451. Cf. sukhanān-i dihlīzī, “idle talk, hearsay.” The “vestibule”, dihlīz, is a passage extending from the door to the court of the house, either roofed or not. Here people would collect and gossip.

The Author apparently means here that everyone discusses the mystery of existence, and, possibly, complains of the injustice of fortune, dihlīz meaning also, as Quatremère says, “la partie antérieure des tentes, ou la première tente, celle où le sultan se tenait d´ordinaire pour donner ses audiences.”

452. i.e., presumably, they have tried to explain the mystery of existence and the spiritual world, but have died before succeeding.

453. i.e., if I have a long enough life.

454. i.e., to penetrate into the mysteries of the spiritual life and to avoid all the pitfalls of the phenomenal world.

455. i.e., the warning and summons have not yet come, and I, like others, can scarcely believe I am to take the journey.

456. i.e., when I am dead, and the veil of the spiritual world is raised.

457. i.e., how long shall I try to teach the mystery of existence, of the spiritual world, and of God, being ignorant myself? How long shall I be eloquent upon a subject through which I do not see?

458. i.e., you cannot attain to a knowledge of the divine by means of the eyes (of intellect), therefore forget your eyes; nor can you teach the divine mysteries, therefore keep silence. It is only by following out the Ṣūfī Path that one can commune with God.

459. i.e., when you attain to a knowledge of the divine by living the Ṣūfī life you will know that your intellectual strivings were vain.

460. i.e., abandon all your puny efforts, for the spiritual world has shaped all things on the earth, and nothing can be achieved without its preordained concurrence. (Cf. the next distich.)

461. Instead of du tang-i nāvardī, “two passes of dispute,” some MSS. have dukān-i nāvardī, “shop of dispute.” By “two passes of dispute” is meant the world as a place of entrance and exit where contention prevails.

462. i.e., while pearls, rubies, and precious metals trammel your free action, how can you hope to make rapid progress in the domain of spirituality? The heavens were supposed to move rapidly round the earth.

463. The “bare-backed steed” refers to the carnal or animal soul purified and denuded of all earthly ties and desires. Such a steed will bear one safely through the world. (See also Note 2,036.)

464. The best comment upon this is the last distich of some lines in the third chapter of the Gulistān:

Mard-ī Khudā ba-maghrib-u mashriq gharīb nīst;
har jā ki mī-ravad hama mulk-ī Khudāy-i ū’st:

“The man of God in west or east’s at home;
for his God’s realm is all where´er he roam.”

“The man of God” is “the darvīsh”.

465. i.e., before you are dispossessed by death. It was the custom to suspend the crown above the throne.

466. i.e., the blossoms of virtue may fall through the dust blown by the wind of envy of others’ riches.

467. The “arms” of the rose are the “petals”, which are scattered by the wind.

The Author means probably that he does not want arms because he does not wish to fight for worldly possessions, and by voluntary renunciation he escapes the thorn of envy.

468. “The wearing of the darvīsh’s robe by his envy” is presumably “the mortification of his envy”, by which the fire of the passions of his body or carnal soul may be allayed, talc being a resistant of fire.

But some of the I.O. MSS. and the B. ed. of 1328 reverse the order of ḥasad and jasad, offering the sense, “In order that, perchance, the wearing of the darvīsh’s robe by my body may scatter talc over the fire of my envy”; i.e., “may allay the fire of my envy.” This, however, is more prosaic, and less in harmony with the preceding distich than the former reading.

469. i.e., through the world, by giving up envy and covetous­ness and renouncing all possessions.

470. “This ancient inn” is “the world”. It is implied that all earthly possessions are transitory, and had better be renounced before one leaves the world.

471. The Author means probably, escape from the bonds of the world and from all other ties, in which there is multiplicity, and boldly assert your freedom. (Cf. the next distich.)

472. i.e., those who have studied existence and become skilful in speech, who have learnt how to guide practice by theory, and taught what they could of existence, have died. Each one has had his day and opportunity, has performed his part, and has then disappeared.

473. i.e., my life is nearly at an end; you be careful in your life, which has not long begun.

474. A rose of the Eternal Garden; i.e., the soul.

475. “By the name Muhammad you are sealed”; i.e., you are well sealed, as it were, with the name Muhammad, which means “much praised or praiseworthy”.

476. i.e., strive to obtain conspicuous praiseworthiness.

477. An attack of robbers on the pilgrims to Mecca is apparently supposed, during which some needy pilgrim swallows the little gold he has in order to save it. The robbers are supposed to see this and to cut open a hundred pilgrims, suspecting them of a like act. Or it may be that the richer pilgrims, seeing the needy man committing this act, imitate him and burst.

478. i.e., give them no hold upon you by carelessness.

479. “This malignly moving hall” is the sky, i.e., fortune.

480. A warning against over confidence on the road of life.

481. A similar thought to that in the preceding distich. Though you think you are making fine and rapid progress through the world, you must beware of its pitfalls.

Bāz-i safīd, “white falcon” (falco gyrfalco), is also a term applied to the sun. (Cf. the next hemistich.)

482. i.e., keep a bright look out in the world.

483. Kamān means a “bow”, and also Sagittarius.

Tīr is an “arrow”, and also the Persian name of the planet “Mercury”.

The sense is that the world is a road where people are hunted by the skies of the planets and zodiacal signs, i.e., fortune.

484. i.e., though your character may be naturally strong, you have the difficulties and attractions of life to contend with, which may neutralize your efforts.

485. “This beast” is “the carnal or animal soul”, nafs, and the sense is that you should not so indulge it that you may not engage in laudable pursuits and pass with credit through life. (See also Note 2,036.)

486. Daur, “Time,” also means “Fortune”. “Two-hued” refers to the whiteness of day and the blackness of night. “Let the road, etc.”; i.e., keep up a cheerful heart.

487. Lit., “the root of it is gladness in the interpretation.”

But I.O. MS. 402 has, ḥāṣil-ī ān khvashī ’st dar ta‘bīr, “the result of it is gladness, or, it amounts to gladness, in the inter­pretation.”

488. i.e., either from all ties, or from all griefs.

I.O. MS. 402 has:

ahd bar man ki az balā rastī, “I take it upon myself (to promise) that you escape calamity.”

489. Gauhar-ī nīk, “the good pearl,” means also “the good nature or temperament”; and here, “the man of good nature or temperament.”

The sense is, Do not separate from such a man.

490. “An evil nature”; lit., “the evil origin,” meaning “the man of evil nature”.

“Nature does not err” is in Arabic, and reads, aṣl lā yukhṭī, but as the Arabic is not strictly correct, and the distich is very similar to the next one, I should be inclined to take it as an interpolation.

491. “The evil nature”; lit., “the evil origin” meaning “the man of evil nature”.

492. i.e., you will be able to bring affairs to a happy conclusion, to solve difficulties, etc.

493. i.e., he who is not predestined to be learned is prevented from becoming so by being ashamed of acquiring knowledge.

494. “The Seven Climes” into which Oriental geographers divided the whole inhabited world as known to them. (See Notes 207, 1,146, and 1,147.)

495. The Author is evidently alluding to verses 4 and 5 of chapter v. of the Qur’ān:

“. . . . and that which beasts of prey have (partly) eaten . . . . is forbidden you. . . .

. . . . But he who is constrained by severe hunger, and has no inclination to transgress,—truly God is forgiving, merciful.” By “has no inclination to transgress” is meant, does not wilfully incline to the sin of unlawful food, and to eating more of it than is necessary to sustain life.

The sense of the distich is that by a knowledge of the holy Law one may know that even unlawful food is sometimes lawful, and by such knowledge be justified in eating it.

496. The reference is to the dog of the Seven Sleepers, which became a man by following them. Cf. Sa‘dī’s Gulistān:

Sag-i aṣḥāb-i kahf rūzī chand pay-i nīkān girift-u mardum shud: “The dog of the Companions of the Cave for a few days followed the good, and became a man.”

497. For Khiẓr, see Notes 274, 1,201, 1,562, and 1,698.

498. Cf. again the aphorism , “Know thyself.” (See Note 338.) it is said Man‘arafa nafsa-h ‘arafa Rabba-h, “He who knows himself knows his Lord.”

499. “Life’s Water” or “the Water of Life”, Āb-i Ḥayāt, is also called Ab-i ḥaivān, “the Water of the living animal.”

The meaning of the distich is that the Water of Life is not the mere animal life, but has to do with the rational soul which is immortal for him who knows its nature.

500. “The soul with reason”; i.e., the spirit of the ‘Ārif, the mystic “who knows”.