The Conference of the Birds Quotes

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The Conference of the Birds The Conference of the Birds by Attar of Nishapur
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The Conference of the Birds Quotes Showing 1-30 of 53
“The home we seek is in eternity;
The Truth we seek is like a shoreless sea,
Of which your paradise is but a drop.
This ocean can be yours; why should you stop
Beguiled by dreams of evanescent dew?
The secrets of the sun are yours, but you
Content yourself with motes trapped in its beams.
Turn to what truly lives, reject what seems --
Which matters more, the body or the soul?
Be whole: desire and journey to the Whole.”
Farid Attar, The Conference of the Birds
“The ocean can be yours; why should you stop
Beguiled by dreams of evanescent dew?
The secrets of the sun are yours, but you
Content yourself with motes trapped in beams.”
Farīd al-Dīn ʻAṭṭār, The Conference of the Birds
“A man whose eyes love opens risks his soul -
His dancing breaks beyond the mind's control.”
Farid Attar, The Conference of the Birds
“Heart’s blood and bitter pain belong to love,
And tales of problems no one can remove;
Cupbearer, fill the bowl with blood, not wine -
And if you lack the heart’s rich blood take mine.
Love thrives on inextinguishable pain,
Which tears the soul, then knits the threads again.
A mote of love exceeds all bounds; it gives
The vital essence to whatever lives.
But where love thrives, there pain is always found;
Angels alone escape this weary round -
They love without that savage agony
Which is reserved for vexed humanity.”
Farid ud-Din Attar, The Conference of the Birds
“I doubt my doubt, doubt itself is unsure
I love, but who is it for whom I sigh?
Not Muslim, yet not heathen; who am I?”
Farid ud-Din Attar, The Conference of the Birds
“The hoopoe said: 'Your heart's congealed like ice;
When will you free yourself from cowardice?
Since you have such a short time to live here,
What difference does it make? What should you fear?
The world is filth and sin, and homeless men
Must enter it and homeless leave again.
They die, as worms, in squalid pain; if we
Must perish in this quest, that, certainly,
Is better than a life of filth and grief.
If this great search is vain, if my belief
Is groundless, it is right that I should die.
So many errors throng the world - then why
Should we not risk this quest? To suffer blame
For love is better than a life of shame.
No one has reached this goal, so why appeal
To those whose blindness claims it is unreal?
I'd rather die deceived by dreams than give
My heart to home and trade and never live.
We've been and heard so much - what have we learned?
Not for one moment has the self been spurned;
Fools gather round and hinder our release.
When will their stale, insistent whining cease?
We have no freedom to achieve our goal
Until from Self and fools we free the soul.
To be admitted past the veil you must
Be dead to all the crowd considers just.
Once past the veil you understand the Way
From which the crowd's glib courtiers blindly stray.
If you have any will, leave women's stories,
And even if this search for hidden glories
Proves blasphemy at last, be sure our quest
Is not mere talk but an exacting test.
The fruit of love's great tree is poverty;
Whoever knows this knows humility.
When love has pitched his tent in someone's breast,
That man despairs of life and knows no rest.
Love's pain will murder him and blandly ask
A surgeon's fee for managing the task -
The water that he drinks brings pain, his bread
Is turned to blood immediately shed;
Though he is weak, faint, feebler than an ant,
Love forces him to be her combatant;
He cannot take one mouthful unaware
That he is floundering in a sea of care.”
Farid Attar, The Conference of the Birds
“I'd rather die deceived by dreams than give
My heart to home and trade and never live.”
Farīd al-Dīn ʻAṭṭār, The Conference of the Birds
“Had I known how listening is superior to speaking, I would not have wasted my life preaching.”
Farid al-Din Attar, The Conference of the Birds
“If you will but aspire
You will attain to all that you desire.
Before an atom of such need the Sun
Seems dim and mirky by comparison.
It is life's strength, the wings by which we fly
Beyond the further reaches of the sky.”
Farid Attar, The Conference of the Birds
“A KING WHO PLACED MIRRORS IN HIS PALACE

There lived a king; his comeliness was such
The world could not acclaim his charm too much.
The world's wealth seemed a portion of his grace;
It was a miracle to view his face.
If he had rivals,then I know of none;
The earth resounded with this paragon.
When riding through his streets he did not fail
To hide his features with a scarlet veil.
Whoever scanned the veil would lose his head;
Whoever spoke his name was left for dead,
The tongue ripped from his mouth; whoever thrilled
With passion for this king was quickly killed.
A thousand for his love expired each day,
And those who saw his face, in blank dismay
Would rave and grieve and mourn their lives away-
To die for love of that bewitching sight
Was worth a hundred lives without his light.
None could survive his absence patiently,
None could endure this king's proximity-
How strange it was that man could neither brook
The presence nor the absence of his look!
Since few could bear his sight, they were content
To hear the king in sober argument,
But while they listened they endure such pain
As made them long to see their king again.
The king commanded mirrors to be placed
About the palace walls, and when he faced
Their polished surfaces his image shone
With mitigated splendour to the throne.

If you would glimpse the beauty we revere
Look in your heart-its image will appear.
Make of your heart a looking-glass and see
Reflected there the Friend's nobility;
Your sovereign's glory will illuminate
The palace where he reigns in proper state.
Search for this king within your heart; His soul
Reveals itself in atoms of the Whole.
The multitude of forms that masquerade
Throughout the world spring from the Simorgh's shade.
If you catch sight of His magnificence
It is His shadow that beguiles your glance;
The Simorgh's shadow and Himself are one;
Seek them together, twinned in unison.
But you are lost in vague uncertainty...
Pass beyond shadows to Reality.
How can you reach the Simorgh's splendid court?
First find its gateway, and the sun, long-sought,
Erupts through clouds; when victory is won,
Your sight knows nothing but the blinding sun.”
Farid Attar, The Conference of the Birds
“...Rise up and play
Those liquid notes that steal men's hearts away.”
Farīd al-Dīn ʻAṭṭār, The Conference of the Birds
“Who trusts the sea? Lawlessness is her law;
You will be drowned if you cannot decide
To turn away from her inconstant tide.
She seethes with love herself - that turbulence
Of tumbling waves, that yearning violence,
Are for her Lord, and since she cannot rest,
What peace could you discover in her breast?
She lives for Him - yet you are satisfied
To her His invitation and to hide.”
Farīd al-Dīn ʻAṭṭār, The Conference of the Birds
“Since love has spoken in your soul, reject
The Self, that whirlpool where our lives are wrecked;
As Jesus rode his donkey, ride on it;
Your stubborn Self must bear you and submit -
Then burn this Self and purify your soul;
Let Jesus' spotless spirit be your goal.”
Farīd al-Dīn ʻAṭṭār, The Conference of the Birds
“To seek death is death's only cure.”
Farid Al-Din Attar, The Conference of the Birds
“When they had understood the hoopoe's words,
A clamour of complaint rose from the birds:
'Although we recognize you as our guide,
You must accept - it cannot be denied -
We are a wretched, flimsy crew at best,
And lack the bare essentials for this quest.
Our feathers and our wings, our bodies' strength
Are quite unequal to the journey's length;
For one of us to reach the Simorgh's throne
Would be miraculous, a thing unknown.
[...] He seems like Solomon, and we like ants;
How can mere ants climb from their darkened pit
Up to the Simorgh's realm? And is it fit
That beggars try the glory of a king?
How ever could they manage such a thing?'

The hoopoe answered them: 'How can love thrive
in hearts impoverished and half alive?
"Beggars," you say - such niggling poverty
Will not encourage truth or charity.
A man whose eyes love opens risks his soul -
His dancing breaks beyond the mind's control.
[...] Your heart is not a mirror bright and clear
If there the Simorgh's form does not appear;
No one can bear His beauty face to face,
And for this reason, of His perfect grace,
He makes a mirror in our hearts - look there
To see Him, search your hearts with anxious care.”
Farid Attar, The Conference of the Birds
“وما علمنا فى أى وقت أنعم علينا بالقلب”
فريد الدين العطار النيسابوري, The Conference of the Birds
“A thousand for his love expired each day,
And those who saw his face, in blank dismay
Would rave and grieve and mourn their lives away-
To die for love of that bewitching sight
Was worth a hundred lives without his light.
None could survive his absence patiently,
None could endure this king's proximity-
How strange it was that man could neither brook
The presence nor the absence of his look!”
Farid Attar, The Conference of the Birds
“How strange it was that man could neither brook
The presence nor the absence of his look!”
Farid Attar, The Conference of the Birds
“His part is mercy, ours is endless praise.”
Farid Al-Din Attar, The Conference of the Birds
“I am alone; make me your single goal --
My presence is sufficient for your soul;
I am your God, your one necessity --
With every breath you breathe, remember Me.”
Farid Al-Din Attar, The Conference of the Birds
“يا رب ألا لليلتي من نهار ؟ ألا لشمع الفلك من اشتعال ؟ قد قضيت الليالي الطوال في رياضة، وما أرى أحد قط ليالي مثلها، ومن الاحتراق كالشمع فقدت كل قوة، وماعاد بكبدي من ماء غير دماء القلب، وأصبحت كالشمعة أقتل بالإشعال والإحراق، لذا أحرق بالليل، وأقتل بالنهار. لقد قضيت الليلة أقاسي أهوال القتال، وغرقت من رأسي إلى قدمي في خضم الدماء، وفي كل لحظة تعرض لي مئات الأهوال، ولا أعلم متى يشرق صبحي ؟ وكل من مني بمثل تلك الليلة ذات مرة، أصبح شغله الشاغل في ليله ونهاره إحراق كبده. وكثيرا ما قضيت النهار والليل في لوعة، ولكن تلك الليلة كأنها يوم هلاكي، بل كأنني كنت قد خلقت ذات يوم، من أجلت تلك الليلة، فيا إلهي، ألا لليلتي هذه من نهار ؟ ألا لشمع الفلك من اشتعال ؟
يا رب، أهذه سمات هذه الليلة ؟ أو أن الليلة يوم القيامة ؟ أو أن شمع الفلك قد انطفأ بزفرتي ؟ أو أن حبيبي توارى من الخجل خلف الحجب ؟
الليل طويل حالك الظلمة كشعرها، ولولا ذلك لسلكت الطريق مائة مرة إلى محلتها، إنني أحترق الليلة من جوى العشق، ولم تعد لي طاقة لتحمل إيلام العشق، أين العمر لأصف ذلتي، أو لأتأوه بكامل إرادتي ؟ أين الصبر حتى أكف عن المسير، أو أن أعاقر الكؤوس كالرجال؟ وأين الحظ، حتى تصحو عزيمتي، أو أن تعينني في عشقها؟ وأين العقل، حتى يكون العلم قدوتي، أو بحيلة العقل أمثل أمامها ؟ وأين اليد حتى أضع تراب الطريق على مفرقي، أو أن أرفع رأسي من تحت التراب والدم ؟ وأين القدم حتى أعاود البحث عن محلة الحبيب ؟ وأين العين حتى أعاود رؤية وجه الحبيب؟ وأين الرفيق حتى يساعدني في غمي؟... وأين الصديق حتى يأخذ لحظة بيدي ؟ وأين القوة حتى أستطيع البكاء والنواح ؟ وأين الفطنة حتى أتصرف بحكمة ؟
ذهب العقل، وانقضى الصبر وولى الحبيب، فأي عشق هذا ؟ وأي ألم، وأي فعل؟”
فريد الدين العطار, The Conference of the Birds
“Lift your head out of this hurricane to find solace and tranquillity. If you stay caught in the storm, your head will whirl as fast as a millstone and you will know so little peace that even a single fly can buzz away your peace. Parable”
Farid al-Din Attar, The Conference of the Birds
“It was in China, late one moonless night,
The Simorgh first appeared to mortal sight –
He let a feather float down through the air,
And rumours of its fame spread everywhere...”
Farid ud-Din Attar, منطق الطير
“Among lovers, only those with wings
flee this worldly cage before death comes.
The condition of these lovers is hard to recount,
for such souls speak a different tongue.
The one who learns and speaks their language
will hold the elixir of happiness at Simorgh's court.”
Farid ud-Din Attar, The Conference of the Birds
“In this valley, Love is represented by fire, Reason by smoke. When Love bursts into flame, Reason is forthwith dissipated like smoke. Reason cannot coexist with Love’s mania, for Love has nothing whatever to do with human Reason. If ever you attain a clear vision of the unseen world, then only will you be able to realize the source of Love. By the odour of Love every atom in the world is intoxicated. It owes its existence to the existence of Love. If”
Farid al-Din Attar, The Conference of the Birds
“Cupbearer, fill the bowl with blood, not wine --
And if you lack the heart’s rich blood, take mine.
Love thrives on inextinguishable pain;
Which tears the soul, then knits the threads again.”
Farid Al-Din Attar, The Conference of the Birds
“چون بلند و پست با هم یار شد
آدمی اعجوبه ی اسرار شد”
عطار نیشابوری, منطق الطیر
“The sorrow bird: We've gone too far. I'm afraid we can't go back.

Hoopoe: Back?... There's a circle, bird. Why, just think of the phoenix. He lives alone for more than a thousand years acquiring great wisdom and when it's his time to go, he gathers leaves around himself, spreads his wings, and starts a fire - a new phoenix is born from his ashes. We're going forward, bird!”
Peter Sís, The Conference of the Birds
“The Valley of Understanding: Here we all choose a different way and different rules to disobey.”
Peter Sis, The Conference of the Birds
“If you become sure-footed in love, you'll transcend everything, even blasphemy and belief.”
Attar, The Conference of the Birds

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