Kalam Hazrat Sultan Bahu – 4/10


Jo dil mange hove naaheen,
Hovan rahiaa parere hoo.

Dost na deve dil daa daaroo,
Ishq na vaagaan phere hoo.

Is maidaan muhabbat de wich,
Milde taa tikhere hoo.

Main qurbaan tinhaan ton Baahoo,
Jinh rakhiaa qadam agree hoo.

What the heart desires it does not find;
Far distant remains its fulfillment:

The Friend does not dispense the balm for my heart;
The heart suffers but love does not accede,

While in the arena of love, rages the fire of longing!

I sacrifice myself to anyone, O Bahu, who,
Having once stepped on to the path of love, Always moves ahead.


Jo dam ghaafil so dam kaafir,
Murshid eh parhhaaiaa hoo.

Suniaa sukhan gaeeaan khul akheen,
Chit maulaa wal laaiaa hoo.

Keetee jaan havaale Rabb de,
Aisaa ishq kamaaiaa hoo.

Maran ton agge mar gae Baahoo,
Taan matalab noon paaiaa hoo.

My Master taught me a lesson:
“Any moment you are negligent in remembrance of God is a moment spent in denial of God.”

These words opened my eyes to reality,
And I fixed my attention on the Lord.

I then placed my soul in his protection-
Such was the love I cultivated in my heart.

Having thus bequeathed my soul to him,
I died before death – to live in him. Only then did I attain the goal of life, O Bahu!


Je toon chaahen wahadat Rabb dee,
Mal murshid deeaan taleeaan hoo.

Murshid lutfon kare nazaaraa,
Gul theevan sab kaleeaan hoo.

Inhaan wich hik laalaa hosee,
Gul naazuk kul phaleeaan hoo.

Doheen jahaneen multthe,
jinhaan Sang keetaa do daleeaan hoo.

If you desire to attain the oneness of God,
Submit yourself at the Master’s feet.

When the Master casts his merciful glance on you,
The buds of mystery will unfold Into the blossoms of revelation.

Among them will be the scarlet poppy*
In whose delicate petals will shine a subtle mystery.

Those divided in their loyalties, half-hearted in their approach
Will be deprived in both the worlds, O Bahu.
(The secret poppy is compared to a lover’s heart owing its colour, delicate petals and dark spot in the centre which signifies burning in separation. This dark spot also symbolizes nuqta-i-suvaida, the eye of the heart, the third eye).


Je Rabb nahaatiaan dhotiaan mildaa,
Mildaa dadooaan machheeaan hoo.

Je Rabb mildaa mon munaaiaan,
Mildaa bhedan sassiaan hoo.

Je Rabb jateeaan sateeaan mildaa,
Mildaa daandaan khasseeaan hoo.

Rabb unhaan noon mildaa Baahoo,
Neetaan jinhaan achheeaan hoo.

If God could be found by bathing in holy waters,
Frogs and fish would find him.

If God were realized by cutting off your hair,
Sheep and goats, which are shorn for their wool, Would realize him too.

If God were found through nightly vigils,
bats and owls would find him.

If God could be found through calibacy,
Castrated bulls should also discover him.

God is realized by those, O Bahu,
Who are pure of heart, noble of intent.


Jisne alif mutaaliaa keetaa,
Be daa baab na parhdaa hoo.

Chhorh sifaatee jis laddios zaatee,
Aamee door chaa karda hoo.

Nafs ammaaraa kutrhaa jaane,
Naaz niaaz na dhardaa hoo.

Kiaa parvaah tinhaan noon,
Jinhaan Ghaarhoo laddhaa ghar daa hoo.

One who has grasped the meaning of Alif,
Need not proceed to read the chapter of bey*

One who has obtained the true Name of God
Will discard the names that simply describe him.

He does not feed and pamper the cruel dog of his ego.

They are free of all care, O Bahu, Who have the Master in their home
To fashion the ornament of their soul.
(Bey (Pronounced ‘bay’) is the second letter of the Arabic, Persian and Urdu alphabets. Here it means all knowledge that is other than God’s, who is symbolized by Alif, the first letter. See also the footnote of Bait 28).


Jain dil ishq khareed na keetaa,
So dil sakht na-bakhtee hoo.

Ustaad azal de sabaq parhhaaiaa,
Hath dittas dil takhtee hoo.

Bar sar aaiaan dam na maareen,
Jaan aave sir sakhtee hoo.

Parhh tauheed ho waasil Baahoo,
Sabaq parhheeve waqtee hoo.

Ill-starred is the heart That has not struck the bargain of love.

My timeless Teacher has insribed this lesson
On the tablet of my heart:

“Be not vain when you taste success;
make no complaint when times prove hard.

Learn the lesson of oneness and merge in God, O Bahu-
The lesson only a living Master can teach.”


Jain dil ishq khareed na keetaa,
So dil dard na phuttee hoo.

Us dil theen sang patthar change,
Jis dil ghaflat attee hoo.

Jain dil ishq huzoor na mangiaa,
So dargaahon suttee hoo.

Miliaa dost na unhaan,
Jinhaan Chaurh na keetee trattee hoo.

The heart that has not struck the bargain of love
Remains bereft of the pain of longing.

A stone is better than the heart
That is stuck in the mire of apathy.

The heart that does not seek God’s loving presence
Will be cast out of his courst.

You cannot find the Friend, O Bahu,
If you have not sacrificed your all for him.


Jain dil ishq khareed na keeta,
So dil dard na jaane hoo.

Khunse khusre har koee aakhe,
Kaun kahe mardaane hoo.

Galeeaan wich phiran arbele,
Jion danger deevaane hoo.

Mard namard tadaaheen khulsan,
Jad aashiq banhsan gaane hoo.

Hearts that have not struck the bargain of love
Cannot know the pangs of longing.

They will always be labelled spiritually impotent.
Who will consider them ‘men of God’?

Aimlessly they roam the alleyways of life,
Like cattle dumb and stupid.
When lovers tie the wrist bands of commitment*

Before entering the arena of love,
It will be clear who is a man of God And who a mere pretender.
(In some parts of India it is the custom to tie wrist bands on those entering battle).


Jain denh daa main dar tainde te,
Sajdaa sahee vanj keetaa hoo.

Us denh daa fidaa uthaaheen,
Bayaa darbaar na leetaa hoo.

Sir devan sirr aakhan naheen,
Shauq piaalaa peetaa hoo.

Main qurbaan tinhaan ton jinhaan,
Ishq salaamat keetaa hoo.

Ever since I correctly bowed my head*
At your doorstep, O Lord,

I have dedicated my life to your court –
I have sought no other court since.

Once you have drunk from the cup of love,
You would rather part with your head.

Than the secret of your heart, O Bahu,
I make myself a sacrifice to anyone
Who has preserved God’s love with his life.
(By correctly bowing one’s head in prayer, Bahu means meditating according to the instructions of one’s Master).


Jeenda kee jaanan saar moiaan dee,
So jaane jo mardaa hoo.

Qabraan de wich ann na paanee,
Kharch lorheendaa ghar daa hoo.

Ikk vichhorha maan pio bhaaeeaan,
Biaa azaab qabar daa hoo.

Waah naseebaa usdaa jehrha,
Wich hayaatee mardaa hoo.

How can the living know the plight of the dead?
He alone knows who himself has died!

The grave provides no food, no drink,
No provisions for the new home.*

To one’s separation from paretns and relatives
There is the added torment of the grave.

How fortunate is he, O Bahu,
Who can die while still alive!
(Provisions: We can only have available to us after death what we have earned during our lives through our prayers and our actions – good, as well as bad. In other words, we carry our own provisions into the world beyond).


Jeevandiaan mar raihanaa hove,
Taan des faqeeraan bahe-e hoo.

Je koee sutte guddarh koorha,
Vaang arooree rahee-e hoo.

Je koee deve gaalaan mehne,
Usnoon jee jee kahee-e hoo.

Gila, ulaahmaan, bhandee,
Khwaaree, Yaar de paaron sahee-e hoo.

Qaadir de hath dor asaadi,
Jion rakkhe tion rahee-e hoo.

If you wish to learn the art of dying while living,
Go and sit in the company of mystics.

If someone splatters you with dirt,
Be like a dung hill, take it without reproach.

Let them hurl abuse at you – accept it in humility.

Bear complaints, censure, blame, calumny with patience –
For the sake of the Beloved.

Our strings are in the hands of Almighty;
Let us live in submission to his will.


Charh channaan te kar rushnaaee,
Zikr karende teraa hoo.

Tere jahe chann kaee sai charhde,
Sajanaan bajh haneraa hoo.

Jithe chann asaadaa charhdaa,
Qadar naheen kujh teraa hoo.

Jis de kaaran janam gavaaiaa,
Yaar mile ik pheraa hoo.

Rise, o moon, and spread your light –
They are all fondly talking of you!

Even if thousands of moons like you were to rise,
Without my Friend I would still be in utter darkeness.

For, where my true Moon rises,
Your light will pale into insignificance.

May my beloved Friend, For whom I have sacrificed my life,
Come before me just once!


Charh channaan te kar rushnaaee,
Zikr karende taare hoo.

Galeeaan de wich phiran nimaane,
Laalaan de vanjaare hoo.

Shaalaa koee na theeve musaafir,
Kakkh jinhaan ton bhaare hoo.

Taarhee maar udaa na saanoon,
Aape uddanhaare hoo.

Rise, O moon, And spread your light across the heavens;
The stars remember you in silent prayers,
Their hearts glimmering with hope.

Now like beggers, We roam the alleyways of earthly life,
When once in our own Homeland, We were merchants of rubies.

O, may no one ever have to leave his own home,
For one is not worth a piece of straw In this alien land!

They need not clap their hands To startle us out of this world, O Bahu;
We are already disposed to fly back To our long-lost Home.


Haafiz parhh parhh karan takabbur,
Mullaan karan vadaaee hoo.

Saavan maah de badalaan vaangoon,
Phiran kitaabaan chaaee hoo.

Jithe wekhan changaa chokhaa,
Parhhn kalaam savaaee hoo.

Doheen jahaaneen mutthe jinhaan,
Khaadhee wech kamaaee hoo.

The hafiz is proud of his learning,
The priest thrives on self-promotion.

Like monsoon clouds they’re continously on the move
With books under their arms, selling their honour.

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.


Khaam keeh jaanan saar faqar dee,
Maihram naaheen dil de hoo.

Aab mittee theen paidaa hoe,
Khaamee bhaande gil de hoo.

Qadar keeh jaanan laal jawaahar,
Ho saudaagar bil de hoo.

So eemaan salaamat vaisan,
Bhajj faqeeraan milde hoo.

The uninitiated have no inkling Of the mystic way of life –
They know not the secrets of the heart.

They are always brittle and frail –
Like unbaked pots of clay.

Or they can be compared to glass merchants
Who know nothing Of the worth of rubies and diamonds.

Only ardent seekers of the company of mystics
Will remain steadfast in their faith.


Daal dilaan wich dil jo aakhen,
So dil door daleelon hoo.

Dil daa daur agohaan keeje,
Kasrat kanon qaleelon hoo.

Qalb kamaal, jamaalon, jismon,
Jauhar jaah jaleelon hoo.

Qibla qalb munavvar hoiaa,
Khalwat khaas khaleelon hoo.

A heart among hearts:*
The heart that is sublime beyond comprehension.

When your heart advances in contemplation of God,
It will comprehend how there is unity in diversity.

The heart is the essence of divinity in man;
In form and beauty it is the symbol of perfection.

When I contemplated on my true Firend
In the privacy of my inner self,
The temple of my heart will illumined with his light.
(In Sufi parlance, the heart means the eye centre, the third eye, the spiritual heart of our very being)


Dard andar daa andar saarhe,
Baahar karaan taan ghaayal hoo.

Haal asaadaa keeven jaanan,
Jo duneeaa te maayal hoo.

Baihar samundar ishqe waalaa,
Hardam raihandaa haayal hoo.

Pahunch huzoor aasaan na Baahoo,
Asaan naam tere de saayal hoo.

The pain in my heart burns me inside.
Were I to bare the wounds of my heart,
The sight would torment the hearts of others!

How can they whose hearts are smitten by this world
Ever understand my condition?

Between you and me, my Lord,
Surges ocean of love.

To reach your presence is no easy task for me!
I beg for your Name-to sail across to you.


Dardmandaan daa khoon jo peendaa,
Birhon baaz marelaa hoo.

Chhaatee de wich keetos deraa,
Sher baithaa mal belaa hoo.

Haathee mast sandhooree caangoon,
Kardaa pelaa pelaa hoo.

Pele daa visvaas na keeje,
Pele baajh na melaa hoo.

The pain of separation is a deadly hawk:
It preys on lovers, it drinks their blood.

Like a lion ruling the forest
This hawk has made my heart its own domain.

Like an enraged rogue elephant,
It raises its trunk, it trumpets and it charges.

But do not fear the thrusts of this pain, O Bahu!
Without union with the Beloved is not possible.


Dardmandaan de dhooen dhukhde,
Dardaa koee na seke hoo.

Ehnaan dhooiaan de taa tikhere,
Maihram hoe taan seke hoo.

Chhik shamsheer kharhaa hai sir te,
Taras pavas taan theke hoo.

Sauhre kurhee-e apne vanjanaa,
Sadaa na raihanaa peke hoo.

The hearts of lovers burn in the fire of longing-
No one dare sit by its searing flames!

This fire is sorching- Only someone who knows the heart’s inner secrets
Will warm himself by it.

Death stands over your head, with his sword drawn-
May the Master take pity and sheathe death’s blade!*

Every bride must eventually go to her bridegroom’s home-
She cannot stay forever in her parents’ house.**
(Only a Master, through his grace, can sheathe the sword of death and bestow immortality).
(In India, the bride traditionally moves into the bridegroom’s home on the wedding day. In Bahu’s metaphor, the soul is the bride which must, on her wedding day, accompany death (the bridegroom) from this world, which she has wrongly come to consider as her own home).


Dardmandaan dee aaheen kolon,
Pathar pahaarh de jharhde hoo.

Dardmandaan dee aaheen ton,
Bhajj naag zameen wich varhde hoo.

Dardmandaan dee aaheen ton,
Asmaanon taare jharhde hoo.

Dardmandaan dee aaheen kolon,
Aashiq mool na darde hoo.

Faced with the sighs of lovers,
Even mountains crumble to earth.

Faced with the sighs of lovers,
Even deadly snakes flee to their holes.

The sighs of lovers cause the stars
To tumble from the heavens above.

Faced with the sighs of lovers,
Only the lovers remain steadfast.

English translation:

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Sufi Poetry

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