In Things Spiritual There Is No Division (Comparative Translations)

Mathnawi I: 681-689

In things spiritual there is no division and no numbers; in things spiritual there is no partition and no individuals.

Sweet is the oneness of the Friend with His friends; catch (and cling to) the foot of spirit. Form is headstrong [i.e. opposed to spiritual unity].

Make headstrong form waste away with tribulation, that beneath it you may descry unity, like a (buried) treasure.

And if you waste it not away, His favours will waste it--oh, my heart is His vassal.

He even showeth Himself to (our) hearts, He seweth the tattered frock of the dervish [I.e. He unite the mystic with himself].

Simple were we and all one substance; we were all without head and without foot yonder.

We were one substance, like the Sun; we were knotless and pure, like water.

When that goodly Light took form, it became (many in) member like the shadows of a battlement.

Raise ye the battlement with the manjaniq (mangonel), that difference may vanish from amidst this company (of shadows).

--Trans. by Nicholson, 1926

*with tribulation; His favours: "Let the mystic spare no pains to break through to the Oneness which is the hidden ground of all phenomena. Though he strive in vain, yet Divine Love will do what he cannot do by his own efforts."--Nicholson, "Commentary on Book I," 1937

*He even showeth Himself: "God bestows on His lovers the gift of contemplation (mushâhadah) and thereby heals the sore wounds which they have suffered through separation from Him, i.e. re-unites them with Himself."--Nicholson, Commentary

*one substance: "These words, if they bear a technical sense as the commentators suppose, probably refer to the original substance of all created things, the so-called 'White pearl or Corundum' [al-Durrah (or al-Yâqûtah) al-bayDâ], which is often identified with the Light of Muhammad (the Logos) or Universal Reason, the spiritual essence of Man."--Nicholson, Commentary

*the battlement: "The multitudinous forms of phenomena produced by the manifestation of the diverse attributes of the One Real Being may be compared to shadows which owe their existence to sunlight falling on a wall. Demolish the wall of selfhood and illusion: all these phantoms will disappear, and you will see nothing but the Sun of Unity."--Nicholson, Commentary

The spirit's world has no plurality, // Division, individuality;

The union of the lovers wait for you; // Hold on, don't let its form obstruct your view,

Melt stubborn form through hardship and be bold // And you'll find unity beneath like gold!

If you don't melt it, then his kindness will, // The master of our hearts supports us still:

He shows his face inside your happy heart // And sews the Sufi cloak that's torn apart.

Like one expansive whole was our past state, // Beyond one could not differentiate,

The same throughout form just like the sun, Like water, clear and still as if it's one;

When it took form that pure light multiplied // Like shadows of the battlements outside--

Demolish all of them my faithful troop, // Erase the differences among this group!

--trans. by Mojaddedi, "Rumi: The Masnavi, Book One," 2004

There are no parts or numbers in the spirit, no persons or partitions in the spirit.

The oneness of the Friend delights the friends--catch hold of spirit's foot, for form is stubborn.

Dissolve the stubborn form with acts of hardship till you see oneness under it like treasure.

And if you don't dissolve it, then His favours themselves dissolve it, O my heart, His slave.

He even manifests Himself to hearts and He will mend the ragged dervish robe.

We were all open-hearted, all one essence; we were all headless, we were footless there.

And of one essence were we, like the sun; we had no knots and we were pure like water.

When that pure light began to take on form, it multiplied like battlements in shadows.

Destroy the battlements with catapults, so that division leaves this company.

--trans. by Alan Williams, "Rumi: Spiritul Verses," 2006

In spirit there are no parts or numbering // Neither individuals or dividing

Unity of the Friend with the friends is sweet // Form is headstrong, hold on tight to spirit's feet

Melt rebellious form away by means of grief // So you'll see oneness like treasure underneath

And if you don't, divine grace most bounteous // Will melt it away, O Heart whose Lord He is

He will even show Himself within our hearts // He stitches up the dervishes' tattered frocks

We were expansive and of one substance all // Headless and without feet in that expanse, all

We were one single substance, just like the sun // Pure like water, without articulation

When that faultless light then entered into form // It was plural like shadows of a notched fort

Smash the fort's battlement with the mangonel // That difference between these troops be leveled

--trans. by Victoria Holbrook, in "Listen: Commentary on the Spiritual Couplets of Mevlana Rumi," 2011


dar ma`ânî qismat-o a`dâd nêst
dar ma`ânî tajziya w-afrâd nêst

ittiHâd-e yâr bâ yâr-ân khwash-ast
pây-e ma`nî gîr, Sûrat sar-kash-ast

Sûrat-e sar-kash godâzân kon ba-ranj
tâ be-bîn-î zêr-e ô waHdat chô ganj

w-ar tô na-g'dâz-î `inâyat-hây-e ô
khwod godâz-ad, ay del-am mawlây-e ô

ô nomây-ad ham ba-del-hâ khwêsh-râ
ô be-dôz-ad khirqa-ye darwêsh-râ

munbasiT bûd-êm-o yak jawhar hama
bê-sar-o bê-pâ bod-êm ân sar hama

yak gohar bûd-êm ham-chûn âftâb
bê-gereh bûd-êm-o Sâfî ham-chô âb

chûn ba-Sûrat âmad ân nûr-e sara
shod `adad chûn sâya-hây-e kongora

kongora wêrân kon-îd az manjanîq
tâ raw-ad farq az meyân-e în farîq

(mathnawi meter: XoXX XoXX XoX)