A RICHLY-ILLUSTRATED MYSTICAL CLASSIC . NEW IN PAPERBACK. The Conference of the Birdsis a twelfth-century Sufi allegorical poem. The story of the quest for a king undertaken by the birds of the world, it also describes the Sufi (or mystical Islamic) path to enlightenment. Though hugely popular and influential in the Islamic world, the poem is still relatively unfamiliar in the West. In this edition, the poet Raficq Abdulla has reinterpreted key extracts to make the wisdom of Sufism accessible to the contemporary reader. Combining amusing anecdotes and satire with passages of great mystical beauty, the poem uses the birds journey to describe the stages of spiritual experience. This edition is richly illustrated with illuminations from Persian manuscripts.
the conference of the birds
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Composed in the twelfth century in north-eastern Iran, Attar's great mystical poem is among the most significant of all works of Persian literature. A marvellous, allegorical rendering of the Islamic doctrine of Sufism - an esoteric system concerned with the search for truth through God - it describes the consequences of the conference of the birds of the world when they meet to begin the search for their ideal king, the Simorgh bird. On hearing that to find him they must undertake an arduous journey, the birds soon express their reservations to their leader, the hoopoe. With eloquence and insight, however, the hoopoe calms their fears, using a series of riddling parables to provide guidance in the search for spiritual truth. By turns witty and profound, The Conference of the Birds transforms deep belief into magnificent poetry.
First written in the 12th century, Conference of the Birds is an allegory of extreme measures for extreme times -- the story of birds seeking a king is the story of all of us seeking God. Like the birds, we may be excited for the journey, until we realize that we must give up our fears and hollow desires, that our journey will be long and hard. Like the duck, we may not wish to leave the water. Like the nightingale, we may want to stay close to our roses. Direct and to the point, Masani's translation, made in the early part of the 19th century, is particularly apropos for our early 21st century times -- both are periods of intense spiritual seeking.
This is a classic sufi text written by the Persian poet Farid Ud-Din Attar. In the poem, the birds of the world gather to decide who is to be their king, as they have none. The hoopoe, the wisest of them all, suggests that they should find the legendary Simorgh, a mythical Persian bird roughly equivalent to the western phoenix. The hoopoe leads the birds, each of whom represent a human fault which prevents man from attaining enlightenment. When the group of thirty birds finally reach the dwelling place of the Simorgh, all they find is a lake in which they see their own reflection. It is the Sufi doctrine that God is not external or separate from the universe, rather is the totality of existence. The thirty birds seeking the Simorgh realise that Simorgh is nothing more than their transcendent totality.
Farid-ud din Affar occupies a prominent place in the roll of distinguished Persian Poets. His most famous work, the manti-ul-Tayr, or the colloquy of birds is an allegorical poem in which this gated Sufi describes the quest of the Birds (symbolizing the seekers) to reach the Simurg (the Lord of Creation) This abridged edition of the above is a translation of the poem is the one of the first works published to the common English reader. It was a very illumination introduction on Persian Mysticism which is full of anecdotes of famous Sufis such as Hallaj Byazid, Rumi and Jami. The translation of the poem is in four parts: (1) The parliament of the birds, (II) On, to the city of god, (III) Through the seven valleys, (IV) the reception at the royal count. The book and with a short memoir on the poet, Farid-ud-din Affar.
Conference of the Birds is John Heilpern's true story of an extraordinary journey. In December 1972, the director Peter Brook and an international troupe of actors (Helen Mirren and Yoshi Oida among them) left their Paris base to emerge again in the Sahara desert. It was the start of an 8,500-mile expedition through Africa without precedent in the history of theater. Brook was in search of a new beginning that has since been revealed in all his work--from Conference of the Birds and Carmen to The Mahabharata and beyond. At the heart of John Heilpern's brilliant account of the African experiment is a story that became a search for the miraculous.
The Conference of the Birds is one of the great works of world literature. In Farid ud-Din Attar's masterpiece, the nature of the spiritual path is examined through the allegory of thirty brave birds that go in search of their king through the peaks of exultation and valleys of despair that represent the stages of the seeker as he travels toward enlightenment. Attar was the predecessor of the great Persian Sufi poet Jalalludin Rumi, who borrowed Attar's technique of weaving wisdom within entertaining and amusing tales.