Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The moon is the same moon

Know that (the world of) created beings is like pure and limpid water
in which the attributes of the Almighty are shining

Their knowledge and their justice and their clemency are
like a star of heaven (reflected) in running water.

Kings are the theatre for the manifestation of Allah's kingship;
the learned are the mirrors for Allah's wisdom.

Generations have passed away, and this is a new generation:
the moon is the same moon, the water is not the same water.

The justice is the same justice, and the learning is the same learning too;
but these generations and peoples have been changed.

Generations on generations have gone, O sire,
but these Ideas (Divine Attributes) are permanent and everlasting.

The water in this channel has been changed many times:
the reflection of the moon and of the stars remains unaltered.

Therefore its foundation is not in the running water; nay,
but in the regions of the breadth (wide expanse) of Heaven.

(Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi, Mathnawi VI 3175, Nicholson translation)

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