Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Book of Manners -- Adabname ye Molana

I have been compiling some of Rumi's poems on manners (Adab) and have named this compilation his Adabnameh -- or the Book of Manners.

He starts the dsicourse on good manners and its importance from the very first Book of the Masnavi, with the verse (78, Book 1)
Az Khoda jooeem tofighe adab    biadab mahroommand az lotfe Rab

We seek the privelege of good manners from God   the ill-mannered remains deprived of the Grace of God

Bi adab na tanha khod ra dasht bad     balke atash dar hame afagh zad

Here Rumi is pointing out that ill-manner or bad manners is not just a personal ill; or a personal choice we make; but has an impact of everything -- literally. The analogy is with the law of action and reaction or Karma, as expounded for example, in the Science of Being by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who describes in detail the effects of Karama, good or ill, and its repercussions coming from all sides.

Here Rumi says
The ill-mannered not only brings about ill on himself 
                but sets ablaze a fire in all directions across the horizon

the effects of ill-manners is propagated far and wide. One also recalls the Confusian doctrines of propriety and correct behavior to various levels and conventions within society. Rumi is not imposing restrictions, but merely pointing out the realistic effects of being without manners.

in the next to last line of this section in his "adab nameh" line 91, he says

Az adab por noor gashte ast een falak
vaz adab maasoom o pak amad malak

Manners causes the sky and heavens to be showered with light
and from manners Angels became pure and innocent

And also points out the opposite of this as well, that most of the issues (darkness and sadness) that may befall man are due to his being beligerent, belicose or quarrelsome.


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