Charles Reed Peers.

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of idea, they behold the ideal.'* In proof of his system, he
further says: ^* Self cannot be ignorant of Self, '* But in
truth they are ignorant of their own identity, and under-
stand not in what "self*' consists: some of them maintain,
that the being called man and endowed with voice and
speech, is an incorporeal essence joined to the body ; the
relations of thought and action resulting merely from its
entrance or descent into body. Notwithstanding this princi-
ple, they differ greatly among themselves respecting the
eternity and creation of their own souls. In like manner,
some have also denied the simple uncompoundedness of the
intellectual soul, and have spoken largely against that doc-
trine ; consequently, as they are unacquainted with their
own identity, what can they know about the heavens, stars,
intelligences, and God? and it becomes not that one should
know nothing about himself, but that he exists not. Kdm-
k;i,r, in his treatise, has collected many amusing anecdotes
respecting the Samradian sect, of which the following is
an instance : A Samradian once said to his steward,
" The world and its inhabitants have no actual exist-
ence ; they merely have an ideal being.*' The servant,
on hearing this, took the first favorable opportunity to



SCHOOL OF MANNERS 109

conceal his master's horse, and when he was about to
ride, brought him an ass with the horse's saddle. When
the Samradian asked, " Where is the horse ? '^ the servant
replied, '■'• Thou hast been thinking of an idea ; there was
no horse in being.'* The master answered, "It is true.*'
He then mounted the ass, and having rode for some time,
he suddenly dismounted, and taking the saddle off the ass's
back, placed it on the servant's, drawing the girths on
tightly; and having forced the bridle into his mouth, he
mounted him and flogged him along vigorously. The serv-
ant, in piteous accents having exclaimed : " What is the
meaning of this conduct?** the Samradian replied: "There
is no such thing as a whip ; it is merely ideal ; thou art
only thinking of some illusion; '* after which the steward
repented and restored the horse.

In another tale it is recorded that a Samradian, having
obtained in marriage the daughter of a wealthy lawyer,
she, on finding out her husband's creed, proposed to have
some amusement at his expense. One day the Samradian
brought in a bottle of pure wine, which during his absence
she emptied of its contents and filled it up with water ;
when the time came for taking wine came round, she
poured out water instead of wine into a gold cup which
was her own property. The Samradian having observed,
"Thou hast given me water instead of wine,** she answered,
"It is only ideal; there was no wine in existence.** The
husband then said : " Thou hast spoken well ; present me
the cup, that I may go to a neighbor's house and bring it
back full of wine.** He therefore took out the gold cup,
which he sold, and concealing the money, instead of the gold
vase brought back an earthen vessel full of wine. The
wife, on seeing this, said, "What hast thou done with the
golden cup.?** He replied, "Thou art surely thinking about
some ideal golden cup : ** on which the woman greatly re-
gretted her witticism.

As to those sectaries who assert that the world exists
only in idea, the author of this work saw several in Lahore,
in the year of the Hegira 1048 (A. D. 1637). The first
was J^dm Jdi^ who composed the following distichs on
Fariraj : —



110 THE DABISTAN

^* Thou knowest that everything is ideal,
If the Almighty has given thee illumination !
The mention even of ideality proceeds from idea;
The very idea itself is nothing more than ideal. >>

It is to be noted that Samrdd and Samivdd are applied
to fancy or idea. Ismail Suf, of Ar distant has poetically
expressed himself to the same purport in what is styled the
mixed Persian : —




Online LibraryCharles Reed PeersUniversal classics library (Volume 6) → online text (page 11 of 37)