Kalam Hazrat Sultan Bahu – 2/10


Baajh huzooree naheen manzooree,
Pae parhhan bang salaataan hoo.
Roze, nafal namaaz, guzaaran,
Pae jaagan saareeaan raataan hoo.
Baajhon qabal huzoor na hove,
Pae kadhan sai zakaataan hoo.
Bajh fanaa Rabb haasil naaheen,
Na taaseer jamaataan hoo.

If you don’t have the Master’s presence within,
You will not attain acceptance in God’s court,
Useless is all prayer, futile is all chanting.
You can fast, you can pray the whole night through,
To supplement your daily prayer;
You can also perform numerous acts of charity;
But if your heart is not purified, You will not feel God’s presence within.
If you have not died before your death,
chanting in group prayers will avail you nothing.


Baahoo baagh bahaaraan khirhiaan,
Nargis naaz sharam daa hoo.
Dil wich kaabaa sahee keetose,
Paakon paak piram daa hoo.
Taalib talab tawaaf tamaamee,
Hubb huzoor haram daa hoo.
Giaa hijaab theeose haajee,
Bakhshish raah karam daa hoo.

The garden of my heart has so blossomed,
That it puts the charming narcissus to shame.
Manifested within me is the holy Ka’ba;
Blessed with the purity of love, my heart rejoices.
I circle the inner Ka’ba with fervent love;
In ardent devotion I yearn For the blessing of my Beloved’s presence.
The veil is now lifted, my pilgrimage is complete,
In his mercy, O Bahu, lies the way to remission.


Baghdaad shareef vanj karaahaan,
Saudaa ne keetose hoo.
Ratti aqal dee de karaahaan,
Bhaar ghamaan daa ghidose hoo.
Bhaujal bhaar manzil chaukheree,
Orhak vanj pahuteose hoo.
Zaat sifaat sahee keetose,
Taan Jamaal laddhose hoo.

I went to holy Baghdad to trade my soul,
For a grain of my Master’s wisdom.
I bore a heavy load of sorrows.
My burden was great, my destination far, But I arrived at last!
When I perceived the essence of the Lord,
As distinct from his qualities,
My heart was illuminated With the splendor of his countenance.


Banh chalaiaa tarf zameen de,
Arshon darsh tikaaiaa hoo.
Ghar theen miliaa des nikaalaa,
Likhiaa jholee paaiaa hoo.
Rauh nee duneeaa, na kar jherhaa,
Saadaa dil ghabraaiaa hoo.
Aseen pardesee watan duraadaa,
Dam dam alam savaaiaa hoo.

I was bound and flung down:
Banished from heaven, dumped on earth,
Bound by the dictates of my destiny,
I was exiled into this alien land.
Off with you, sly world, aggravate me no more,
I am already in anguish.
I am a stranger, my home is very far away,
And my situation worsens With every breath I draw here.


Be-adabaan na saar adab dee,
Gae adab theen vaanje hoo.
Jahrhe hon mittee de bhaande,
Kadeen na theevan kaanje hoo.
Jehrhe mudh qadeem de Kherhe,
Kadeen na honed Raanjhe hoo.
Jain huzoor na mangiaa Baahoo,
Doheen jahaaneen vaanje hoo.

The irreverent know not the manners of love;
Bereft of love will they depart from here.
Earthen vessels are inherently coarse-
They can never shine like those of glass!*
Those born as villains Can never become lovers of the Lord.
The heart that does not pine for the divine presence,
Will remain destitute in both worlds, O Bahu.
(A lover’s heart is transparent to God’s love, as a glass jar is to light. The heart of an infidel, on the other hand, is like a pitcher of clay that is always dark within, even when placed in sunlight).


Be-buzurgee vaihan lurhhaaee-e,
Karee-e rajj mukaalaa hoo.
Laa-illaah gal gaihnaa marhiaa,
Mazhab kee lagdaa saalaa hoo.
Il-lillaah ghar mere aaiaa,
Jain aan uthaaiaa paalaa hoo.
Asaan piaalaa Khizron peetaa,
Aab hayaatee waalaa hoo.

Throughly blacken the face of priestly wisdom,
And dump it in the sewer.
The kalma has adorned you like a diamond necklace –
Let that accursed religion mind its own business!
The Kalma has manifested itself within me;
The fear of death is now banished from my heart.
It was my Master, O Bahu, who gave me to drink,
From the cup that held the water of life.


Be te parhh ke faazil hoe,
Alif na parhhiaa kisse hoo.
Jain parhhiaa tis shauh na laddhaa,
Jaan parhhiaa kujh tisse hoo.
Chaudaan tabaq karan rushnaaee,
Annhiaan kujh na disse hoo.
Baajh wisaal Allaah de Baahoo,
Sabh kahaanee qisse hoo.

They learned ‘everything’ and became great scholars,
But few learned the lesson of Alif.*
Those who learned ‘everything’ never found the One,
Those who learned the lesson of Oneness Found the essence of ‘everything’
All fourteen realms are lit up with God’s radiance,
But the blind perceive nothing.
If union is not attained with the Lord, O Bahu,
All learning is mere theory – A mere fable that disappears into smoke.
(Alif is the first letter of the Arabic, Persian and Urdu alphabets. It is written as a vertical straight line like the numeral ‘one’ (1). Hazrat Bahu uses this similarity to identify alif with the ‘oneness’ of God. He also uses alif as an abbreviation of Ahad, the One).


Baghdaad shaihar dee kiaa nishaanee,
Uchcheean lammeeaan cheeraan hoo.
Tan man meraa purze purze,
Join darzee deeaan leeraan hoo.
Leeraan dee gal kafanee paa ke,
Ralsan sang faqeeraan hoo.
Shaihar Baghdaad de tukrhe mangsaan,
Karsaan Meeraan Meeraan hoo.

The city of Baghdad is graced* With tall, elegant cypresses,
My fond memories of that fair city.
Tear my heart to shreds,
Like waste cloth in a tailor’s shop.
Wearing a cloak made with these shreds,
I will join the beggars in the lanes of Baghdad.
And beg for alms, calling out:
“O Meeran, Meeran, my beloved Master!” **
(Baghdad was the home town of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani, founder of the Qadriya line of Masters, of which Hazrat Sultan Bahu was a member. There is no evidence to suggest that Bahu ever visited Baghdad. In this bait he seems to fondly reminisce about the Baghdad of his imagination – out of devotion for the founding Master, Shah Jilani).
(Meeran: literally, ‘the exalted one’; a term of endearment and reverence used for Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani).


Be-Bauhtee main auganhaaree,
Laaj paee gal us de hoo.
Parhh parhh aalim karan takabbur,
Shaitaan jahe uth musde hoo.
Lakkhaan noon bhau dozakh waalaa,
Hik bahishton rusde hoo.
Aashiq de gal chhuree hameshaa,
Yaar de agge kusde hoo.

Of all sinners I am indeed the most sinful,
But in my Lord’s protection lies my honour.
In this world the learned are filled with satanic pride,
But they are robbed and maligned in the world beyond.
Millions fear the torment of hell,
But lovers turn their backs even on paradise.*
A lover’s throat is always under the knife, Bahu,
But at the alter of the Friend He rejoices in being a sacrifice.
(In muslim belief paradise is a place of carefree happiness and hoy, beauty and abundance; it is also a place where all of one’s wishes are fulfilled).


Paataa daaman hoiaa puraanaa,
Kickarak seeve darzee hoo.
Haal da maihram koee na miliaa,
Jo miliaa so gharzee hoo.
Baajh murabbee kise na laddhee,
Gujjhee ramz andar dee hoo.
Ose raah wal jaaee-e Baahoo,
Jis theen khalqat dardee hoo.

My cloak is now worn out and tattered;
How long will the tailor keep mending it?
I met no one who really knew the inner secret;
They were all lacking, they were all selfish.
None by my gracious Master Resolved the inner mystery.
Let us advance on the very path, O Bahu,
On which the multitude fears to tread.


Paak paleet na honed torhe,
Raihande wich paleetee hoo.
Wahadat de dariaa uchhalle,
Hik dil sahee na keetee hoo.
Hik butkhaane waasil hoe,
Hik parhh parhh rahe maseetee hoo.
Faazil sutt fazeelat baithe,
Ishq namaaz jaan neetee hoo.

The pure are never contaminated,
Even while they live in this polluted world.
A tide of love has surged in the ocean of Unity,
But those who have not prepared themselves Cannot open their hearts to it.
Some merge with the Beloved’s form In the idol house [of their hearts],*
While others pore over scriptures in mosques, Gaining nothing.
Scholars renounce their ‘superior’ learning,
O Bahu, when they learn the prayer of love.
(In Muslim belief a mosque is the house of God, whereas an idol house is a symbol of heresy because praying to an idol is considered a sin against God. In Sufi literature ‘Idol temple’ is used as a metaphor for the eye centre, the spiritual heart, which contains the radiant image of the Master, the object of inner worship).


Parhh parhh aalim karan takabbur,
Hafiz karan vadaaee hoo.
Galiaan de wich phiran nimaane,
Baghal kitaabaan chaaee hoo.
Jithe wekhan changaa chokhaa,
Parhhan kalaam savaaee hoo.
Doheen jahaaneen mutthe jinhaan,
Khaadhee vech kamaaee hoo.

The scholar is proud of his learning,
The hafiz thrives on self-promotion.*
With books under their arms,
They go around, selling their honor.
Wherever they find a promising household,
They read the scripture in loud, fervent strains for a lucrative commission.
O Bahu! They have put God’s name on sale Just to make a living,
In this world they live spiritually bankrupt;
Stripped of all honor, they go to the one beyond.
(A hafiz is a Muslim, usually a member of the clergy, who has the ability to recite the entire Qur’an from memory; a well-read person; a scholar).


Parhh parhh ilam mushaikh sadaavan,
Karan ibaadat dohree hoo.
Andar jhuggee paee luteeve,
Tan man khabar na more hoo.
Maulaa waalee sadaa sukhaalee,
Dil ton laah takoree hoo.
Rabb tinhaan noon haasil,
Jinhaan Jag na keetee choree hoo.

They think they have acquired great learning;
They call themselves sheikhs.
While they perform much outside worship.
They do not know the manner in which temptation,
Like a thief, enters to ravage their hearts.
The soul that has attached herself to God Is forever at peace –
The smoke screen of illusion is lifted from her eyes.
Only they realize God, O Bahu,
Whose hearts the world has not seduced.


Parhh parhh ilam mulook rijaavan,
Kiaa hoiaa is parhhiaan hoo.
Hargiz makkhan mool na aave,
Phitte dudh de karhiaan hoo.
Aakh chandooraa hath kee aaiaa,
Es angooree phariaan hoo.
Hik dil khastaa raazee rakkheen,
Laaeen ibaadat varahian hoo.

Priests and scholars parade their learning To please the kings –
Of what avail is such erudition?
Reading scriptures is like boiling curdled milk,
In the false hope of obtaining butter.
No more profitable to them is their chanting,
Than is chirping to the mimicking chandoor.*
If you bring inner comfort to a heart in distress,
You will earn the merit of years of worship.
(Chandoor or chandol is a mimicking bird. It imitates sounds, including spoken words – obviously without knowing their meaning, in much the same manner as priests recite and quote the words of Saints without realizing their underlying message).


Parhhiaa ilam te vadhi aghrooree,
Aqal bhee giaa talohaan hoo.
Bhullaa raah hidaayat waala,
Nafaa na keetaa dohaan hoo.
Sir dittiaan je sirr hath aave,
Saudaa haar na tohaan hoo.
Varheen bazaar muhabbat waale,
Raihbar laike soohan hoo.

You acquired learning, your pride swelled,
And your mind took a downward course.
You strayed from the path of living guidance –
Neither your learning, nor your pride did you any good.
If you gain the inner secret by selling off your head*
You will not be the loser in the deal.
But when you enter the marketplace of love,
Be sure to have a Guide who knows this inner secret.
(Selling off your head means unconditionally surrendering your self or ego to the Lord).


Parhh parhh ilam hazaar kitaaban,
Aalim hoe bhaare hoo.
Harf ik ishq daa parhh na jaanan,
Bhulle phiran vichaare hoo.
Ishq aqal wich manzil bhaaree,
Saiaan kohaan de paarhe hoo.
JInhaan ishq khareed na keetaa,
Doheen jahaaneen mare hoo.

They have read thousands of books,
They have come to be known as great scholars.
But the one word, ‘love’, they could not grasp –
So helplessly they wander in delusion.
Vast is the gulf between love and intellect.
Those who have not purchased love,
In the marketplace of this life, O Bahu,
Will always be losers in this world and the next.


Panje maihal, panjaan wich chaanan,
Deevaa kit val dharee-e hoo.
Panje maihar, panje patwaaree,
Haasil kit val bharee-e hoo.
Panj imaam te panje qible,
Sajdaah kit val karee-e hoo.
Je sahib sir mange Baahoo,
Hargiz dhill na karee-e hoo.

Within me are five great mansions- All five brightly lit;
What need have I of another lamp?
I am no longer accountable To the five lords and tax collectors,
Who barricade the inner path.
Five prayer leaders call the faithful To the five mosques within,
What need have I of another mosque?
IF the Lord calls for your head,
O Bahu, do not hesitate; offer it at once.


Peer mile te peerh na jaave,
Taan us peer kee dharnaa hoo.
Murshid miliaan rushd na man noon,
Oh murshid kee karnaa hoo.
Jis haadee theen naheen hidaayat,
Oh haadee kee pharhnaa hoo.
Sir dittiaan haqq haasil have,
Mauton mool na darnaa hoo.

If a master does not end your pain of separation,
He is not even worth calling a Master.
Who would even need the kind of Master,
Who does not bestow spiritual blessing?
Why even go to the kind of teacher,
Who is incapable of giving proper instruction?
If you can reach God by sacrificing your head,
Be not afraid of that death, O Bahu!

English translation:

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Sufi Poetry

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