Thursday, September 21, 2006

"When contraction comes, behold expansion therein"

To mark the beginning of autumn in the northern hemsiphere,
Sunlight offers here a selection from the Mathnawi, speaking on the
contraction of the spirit and the season, in a poetic version by the
Helminskis, and in literal translation by R.A. Nicholson:

^ ^ ^ ^ ^

When a feeling of spiritual contraction comes over you,
O traveler, it's for your own good.
Don't burn with grief,
for in the state of expansion and delight you are spending.
That enthusiasm requires an income of pain to balance it.
If it were always summer,
the sun's blazing heat would burn the garden
to the roots and depths of the soil.
The withered plants never again would become fresh.
If December is sour-faced, yet it is kind.
Summer is laughing, but yet it destroys.
When spiritual contraction comes,
behold expansion within it;
be cheerful and let your face relax.


Chonke qabzi âyadet ay râh-raw
ân salâh-e tost âtesh-del ma-shaw
Zânke dar kharji dar ân bast o goshâd
kharj-râ dakhli be-bâyad ze e`tedâd
Gar hamâreh fasl tâbestân bodi
suzesh-e khvorshid dar bostân shodi
Manbetesh-râ sukhti az bikh o bon
keh degar tâzeh na-gashti ân kohon
Gar torsh-ruist ân Day moshfeq ast
sayf khandânast ammâ mohreqast
Chonke qabz âyad to dar vay bast bin
tâzeh bâsh va chin mi-fegan dar jabin

-- Mathnawi III, 3734-3739
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Daylight"
Threshold Books, 1994
Persian transliteration courtesy of Yahyá Monastra


When a feeling of (spiritual) contraction comes over you,
O traveller, `tis (for) your own good: do not become afire (with
grief) in your heart,
For in that (contrary state of ) expansion and delight you are
spending: the expenditure (of enthusiasm) requires an income
of (painful) preparation (to balance it).
If it were always the season of summer, the blazing heat of the
sun would penetrate the garden
And burn up from root and bottom the soil whence its plants grow,
so that the old (withered) ones would never again become fresh.
If December is sour-faced, (yet) it is kind; summer is laughing,
but (none the less) it is burning (destroying).
When (spiritual) contraction comes, behold expansion therein: be
fresh (cheerful) and do not let wrinkles fall on your brow.

-- Mathnawi III, 3734-3739
Translation by Reynold A. Nicholson
"The Mathnawi of Jalalu'ddin Rumi"
Published and Distributed by
The Trustees of The "E.J.W. Gibb Memorial"

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

بازهم مثل هميشه كم نظيريد
با سپاس از شما