The real fortune and highway of success
lies in the business that comes to you after utter defeat.
Give up the business that has no reality:
pay attention, old donkey, get yourself a Pir!*
May none but the pir be your master and captain!–
not the old man of the rolling sky, Father Time,
but the Pir of right guidance.
What is required is self-surrender,
not long toil: it’s useless to rush about in error.
From now on I won’t seek the way to the highest heaven:
I will seek the Pir, I will seek the Pir, the Pir, the Pir!
The Pir is the ladder to Heaven:
by whom is the arrow made to fly? By the bow.
Mathnawi VI: 4119-4121; 4123-4125
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
“Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance”
Threshold Books, 1996
Persian transliteration courtesy of Yahyá Monastra
*Pir, the spiritual guide.