Chapter 43

1. The wise disciple is he who like juniper-leaves brings to others much profit, like a farmer who sows seed freely in many furrows.

2. Some disciples are like the evergreen juniper, whose leaves are shed neither in summer or winter. So too in persecution and freedom of religion, in good days and bad, under the eyes of the holy ones or out of their sight, the pious disciple is constant in charity and in faith.

3. The disciple who bears witness to the Religion of Light is like a ripe fruit hanging on a large tree – he shines like a spark running over the firewood, or he is like a speck of light in the sky giving out its radiance.

4. The disciple who is warmed by the fire of piety is like a man who took his friend to a well full of life-giving water; one was on the seashore and the other in the boat.

5. Now he who was on the shore towed him who was in the boat, while he who was in the boat, guided him on the seashore upwards to the well.

6. The disciple who is like this is like a pearl that adorns the diadem on the head of the King, like a bright lamp shining in the Assembly, like a man who offers fruits and flowers to the holy ones, and then they praise him as a tree bearing abundant, good fruit.

7. But the disciple who neglects the Scriptures is like the branch of a fruitless tree; his life is fruitless and vain; and blessed are the disciples who seek the fruit which grows out of pious deeds!

8. The disciple who shares knowledge is like a man who threw rennet into milk; it became hard, not liquid; the part that was changed became heavy at first, just as a man seen at first is honoured and he may shine for about six days.

9. The disciple who gives alms to the Assembly is like a poor man who presents a daughter to the King; he reaches great honour.

10. Then the King is pleased with her and keeps her in his harem and has several sons by her, who grow up strong and handsome.

11. The sons who were born to the daughter of that poor man become Kings of the land in turn.

12. The alms in the bodies of the holy ones is purified in the same way as the rags of a man, which have been exposed to fire and wind, change into beautiful clothes which on a clean body turn here or there in the breeze.

13. The disciple, obeying the Commandments, is like a man who prepares an image of the King cast in gold, to whom the King gave gifts.

14. The disciple who copies a book is like a sick man who gave his weapons to a healthy man.

15. How numerous are the virtues of the disciple! The very assembly of the disciples resembles this good land which takes to itself the good seed because it is that which accepts the Holy Assembly; it cares for her and gives her rest in all its works and all its sufferings.

16. Where there is no disciple, therein the Holy Assembly has no rest; the disciples are themselves the resting-place of the Holy Assembly.