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Mathnawi VI

"The water in the stream has changed many times, but the reflection of the moon and the stars remains the same . . ."

- Mathnawi VI: 3172-78, 83


Original context

Consider the creatures as pure and limpid
water, within which shine the Attributes of the Almighty.
Their knowledge, their justice, their kindness—
all are stars of heaven reflected in flowing water.
Kings are a locus of manifestation of God’s
Kingliness, the learned a locus for His Knowledge.
Generations have passed, and this is a new
generation. The moon is the same, the water different.
Justice is the same justice, learning the same
learning, but peoples and nations have changed.
Generation upon generation has passed, oh
friend, but these Meanings are constant and everlasting.
The water in the stream has changed many
times, but the reflection of the moon and the stars remains the same …
All pictured forms are reflections in the water
of the stream; when you rub your eyes, indeed, all are He.

Mathnawi VI: 3172-78, 83
William C. Chittick
“The Sufi Path of Love – The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi”
State University of New York Press, Albany, 1983

- Mathnawi VI: 3172-78, 83


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