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32

 

writer Idries Shah, in The Sufis , says: "The Sufis believe that within mankind there is an element, activated by love, which provides the means of attaining to true reality, called mystical meaning. If we turn to the original poem from which Quatrain 55 was translated, looking for flouting Sufis or not, this is the meaning which we find in Persian:

 

When the Original Cause determined my being,

I was given the first lesson of Love.

It was then that the fragment of my heart was made

The Key to the treasury of Pearls of mystical meaning.

 

There is no Sufi, door, howl, flout, vine, or fiber. But the words used are Sufi technical terms.

 

Clarke comments on the difficulty of translation of Hafiz in metre or in prose is rendered impossible: 1) by the use of words similar in sound and in formation but opposite in signification; 2) by the recondite and lively play of words; 3) by the many compound words, whole stanzas being crowded with compound epithets; 4) by the mysterious and sublime allusions to Sufi poetry represented under objects of voluptuous gratification; 5) by the constant recurrence of the same rhyme with-out any collateral support of tones to answer in division."

 

Meher Baba made his own translations of Hafiz, according to accounts of the Mandali at the 1969 Darshan in Poona. Aloba and Eruch might supply translations they knew, and Baba would refine and clarify them, then explain them. Francis Brabazon kept a journal of some of these, but apparently it is not in a form suitable for publication. But there are discourses in various of Baba 's books and scattered through the Sahavas issues of the Awakener where a couplet from Hafiz is the kernel for a fascinating Baba-pearl. In the older Meher Baba journals, there is a series of articles by Dr. Ghani on "Baba through Hafiz", relating couplets to Baba 's explanations of the states and stages of the Path. Some of this material has been incorporated in God Speaks in the supplement. But perhaps the greatest indication of the esteem in which the Avatar of this age held the Master-poet of the 14th century was Beloved Baba's constant repetition of the three favorite Hafiz couplets, written on a board that now rests in Meherazad:

 

As befitting a fortunate slave, carry out every command of the Master, without any question of why or what.

 

About what you hear from the Master, never say it is wrong because, my dear, the fault lies in your own incapacity to understand him.

 

I am the slave of my Master, who has released me from ignorance. Whatever my Master does is of the highest benefit to all concerned.

 

This board was brought, at Baba 's request, to His room on the morning He dropped the body in 1969. Many in India regard these couplets as Baba 's final "orders " to His lovers and followers.

 

 

THE POETIC FORM

 

The poetic form used by Hafiz for the majority of his works is the ghazal. He is generally regarded as the master exponent of this difficult form of poetry, and since Hafiz, there has never been a more brilliant writer in this form.

 

The form is quite simple, and quite old in the system of Arabic poetry. Like a sonnet, it is composed of rhyming couplets in a strict formal style, with a fixed rhyme, a, a, ba, ca, da, etc. But each of the couplets must express a complete

 

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