Senin, 15 Oktober 2007

Farid o-Din Attar

Farid o-Din Attar was born in Nishapour and lived about 1119-1220 CE (another source mentions he lived about 1136-1230 CE). He lived close to 100 years and was killed by the Mongol invaders. His tomb is in Nishapour.

Different stories are told about the death of Attar. One common story is as follow: He was captured by a Mongol. One day someone came along and offered a thousand pieces of silver for him. Attar told the Mongol not to sell him for that price since the price was not right. The Mongol accepted Attar's words and did not sell him. Later someone else comes along and offers a sack of straw for him. Attar counsels the Mongol to sell him because that is how much he is worth. The Mongol soldier becomes very angry and cuts off Attar's head so he dies to teach a lesson.

Attar is one of the most mystic poets of Iran. His work has been the inspiration of Rumi and many other mystic poets of Iran. Molavi Rumi considered Attar the spirit and Sanai the eyesight, both of whom his poetic masters.

Attar took his name from his occupation. He was a druggist, perfumist and a doctor in addition to being a poet. Attar saw many patients a day in his shop where he prescribed herbal extractions and medicine which he made himself.

Attar wrote 114 pieces, the same number of suras in the holy book of Koran. About thirty of his works survived. To name a few of his works are love stories, biographies of saints, "Asrarnameh" (The Book of Secrets), a collection of quatrains, "Illahinameh" (The Book of God) and the last not the least, his most well known masterpiece of "Mantiq at-Tayr" (The Bird of the Sky) known as "The Conference of the Birds"

In "Illahinameh", he describes six human capacities and abilities: ego, imagination, intellect, thirst for knowledge, thirst for detachment, and thirst for unity. In The book of Secrets, he uses a collection of small stories to elevate the spiritual state of the reader.

In "Mantiq at-Tayr", Attar explains seven valleys which the "Bird of the Sky" goes through and passes to meet Simurgh (Legendary Bird or God). This is a process that each of us goes through. What we make of ourselves and what we become, good or bad, happy or unhappy, satisfied or dissatisfied, we do ourselves.


The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Edward FitzGerald (Fifth Edition)


Wake! For the Sun, who scatter’d into flight
The Stars before him from the Field of Night,
Drives Night along with them from Heav'n, and strikes
T'he Sultans Turret with a Shaft of Light.


Before the phantom of False morning died,
Methought a Voice within the Tavern cried,
"When all the Temple is prepared within,
"Why nods the drowsy Worshipper outside?"


And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted-"Open then the Door!
"You know how little while we have to stay,
"And, once departed, may return no more."


Now the New Year reviving old Desires,
The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires,
Where the WHITE HAND OF MOSES on the Bough
Puts out, and Jesus from the Ground suspires.


Iram indeed is gone with all his Rose,
And Jamshyd's Sev'n-ring'd Cup where no one knows;
But still a Ruby kindles in the Vine,
And many a Garden by the Water blows.


And David's Lips are lockt; but in divine
High-piping Pehlevi, with "Wine! Wine! Wine!
"Red Wine!"-the Nightingale cries to the Rose
That sallow cheek of hers to incarnadine.


Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring
Your Winter-garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To flutter-and the Bird is on the Wing.


Whether at Naishapur or Babylon,
Whether the Cup with sweet or bitter run,
The Wine of Life keeps oozing drop by drop,
The Leaves of Life keep falling one by one.

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