Thursday, September 13, 2007

[Sunlight] Seek, and Ye shall find


Here, Sunlight offers an excerpt from the Mathnawi story of the
snakecatcher who thought the serpent was dead, and brought it to
Baghdad, in versions by Barks and Helminski, along with a Persian
transliteration, and in the translation by Nicholson from which the
versions were developed:


"Turning Toward Kindness"

Anyone who genuinely and constantly with both hands
looks for something, will find it.

Though you are lame and bent over, keep moving
toward the Friend. With speech, with silence,
with sniffing about, stay on track.

Whenever some kindness comes to you, turn
that way, toward the source of kindness.

Love-things originate in the ocean.
Restlessness leads to rest.

-- Mathnawi III: 978-981, 987-992
Version by Coleman Barks
"One-Handed Basket Weaving"
Maypop, 1991


Whether one moves slowly or with speed,
the one who is a seeker will be a finder.
Always seek with your whole self,
for the search is an excellent guide on the way.
Though you are lame and limping,
though your figure is bent and clumsy,
always creep toward the One. Make that One your quest.
By speech and by silence and by fragrance,
catch the scent of the King everywhere.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gar gerân o gar shetâbandeh bovad
ânke juyandeh-st yâbandeh bovad
Dar talab zan dâyeman to har do dast
kay talab dar râh niku rahbarast
Lang o luk o khofteh-shakl o bi adab
su-ye U mi ghizh va U-râ mi talab
Gah be-goft va gah be-khâmushi va gah
bui kardan gir har su bu-ye Shah

-- Mathnawi III: 978-981
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996
Persian transliteration courtesy of Yahyá Monastra


"Whether one be slow or speedy (in movement), he that is
a seeker will be a finder.
Always apply yourself with both hands (with all your
might) to seeking, for search is an excellent guide on the way.
(Though you be) lame and limping and bent in figure and
unmannerly, ever creep towards Him and be in quest of Him.
Now by speech and now by silence and now by smelling,
catch in every quarter the scent of the King."

-- Translation by Reynold A. Nicholson
Mathnawi II, verses 978-982
"The Mathnawi of Jalaluddin Rumi"
Published and Distributed by
The Trustees of The "E.J.W. Gibb Memorial"

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