for his character
Ant not for a handsome face or fine figure”

Anecdote 19

One night a fire was started by some people
And half of the town of Bagdad was burnt down
Someone said: “Thank God that with such a dust and smoke
My shop was not damaged at all”
A man of the world told him: “You capricious man!
Were you concerned about yourself only?
Does it please you to see a town burnt down
And feel happy that your shop is safe?”

Anecdote 23
A bully of a man once fell into a well
Who by his roughness made even a lion turn female
He who has evil thoughts for
People, get nothing but evil,
And when he is down, no one is as helpless as he
He cried and moaned all night without sleeping a wink
When suddenly someone threw a stone on his head and said:
Did you ever come to anyone’s relief
That now you are imploring for relievers?
All your life you sowed the seed of injustice
So look and see what you are in consequence reaping
Who is willing to place a poultice on your sore spirit
While every heart is crying with pain for your inflicted wounds?
You dug pits for us people to fall into
So, of necessity you have fallen headlong into it”


Two persons dig wells for the high and low
One is of good disposition, the other ignominious
The former intends to refresh people`s dry throats
But the latter hopes for the people to fail into it
If you do devil , do not expect goodness in return
For a tamarisk tree can never bear grapes
I don not think that you who have sown barey in autumn
Can reap wheat in harvest time
If you nourish the bitter infernal tree ot your heart`s desire
Do not ever expect to enjoy any fruit of it
The oleander branch cannot offer you dates
You can only reap what you have sown

Addressed to Abu- Bakr Sa`d

As long as you can, don`t exempt yourself from kindness
For when you grant kindness, you receive it in return
When you show favour, do not feel selfish
Thinking of yourself as a master and others as inferiors
If time has dealt people with its sword
Isn’t that sword still unsheathed?
If your eyes are many people who gaze at yours
I have called generosity the quality of leaders
I was wrong, it’s the characteristics of prophets


If you desire the night of the grave as bright as day
Kindle the light of your deeds in this world
The man who nourishes the palm is in a fever
Lest his tree does not produce dates
There are some covetous people who wrongly suppose
That wi5thout sowing grains they can get a harvest
Sa`di enjoyed the fruit , for, he hope for a harvest

Anecdote 8

Do you know what someone said in Neshaboor
When his son did not perform his rite of evening prayer?
“Do not expect, my son, that anyone
Could attain a goal without effort
When a swift- footed camel refuses to move
It is as useless a creature as a nonentity
Fear loss and covet profit
For, those who are at ease receive no benefit”

Anecdote 1

A drop of rain fell from the clouds
And on seeing the wide sea it felt ashamed
Sying: “What am I where there is a sea?
If the sea exists , then I am truly nothing
As it regarded itself with scorn
A shell received it whit all its heart
Heavens exalted it to such a high rank
That it turned into a royal pearl
It found eminence by confessing lowliness
And knocked at the door of nothingness to find existence
A select man of intelligence is modest,
As a branch laden with fruit bends low to the earth

On Humanity

God created you from pure clay
Therefore, O creature, be humble like clay
Do not be greedy, destructive and perverse
You were mad from clay, so be not like fire
W2hen dreadful fire rises in revolt
Poor clay falls low helplessly
When the fromer showed pride, and the latter humility
A monster was made of that one, and a human being of this


The reason why such great men are Awe-stricken
Is because they have not been in the king’s court
You ignorant man are apparently still in the village
When you consider yourself great and titled
Never was a word spoken by the elegant
For which Sa`di did not cite a parable

Addressed to A bu-Bakr Sa`d

You can learn good conduct from the wise
But very little from an ignorant caviler
Hear of your true character from your enemy
For in a friend’s eye whatever you do seems good
Eulogists are not your true friends
Those who reproach you really love you
It is wrong to offer a sick man sugar
What he needs badly is bitter medicine
A morose person can give you a better rebuke
Than jocular and good-humored friend’s
No one can offer you better advice than this
And if you are wise, one hint is enough

Anecdote 21

Once a man sitting on a branch was sowing the thick end
The garden –owner looked and saw him
And said: “this foolish action of the man
Is going to hurt him more than it does me”

Source: The Orchard (Boostan of Sa`di) translated by Dr. Alaedin pazargadi

By Fahime

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