Jehan-i-Rumi
Jehan-i-Seema
Divine Face of Maulana Jalal ud Din
Muhammad Rumi
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Mathnavi
Maulvi Ma’nvi

Translation and
Commentary
Seema Arif
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Mathnavi Maulvi Ma'nvi
Volume 1
    There was a certain merchant who had brought a parrot while returning
    from his trade tour from Hind. The parrot was kept in cage.  Once, he was
    to travel to Hind for business again. He asked all his maids, what gift
    from Hind they would like for themselves. He also enquired after the
    parrot if he would like any gift from her homeland. The parrot in return
    asked the favor of delivering a personal message to her folk, that they
    are all enjoying freedom, while she was kept locked. It was not fair that
    her friends have bereaved her, and forgotten all the promises they
    shared. Now, they must tell her what she should do to get free. (Go To
    Remembering Friends)

    She has sent them greetings of peace, but she had wanted justice, and a
    solution to free herself from prison, which is impossible without the right
    guidance. In Attributes of Divine Soul Rumi has described the spirit of
    prophets and saints who possess the transcendental spirit (rûh-i qudsí)
    and soar to God on the wings of love, ecstasy, and self-abandonment.

    The merchant promised to deliver this message. As he reached Hind, he
    duly delivered it to the first flock of parrots he saw. On hearing it one of
    them at once fell down dead. The merchant was so annoyed with himself
    that he had used such words that have killed an innocent bird, and was
    confused that his parrot has sent such a message to her friends. He
    says, "I went in destruction of (that) animal. "Is this one, perhaps, a
    relative of that little parrot? (Or) was this, perhaps, (a case of) two
    bodies and one spirit? "Why did I do this? Why did I deliver the message
    (and) burn up the helpless (creature) by means of this crude speech?"
    (See In The Spirit of Christ) Here Rumi emphasize the importance of
    mentoring and adopting right means for acquisition of knowledge. He
    comments at (saying of Farid-ud-Din Attar) and then tells us how the
    sorcerers had respected Moses. (See The Sorcerers’Respect For
    Moses)

    He had completed his business and returned. He was very angry and
    when he returned home, he sharply rebuked his own parrot for having
    sent such a fatal message. (See On Misuse of Words) To cause him
    more wonder on listening the story his own parrot shivered, then fell
    down dead in cage. The merchant, still in shock lamenting his death, is
    dumbfounded. He curses his tongue that had made him bear such an
    irreparable Loss. (See O Tongue) He celebrates his regret, mourning
    that he had but lost his sweet-singing bird. She was the wine for spirit,
    the blossom of garden - the sweet basil. If Solomon could have had a
    bird like her, he would never have been interested in others. What a
    pity! That he had not known her true worth. It has caused disgrace to
    humanity, that it has forgotten the original and true source of knowledge
    in (Source of Man’s Unhappiness), and where does it lie (Gnosis).
    How the knowledge is corrupted and how Man misguides itself, Rumi
    explains in (Exposition of Hadith by Hazrat Muhammad (SAW), and
    Saying by Hakim Sanai) He bids farewell to his dear departed friend,
    took his corpse out of the cage and threw it away. Lo thunder struck him
    again, the parrot jumped to life and was safely perched on the tree.
    Smiling, she explained, the Hindustani parrot had only feigned death to
    suggest this way of escaping from confinement in a cage. She gave me
    advice: Escape from your selfish belonging to elegance of voice and
    joyful expansion. One’s talent and skill serves as mightiest trap for
    oneself. The Bird’s voice had kept her shackles. Here Rumi introduces
    (Social Harms of Flattery and Public Idolatry).

    Merchant asks her for advice. She guides her to be humble and lowly in
    spirit not wanting public fame and popularity, that he might concentrate
    on his own spiritual development and moral nourishment. Rumi reverts
    to His own friend Allah the most exalted, and favors the belief, that
    everything happens by Will of Allah (See God’s Will) and last but not
    least he once again gifts us wisdom of his spiritual mentor Hakim Sanai, a
    call for self-mortification – a challenge for moral transformation.  (See
    Saying by Hakim Sanai)
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Copyright 2008 Jehan-e-Seema. All rights reserved.
All material in this page is original writing of  Seema Arif. Using it in any form of publication and print media
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proper referencing should be used.
Rumi Index
Proceed with the story
 
 
Khawaja and the Hindi Parrot