Gulistan Saadi (گلستان سعدی) (The Rose Garden of Saadi)
Sheikh Muslih-uddin Sa’di Shirazi (1258)
Translated by Richard Francis Burton
Edited & Formatted by Lt Col (R) Muhammad Ashraf Javed
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On the Advantages of Silence
He replied: 'That enemy is the greatest who does not see any good.'
The brother of enmity passes
not near a good man
هنر به چشم عداوت ، بزرگتر عيب است
گل است سعدى و در چشم دشمنان خار است
is to the eyes of enmity the greatest fault.
نور گيتى فروز چشمه هور
زشت باشد به چشم موشك كور
world illumining sun and fountain of light
The boy said: 'It is thy order and I shall not tell it but thou must inform me of the utility of this proceeding and of the propriety of concealment.'
He replied: 'For fear the misfortune would be double; namely, the loss of the money and, secondly, the joy of neighbors at our loss.'
مگوى انده خويش با دشمنان
كه لا حول گويند شادى كنان
not thy grief to enemies
He replied: 'I fear I may be asked what I do not know and be put to shame.'
نشنيدى كه صوفيى مى كوفت
زير نعلين خويش ميخى چند؟
آستينش گرفت سرهنگى
كه بيا نعل بر ستورم بند
thou heard how a Sufi drove
what thou hast not said no one will trouble thee
Someone asked him how it came to pass that, with all his eloquence and learning, he had been unable vanquish an irreligious man.
He replied: 'My learning is in the Quran, in tradition and in the sayings of sheikhs, which he neither believes in nor listens to. Then of what use is it to me to hear him blaspheming?'
آن كس كه به قرآن و خبر زو نرهى
آنست جوابش كه جوابش ندهى
of whom thou canst not rid thyself by the Quran and tradition
'If he were learned he would not have come to this pass with an ignorant man.'
دو عاقل را نباشد كين و پيكار
نه دانايى ستيزد با سبكسار
اگر نادان به وحشت سخت گويد
خردمندش به نرمى دل بجويد
wise men do not contend and quarrel
دو صاحبدل نگهدارند مويى
هميدون سركشى ، آزرم جويى
و گر بر هر دو جانب جاهلانند
اگر زنجير باشد بگسلانند
pious men keep a hair between them untorn
يكى را زشتخويى داد دشنام
تحمل كرد و گفت اى خوب فرجام
بتر زانم كه خواهى گفتن آنى
كه دانم عيب من چون من ندانى
man insulted someone.
if heart-binding and sweet
سخن را سر است اى خداوند و بن
مياور سخن در ميان سخن
خداوند تدبير و فرهنگ و هوش
نگويد سخن تا نبيند خموش
have a head, O shrewd man, and a tail.
He replied: 'You must yourselves have heard it.'
They rejoined: 'What he says to thee he does not think proper to communicate to the like of us.'
He answered: 'Because he trusts that I shall not reveal it. Then why do you ask me to do so?'
نه سخن كه برآيد بگويد اهل شناخت
به سر شاه سر خويشتن نبايد باخت
knowing man will not utter every word which occurs to him.
I replied: 'Except that thou art the neighbor of it.'
خانه ام را كه چون تو همسايه است
ده درم سيم بد عيار ارزد
لكن اميدوارم بايد بود
كه پس از مرگ تو هزار ارزد
which has a neighbor like thee
As the poor man was departing naked in the world, he was attacked from behind by dogs, whereon he intended to snatch up a stone but it was frozen to the ground and, being unable to do so, he exclaimed: 'What whore-sons of men are these? They have let loose the dogs and have tied down the stones.'
The Amir of the robbers who heard these words from his room laughed and said: 'O philosopher, ask something from me.'
He replied: 'I ask for my robe if thou wilt make me a present of it.'
We are satisfied of thy gift by departure.
اميدوار بود آدمى به خير كسان
مرا به خير تو اميد نيست ، شر مرسان
was hoping for the gifts of people.
The robber chief took pity upon him, ordered his robe to be restored to him and added to it a sheepskin jacket with some dirhams.
A pious man who had the scene exclaimed:
تو بر اوج فلك چه دانى چيست ؟
كه ندانى كه در سرايت كيست ؟!
knowest thou what is in the zenith of the sky
for the most detestable of voices is surely the voice of asses-
appears to have been applicable to him.
This distich also concerns him:
When the preacher Abu-l-Fares
On account of the position he occupied the inhabitants of the locality submitted to the hardship and did not think proper to molest him. In course of time, however, another preacher of that region, who bore secret enmity towards him, arrived on a visit and said to him: 'I have dreamt about thee, may it end well!'
'What hast thou dreamt?'
'I dreamt that thy voice had become pleasant and that the people were comfortable during thy sermons.'
The preacher meditated a while on these words and then said:
'Thou hast dreamt a blessed dream because thou hast made me aware of my defect. It has become known to me that I have a disagreeable voice and that the people are displeased with my loud reading. Accordingly I have determined henceforth not to address them except in a subdued voice':
از صحبت دوستى برنجم
كاخلاق بدم حسن نمايد
عيبم هنر و كمال بيند
خارم گل و ياسمن نمايد
I am displeased with the
company of friends
كو دشمن شوخ چشم ناپاك
تا عيب مرا به من نمايد
Where is the bold and quick enemy
whose faults are not told him
The man agreed and went away.
Some time afterwards however, he returned to the Amir and said: 'My lord, thou hast injured me by turning me away for ten dinars from this place because where I next went they offered me twenty dinars to go to another locality but I refused.'
The Amir smiled and said: 'By no means accept them because will give thee even fifty dinars.'
به تيشه كس نخراشد ز روى خارا گل
چنانكه بانگ درشت تو مى خراشد دل
can scrape the mud from gravel with an axe
He further inquired: 'Then why takest thou this trouble?'
He replied: 'I am reading for God's sake.'
He replied: 'For God's sake do not read.'
گر تو قرآن بدين نمط خواني
ببرى رونق مسلمانى
readest the Quran thus
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