Kalam Hazrat Sultan Bahu – 9/10


Gujjhe saae saahib waale,
Naheen kujh khabr asal dee hoo.

Gandam daanaa bahutaa chugiaa,
Gal paee dor azal dee hoo.

Phaahee de wich main paee tarhpaan,
Bulbul baagh misal dee hoo.

Ghair dile theen sutt ke Baahoo,
Rakhee-e aas fazal dee hoo.

Unknown to me now are the mysteries of my Lord-
My origin I have all but forgotten!

The temptation to eat the forbidden fruit
Put the noose of destiny around my neck.

Once I sang like a nightingale in my Lord’s garden-
Trapped in this mortal cage, I now flutter with pain.

Discard love for everything else from your heart,
And pray only for his grace to call you back, O Bahu.


Godarheeaan wich laal jinhaan dee,
Raateen jaagon addheeaan hoo.

Sik maahee dee tikan na dendee,
Lokeen dende badeeaan hoo.

Andar meraa Haqq tapaaiaa,
Khaleeaan raateen kaddhiaan hoo.

Tan theen maas alaihdaa hoiaa,
Sookh jhulaare haddeeaan hoo.

People with rubies in their ragged bundles*
Wake up in the dead of night to meditate on Kalma.

Their intense longing to meet the Beloved Permits them no rest,
While the ignorant hurl abuse at them.

Many nights have I stood in prayer and supplication;
My heart burns in the fire of longing for the Lord.

My grief has soaked up my blood And shrivelled my loosened skin,
Making my bones rattle in this skeletal frame-
Such is the depth of my separation from the Beloved!
(Rubies in a ragged bundle is an expression meaning a person outwardly poor but gifted with rich inner qualities. Rubies, in the present case, signifies Kalma within the ragged bundle of the body)


Gia eemaan ishqe de paaron,
Ho ke kaafir rahee-e hoo.

Ghat zunaaur kufar daa gal wich,
Buttkhaane wich bahee-e hoo.

Jis jaa jaanee nazar na aave,
Sajdaa mool na daee-e hoo.

Jaan kar jaanee nazar na aave,
Kalmaa mool na kahee-e hoo.

When love of God enters you heart,
Religion will fall by the wayside And you will be left in infidel.

You should then wear The sacred thread of idol worshipers
And live in the idol house [of your heart].

For futile is prostration Where the Beloved is not manifest;

Pointless the repitition of the Kalma
Where the Beloved is not seen face to face.


Laam-laahoo ghairee dhande,
Hik pal mool na raihnde hoo.

Ishq ne putte rukh jarhaan theen,
Hik dam haul na saihnde hoo.

Jehrhe patthar vaang paharaan,
Loon vaangoon gal vaihnde hoo.

Ishq je saukhaa hundaa Baahoo,
Sab aashiq ban baihnde hoo.

When you attach yourself to the Lord Alla’hu
All your worldly involvements are at once ended.

Love has pulled out huge trees of worldly attachment
By the root- Where before, even the worst storm Wouldn’t dislodge a leaf.

Love has dissolved huge rocks of carnal passion
As though they were salt.

Love is not child’s play, O Bahu!
If it were, everyone would have become a lover of God.


Laayuhtaaj jinhaan noon hoiaa,
Faqr jinhaan noon saaraa hoo.

Nazar jinhaan dee keemeeaa hove,
Oh kion maaran paaraa hoo.

Dost jinhaan daa haazir hove,
Dushman lain na vaaraa hoo.

Main qurbaan tinhaan ton, Baahoo,
Jinh miliaa nabee sahaaraa hoo.

Lovers who completely renounce the world
Become contented and free from want.

They need practise no alchemy,
For they can, with but one glance, Turn base metal into gold.

Their enemies have no chance against them-
Their Friend is always by their side.

I sacrifice myself to the one, O Bahu,
Who makes his Master the mainstay of his life.


Likhan sikhion likh na jaataa,
Kaaghaz keetaa zaaiaa hoo.

Katt qalam noon maar na haanen,
Kaatib naam dharaaiaa hoo.

Sabh islaah eh hosee khotee,
Jaan kaatib hath aaiaa hoo.

Sahee islaah tinhaan dee,
jinhaan Alif te meem pakaaiaa hoo.

You learned to write in a beautiful hand,
But what to write you didn’t learn-
The whole exercise was a waste of paper.

You call yourself a calligrapher
When you can’t even shape a writing pen!

When your script is examined by the real Scribe
All your efforts will prove to have been worthless.

Only when you repeatedly write Ali and Meem*
On the tablet of your heart, will you pass his test.
Alif stands for Allah; meem (M) stands for Murshid (Master)


Lok qabar daa karsan chaaraa,
Laihad banaawan deraa hoo.

Chutkee bhar mittee dee paasan,
Karsan dher ucheraa hoo.

De darood gharaan noon vanjan,
Kookan sheraa sheraa hoo.

Wich dargaah na amlaan baajhon,
Baahoo hog naberha hoo.

Eventually your grave will be dug
And your body slid into the lahad.*

Your loved ones will throw handfuls of dust
And raise a mound of earth over you.

They will say the death-prayer for you soul’s benefit,
They go home wailing and weeping at your sad demise.

But even after death there is no relief from pain
Other than through good deeds done while living-
Which alone count in the court of the Lord, O Bahu.
(A lahad is a side-extension at the bottom of a grave that provides room for the dead body. The grave is filled up with earth but the lahad remains hollow, providing ‘breathing space’ for the body)


Lohaa hoven piaa kuteeven,
Taan talwaar sadeeven hoo.

Kanghee caangoon piaa chireeven,
Zulf mahboob bhareeven hoo.

Mehndee vaangoon piaa ghuteeven,
Hath mahboob rangeeven hoo.

Vaang kapaah piaa pinjeeven,
Taan dastaar sadeeven hoo.

Aashiq saadiq hoven Baahoo,
Taan ras prem daa peeven hoo.

Like a piece of iron that is to be forged into a fine sword,
You must bear the Blacksmith’s unrelenting hammer blows,

Like a comb you must be finely sawn
Before you can caress the Beloved’s locks.

Like henna leaves you must be ground into powder
Before you can adorn the Beloved’s palms.*

Like cotton you must endure being carded
Before you are woven into a turban for his head.

You will only taste the nectar of divine love
When you become a true lover of God, O Bahu.
(In india, women use a paste of powdered henna leaves to decorate the palms of their hands, sometimes even the soles of their feet, at their weddings and on various other festive occasions)


Maal te jaan sab kharch karaahan,
Karee-e khreed faqeeree hoo.

Faqr kanoon Rabb haasil hove,
Kion keeje dilgeeree hoo.

Duneeaa kaaran deen vanjaavan,
Koorhee sheikhee peeree hoo.

Tark duneeaa theen Qaadir keetee,
Shaah Meeraan dee meeree hoo.

Sell everything you have-spare not your life,
And purchase the wealth of devotion to God.

Why carry the burdens of life on your soul
When, through devotion, you can merge in the Lord?

False prophets sell their souls to the world
And mislead seekers with a pretence of spiritual guidance.

Sheikh Qadir Jilani truly renounced the world;
He was indeed a king among mystics.


Mazhabaan de darwaaze uchche,
Raah Rabbaanaa moree hoo.

Pandit te mulvaane kolon,
Chhup chhup langhee-e choree hoo.

Addeeaan maaran, karn bakherhe,
Dardmandaan de khoree hoo.

Baahoo chal uthaaeen wasee-e,
Daahvaa na jith horee hoo.

Lofty are the portals of religion;
Hard to find is the narrow path that leads to God.

Walk along it unnoticed,
Stealing past the priests.

They protest, they obstruct,
They persecute people who really love God.

Let us go and live somewhere, Bahu,
Where no one but God holds supremacy.


Murshid oh saherhee-e jehrhaa,
Do jagg khushee wakhaave hoo.

Paihale gham turke daa mete,
Vat Rabb daa raah sujhaave hoo.

Kallar waalee kandhee non chaa,
Chaandee khaas banaave hoo.

Jis murshid ith kujh na keetaa,
Koorhe laare laave hoo.

You should only choose someone as your Master
Who bestows the blessings of both worlds on you.

First he will drive the wolf from your door,
Then reveal to you the path to God.

He will transform the barren ground of your heart
Into fertile soil, so the seed of God’s Name can grow.

If a Master has not accomplished this for you
In this very life, You can be sure he is feeding you false promises.


Murshid baajhon faqar kamaave,
Wich kufar de budde hoo.

Sheikh mushaaikh ho baihnde hujre,
Ghaus-qutab ban udde hoo.

Raat andhaaree mushkil paindaa,
Sai sai aavan thudde hoo.

Tasbeehaan napp baihan maseetee,
Jion moosh bahe varh khudde hoo.

If someone practises devotion without a Master,
He will drown himself in the mire of atheism.

He will drown himself up as a sheikh in a mosque
Or acquire other religious titles to boost his ego.

Little does the poor fellow realize That the night is dark,
the path steep, And the journey is plagued with untold pitfalls.

With a rosary in hand he may sit in his cell
Like a mouse, sticking his head out of his hole.


Murshid makkaa, taalib haajee,
Kaabaa ishq banaaiaa hoo.

Wich huzoor sadaa har wele,
Karee-e hajj savaaiaa hoo.

Hikk dam maithon judaa na hove,
Dil milne te aaiaa hoo.

Murshid ain hayaatee Baahoo,
Loon loon wich samaaiaa hoo.

The Master is the Mecca, his love the shrine of Ka’ba;
The disciple is a pilgrim set out on the holy voyage.

As for me, my pilgrimage is always complete-
For I am constantly in the presence of my Master.

He doesn’t part company with me even for a moment,
As my heart always yearns to see him.

My Master is to me my very life, O Bahu;
He has permeated every pore of my being.


Murshid hai shaahbaaz Ilaahee,
Raliaa sang habeebaan hoo.

Taqdeer Ilaahee chhikkeeaan doraan,
Milsee naal naseebaan hoo.

Kohrhiaan de dukh door karendaa,
Kare shafaa mareezaan hoo.

Har ik marz daa daaroo toon hain,
Ghatt na vass tabeebaan hoo.

My Master is a bird of paradise;
He only flies with his own kind.

Through great good fortunes you will have his vision-
If the Lord pulls the strings of destiny in your favor.

He cleanses the lepers of their leprosy;
He removes the deformities of the spiritually crippled.

You hold the panacea for all ills, my Master!
Pray, do not leave Bahu to the care of physicians.


Murshid mainoon hajj makke daa,
Raihmat daa darwaazaa hoo.

Karaan tawaaf davaale qible,
Hajj hove nit taazaa hoo.

Kun faikoon jadokaa suniaa,
Dittha oh darwaazaa hoo.

Murshid sadaa hayaatee waalaa,
Oho Khizr te Khwaajaa hoo.

A visit to my Master is, for me,
Like a devout Muslim’s pilgrimage to Mecca.
My master is indeed the gateway to God’s mercy.

Like a pilgrim circling the shrine of Ka’ba,
My life revolves around my Master-
Thus is my pilgrimage ever renewed;
This is my love ever rejuvenated.

Ever since the Lord ordained the Creation,
Ever since I last saw that gateway to his court,

My Master has lived forever, Bahu-
As the Khizr who has conquered death,
As the Creator who lives in human form.


Murshid vaang suniaare hove,
Ghat kuthaalee gaale hoo.

Paa kuthaalee baahar kaddhe,
Bunde gharhe yaa vaale hoo.

Kanneen khoobaan tadon suhaavan,
Jad khatte paa ujaale hoo.

Naam faqeer tise daa,
jehrhaa Dam dam dost sambhaale hoo.

Just as a goldsmith melts gold And purifies it in his crucible,
The Master melts and purifies the disciple’s soul.

To mould it into beautiful ornaments-
Be they studs or earrings.

Only after they have been sculpted and polished
Are they considered fit to adorn the Beloved’s ears.

Only the one who enshrines the Friend in his heart,
And remembers him with every breath Deserves the name ‘faqir’, O Bahu.


Murshid wasse sai kohaan te,
Mainoon disse nerhe hoo.

Keeh hoiaa butt ohle hoiaa,
Wasse oh wich mere hoo.

Alif dee zaat sahee jis keetee,
Rakkhe qadam agere hoo.

Nahun aqrab labh leeose,
Jhagrhe kul naberhe hoo.

A thousand miles away is my Master’s abode,
But I always see him nearby.

It’s of little consequence if he’s physically out of sight;
My heart is his real home.

Whoever realizes the oneness of God
Will always progress on his spiritual journey-

He finds the Lord nearby, through the Royal Vain;
He puts an end to the problems of life forever.


Murshid haadee sabaq parhhaaiaa,
Parhhion bina parhheeve hoo.

Unglaan wich kannaan de ditteeaan,
Sunion bina suneeve hoo.

Nain nainaan wal tur tur takde,
Dithion binaa diseeve hoo.

Har khaane wich jaanee Baahoo,
Kin sir oh rakheeve hoo.

My Master has taught me a lesson:
It repeats itself-without me repeating it.

When I plug my ears with my fingers,
Without learning, I hear its melodies.

My eyes are longing for a glimpse of him:
Without seeing, I see his radiant face.

In every heart abides the Beloved, O Bahu,
In countless forms he reveals himself to me.


Mootoo waalee maut na milsi,
Jain wich maut hayaatee hoo.

Maut wisaal theeose hik jad,
Ism parhheeve zaatee hoo.

Aain de andar aain theeose,
Door hove qurbaatee hoo.

Hoo daa zikr sarhendaa Baahoo,
Deehaan sukh na raatee hoo.

If you die by practising God’s real Name,
Death will become synonymous with merging in him.

There is no other way you can die the death
That promises dying while living.

When the soul merges in the Lord,
Nearness changes into oneness with him.

I am restless, O Bahu, in my longing to merge in Hu!
Day and night my heart burns in his remembrance.


Main shaahbaz karaan parvaazaan,
Wich aflaak karam de hoo.

Zabaan taan meree kun braabar,
Morhaan kam qalam de hoo.

Aflaatoon, Arastoo varge,
Main agge kis kam de hoo.

Haatim varge lakh karorhaan Dar,
Baahoo de mangde hoo.

I am a bird of paradise that flies high
In the heavens of God’s blessing.

In my word is hidden the Command of God;
In my will lies the power to reverse destiny.

Trivial before me is the wisdom of Plato and Aristotle;

Millions like Hatim, unmatched in their generosity,*
Are but beggars at Bahu’s door.
(Hatim Tai: a legendary philanthropist of Yemen)


Main kojhee meraa dilbar sohnaa,
Kion kar usnoon bhaanwaan hoo.

Wehrhe saade varhdaa naaheen,
Lakkh vaseele paavaan hoo.

Na sohnee na daulat palle,
Kion kar yaar manaavaan hoo.

Dukh hamesh eh raihsee Baahoo,
Rondee hee mar jaavaan hoo.

Impeccable is my Beloved. Awkward and ungainly am I-
How can I ever win his heart?

Despite the countless pleas I make to him,
He does not enter the courtyard of my heart.

I have neither beauty nor wealth-
How am I to please my Beloved, O friend!

Am I destined to live with this torment, Bahu?
Or perhaps I will die of crying in pain!

English translation:

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Sufi Poetry

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