Tuesday, January 09, 2007

"Don't travel alone"

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The one who cheerfully goes alone on a journey—
if he travels with companions
his progress is increased a hundredfold.
Notwithstanding the insensitivity of a donkey,
even the donkey is exhilarated, O dervish,
by comrades of its own kind
and so becomes capable of exerting strength.

To a donkey who goes alone and away from the caravan,
the road is made longer a hundredfold by fatigue.
How much more it suffers the crop and the whip
that it might cross the desert by itself!
That ass is implicitly telling you, "Pay attention!
Don't travel alone like this, unless you are an ass!"
Beyond a doubt the one who cheerfully goes alone into the toll house
proceeds more cheerfully with companions.
Every prophet on this straight path
produced the testimony of miracles and sought fellow travelers.

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Ânkeh tanhâ dar rahi u khvosh ravad
bâ rafiqân sayr-e u sadtu shavad
Bâ ghalizi khar ze yârân ay faqir
dar nashât âyad shavad qut pazir

Har khari kaz kârvân tanhâ ravad
bar vay ân rah az ta`ab sadtu shavad
Chand sikh o chand chub afzun khvord
tâ keh tanhâ ân be-biyâbân-râ bord
Mar torâ mi guyad ân khar khvosh "Shenaw
gar nayi khar hamchonin tanhâ ma-raw"
Ânkeh tanhâ khvosh ravad andar rasad
bâ rafiqân bi gomân khvoshtar ravad
Har nabiyi andarin râh-e dorost
mo`jezeh be-namud o hamrâhân be-jost

-- Mathnawi VI: 512-518
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996
(Persian transliteration courtesy of Yahyá Monastra)

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