Friday, August 30, 2013

The conference of the Birds! (Mantiq-ut-Tayr)

Peechli aik post (Zafar Sahab - an encounter with a sufi) main Fariddudin Attar ki kitab 'Manṭiq-uṭ-Ṭayr' ka zikar aaya tha. "Persian sufi poetry" ka ye Shahkar bhi kamal ka hai. Mujeh to english translation parhna para. 

Its a very interesting read with theme of wahadtul wajood.

30 birds decides to go and find the perfect bird called Simorgh. Its double meaning. Simorgh itself literary translates to 30 birds but also it is the name of the world's most beautiful bird.

Their destination is hurdled with seven rivers named

  1. Talab (to crave), 
  2. Eshq (unconditional Love), 
  3. Marifat (understanding), 
  4. Istighnah (to get detach/isolate), 
  5. Tawheed (uniqueness of All mighty),
  6. Hayrat (Surprise) and, 
  7. Fana (Get dissolve in God)
This large transcript is marked by small sufi tales in between which really makes the whole work spicy.

At the end when these 30 birds reached their destination, they learned that actually they all together make Simorgh! This can be explained beautifully and precisely by Ghalib's couplet

hota hai nihaaN gard main sehra mere hote 
ghista hai jabeeN khak pe darya mere aage


Ashaar - UK said...

After reading your post, I went to google looking for it and found these 2 nice links. I think, their description is better than yours, when it comes to name of rivers

1. synopsis of book (7 rivers) at

2. Few sufi tales from book

mystic said...

Thank you for valuable links