The light of the senses and spirit of our ancestors
doesn't perish like the grass,
but, like the stars and moonbeams,
they vanish in the radiance of the Sun.
It's like the naked man who jumped into the water,
so that he might escape from the hornets' stings:
the hornets circled above him, and whenever he put out his head
they would not spare him.
The water is recollection of God,
and the hornet is the thought, during this time,
of such-and-such a woman or man.
Hold your breath in the water of remembrance,
so that you may be freed from old thoughts and temptations.
After that, you will assume the nature of that pure water,
entirely from head to foot.
As the noxious hornet flees from the water,
so it will be afraid of approaching you.
After that be far from the water, if you wish;
for in your inmost soul you are of the same nature as the water.
Those persons then who have passed from the world
are not nonexistent but are absorbed in the attributes of God,
even as the star disappears in the presence of the sun.
Nur-e hess o jân-e bâbâyân-e mâ
nist kolli fâni va lâ chon giyâ
Lik mânand setâreh o mâhtâb
jomleh mahvand az sho`â`-e âftâb
Ân chonânke `ur andar âb jast
tâ dar âb az zakhm-e zanburân be-rast
Mi konad zanbur bar bâlâ tavâf
chon bar ârad sar na-dârandesh mo`âf
Âb zekr-e Haqq va zanbur in zamân
hast yâd-e ân folâneh o ân folân
Dam be-khvor dar âb-e zekr va sabr kon
tâ rahi az fekr o vasvâs-e kohon
Ba`d az ân to tab`-e ân âb-e safâ
khvod be-giri jomlegi sar tâ beh pâ
Ânchonânke az âb ân zanbur-e sharr
mi gorizad az to ham girad hazar
Ba`d az ân khvâhi to dur az âb bâsh
keh be-serr ham tab`-e âbi khvâjeh tâsh
Pas kasâni kaz jahân be-gozashteh-'and
lâ niand va dar sefât âghashteh-'and
Dar sefât-e Haqq sefât-e jomleh-shân
hamcho akhtar pish-e ân khvor bi neshân
-- Mathnawi IV: 432-433; 435-443
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996
Persian transliteration courtesy of Yahyá Monastra
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