Recent Posts

"The Walled Garden of Truth " Excerpts of the "Hadiqat al Haqiqa"

             of  Hakim Sanai (Persian Mystical poet, Ghazni  ca. 1070 - ca. 1150)

The Garden of Reality 

"The seing soul perceives
   the folly of paraising
   other than the Creator."

"The 'self'' ['ego']** is a servant in His cavalcade;
   reason a new boy in His school.
   What is reason in this guesthouse,
   but a crooked scrawling
   of God's handwriting?"

"Had He not shown Himself,
  how should we have known Him?
  Unless He shows us the way,
  how can we know Him?"

"We tried reasoning
  our way to Him:
  it didn't work;
  but the moment we gave up,
  no obstacle ramained."

"He introduced Himself to us
  out of kindness: how else
  could we have known Him?
  Reason took us far as His door;
  but it was His Presence that let us in".

"But, how will you ever know Him,
  as long as you are unable
  to know yourself ?"

"Once one is one,
  no more, no less:
  error begins with duality;
  Unity knows no error."

"Place itself has no place:
  how could there be place
  for the Creator of place,
  heaven for the Maker of Heaven?"

"He said:
  'I was a Hidden Treasure;
  creation was created
  so that you might kow Me'."

"Why, tell me, if what you seek
  does not exist in any place,
  do you propose to travel there on foot?"
  The road your self must journey on
  lies in polishing the mirror of your heart."

"It is not by rebellion and discord
  that the heart's mirror is polished free
  of the rust of hypocrisy and unbelief:
  your mirror is polished by your certitude,
  by the unalloyed purity of your faith." 

"If you want the mirror to reflect the face,
  hold it straight and keep it polished bright;
  although the sun does not begrudge its light,
  when seen in a mist it only looks like glass;
  and creatures comelier than angels even
  seem in a a dagger to have devils' faces."

"Your dagger will never tell you true from false:
  it will never serve you as a mirror.
  Better to seek your image in your heart
  than in your mortal clay;
  Break free
  from the chains you have forged about yourself;
  for you will be free when you are free of clay.
  The body is dark - the Heart is shining bright;
  the body is mere compost -  the Heart a blooming garden."

"...don't lick that man's plate,
  or buy his flattery.
  He doesn't know his own self ['Being']:
  how should he know the self ['Being'] of another?"

"He knows only his hands and feet,
  how should he know about God?
  This is beyond the sage's grasp:
  you must be a fool
  if you think that you know it.
  When you can expound on this,
  you will know the pure esence of faith;
  till then,
  what have faith and you in commom?
  It is better to be silent
  than to talk nonsense
  like one of the learned;
  faith is not woven
  into every garment."

"You were made for work:
  a Robe of Honour awaits you. ["The Robe of Glory" of  "The Hymn of Pearl".
  How is it that you are satisfied
  with mere rags?
  How will you ever have riches
  if you are idle sixty days a month?"

"Knowing what you know,
  be serene also, like a mountain;
  and do not distressed by misfortune.
  Knowledge without serenity
  in an unlit candle;
  together they are honey-comb;
  honey without wax is a noble thing;
  wax without honey is only fit for burning."

"Leave this abode
  of birth and decay;
  leave this pit,
  and make for your destined home.
  This heap of dust is a mirage,
  where fire seems like water."

"The Pure Man unites
  two in one;
  the Lover unites
  three in one."

"But I am frightened
  lest your ignorance and stupidity
  leave you stranded on the bridge."

"He is the provider
  of both: faith and wordly goods;
  He is none other than the disposer
  of our lives.
  He is no tyrant:
  for everything He takes,
  He gives back seventy-fold;
  and if He closes one door
  He opens ten others to you."

"You cannot distinguish
  the good from the bad.
  He treasures you more
  than you do yourself."

"That friend of yours is a serpent:
   why do you knock at is door?
   That Serpent ["the Serpent Power" or "Mystic fire"]
   why do you run from him?"

" - Rise, said Mansur*,
  - have done with fairy-tales;
   leave your base passions,
   and come to Me -."
   *Mansur Al Hallaj, Persian mistic  (c. 858 – 922)

"You have to realize
  that it is His guidance
  that keeps you on the path,
  and not your own strength."

"Through him [Jesus] the leprous body became whole,
  and the sightless eye became bright.
  Anyone who, like Him,
  seeks neither name nor fame,
  can produce ten foods from one jar,
  can make a stone as fragrant as musk,
  can bring the dead to action and living speech,
  can breathe life into the dead earth of the heart."

"How shall this sluggish body worship Him?
  How shall he be known to life and soul?
  A ruby, there, is just a piece of stone:
  and spiritual excellence the height of folly.
  Silence is praise - have done with speech;
  your chatter will only bring you harm and sorrow,
  - have done!"

"Belief and unbelief
  both have their origin
  in your hypocrite's heart;
  the way is only long
  because you delay to start on it:
  one single step
  would bring you to Him:
  become a slave,
  and you will be a king."

"The dumb find tongues,
   when the scent of life reaches them
   from his soul."

"Listen truly - and don't be fooled-
  this is not for fools:
  all these different shades
  become one colour
  in the jar of unity;
  the rope becomes slender
  when reduced to a single strand."

"Your intellect is just a hotch-potch
  of guesswork and thought,
  limping over the face of the earth;
  wherever they are, He is not;
  they are contained within His creation.
  Man and his reason are just the latest
  ripening plants in His garden.
  Whatever you assert about His nature,
  you are bound to be out of your depth,
  like a blind man trying to describe
  the appearance of his own mother.
  While reason is still tracking down the secret,
  you end your quest on the open field of Love."

"The path consists in neither words nor deeds:
  only desolation can come from these,
  and never any lasting edifice.
  Sweetness and life are the words
  of the man who treads this road in silence;
  when he speaks it is not from ignorance,
  when he is silent is not from sloth."

"These learned fools, these thieves and pickpokets:
  they use what they have learnt for highway robbery!
  Listen to me, you, lord of language:
  better fill your heart with light,
  than with a hundred thousand words;
  when silent you are eloquence itself:
  open your mouth, and you're a rabble-rouser."

"Nobody sees the heart and soul
  of the seeker of Truth;
  but his tongue speaks truly:
  'I am the Truth'."

"For the wise man
  evil and good
  are both exceeding good.
  No evil ever comes from God;
  whenever you think to see
  evil proceding from Him,
  you were better to look on it
  as good.
  I'm afraid that on the way of faith,
  you are like a squinter seeing double,
  or a fool quarreling with the shape of a camel.
  Evil can never arise from Him:
  how should evil co-exist with Him?
  Only the foolish and ignorant work evil,
  never the beneficient friend.
  If He gives you poison, deem it honey;
  and if He shows you anger, deem it mercy."

"Have you never seen how a nurse,
  in the earliest days of an infant's life,
  one minutes leaves it crying in the cot,
  and holds it to her breast the next?;
  sometimes smacks it, sometimes soothes it;
  nowdrives it away, now makes a fuss of it.
  A stranger seeing this is angry:
  'She doesn't care about the child' he sighs.
  How could he know that the nurse is right,
  and that this the way she has to work?

 "Be contented with your luck;
   but if you have any complaints,
   go and take them to the Cadi*,
   and obtain satisfaction from him.
   -That's how the fool's mind works!"

"Whatever befalls you, misfortune or fortune,

  is unalloyed blessing;
  the attendant evil
  a fleeing shadow."

"‘Good’ and ‘evil’ have no meaning

   in the world of the Word:
   they are names, coined
   in the world of ‘me’ and ‘you’."

"Your life is just morsel in his mouth;

  his feast is both wedding and a wake.
  Why should darkness grieve the heart?
 – for night is pregnant with new day."

"You say you’ve unrolled the carpet of time,
  "...", step then beyond life itself and reason,
  till you arrive at God’s command."

"You cannot see anything, being blind by night,

  and by day one-eyed with your foolish wisdom!"

"My friend, everything existing
  exists through Him;
  your own existence is a mere pretense.
  No more nonsense! Lose yourself,
  and the hell of your heart becomes a heaven.
  Lose yourself, and anything can be accomplished.
  Your selfishness is an untrained colt."

"You are what you are:
  hence your loves and hates;
  you are what you are:
  hence faith and unbelief.

  Hope and fear drive fortune from your door;
  lose yourself, and they will be no more.

"At his door, what is the difference
  between Moslem and Christian,
  virtuous and guilty?
  At his door all are seekers
  and He the sought."

"God is without cause:
  why are you looking for causes?
  The sun of truth rises unbidden,
  and with it sets the moon of learning."

"In this halt of just a week,
  to be is not to be,
  and to come is to go.
"And does the sun exist
  for the cock to crow at?
  What is it to Him
  whether you are there or not?
  Many have come, just like you,
  to His door."

"You won’t find your way
  in this street; if there is a way,
  it is on your road of sighs.
  All of you are far
  from the road of devotion:
  sometimes you are virtuous,
  sometimes you are wicked:
  so you hope for yourselves, fear for yourselves;
  but when your mask of wisdom and folly
  at last turns white, you will see
  that hope and fear are one."

"If you know your own worth,
  what need you care about
  the acceptance or rejection of others?"

"Worship him as if you could see Him with your physical eyes;
  though you don’t see Him,
  He sees you."

"Whilst in this land
  of fruitless pursuits,
  you are always unbalanced, always
  either all back or all front;
  but once the seeking soul has progressed
  just a few paces beyond this state,
  love seizes the reins."

"The coming of death [of the 'ego'- "Mystical Death"]
  is the key which unlocks
  the unknown domain;
  but for death, the door of true faith
  would remain unopened"

"If you yourself
 are upside down in reality,
 then your wisdom and faith
 are bound to be topsy-turvy."

"Stop weaving a net about yourself:
 burst like a lion from the cage."

"Melt yourself down in his search:
 venture your life and your soul
 in the path of sincerity;
 strive to pass from nothingness to being,
 and make yourself drunk with the wine of God."

"From Him forgiveness comes so fast,
  it reaches us before repentance
  has even taken shape on our lips."

"He is your shepherd,
  and you prefer the wolf;
  he invites you to him,
  and yet you stay unfed;
  he gives you his protection,
  yet you are sound asleep:
 Oh, well done,
 you senseless upstart fool!"

"He heals our nature from within,
  kinder to us than we ourselves are.
  A mother does not love her child
  with half the love that he bestows."

"You have broken faith,
  yet still he keeps his faith with you:
  he is truer to you
  than you are to yourself."

"He created your mental powers;
  yet his knowledge is innocent
  of the passage of thought.
  He knows what is in your heart;
  or he made your heart along with your clay;
  but if you think that he knows
  in the same way that you do,
  then you are stuck like a donkey
  in your own mud."

"In His presence, silence is the gift of tongues."

"He knows the touch
  of an ant’s foot
  moving in darkness
  over a rock.
  He always knows
  what is in men’s minds:
  you would do well
  to reflect on this."

"Love’s conqueror is he
  whom love conquers."

"Apply yourself, hand and foot,
  to the search;
  but when you reach the sea,
  stop talking of the stream."

"When He admits you to His Presence
  ask from Him nothing other than Himself,
  When he has chosen you for a friend,
  you have seen all that there is to see."

"There’s no duality in the world of Love
  What’s all this talk of ‘you’ and ‘me’?
  How can you fill a cup that’s full already?"

"Bring all of yourself to his door:
  bring only a part
  and you’ve brought nothing at all."

"It’s your own self [‘ego’] defining faith and unbelief:
  inevitably it colors your perception.
  Eternity knows nothing
  of belief or unbelief;
  for a pure nature
  there is no such thing."

"And if, my friend, you ask me the way
  I’ll tell you plainly, it is this:
  to turn your face towards the world of life,
  and turn your back on rank and reputation;
  and, spurning outward prosperity, to bend
  your back double in His service;
  to part company with those who deal in words,
  and take your place in the presence of the worldless."

"The way is not far
  from you to a Friend: you yourself are that way:
  so set out along it."

"You who know nothing of the life
  that comes from the juice of the grape,
  how long will you remain intoxicated
  by the outward form of the grape?
  Why do you lie that you are drunk?"

"How can you go forward?
  There is no place to go;
  How will you leap?
  You have no foot."

"Not one knows how far it is
 from nothingness to God.
 As long as you cling to your self [‘ego’]
 you will wander right and left,
 day and night, for thousands of years;
 and when, after all that effort,
 you finally open your eyes,
 you will see your self [‘ego’] through inherent defects,
 wandering around itself like the ox on the mill;
 but, if, once freed from your self [‘ego’],
 you finally get down to work,
 this door will open to you within two minutes."

"God will not be yours,
  as long as you cling to soul and life:
  you cannot have both: this and that."

"Bruise yourself [to "ego"]  for months and years on end*;
  leave it as dead**,
  and when you have fisnished with your vile self,
  you will have reached eternal life and [true] joy... ".
  The struggle against our own ego-self (nafs)," jihad al-nafs",

           is, truly," the greater struggle" (jihad al-akbar), the "holy" war"  for
           our interior "sanctification", purification, that will alow us to reach
         "The True Peace and  the Real Freedom" here and now...

    ** "The "Mistical Death " of the our "nafs-i-ammaraor "psychological defects"

"Remain unmoved by hope and fear.
 To non-existence mosque and church are one;
  to a shadow, heaven and hell likewise."

"The death of the soul is the destruction of life;
   the death of the life [of the 'I', the 'ego-self '] is salvation for the soul."

"Never stand still on the path
  become non-existent.
  Non-existent even to the notion
  of becoming non-existent."

"And when you have abandoned both
  individuality and understanding,
  the world will become that."

"When the eye is pure
  it sees purity."

"Unself yourself…
  until you see your self [‘ego’] as a speck of dust
  you cannot possibly reach that place;
  self  [‘ego’] could never breathe that air,
  so wend your way there without self [‘ego’]."

"Until thou sweep the path with the broom of Not*,  
  how canst thou enter the abode of Except God? 
  * "Fana or  Fanaa": "The "Mistical Negation" of the our "nafs-i-ammara''  or "psychological  defects" , 
       "The Mistical Death of  the psycological ego" .


** [Notes in square brackets by editor]


"There was a great city in the country of Ghûr, in which all the people were blind. 
A certain king passed by that place, bringing his army and pitching his camp on the plain. He had a large and magnificent elephant to minister to his pomp and excite awe, and to attack in battle.  A desire arose among the people to see this monstrous elephant, and a number of the blind, like fools, visited it, every one running in his haste to find out its shape and form.  They came, and being without the sight of their eyes groped about it with their hands; each of them by touching one member obtained a notion of some one part; each one got a conception of an impossible object, and fully believed his fancy true.  When they returned to the people of the city, the others gathered round them, all expectant, so misguided and deluded were they.  They asked about the appearance and shape of the elephant, and what they told all listened to.

One asked him whose hand had come upon its ear about the elephant;

He said:- 'It is a huge and formidable object, broad and rough and spreading, like a carpet'. 

And he whose hand had come upon its trunk said:
-' I have found out about it; it is straight and hollow in the middle like a pipe, a terrible thing and an instrument of destruction'.

 And he who had felt the thick hard legs of the elephant said:
'- As I have it in mind, its form is straight like a planed pillar'.

 Every one had seen some one of its parts, and all had seen it wrongly.  No mind knew the whole,--knowledge is never the companion of the blind all, like fools deceived, fancied absurdities.

Men know not the Divine essence; into this subject the philosophers may not enter".

                       " The First Book of The Hadîqatu' l-Haqîqat or The Enclosed Garden of the Truth                                                               of the Hakîm Abû l-Majd Majdûd Sanâ'î of Ghazna."
            Edited and Translated by J. Stephenson, [1910]