823 How can we search for (true) knowledge? By abandoning
(false) knowledge.1 How can we seek (true) peace? By abandoning
--From "The Mathnawî-yé Ma`nawî" [Rhymed Couplets of
Deep Spiritual Meaning] of Jalaluddin Rumi.
Translated from the Persian by Ibrahim Gamard (with
gratitude for R. A. Nicholson's 1934 British translation)
© Ibrahim Gamard (translation, footnotes, & transliteration)
First published on "Sunlight" (yahoogroups.com), 5/9/02
Notes on the text, with line number:
1(823) By abandoning (false) knowledge: Nicholson translated,
"Whence shall we seek (true) knowledge? From renouncing (our
false) knowledge." Here, Rumi speaks in paradox: seek knowledge
by abandoning knowledge. It can also be interpreted to mean
seeking "(inner) knowledge" or "knowledge (of spiritual realities)"
by renouncing "(your) knowledge," "(outward) knowledge," or
"knowledge (acquired by the mind)."
"(It means), 'Where can we seek the knowing of Reality and the
becoming a knower of Divine Knowledge?' The answer: 'By
abandoning that which we ourselves know and by travelling the
road of the passing away [fanâ = mystical transcendence of ego
and the limits of self-centered consciousness]." (Anqaravi, the 17th
century Turkish commentator, translated here into English from a
Persian translation) it could have been "(inner) knowledge" or
"knowledge (of spiritual realities)"versus "(outward) knowledge"
or "knowledge (acquired by the intellect)"]
2(823) By abandoning (false) peace: Nicholson translated, "Whence
shall we seek (true) peace? From renouncing peace (with our carnal selves)."
"Similarly, in regard to true peace, (the seeker) also must desire to
abandon egotistic and sensual peace. A person is continually at
peace with his ego, Satan, people of egotism, and the followers of
devils. (So) he is unable to know what true peace is, and he is not
able to make peace with the holy presence of God, the prophets --
peace be upon them, and the saints." (Anqaravi, Commentary)
823 az ko-jâ jôy-êm `ilm? az tark-é `ilm
az ko-jâ jôy-êm silm? az tark-é silm
(mathnawi meter: XoXX XoXX XoX)