With few exceptions e. The narratives range in length from jokes delivered in a short sentence or two e. As Adam Olearius p. He therefore decided to withdraw from society, erase the delirious things he had written, and take a penitent vow of silence for the rest of his life. However, an old friend comes to visit and is vexed by this unsociable behavior.
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This banner text can have markup. Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. Obedience to him is a cause of approach and gratitude in increase of benefits. Every inhalation of the breath prolongs life and every expiration of it gladdens our nature; wherefore every breath confers two benefits and for every benefit gratitude is due. Whose hand and tongue is capable To fulfil the obligations of thanks to him? Words of the most high: Be thankful, O family of David, and but few of my servants are thankful.
It is best to a worshipper for his transgressions To offer apologies at the throne of God, Although what is worthy of his dignity No one is able to accomplish. The showers of his boundless mercy have penetrated to every spot, and the banquet of his unstinted liberality is spread out everywhere.
He tears not the veil of reputation of his worshippers even for grievous sins, and does not withhold their daily allowance of bread for great crimes. O bountiful One, who from thy invisible treasury Suppliest the Guebre and the Christian with food, How could'st thou disappoint thy friends, Whilst having regard for thy enemies? He told the chamberlain of the morning breeze to spread out the emerald carpet and, having commanded the nurse of vernal clouds to cherish the daughters of plants in the cradle of the earth, the trees donned the new year's robe and clothed their breast with the garment of green foliage, whilst their offspring, the branches, adorned their heads with blossoms at the approach of the season of the roses.
Also the juice of the cane became delicious honey by his power, and the date a lofty tree by his care. Cloud and wind, moon and sun move in the sky That thou mayest gain bread, and not eat it unconcerned.
For thee all are revolving and obedient. It is against the requirements of justice if thou obeyest not. There is a tradition of the prince of created beings, the paragon of existing things, the mercy to the inhabitants of the world, the purest of mankind and the completion of the revolving ages, Muhammad the elect, upon whom be blessing and peace: Intercessor, obeyed, prophet, gracious, Bountiful, majestic, affable, marked with the seal of God.
What danger is there to the wall of the faithful with thee for a buttress? What fear of the waves of the sea has he whose pilot is Noah?
He attained exaltation by his perfection. He disspelled darkness by his beauty. Beauteous are all his qualities, Benediction be on him and on his family. The tradition is that whenever a sinful and distressed worshipper stretches forth the hand of repentance with hopes of acceptance to the court of heaven, God the most high does not notice him, whereon he continues to implore mercy with supplications and tears and God the most holy says: O my angels, verily I am ashamed of my servant and he has no other lord besides myself.
Accordingly I have fully pardoned him. See the generosity and kindness of God. The servant has committed sin and he is ashamed. Those who attend permanently at the temple of his glory confess the imperfection of their worship and say: We have not worshipped thee according to the requirements of thy worship; and those who describe the splendour of his beauty are rapt in amazement saying: We have not known thee as thou oughtest to be known.
If someone asks me for his description, What shall I despairing say of One who has no form? The lovers have been slain by the beloved. No voice can come from the slain. One of the devout who had deeply plunged his head into the cowl of meditation and had been immersed in the ocean of visions, was asked, when he had come out of that state, by one of his companions who had desired to cheer him up: 'What beautiful gift hast thou brought us from the garden in which thou hast been?
These pretenders are ignorantly in search of Him, Because he who obtained knowledge has not returned. Panegyric of the Padshah of Islam may Allah perpetuate his reign The good reputation of Sa'di which is current among the people, the renown of his eloquence which has spread on the surface of the earth, the products of his friendly pen which are consumed like sugar, and the scraps of his literary compositions which are hawked about like bills of exchange, cannot be ascribed to his virtue and perfection, but the lord of the world, the axis of the revolving circle of time, the vice-gerent of Solomon, protector of the followers of the religion, His Majesty the Shahanshah Atabek Aa'zm Muzaffaruddin Abu Bekr Ben Sa'd Ben Zanki-The shadow of Allah on earth!
O Lord, be pleased with him and with his kingdom-has looked upon Sa'di with a favourable eye, has praised him greatly, and has shown him sincere affection so that all men, gentle and simple, love him because the people follow the religion of their king. Because thou lookest upon my humble person, My merits are more celebrated than those of the sun. Although this slave may possess all faults, Every fault pleasing the Sultan becomes a virtue.
A sweet- smelling piece of clay, one day in the bath, Came from the hand of a beloved one to my hand. Because thy delicious odour intoxicates me. The perfection of my companion took effect on me And, if not, I am the same earth which I am. O Allah, give security protect his son. Verily the world is happy through him; may his happiness endure for ever And may the Lord strengthen him and with the banners of victory.
Thus the branch will flourish of which he is the root Because the beauty of the earth's plants depends on the virtue of the seed. May God, whose name be exalted and hallowed, keep in security and peace the pure country of Shiraz until the time of the resurrection, under the authority of righteous governors and by the exertions of practical scholars.
Knowest thou not why I in foreign countries Roamed about for a long time? I went away from the distress of the Turks because I saw The world entangled like the hair of negroes; They were all human beings, but Like wolves sharp-clawed, for shedding blood.
When I returned I saw the country at rest, The tigers having abandoned the nature of tigers. Within a man of good disposition like an angel, Without an army like bellicose lions. The country of Pares dreads not the vicissitudes of time, As long as one presides over it like thee, the shadow of God. Today no one can point out on the surface of the earth, A place like the threshold of thy door, the asylum of comfort. On thee is incumbent the protection of the distressed and gratitude Upon us and reward on God the creator of the world, As long as the world and wind endure.
The Cause for Composing the Gulistan I was one night meditating on the time which had elapsed, repenting of the life I had squandered and perforating the stony mansion of my heart with adamantine tears. 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. 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 Sa'di. 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.
After maturely considering these sentiments, I thought proper to sit down in the mansion of retirement to fold up the skirts of association, to wash my tablets of heedless sayings and no more to indulge in senseless prattle: To sit in a corner, like one with a cut tongue, deaf and dumb, Is better than a man who has no command over his tongue.
I continued in this resolution till a friend, who had been my companion in the camel-litter of misery and my comrade in the closet of affection, entered at the door, according to his old custom with playful gladness, and spread out the surface of desire; but I would give him no reply nor lift up my head from the knees of worship. He looked at me aggrieved and said: 'Now, while thou hast the power of utterance, Speak, O brother, with grace and kindness Because tomorrow, when the messenger of death arrives, Thou wilt of necessity restrain thy tongue.
He replied: 'I swear by the great dignity of Allah and by our old friendship that I shall not draw breath, nor budge one step, unless he converses with me as formerly, and in his usual way; because it is foolish to insult friends and easy to expiate an oath.
It is against propriety, and contrary to the opinions of wise men that the Zulfiqar of A'li should remain in the scabbard and the tongue of Sa'di in his palate. It is the key to the treasure-door of a virtuous man. When the door is closed how can one know Whether he is a seller of jewels or a hawker? Although intelligent men consider silence civil, It is better for thee to speak at the proper time. Two things betoken levity of intellect: to remain mute When it is proper to speak and to talk when silence is required.
In short, I had not the firmness to restrain my tongue from speaking to him, and did not consider it polite to turn away my face from his conversation, he being a congenial friend and sincerely affectionate. When thou fightest with anyone, consider Whether thou wilt have to flee from him or he from thee.
I was under the necessity of speaking and then went out by way of diversion in the vernal season, when the traces of severe cold had disappeared and the time of the dominion of roses had arrived: Green garments were upon the trees Like holiday robes on contented persons.
On the first of the month Ardibihesht Jellali The bulbuls were singing on the pulpits of branches. Upon the roses pearls of dew had fallen, Resembling perspiration on an angry sweetheart's cheek.
I happened to spend the night in a garden with one of my friends and we found it to be a pleasant cheerful place with heart-ravishing entangled trees; its ground seemed to be paved with small glass beads whilst, from its vines, bunches like the Pleiads were suspended. A garden the water of whose river was limpid A grove the melody of whose birds was harmonious. The former full of bright-coloured tulips, The latter full of fruits of various kinds; The wind had in the shade of its trees Spread out a bed of all kinds of flowers.
The next morning when the intention of returning had prevailed over the opinion of tarrying, I saw that my friend had in his skirt collected roses, sweet basil, hyacinths and fragrant herbs with the determination to carry them to town; whereon I said: 'Thou knowest that the roses of the garden are perishable and the season passes away', and philosophers have said: Whatever is not of long duration is not to be cherished.
Of what use will be a dish of roses to thee? Take a leaf from my rose-garden. A flower endures but five or six days But this rose-garden is always delightful. After I had uttered these words he threw away the flowers from his skirts, and attached himself to mine, saying: 'When a generous fellow makes a promise he keeps it.
In short, some roses of the garden still remained when the book of the Rose-garden was finished but it will in reality be completed only after approbation in the court of the Shah, who is the refuge of the world, the shadow of God, the ray of his grace, the treasury of the age, the asylum of the Faith, strengthened by heaven, aided against enemies, the arm of the victorious government, the lamp of the resplendent religion, the beauty of mankind, the boast of Islam, Sa'd son of Atabek the great, the majestic Shahanshah, owner of the necks of nations, lord of the kings of Arabia and Persia, the sultan of the land and the sea, the heir of the kingdom of Solomon, Muzaffaruddin Ibu Bekr, son of Sa'd Zanki, may Allah the most high perpetuate the prosperity of them both and direct their inclinations to every good thing.
Perused with a kind glance, Adorned with approbation by the sovereign, It will be a Chinese picture-gallery or design of the Arzank, Hopes are entertained that he will not be wearied By these contents because a Pose-garden is not a place of displeasure. Record of the Great Amir Fakhruddin Ben Abu Bekr, Son of Abu Nassar Again, the bride of imagination can for want of beauty not lift up her head nor raise her eyes from the feet of bashfulness to appear in the assembly of persons endowed with pulchritude, unless adorned with the ornaments of approbation from the great Amir, who is learned, just, aided by heaven, victorious, supporter of the throne of the Sultanate and councillor in deliberations of the realm, refuge of the poor, asylum of strangers, patron of learned men, lover of the pious, glory of the dynasty of Pares, right hand of the kingdom, chief of the nobles, boast of the monarchy and of the religion, succour of Islam and of the Musalmans, buttress of kings and sultans, Abu Bekr, son of Abu Nassar, may Allah prolong his life, augment his dignity, enlighten his breast and increase his reward twofold, because he enjoys the praise of all great men and is the embodiment of every laudable quality.
Whoever reposes in the shadow of his favour, His sin is transmuted to obedience and his foe into a friend. Every attendant and follower has an appointed duty and if, in the performance thereof, he gives way to remissness and indolence, he is certainly called to account and becomes subject to reproaches, except the tribe of dervishes, from whom thanks are due for the benefits they receive from great men as well as praises and prayers, all of which duties are more suitably performed in their absence than in their presence, because in the latter they look like ostentation and in the former they are free from ceremony.
The back of the bent sky became flat with joy, When dame nature brought forth a child like thee. It is an instance of wisdom if the Creator Causes a servant to make the general welfare his special duty.
Structured in four gateways with some repetition in each, the lessons read very much like koans with a short illustrative story and a small adjoining poem. Other than in most? Many of the Shaikh's admonitions remain as relevant today as they were back then and those that are not offer a clear window into the customs and social structures of his p. Many of the Shaikh's admonitions remain as relevant today as they were back then and those that are not offer a clear window into the customs and social structures of his period. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Born in Shiraz, Iran, in , Saadi is considered one of the greatest Persian poets of all time. Saadi's two books, the poetic Bostan, or Orchard in , and the prose Gulistan, the Rose Garden in , are regarded as supreme accomplishments of Persian literature. The Persian literature and culture are deeply indebted to Saadi's publications. The Gulistan The Rose Garden is a landmark of Persian literature, and one of the most influential works of prose in Persian. Written in CE, it is considered as one of the greatest medieval Persian poets. The Gulistan is a collection of stories and poems, just as a rose-garden is a collection of roses. The translation appearing in this book is provided by Edward Rehatsek in