The Conference of the Birds
Farid Ud-Din Attar
Format: Global Grey free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook
Pages (PDF): 52
Publication Date: This translation by Edward Fitzgerald, 1929
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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.
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