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Words of Wisdom

Selections from The Golestan of Sa'di – Chapter II: The Morals of Dervishes, Part 1 of 2

Language:Persian (Farsi)(ففارسی)
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Abu Moḥammad Mošarref-al-Din Moṣleḥ b. ʿAbd-Allāh Širāzi better known by his pen name Sa'di, was a preeminent Persian mystic, poet and prose writer. Scripted in exquisite, delicately didactic verse, Bustan, translated as The Orchard, consists of narratives that illustrate the standard moral virtues – which include justice, gratitude, modesty, love, beneficence, and contentment – and explores musings on the ecstatic faith and deeds of the Sufi dervishes, in order to promote a well-lived, happier life. Authored a year later in 1258 CE, his last work, Golestan, is comprised mainly of prose interspersed with short poems. The title, meaning Flower Garden, represents a metaphor for a cultivated, sacred garden of the psyche wherein Sa’di, through his poems and stories, has soulfully planted seeds of wisdom which bloom gloriously within the reader. We now invite you to enjoy excerpts from “The Golestan of Sa'di.” The Golestan of Sa'di Chapter II The Morals of Dervishes “One of the great devotees having been asked about his opinion concerning a hermit whom others had censured in their conversation, he replied: ‘I do not see any external blemishes on him and do not know of internal ones.’ Whomsoever thou see in a religious habit Consider him to be a religious and good man And, if thou know not his internal condition, What business has the muhtasib inside the house?” “I have craved pardon for the deficiency of my service Because I can implore no reward for my obedience. Sinners repent of their transgressions. Arifs ask forgiveness for their imperfect worship. Devotees desire a reward for their obedience and merchants [desire] the price of their wares but I, who am a worshipper, have brought hope and not obedience. I have come to beg and not to trade. Whether thou kill me or forgive my crime, my face and head are on thy threshold. ” “A great man was praised in an assembly and, his good qualities being extolled, he raised his head and said: ‘I am such as I know myself to be.’ My person is, to the eyes of the world, of good aspect, But my internal wickedness makes me droop my head with shame.”
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