Yusuf Balasaguni: biography, creativity
It is difficult to meet a person who has never heard that only a word from poems forever remains, saying that ignorance is talkative, and reason is mute. The author of these lines is an outstanding thinker and poet Yusuf Balasaguni. Only a small amount of information about him has reached our days. We have collected all the information and are ready to share with you!
Biography of Yusuf Balasaguni
According to researchers, Yusuf was born in 1017. The father of the future poet was a prominent man, very wealthy. The birthplace of Yusuf was the city of Balasagun, better known as Kyz-Orda. The location of this city is not reliably established. There are two versions: according to the first, Balasagun is to be found not far from Tokmak, in the Chui Valley. The second version says that the city was located in the upper side of Aktobe, in the territory of Zhambyl region.
Historians believe that Balasagun was a major trade and craft center of the Karakhanid state.This state united several Turkic tribes and existed for three centuries. The socio-economic basis of the city and state were nomads and sedentary peasants.
Yusuf Balasaguni can safely be considered a native of a unique cultural zone and at the same time a political region that covered Otrar, Shash, Chui Valley, Kashgari, Taraz, Priyssykkul and Fergana at that time. If we talk about cultural and linguistic relations, the Turkish poet can be considered the common ancestor of all Turkic-speaking peoples. Geographically, Balasaguni is close to Kyrgyz and Kazakhs.
Like all the secular people of the time, Yusuf was a very educated person. He studied in Bukhara, Farab and Kashgar - recognized cultural centers. His interests were very extensive: he played chess excellently, was fond of poetry and science, politics and philosophy. In addition, Yusuf perfectly mastered such languages as Persian and Arabic. This allowed him to work out scientific and philosophical writings in various fields of knowledge.
Poem "Kutadgu Bilig" ("Gracious knowledge")
Having received a good education and considerable life experience, Yusuf went to Kashgar. For one and a half years he worked on a great poetic work. Yusuf Balasaguni completed the poem, the name of which was translated into Russian as "Science to be happy" or "Beneficial knowledge", and this is at the age of 54 years! He presented this work to Kagan Bograkhan from the Karakhanid dynasty, for which, by the way, he was awarded the title of Hass Hadzhib - Minister of the Court.
The poet himself said the following about his poem: it was written in Turkic, and that Turkic, which can be attributed to the Karakhanid era. That is why most of the Turkic-speaking peoples consider this poem the first masterpiece of the entire written literature of the Muslim era, the so-called Muslim Renaissance. Three later copies of this work have survived.
Translations of the poem and its study
In 1796, the text of the poem "Kutadgu bilig", written by Balasaguni, fell into the hands of an Australian orientalist. It was von Hammer-Purgshtal who handed over the work to the Vienna Library. For the first time in German, the poem appeared thanks to the orientalist G. Vambery. But the full translation made in 1891-1900.well-known orientalist-Turkologist V. V. Radlov. The year 1896 was marked by the fact that this poem was translated by K. Kerimov from the Turkic language into Uzbek. The IV Turkic Conference, which took place in Leningrad in 1970, was devoted specifically to this work. The free translation of the poem entitled "Science to be happy" appeared in 1971. Made it N. Grebnev. In 1983, Russian readers also met Yusuf Balasaguni’s poem. Then the “Gracious Knowledge” translated by S.N. Ivanova. In Kazakh, the work appeared in 1986 due to the translation of the poet A. Egeubaev.
Otto Alberts, a scientist from Germany, was one of the first to study “Quadgu bilig”. He considered the work of Yusuf in the context of a cultural region. Otto stated: there are many similarities between the views of Balasaguni and the teachings of Ibn-Sina. In addition, the scientist tried to compare the ethical views of Yusuf Balasaguni and Aristotle.
Alberts' followers in the study of creativity of the thinker were Russian orientalists, in particular V. V. Barthold, S. E. Malov. The study was continued by historians and literary critics E.E. Bertels, A.N. Kononov, A.N. Samoilovich.
Contribution to world science
Orientalists and literary scholars note: “Kutadgu bilig” can be considered the first encyclopedic work written not in Arabic (which, by the way, was the official language), but in Turkic. Scientists say that this may indicate patriotism and the poet's love for his native language. There is one more reason why Yusuf chose the Turkic language: Yusuf Balasaguni was probably led by political motives, the desire to teach the whole Karakhanid dynasty to govern the country with settled regions and districts. In order that the nomads could understand the edification of the thinker, Yusuf wrote a poem in the Turkic language. However, one should not treat Kutadgu bilig exclusively as a political treatise. This work is a sum of knowledge in many areas of culture, science, philosophy. The author considered such issues as the purpose of man, the search for the meaning of life, the place of the individual in society and nature. In addition, the researchers argue, the roots of this poem are threefold - Islamic, shamanistic, philosophical. The dominant element, of course, is Muslim.
According to the scientists, the poem “Beneficial Knowledge” was recognized during the poet’s lifetime. It is known that Balasaguni wrote that the Iranians called his poem none other than “Turkic Shahname”, and the inhabitants of the East - “Ornament of rulers”. In general, this work of the thinker Balasaguni had a serious impact on the culture and literature of all Turkic-speaking peoples.
Today the poem has been translated into Russian, Uzbek, Turkish, German, English, Azerbaijani and Uigur languages. It should be noted that the work of the great Turkic poet allows you to get an idea about the intellectual life of Eastern peoples, their culture and attitude to life.
The first statement of Balasaguni, about which it is impossible not to recall, speaks of evil and virtue. Yusuf writes: a man would not suffer because of heavy thoughts, if evil were weak and good was strong. And if in the world there were laws of justice, then a person would not be offended by his fate. Says the poet and the negative qualities of a person. In their greed, says Balasaguni, people simply devour each other like scorpions.
The book includes various sayings and proverbs that characterize the way of life of nomads.In this case, the author asks the reader to pay attention to the fact that one and the same word or advice to the sage will benefit, but the fool can be harmed.
The memory of the thinker
In Kashgar, you can visit the mausoleum of the author of an amazing poem. The fate of this mausoleum is not simple: erected in 1865, it was completely destroyed in 1972 during the cultural revolution. Then a school appeared in its place. However, soon the Chinese authorities decided to restore the mausoleum in the same place. By the way, the image of the writer adorns the banknote of the bank of Kyrgyzstan with a denomination of 1000 soms!