Photographer's Note

Fariduddin Attar
Tomb of Fariduddin Attar in Nishapur.Fariduddin Attar was born in Neyshabour and lived about 1119-1220 (Another source mentions he lived about 1136-1230). He lived close to 100 years and was killed by the Mongol invaders. His tomb is in Neyshabour.Fariduddin Attar was one of the earliest Sufi poets of Persia, and there is no doubt that the work of Attar was the inspiration of Rumi and of many other spiritual souls and poets of Persia. He showed the way to the ultimate aim of life by making a sort of picture in a poetic form. Almost all the great teachers of the world, when they have pointed out the right way to seeking souls, have had to adopt a symbolical form of expression, such as a story or a legend which could give a key to the one who is ready to understand and at the same time interest the one who is not yet ready. Thus, both may rejoice, the one who sleeps, and the one who is already awakened. This method has been followed by the poets of Persia and India, especially the Hindustani poets. They have told their stories in a form which would be acceptable, not only to the seekers after truth, but to those in all the different stages of evolution.
Attar's best known work is called Mantiq-ut-Tair, or the 'Colloquy of the Birds,' from which the idea of the 'Blue Bird' has been taken today. Very few have understood the idea of the 'Blue Bird', or the 'Bird of the Sky.' It contains a very ancient teaching, through the use of the Persian word for sky. This teaching points out that every soul has a capacity, which may be called the 'sky,' and that this capacity can accommodate earth or heaven, whichever it partakes of and holds within itself. When one walks in a crowd, what does one see? One sees numerous faces, but one might better call them various attitudes. All that we see in individuals, all that presents itself to us, has expression, atmosphere and form. If we give it one name, it is the attitude, whatever attitude they have towards life, right or wrong, good or bad; they are themselves that attitude. Does this not show how appropriate the word 'sky' is?
In point of fact, whatever one makes of oneself, one becomes that. The source of happiness or unhappiness is all in man himself. When he is unaware of this, he is not able to arrange his life, but as he becomes more acquainted with this secret, he gains mastery, and the process by which this mastery is attained is the only fulfillment of the purpose of this life. It is this process which is explained by Attar in his description of the seven valleys through which this Bird of the Sky has passed.
( نيشابور - آرامگاه عطار )

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Additional Photos by Mehrdad Tadjdini (mehrdad-t) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 49 W: 130 N: 1005] (4710)
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