Thursday, November 23, 2006

"Thanksgiving is sweeter than the bounty itself"

Here, Sunlight offers an excerpt from the Mathnawi, Book III,
Verses 2895, et seq., in a version by the Helminskis (thought to be
derived from Nicholson), a Persian transliteration, and a translation
by Nicholson:

^ ^ ^ ^ ^

Giving thanks for abundance
is sweeter than the abundance itself.
Should one who is absorbed with the Generous One
be distracted by the gift?
Thankfulness is the soul of beneficence;
abundance is but the husk, for thankfulness brings you to the place
where the Beloved lives.
Abundance yields heedlessness; thankfulness, alertness:
hunt for bounty with the snare of gratitude to the King.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Shokr-e ne`mat khvoshtar az ne`mat bovad
shokr-e Bâreh kay su-ye ne`mat ravad
Shokr jân-e ne`mat va ne`mat chu-pust
zânke shokr ârad torâ tâ ku-ye Dust
Ne`mat ârad ghaflat va shokr entebâh
sayd-e ne`mat kon be-dâm-e shokr-e Shâh

-- Mathnawi III: 2895-2897
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996
(Persian transliteration courtesy of Yahyá Monastra)


Thanksgiving for the bounty is sweeter than the bounty
(itself): how should he that is addicted to thanksgiving go towards
(direct his attention to) the bounty?
Thanksgiving is the soul of the bounty, and the bounty is as a
husk because thanksgiving brings you to the abode of the Beloved.
Bounty produces heedlessness, and thanksgiving alertness:
hunt after bounty with the snare of thanksgiving to the King.
The bounty of thanksgiving will make you contented and princely so
that you will bestow a hundred bounties on the poor.
You will eat your fill of the viands and dessert of God, so that
hunger and begging will depart from you.

-- Mathnawi III: 2895-2899
Translation and Commentary 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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