Coping the quote
30+ quotes from The Conference of the Birds by Farid ud-Din Attar

Quotes from The Conference of the Birds

Farid ud-Din Attar ·  278 pages

Rating: (3.2K votes)


“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.”
― Farid ud-Din Attar, quote from The Conference of the Birds


“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 ud-Din Attar, quote from The Conference of the Birds


“A man whose eyes love opens risks his soul -
His dancing breaks beyond the mind's control.”
― Farid ud-Din Attar, quote from 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, quote from 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 ud-Din Attar, quote from 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, quote from The Conference of the Birds


“I'd rather die deceived by dreams than give
My heart to home and trade and never live.”
― Farid ud-Din Attar, quote from 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 ud-Din Attar, quote from 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.”
― Farid ud-Din Attar, quote from 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 ud-Din Attar, quote from The Conference of the Birds


“...Rise up and play
Those liquid notes that steal men's hearts away.”
― Farid ud-Din Attar, quote from 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.”
― Farid ud-Din Attar, quote from 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 ud-Din Attar, quote from The Conference of the Birds


“وما علمنا فى أى وقت أنعم علينا بالقلب”
― Farid ud-Din Attar, quote from 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 ud-Din Attar, quote from The Conference of the Birds


“How strange it was that man could neither brook
The presence nor the absence of his look!”
― Farid ud-Din Attar, quote from The Conference of the Birds


“To seek death is death's only cure.”
― Farid ud-Din Attar, quote from The Conference of the Birds


“Had I known how listening is superior to speaking, I would not have wasted my life preaching.”
― Farid ud-Din Attar, quote from 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 ud-Din Attar, quote from The Conference of the Birds


“His part is mercy, ours is endless praise.”
― Farid ud-Din Attar, quote from The Conference of the Birds


“چون بلند و پست با هم یار شد
آدمی اعجوبه ی اسرار شد”
― Farid ud-Din Attar, quote from 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, quote from 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 ud-Din Attar, quote from 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 ud-Din Attar, quote from 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؟”
― Farid ud-Din Attar, quote from The Conference of the Birds


“Wanderer, you are distraught; Be calm. Our
glorious King cannot admit
All comers to His court; it is not fit
That every rascal who sleeps out the night
Should be allowed to glimpse its radiant light.
Most are turned back, and few perceive the throne;
Among a hundred thousand there is one.”
― Farid ud-Din Attar, quote from 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 ud-Din Attar, quote from The Conference of the Birds


“Said the Hoopoe: 'O ignorant of the sea, don't you know that it is full of crocodiles and other dangerous creatures? Sometimes its water is bitter, sometimes salt; sometimes it is calm, sometimes boisterous; always changing, never stable; sometimes it flows, sometimes it ebbs. Many great ones have been swallowed up in its abyss. The diver in its depths holds his breath lest he should be thrown up like a straw. The sea is an element devoid of loyalty. Do not trust it or it will end up submerging you. it is restless because of its love for its friend. Sometimes it rolls great billows, sometimes it roars. Since the sea cannot find what it desires, how will you find there a resting place for your heart! The ocean is a rill which rises inthe way that leads to its friend; why then should you remain here content, and not strive to see the face of the Simurgh.”
― Farid ud-Din Attar, quote from The Conference of the Birds


“If your spirit is not fir to see the Simurgh, neither will your heart be a bright mirror, fit to reflect him. It is true that no eye is able to contemplate and marvel at his beauty, not is it capable of understanding; one cannot feel towards the Simurgh as one feels towards the beauty of this world. But by his abounding grace he has given us a mirror to reflect himself, and this mirror is the heart. Look into your heart and there you will see his image.”
― Farid ud-Din Attar, quote from The Conference of the Birds


“If your spirit is not fit to see the Simurgh, neither will your heart be a bright mirror, fit to reflect him. It is true that no eye is able to contemplate and marvel at his beauty, not is it capable of understanding; one cannot feel towards the Simurgh as one feels towards the beauty of this world. But by his abounding grace he has given us a mirror to reflect himself, and this mirror is the heart. Look into your heart and there you will see his image.”
― Farid ud-Din Attar, quote from The Conference of the Birds


Video

About the author

Farid ud-Din Attar
Born place: Nishapur, Iran
See more on GoodReads

Popular quotes

“But the greatest mistake is in believing that we are 'only human… ' We are human in expression but divine in creation and limitless in potentiality.”
― quote from Discover the Power Within You


“One symptom that you have bogged down in complexity overload is when you find yourself doggedly applying a method that is clearly irrelevant, at least to any outside observer. It is like the mechanically inept person whose car breaks down—so he puts water in the battery and empties the ashtrays. — P. J. Plauger”
― quote from Code Complete


“It’s like doing one of those dumb math problems: three people are driving at 20mph in a car carrying two gallons of gas and a horse doing yoga, when a car traveling at 30mph with two clowns drinking cola collides, what time is it in Tokyo? It doesn’t make any sense and the only answer I ever come up with is who”
― Jane Harvey-Berrick, quote from Dangerous to Know & Love


“If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each person’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility. HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW If”
― quote from Thank You for Being Such a Pain: Spiritual Guidance for Dealing with Difficult People


“Where I’ve been is places, and what I’ve seen is things, and there’ve been times I’ve run off from seeing them, off to other places and things. I keep moving, me and this guitar with the silver strings slung behind my shoulder. Sometimes I’ve got food with me, and an extra shirt maybe, but most times just the guitar, and trust to God for what I need else.”
― Manly Wade Wellman, quote from Who Fears The Devil


Interesting books

Into the Dark Lands
(1.5K)
Into the Dark Lands
by Michelle Sagara West
Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures
(4.1K)
Parasite Rex: Inside...
by Carl Zimmer
The Culture of Make Believe
(1.7K)
The Culture of Make...
by Derrick Jensen
Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships
(10K)
Social Intelligence:...
by Daniel Goleman
The Chill
(2.8K)
The Chill
by Ross Macdonald
The Fuck-Up
(9.7K)
The Fuck-Up
by Arthur Nersesian

About BookQuoters

BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.

We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.

Founded in 2018, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.