Masnavi-ye Golkošti-ye Mirnejāt

The manuscript Masnavi-ye Golkošti-ye Mirnejāt was written by Mirnejāt at the end of the period of Šāh Soleymān Safavid (1666-1694 C.E.) or at the beginning of the era of the period of Šāh Soltān Hosseyn Safavid (1694-1722 C.E.). This manuscript is a poetic form called masnavi (verses that rhyme).  The author was Mir Abodola'āl, who was also called Mirnejāt. His father was a famed accountant in the period of Šāh Soleymān Safavid.  Mirnejāt was a writer and accountant of the royal office, who was appointed a royal librarian during the period of Šāh Soltān Hosseyn Safavid.  Mirnejāt presented his poems in front of Šāh Soleymān and won many prizes. A characteristic of Mir Nejāt’s poems is the fact that they show a clear mastery and understanding of the wrestling terms used in that period. The Masnavi-ye Golkošti-ye Mirnejāt contains 268 rhyming couplets.  It is evident that Mirnejāt practiced wrestling and knew the techniques (Beyzāi Kāšāni, 2003/1382:393-394, 396 and Abbāsi, 1995/1374:169).  Very often in places the poem of Masnavi-ye Golkošti by Mirnejāt looks like a love poem.  In this respect, this poem resembles the chants of a moršed in the zurxāne.  Regarding the love relationship between God and man in classical Iranian poetry, Luijendijk (2006:19) points out that the name of God is seldom mentioned and it is often substituted by the expression "the beloved one".  Thus the poem talks about the interaction between the two where one acts as the giver and the other as the receiver.  This interaction takes several symbolic forms and is recognizable as a duality, such as the relationship between God and man, two lovers, a teacher and a student, a drinker and the person who pours the drink (drinking wine is a metaphor used in Persian poetry whereby drinking wine represents liberating oneself from the bonds of society), and even the relationship between the zurxāne and the wrestling practitioners themselves (Luijendijk, 2006:20-23). A full translation and annotation of the manuscript is provided in the book Persian Archery and Swordsmanship: Historical Martial Arts of Iran.  In the following some experts of the text are given:


Turning the head is better than all techniques

Letting the leg go and twisting your head

Altair[1] gives up the heart and religion for your way

How much does the wing of a swallow[2] have the power of heart

Oh you by whom the sky falls on the wrestling ground

Due to your determination, the sky has given up its heart and religion for you

What happens to the challenger who is dying for wrestling

You will not throw us to the ground using this technique[3] making us lose face

What will happen if you take [us] down to the ground

To finish your "hostile wrestling"[4] with destiny

Like the traces of his steps, oh agile [one] you move smoothly

"Leg trip on the ground"[5] otherwise he will not be raised from the ground

Pull back your leg from the celebration of the crooks and the mob oh the beloved

Be careful not to receive "leg throw/tripping and pulling the head"[6] from the opponents

His laughing made me unaware of my own existence

Because that courageous threw me with the "sugar tightening"[7]

[1]Nasr-e Tāyer ﻨﺳﺮﻃﺎﻴﺮ.

[2]The text uses the term parastok ﭘﺮﺴﺘﮎ which is the same as the bird parastuk ﭘﺮﺴﺘﻮﮎ (swallow).

[3]fan ﻔﻦ.

[4]košti-ye xasmāne ﻜﺷﺗﻰﺨﺼﻤﺎﻨﻪ (hostile wrestling) was a type of wrestling where all illegal techniques were allowed and which often led to the death or maiming of one of the opponents.

[5]The technique is called leng-e xāki ﻠﻨﮓﺨﺎﻜﻰ in Persian.

[6]This technique is called leng-e sarkeš ﻠﻧﮓﺳﺮﻜﺵ.

[7]tangšekar ﺘﻧﮓﺷﻜﺮ.

Our house of sport is not the place for the lascivious[1]

This place is for the pure[2], this house is not for the unpurified[3]

Oh my heart stay in this "house of strength"[4] for a while

Find a way in the ruins[5] and religious hymns[6]

Whatever you say oh the entrance, the master says no and there is not [an entrance]

Our house is the one without a door, this is all due to a pure heart

We are satisfied with a "knitted girdle"[7] and a "felt gown"[8]

We suffer from lack of wealth because of the sky[9] and Saturn[10]

What a dignity you show towards us, [who are] the saddened, oh [you] the zealous

Among us there is no dignity beside God, [we] swear to God

Which leg from this luti[11] is in the court of God

As the earth is the divine carpet in the view of the knowledgeable

Oh God show mercy to the opponents who are "residents of the ruins"[12]

[and] who are the people of devotion

Our screaming heart is our guide to follow your path

The moaning of the residents of the ruins is our present, our guide

[1]havasnāk ﻫﻮﺳﻨﺎﮎ.

[2]pākān ﭘﺎﮐﺍﻥ.

[3]nāpākān ﻧﺎﭘﺎﮐﺍﻥ.

[4]zurxāne ﺯﻭﺭﺧﺎﻧﻪ.

[5]xarābāt ﺧﺮﺍﺑﺎﺕ.

[6]monājāt ﻣﻨﺎﺟﺎﺕ.

[7]fetani ﻓﺘﻨﻰ.

[8]kapanag ﻛﭙﻨﮓ was a felt gown worn by poor people.

[9]falak ﻓﻠﮏ.

[10]pirfalak ﭘﻴﺮﻓﻠﮏ.

[11]In this context luti ﻠﻮﻂﻰ is another term for javānmard ﺠﻮﺍﻧﻣﺭﺪ (a man who follows the principles of chivalry) (see the Digital Lexicon of Dehxodā).

[12]The Persian word is xarābātnešin ﺨﺮﺍﺒﺎﺖﻨﺷﻳﻦ which means "resident of the ruins".  The ruins here refer to the temple of sufis.