Абай Кунанбаев творчество

Стихи, поэмы, биография

Word Seven

Born into this world, an infant inherits two essential
needs. The first is for meat, drink and sleep. These are the
requirements of the flesh, without which the body cannot
be the house of the soul and will not grow in height and
strength.

The other is a craving for knowledge. A baby will
grasp at brightly coloured objects, it will put them in its
mouth, taste them and press them against its cheek. It will
start at the sound of a pipe. Later, when a child hears the
barking of a dog, the noises of animals, the laughter or
weeping of people, it gets excited and asks about all that it
sees and hears: What’s that? What’s that for? Why is he
doing that? This is but the natural desire of the soul, the
wish to see everything, hear everything and learn every-
thing.
Without trying to fathom the mysteries of the uni
verse, visible and invisible, without seeking an explanation
for everything, one can never be what one should be
human being. Otherwise, the spiritual life of a person will
not differ from the existence of any other living creature.
From the very beginning God separated man from
beast by breathing the soul into him. Why then, on grow-
ing up and gaining in wisdom, do we not seek to gratify
our curiosity, which in childhood made us forget about
food and sleep? Why do we not tread in the path of those
who seek knowledge?
It behoves us to strive to broaden our interests and
increase the wisdom that nourishes our souls. We should
come to realise that spiritual virtues are far superior to bod
ily endowments, and so learn to subordinate our carnal
desires to the dictates of our soul. But no, we have been
loath to do that! Raving and croaking, we have not moved
farther than the dunghill next to our village. Only in our
childhood are we ruled by the soul. When we grew up and
gained in strength, we rejected its dictates, we subjugated
our soul to the body, and contemplated the things around
us with our eyes, but not our minds: we do not trust the
impulses of the soul. Satisfied with outward appearances,
we make no attempt to uncover inner mysteries, in the vain
belief that we shall lose nothing by such ignorance. To the
counsel and advice of wise people, we reply: You live by
your own wits, mine are good enough for me.
We’d
rather be poor in our own wits than rich in yours. We are
incapable of recognising their superiority and grasping the
meaning of their words.
There is not a flicker of fire in our bosom nor any faith
in our soul. In what way, then, do we differ from animals
if we perceive things only with our eyes? It seems that we
were better in our childhood. We were human then, for we
sought to learn as much as possible. But today we are
worse than the beasts. An animal knows nothing and has
In my younger days it never occurred to me that any-
one could forsake his own people. I loved the Kazakhs
with all my heart and believed in them. But as I came to
know my people better and my hopes began to fade, I
found that I lacked the strength to leave my native region
and form kinship with strangers. This is why there Is avoid
in my heart now. But then I think, perhaps it’s for the bet
ter When dying, I will not lament: Alas, I have not tasted
this or that joy! Not torturing myself with regrets about
earthly things, I shall find solace in the life to come.

Abay(Абай Құнанбаев)

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