Project 6060 – Lesson 57
A few of Sa’di’s Tales
A tale is one of the types of short story and it expresses moral points within the framework of an adventure. Many of the writings of Iranian greats are in the form of tales. One of the books that is renowned in this field is the book, ‘Golestan’; a work of Sa’di, the great Iranian writer of the thirteen century AD. ‘Golestan’ is one of the most famous Persian prose masterpieces and was written in the year 1277. This book has eight chapters and expresses moral, educative and social issues. Sa’di uses poetry in his tales as well. One of Sa’di’s most famous poems in Golestan is the poem ‘Children of Man’, which begins with the following couplet:
The children of man are, together, related As out of one gemstone, together, created.
This poem is so important that Barak Obama, the then President of the United States of America, recited this poem in his Nowruz message to the Iranian people in the year 2009. In addition, in the negotiations hall of the United Nations in New York, there is a carpet on which the poem ‘Children of Man’ has been written. This poem has also been selected for a collection of messages for the spaceship ‘Voyager’ to send to space. Before writing the Golestan, Sa’di wrote another book of poetry, which is called ‘Bustan’. To continue, you will read a few tales from Sa’di’s Golestan:
The Grateful Devotee
I saw a devotee beside the sea, who had been wounded by a panther and no medicine was healing him. He had been in pain for a long time and thanked God. They asked him, “What are you giving thanks for?” He said, “Thanks that I have been overcome by disaster, not sin.”
The Servant and the King
A king sat with his servant on a ship to go on a journey. Since the servant was seeing the sea for the first time, and until that time had not seen the suffering of seafaring, he began to cry and get impatient out of fear. His unrest caused the king to become disturbed. The king’s entourage were looking for a solution, until a sage said to the king: “If you give the order, I will calm him down somehow.”
The king said: “If you can do that, you will have done me a favour.”
The sage said: “Order them to throw the servant into the sea.”
The king issued this very order. They threw him into the sea. In the sea he was yelling: “Help! Save me!”
In the end, they grabbed his hair and pulled him inside the ship. He sat in a corner of the ship and said nothing more.
The king was surprised by the order of the sage and asked him: “What was the wisdom behind this that caused the servant to calm down?”
The sage replied: “At first, he hadn’t tasted the suffering of drowning and didn’t appreciate his own health, and so it is the person who has previously experienced disaster that knows their own wellness.
A man had a sore eye. To find a cure, he went to a vet. The vet dropped into his eye that which he would put into the eye of a donkey and he went blind. The man took his complaint to a judge and said: This vet thought I was a donkey and put in my eye that which he puts in the eyes of donkeys and I went blind.
The judge said: No blame lies with the vet; if you weren’t a donkey, you would have known not to go to a vet when there are proficient doctors.
The Highest Form of Worship
One of the unjust kings asked a devotee; “Of all the forms of worship, which is the highest?”
The devotee said: “For you, to sleep in the middle of the day is the best worship, so that in that time you won’t oppress the people.”
The Black of the World
They put a parrot and a crow together in a cage. When the parrot saw the crow, it said: “The black of your feathers is like the dark of the night, the distance from me to you is that from East to West. I never thought I would be sitting with a crow. For anybody who starts each day seeing you in the morning, that day will become dark and dull for them; is there anything blacker and darker than you in the world?
But the black crow had become tired of sitting with the beautiful parrot and said: “Oh God, you gave me neither beauty, nor wrote me a beautiful fate. I don’t deserve to be both in a cage and tormented by my companion. What have I done that this has happened to me? I am much more content when I’m on the wall of a garden with a crow for company. The wise suffers when sitting with a fool and the fool is afraid upon seeing the wise.
As you have seen in the tales of the Golestan, each one tells a story in the words of characters that are either people or animals. Usually, these tales contain advice and teach moral points.
Quelques histoires de Sa’di
Algunos de los cuentos de Sa’di
Translation of Dialogue
Maryam: Have you read Sa’di’s books?
Bahman: I have read a few of the poems from Sa’di’s book, ‘Bustan’, but in my opinion the tales in ‘Golestan’ are more interesting. I prefer them.
Maryam: How come?
Bahman: Well, for me they’re a little bit easier to read. And their stories are interesting.
Maryam: I agree. I’ve learnt lots of things from it too.
Bahman: His poem ‘Children of Man’ is very famous.
Maryam: Yeah, the president of America read it once.
Bahman: I heard that this poem is written above the door of the United Nations.
Maryam: No, you’re mistaken. It’s just written on a carpet that is in one of the rooms of the United Nations.
Bahman: How interesting! So sometimes they give false information in these books and websites.
Maryam: That’s right.
Traduction de Dialogue
Traducción de Diálogo