The Unveilings of Azar Kayvan
Splendors I and IV
I. First Splendor
On the Representation of the Divine Activity in the Dream State
I.1. First Brilliance
In the name of the God who inscribed the intellect,
created the soul, and raised up the body,
I speak of my own act and deed
but I say much less than that, of what we did before.
I adorned my body with
the traveler’s ornament in the Persian style.
In this there are many laws,
of which I relate a few, oh priests.
First I cared for my body,
adorning it with the doctors’ faith.
I distanced myself by the prior law
from all desire of self, by every way and faith.
Then I stopped my tongue from speaking,
I said no word of help or harm to anyone.
A body alone, in a dark and narrow place
I sat, lingering there a while.
I lessened my food, suspended my sleep,
gradually going further.
I did not rest from remembering God the pure;
anything but God for an instant was my pain.
I saw much light — just a portion of what
I relate is a thousandth of that.
I.2. Second Brilliance
First I will tell what I saw in a dream,
but some of it is not complete, oh righteous one.
I saw a light of lowly color
with a point inside it, oh man of firmness,
Like a blood clot — listen, seeker of fame:
a rumor was spreading on the face of the earth.
The heart was in greater pain from seeing it,
with hardship, pain, and suffering within,
From which I was remembering God,
when I sought friendship from the wise.
Nothing remained of that bad color,
the recollection of God freed me of it.
I saw a blazing fire
which on every side was ruining the heart.
Fear increased from this sight —
but if you left you’d not remain far from its sight.
The heart had no happiness from it.
I saw a black fire, oh virtuous one,
Which had a central point above
the breast, oh famous lord.
The heart was not refreshed by it —
if you left, you’d then understand the profit.
I.3. Third Brilliance
I saw much fire of many colors
seen by none but a man of firmness.
I saw a flame behind the fires,
and I flew like a bird, my lords.
Then I faced the sea as a swimmer —
I saw many lanes and houses,
So many fine fires, beautiful pure color,
such pleasant air refreshing the body!
With pretty gleaming waters,
such a lane and house, fame seeker!
In every house, the tables were spread out,
and every kind of food within,
Many a deer and sweet-voiced bird inside,
many handsome men and women face to face.
At times the light was like lightning,
at times like a lamp, and it was thus.
At times the house was filled with pure light –
the moon was face to face with my body.
If a wine drinker saw that it had risen,
he’d say it’s a mountain that ascended!
When finally it came out from my breast,
in this way I was refreshed.
It was gleaming like the pure sun;
from its light for a time my house was glowing.
For a time the disc was opposite me,
and many colors came out of it,
In the way that water comes from a well,
no form or color appeared from it.
For a time the lights were like a star,
for a time, out of hopes, like moon and sun.
For a time moon and sun were one place.
In this way much light was seen.
I.4. Fourth Brilliance
I saw a light, blue and fair,
highly perfumed, of many colors,
Many spirits and lights, such as
red, blue, and choice yellow,
And black. I saw so many colors,
I was boasting, “who is there like me?”
I.5. Fifth Brilliance
I saw a light with fair color,
blue, and upon it were veils like it.
If I underestimate that pile of veils,
the number there was at least ten thousand.
What shall I say of the blue light I saw,
which completely surrounded me?
It was like water on which sunlight gleams,
the water’s glow cast upon the wall.
So much wonderful color from these veils,
which are at least ten thousand by count.
I.6. Sixth Brilliance
I saw a rare shining light
quite red and precious like a gem.
In it I counted ten thousand veils,
at times it was bright as the moon.
At times it was as though the place
was face to face with the moon in its glory.
When it struck my eye, it was in my whole body;
the body became like gleaming water from that.
My body and clothing became like that light —
no self remained, oh priests.
I.7. Seventh Brilliance
I saw a shining white light,
lofty, great, and clearly happy.
I went beneath its veils —
I counted this world as nothing.
From this, vast knowledge became clear to me
that I never read nor heard.
I.8. Eighth Brilliance
I saw a quite enchanting light,
yellow with a hundred kinds of peace,
It was more brilliant than the pure sun,
It was (shining) from behind, with no earthly face.
At times it shone from left and right,
and then it shone like Venus.
It appeared to my eye, striking duality away,
no self remained within me.
When so much knowledge reached me in secret
it was something the whole world does not have.
I had never read or heard of that;
for I became aware of that by itself.
From seeing it my body became weak.
“You’re stronger, my heart,” I said by that.
“Listen to that, from the ten thousand notes
that I counted, and told you about – remember!”
I.9. Ninth Brilliance
I saw a light, in my memory black,
and very frightening, lord of the path.
For I became senseless from the sight of it
and no self remained, oh moon of the company.
The body trembled just as the wind
tumbles a leaf in the morning.
Then a fearful voice came to my ear,
many a frightening shape from the angel.
I did not fear, and even from these ten thousand
I saw the veils in number.
I.10. Tenth Brilliance
I never feared pain from that;
I saw a light, oh priests,
Whose color was green, and from it
I saw ten thousand veils, counting every veil.
So much of my existence was far from me
you would say there’s no existence left in me.
I.11. Eleventh Brilliance
I saw a light then, such that
there was no limit to it,
No direction, no place, and no likeness,
nothing without a shadow from that spark of light.
I became that light, with no self remaining —
everyone said I have divinity!
On Witnessings in the State of Disrobing
IV.1. First Brilliance
Now, I speak of the effort of separation,
to escape again from bearing the body.
From there I went to the world of good,
in which is everything and every city,
From Iran, Turan, Rome, and India,
from China, Mongolia, and the ocean of Sind.
There were women in every city, and their men,
I saw them, since you ask me to give a sign of them,
All the great ones of Iran, one after another;
when they saw, each one from his art
Instructed me in everything,
illuminating my soul and my heart.
In a great castle they made a fine place,
where I sat like an emperor.
The mighty, the youthful, and laboring men,
with countless treasures of every desire,
Were there in my castle, and that
which none of the kings and priests has.
I learned the language of every city,
I kindled the lamp of wisdom.
From the virtuous of every city, much
did I learn. If anyone asks,
Of that religion and law, even their tongue.
I’ll tell the sign of everything of theirs.
In every city I became aware
that one never knows anything but “he is I.”
I returned to my body from a city like
no city, in the world of the World Creator.
IV.2. Second Brilliance
I escaped from the body up to the world of worlds;
that which was hidden from me was my own secret.
It appeared and I knew that secret.
I knew the beginning and end.
I found the all by goodness,
I pierced the secret of everything
IV.3. Third Brilliance
I removed the body like a garment,
and the sphere was read like a book.
When I pushed it to the first sphere
I clearly saw correct knowledge.
From that sphere I came to the sphere of Mercury,
from there I went up to the sphere of Venus.
From there I went until I reached the sun,
and from that up to lofty Mars.
From there I headed to Jupiter,
and then from that to heavenly Saturn, my child.
Then from that to the star-gazing sphere.
So understand, precious wise man,
That this turning belongs to them; understand,
for the great famous priests.
So I raised my head to the great sphere,
and from there took my share.
Know that direction there is twofold, famous one:
one up, one down — look with glory
At the limits of each, on the sphere and moon.
I said, “Remember me well:
“Heaven is all those qualities, such that
do not become veils.” I said, “Know
“They are neither light nor heavy,
not hot or cold — shall I tell what they are?
“They are not dry, they are not wet, nor growing,
they do not have space more or less than this,
“Nor does this cause them anger, oh my soul,”
we told the priests.
The attraction and repulsion that is in form,
they know not, which helps the knower.
There is no separation or joining in them —
your heaven does not admit this connection.
They rotate around their orbits by desire,
for they are living, I said, all you of right vision.
They are powerful, wise, and eternal —
they have no beginning, they are eternal!
It is thus for their imagination; know
that bitter is their comprehension from that.
The stars great and small all receive
from the sun, foresighted one,
Except the moon, which is dark, but from greatness
is bright, from the light of its every gift.
Goodness, joy, sorrow, and pain
come from them for every woman, boy, and man.
The world of the world is in their power,
death along with living is their sign.
From them I have found all, great ones:
all that is was the world of the world.
Say, I’ve brought this talk to a close,
not saying what should be expounded
In a great and lengthy book,
but writing better in a book such as this.
IV.4. Fourth Brilliance
When my soul passed these bodies,
I reached the pure happy soul.
I saw souls with the eye of my soul,
a soul going among souls.
In every sphere and star I saw a soul,
separately, a soul for everyone.
I saw a soul for the three kingdoms,
which were a soul for each other.
The soul itself has no start or end;
the illuminated faith has no task but this.
The soul that came to human society,
if it was just and seeking wisdom,
Found adornment in fortunate action,
escaped the body, and avoided the elements.
It joined with the bodies that are
loftier, because they are wiser.
It is worthy of knowledge and its own action,
finding its activity from the sphere.
With so much knowledge, towards the higher sphere
it comes, oh foresighted master.
The sage so escapes from bodies
that no sign of him should be produced.
True action and knowledge is none but this:
when the body leaves, pain remains behind, true.
When one is bodiless beneath heaven,
all one’s ugly features show their face.
It thus becomes so painful
that no one in the world looks at him.
Then when he is freed from those abodes,
he becomes the spouse and friend of Ahriman.
Who is the person who acts by that,
yet has no knowledge, oh priests?
Better than admiring the body first
is to increase in separation from it,
So that one so wisely advances and retreats
and is freed — I’ve told the secret, famous one.
To do else is ugly and stupid,
to be an animal deserving unconsciousness
Of oneself as different from cattle, birds,
and other animals like carnivores.
In action one’s character in eating
in form is the same as an animal.
Escape from unconsciousness is better
than being mineral form, from bad character.
I’ve seen these bonds and their links,
that very escape, and what I have shown.
I saw a group with the eye of the soul,
who were of this kind in the same soul.
In solitude I found myself aware
Of the long road and the short path too.
I did not see it right to tell here,
so now I’ll speak of consciousness, oh leader.
IV.5. Fifth Brilliance.
I drew my soul running from the souls,
I was running to angels and intellects,
I saw them increase beyond counting —
for every thirteen one was produced.
In every sphere and star I saw
A separate guard standing at attention,
Upon each element separately,
but count that one as also connected.
For each thirteen there was a lord
that I saw, and I told you something.
In them I became powerful like them,
I became wise, aware, and knowing.
I knew all things in existence,
I reached the angel of the great host.
When I found in him such sublimity,
I blazed with glory from God.
When the spark increased, my ego left,
neither angel nor demon remained.
From that I became God, and I was he –
I was not I then, I was God.
There was God, and no sign of me.
I had no consciousness, memory, or soul,
I found everything was my shadow.
I radiated with the intellects of angels,
I was shining from the intellects on the soul —
Read it so– even as far as bodies.
I so became everything as far as the earth,
I saw nothing, great or small, but myself.
I was so powerful, wise, and sublime,
until I came down from that station
By the way I came, I went to the body
with a hundred godlike glories of that company.
Now I am powerful in this world,
adorning it and sometimes destroying it.
My body is no more than a garment for the soul,
I have no companion or fellow in faith.
From the body I happily go to God
and I return to the body, oh messenger.
When some of my happy upright disciples
I sent to the transcendent world,
My disciples brought me the news–
who possesses the royal glory like me?
But the lord has a station so high that
a servant’s nature should not deserve it.
Wisdom is by his light, as the earth to the sun,
far higher than the nature of servants.
If the soul is illuminated by him,
it leaves itself, unconsciously saying, “I am!”
The world is a drop from the ocean of his existence —
tell the droplets what their being is!
“You are not droplets of those drops, you are an even smaller drop!
I don’t know how to tell you that you are even smaller than that.”
From mercy he is generous to his servants,
for the abject should be raised up.
He spoke to me freely and empowered me,
placing the divine glory in me.
None is able to praise him save him,
for he is not contained by any expression.