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Selections from “The Golestan of Sa'di – Chapter III: On the Excellence of Contentment,” Part 1 of 2

2021-03-08
Език:English ,Persian (Farsi)(ففارسی)

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Abu Moḥammad Mošarref-al-Din Moṣleḥ b. ʿAbd-Allāh Širāzi, better known by his pen name Sa'di, was a Persian mystic, poet and prose writer. Sa’di composed numerous qasidas (odes or eulogistic speeches), ghazals (love poems and sonnets) and satirical poetry portraying the human experience, in both Persian and Arabic. His last work, “Golestan,” meaning Flower Garden, represents a metaphor for a cultivated, sacred garden that inspires empathy, kindness toward one another, and a noble, loving way of life.

The Golestan of Sa'di Chapter III On the Excellence of Contentment

Story 1 “A Maghrabi supplicant said in Aleppo in the row of linen-drapers: ‘Lords of wealth, if you were just and we contented, the trade of begging would vanish from the world.’ O contentment, make me rich For besides thee no other wealth exists. Loqman (wise man) selected the corner of patience. Who has no patience has no wisdom.”

Story 5 “It is narrated in the life of Ardeshir Babekan that he asked an Arab physician how much food he must consume daily. He replied: ‘The weight of 390 grams will be enough.’ The king queried: ‘What strength will this quantity give me?’ He replied: ‘This quantity will carry thee, and whatever is more than that, thou wilt be the carrier of it.’ Eating is for living and praying. Thou thinkest living is for eating.”

Story 7 “One of the philosophers forbade his son to eat much because repletion keeps people ailing. The boy replied: ‘O father, it is hunger that kills. Hast thou not heard of the maxim of the ingenious that it is better to die satiated than to bear hunger?’ He (the father) rejoined: ‘Be moderate. Eat and drink but not to excess.’ Eat not so much that it comes up to thy mouth Nor so little that from weakness thy soul comes up. Although maintenance of life depends upon food Victuals bring on disease when eaten to excess. If thou eatest rose-confectionery without appetite it injures thee But eating dry bread after a long fast is like rose-preserve.”

Story 8 “A sick man having been asked what his heart desired replied: ‘That it may not desire anything.’ When the bowels are full and the belly pains There is no use in all other things being right.”

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