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Saadi Anonymous 06/24/2020 (Wed) 16:45:54 No.70
I want to share a few stories and poems from Saadi's Gulistan. Every moment a breath of life is spent, If I consider, not much of it remains. O thou, whose fifty years have elapsed in sleep, Wilt thou perhaps overtake them in these five days? Shame on him who has gone and done no work. The drum of departure was beaten but he has not made his load. Sweet sleep on the morning of departure Retains the pedestrian from the road. Whoever had come had built a new edifice. He departed and left the place to another And that other one concocted the same futile schemes And this edifice was not completed by anyone. Cherish not an inconstant friend. Such a traitor is not fit for amity. As all the good and bad must surely die, He is happy who carries off the ball of virtue. Send provision for thy journey to thy tomb. Nobody will bring it after thee; send it before. Life is snow, the sun is melting hot. Little remains, but the gentleman is slothful still. O thou who hast gone empty handed to the bazar, I fear thou wilt not bring a towel filled. Who eats the corn he has sown while it is yet green, Must at harvest time glean the ears of it. Listen with all thy heart to the advice of Saadi. Such is the way; be a man and travel on. The capital of man’s life is his abdomen. If it be gradually emptied there is no fear But if it be so closed as not to open The heart may well despair of life; And if it be open so that it cannot be closed, Go and wash thy hands of this world’s life. Four contending rebellious dispositions Harmonize but five days with each other. If one of these four becomes prevalent, Sweet life must abandon the body Wherefore an intelligent and perfect man Sets not his heart upon this world’s life.
Edited last time by Butterberg on 06/24/2020 (Wed) 23:03:25.
Story 6 It is narrated that one of the kings of Persia had stretched forth his tyrannical hand to the possessions of his subjects and had begun to oppress them so violently that in consequence of his fraudulent extortions they dispersed in the world and chose exile on ccount of the affliction entailed by his violence. When the population had diminished, the prosperity of the ountry suffered, the treasury remained empty and on every side enemies committed violence. Who desires succour in the day of calamity, Say to him: ‘Be generous in times of prosperity.’ The slave with a ring in his ear, if not cherished will depart. Be kind because then a stranger will become thy slave. One day the Shahnamah was read in his assembly, the subject being the ruin of the dominion of Zohak and the reign of Feridun. The vezier asked he king how it came to pass that Feridun, who possessed neither treasure nor land nor a retinue, established himself upon the throne. He replied: ‘As thou hast heard, the population enthusiastically gathered around him and supported him so that he attained royalty.’ The vezier said: ‘As the gathering around of the population is the cause of royalty, then why dispersest thou the population? Perhaps thou hast no desire for royalty?’ It is best to cherish the army as thy life Because a sultan reigns by means of his troops. The king asked: ‘What is the reason for the gathering around of the troops and the population?’ He replied: ‘A padshah must practise justice that they may gather around him and clemency that they may dwell in safety under the shadow of his government; but thou possessest neither of these qualities.’ A tyrannic man cannot be a sultan As a wolf cannot be a shepherd. A padshah who establishes oppression Destroys the basis of the wall of his own reign. The king, displeased with the advice of his censorious vezier, sent him to prison. Shortly afterwards the sons of the king’s uncle rose in rebellion, desirous of recovering the kingdom of their father. The population, which had been reduced to the last extremity by the king’s oppression and scattered, now assembled around them and supported them, till he lost control of the government and they took possession of it. A padshah who allows his subjects to be oppressed Will in his day of calamity become a violent foe. Be at peace with subjects and sit safe from attacks of foes Because his subjects are the army of a just shahanshah.
Story 20 I heard that an oppressor ruined the habitations of the subjects to fill the treasury of the sultan, unmindful of the maxim of philosophers, who have said: ‘Who offends God the most high to gain the heart of a created being, God will use that very being to bring on his destruction in the world.’ Fire burning with wild rue will not Cause a smoke like that of afflicted hearts. The prince of all animals is the lion and the meanest of beasts the ass. Nevertheless sages agree that an ass who carries loads is better than a lion who destroys men. The poor donkey though void of discernment Is nevertheless esteemed when he carries a burden. Oxen and asses who carry loads Are superior to men oppressing mankind. When the king had obtained information of some of the oppressor’s misdeeds and bad conduct, he had him put on the rack and slain by various tortures. Thou wilt not obtain the approbation of the sultan Unless thou seekest the goodwill of his subjects. If thou desirest God to condone thy transgressions, Do good to the people whom God has created. One of the oppressed who passed near him said: ‘Not everyone who possesses strength of arm and office In the sultanate may with impunity plunder the people. A hard bone may be made to pass down the throat But it will tear the belly when it sticks in the navel.’
Story 25 One of the Arab kings ordered his officials to double the allowance of a certain attendant because he was always at the palace expecting orders while the other servants were engaged in amusements and sports, neglecting their duties. A pious man who heard this remarked that high degrees at the court of heaven are similarly bestowed upon servants: If a man comes two mornings to serve the shah He will on the third certainly look benevolently on him. Sincere worshippers entertain the hope That they will not be disappointed at the threshold of God. Superiority consists in attending to commands. The neglect of commands leads to exclusion. Who possesses the criterion of righteousness Places the head upon the threshold.
Listen to this story how in Baghdad A flag and a curtain fell into dispute. Travel stained, dusty and fatigued, the flag Said to the curtain by way of reproach: ‘I and thou, we are both fellow servants, Slaves of the sultan’s palace. Not a moment had I rest from service In season and out of season I travelled about. Thou hast suffered neither toil nor siege, Not from the desert, wind, nor dust and dirt. My step in the march is more advancing. Then why is thy honour exceeding mine? Thou art upon moon-faced servants Or jessamine scented slave girls. I have fallen into prentice hands. I travel with foot in fetters and head fluttering.’ The curtain said: ‘My head is on the threshold Not like thine in the heavens. Who carelessly lifts up his neck Throws himself upon his neck.’
A pious man saw an acrobat in great dudgeon, full of wrath and foaming at the mouth. He asked: ‘What is the matter with this fellow?’ A bystander said: ‘Someone has insulted him.’ He remarked: ‘This base wretch is able to lift a thousand mann of stones and has not the power to bear one word.’ Abandon thy claim to strength and manliness. Thou art weak-minded and base, whether thou be a man or woman. If thou art able, make a sweet mouth. It is not manliness to strike the fist on a mouth. Although able to tear up an elephant’s front He is not a man who possessed no humanity. A man’s nature is of earth. If he is not humble he is not a man.

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