Posted by: Dr Churchill | August 11, 2014

The Circle of Human Family

Saadi Shirazi the 13th century Persian Poet, is well known for his aphorisms, the most famous of which, Bani Adam, is part of the Gulistan.

In a rather delicate way it shows the essence of Ubuntu and calls for breaking down all barriers between human beings:

بنى آدم اعضای یک پیکرند
که در آفرینش ز یک گوهرند
چو عضوى به درد آورد روزگار
دگر عضوها را نماند قرار
تو کز محنت دیگران بی غمی
نشاید که نامت نهند آدمی

This translation is by H. Vahid Dastjerdi:

Adam’s sons are body limbs, to say;
For they’re created of the same clay.
Should one organ be troubled by pain,
Others would suffer severe strain.
Thou, careless of people’s suffering,
Deserve not the name, “human being”.

This one by Iraj Bashiri:

Of One Essence is the Human Race,
Thusly has Creation put the Base.
One Limb impacted is sufficient,
For all Others to feel the Mace.
The Unconcern’d with Others’ Plight,
Are but Brutes with Human Face.

Tomb of Saadi in his mausoleum

And by Richard Jeffrey Newman:

All men and women are to each other
the limbs of a single body, each of us drawn
from life’s shimmering essence, God’s perfect pearl;
and when this life we share wounds one of us,
all share the hurt as if it were our own.
You, who will not feel another’s pain,
you forfeit the right to be called human.

And in classical English:
“Humans (children of Adam) are inherent parts (or more literally, limbs) of one body,
and are from the same valuable essence (or more literally, gem) in their creation.
When the conditions of the time hurt one of these parts,
other parts will be disturbed.
If you are indifferent about the misery of others,
it may not be appropriate to call you a human being.”

And in colloquial English:
Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.

If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.

If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you cannot retain.

And among the members of the body of humanity, apart from the most fundamental and essential connection of feeling the pain of other parts, there exist many more connections.

And those who can should try their best to keep this body healthy and in eternal youth, in harmony with nature.

–Saadi Shirazi

Yours,
Pano

PS:
Poetry gladdens the heart and sharpens the mind. But above all else it informs the Soul to connect…


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