Paigham-i-Goya: An Expression of Love

Ghazal Twelve, Divan-i-Goya

Wednesday
,
19
May
2021

Paigham-i-Goya: An Expression of Love

Ghazal Twelve, Divan-i-Goya

Wednesday
,
19
May
2021
bhainandlal
persian
ghazal
sikhism
gurugobindsingh

Paigham-i-Goya: An Expression of Love

Ghazal Twelve, Divan-i-Goya

Wednesday
,
19
May
2021
bhainandlal
persian
ghazal
sikhism
gurugobindsingh
A new translation and brief essay on the twelfth ghazal from Bhai Nand Lal’s Divan-i-Goya.

Translation

Tonight one may proceed to gaze upon the Beloved’s face,
Towards the one who is mysteriously merciless towards the lover.

Although it is impossible to arrive at the lane of love,
One may walk towards the gallows in the footsteps of Mansur.

Oh heart, if you don’t desire to go to a seminary,
You may proceed towards a wine-house once.

As your love has made my imagination the envy of a blooming garden,
Why may one proceed towards the garden then?

Oh heart, since you are aware of divine secrets,
I can proceed within myself, oh treasure of secrets.

A hundred paradisiacal gardens have bloomed in the house.
Goya: why should one proceed elsewhere?

Transliteration

Imshab beh tamāshāy-i rukh-i yār tavān raft
Sūy-i but-i āshiq kush-i 'ayyar tavān raft

Dar kūcheh-yi ishq archeh muhāl ast rasīdan
Mansūr sifat bā qadam-i dār tavān raft

Ai dil beh sūyi madraseh gar mail nadārī
Bārī beh sūyi khāneh-i khammār tavān raft

Chūn khātiram az ishq-i tō shud rashk-i gulistān
Behūdeh chirā jānab-i gulzār tavān raft

Ai dil chū shudī vāqif-i asrār-i ilāhī
Dar sīneh am ai makhzan-i asrār tavān raft

Sad rōzeh-yi rizvān ast chū dar khāneh shagufteh
Gōiā beh cheh sū-yi dar ō dīvār tavān raft

Gurmukhi

ਇਮਸ਼ਬ ਬਹੇ ਤਮਾਸ਼ਾਇ ਰੁਖਿ ਯਾਰ ਤਵਾਨ ਰਫ਼ਤ ।
ਸੂਇ ਬੁਤਿ ਆਸ਼ਕ ਰੁਸ਼ਿ ਅੱਯਾਰ ਤਵਾਨ ਰਫ਼ਤ ॥

ਦਰ ਕੂਚੇਹਇ ਇਸ਼ਕ ਅਰਚੇਹ ਮੁਹਾਲ ਅਸਤ ਰਸੀਦਨ ।
ਮਨਸੂਰ ਸਿਫ਼ਤ ਬਾ ਕਦਮਿ ਦਾਰ ਤਵਾਨ ਰਫ਼ਤ ॥

ਐ ਦਿਲ ਬੇਹ ਸੂਇ ਮਦਰਸੇਹ ਗਰ ਮੈਲ ਨਦਾਰੀ ।
ਬਾਰੀ ਬੇਹ ਸੂਇ ਖ਼ਾਨੇਹਇ ਖ਼ੱਮਾਰ ਤਵਾਨ ਰਫ਼ਤ ॥

ਚੂਨ ਖਾਤਰਮ ਅਜ਼ ਅਸ਼ਕਿ ਤੋ ਸ਼ੁਦ ਰਸ਼ਕਿ ਗੁਲਿਸਤਾਨ ।
ਬੇਹੂਦੇਹ ਚਿਰਾ ਜਾਨਬਿ ਗੁਲਜ਼ਾਰ ਤਵਾਨ ਰਫ਼ਤ ॥

ਐ ਦਿਲ ਚੂ ਸ਼ੁਦੀ ਵਾਕਫ਼ਿ ਅਸਰਾਰਿ ਇਲਾਹੀ ।
ਦਰ ਸੀਨੇਹਇ ਅਮ ਮਖ਼ਜ਼ਾਨਿ ਅਸਰਾਰ ਤਵਾਨ ਰਫ਼ਤ ॥  

ਸਦ ਰੋਜ਼ੇਹਇ ਰਿਜ਼ਵਾਨ ਅਸਤ ਚੂ ਦਰ ਖ਼ਾਨੇਹ ਸ਼ਗੁਫ਼ਤੇਹ ।
ਗੋਇਆ ਬੇਹ ਚੇਹ ਸੂਇ ਦਰੋ ਦੀਵਾਰ ਤਵਾਨ ਰਫ਼ਤ ॥

Persian

امشب به تماشای رخ یار توان رفت
سوی بتِ عاشق کشِ عیار توان رفت

در کوچه عشق ارچه محال است رسیدن
منصور صفت با قدم دار توان رفت

ای دل به سوی مدرسه گر میل نداری!
باری به سوی خانه خمار توان رفت

چون خاطرم از عشق تو شد رشکِ گلستان
بیهوده چرا جانب گلزار توان رفت

ای دل چو شدی واقف اسرار الهی
در سینه ام ای مخزنِ اسرار توان رفت

صد روضه رضوان است چو در خانه شگفته
گویا به چه سوی در و دیوار توان رفت

Commentary

Ghazal 12 from Bhai Nand Lal’s Divan-i-Goya emphasizes movement. In this ghazal, Goya contemplates the various journeys one may take to reach the divine. The repeating phrase at the end of each couplet is “tavān raft” (توان رفت) which can be translated as “one may proceed towards” or “one may go.” This phrase suggests that one is proceeding towards a destination, and each couplet in this ghazal elaborates what this destination may be. Further, in the original Persian, this phrase implies permission or possibility. It is not an injunction or definitive prescription but rather an invitation to move towards something.

The first couplet is written with an intimacy that may now be familiar to readers and listeners who have engaged with the we have ghazals translated in previous months. As in previous ghazals, here Goya describes the Guru’s, or the Beloved’s, physical attributes. Specifically, Goya invokes the image of the Beloved’s face, which he is desperate to catch a glimpse of. However, the Beloved is playfully elusive in this couplet. This playfulness is conveyed by the word ‘ayyar (عیار), which suggests wandering and mystery. We have translated ‘ayyar here as “mysteriously merciless” to convey both this sense of wandering and Goya’s longing to gaze upon the Beloved’s face.  

In the following couplets, Goya further contemplates the character of what the journey toward the beloved entails. He moves from invoking the story of Mansur to distinguishing the ways one might proceed towards the divine, either by the mind--by way of the seminary, or a formal institution of religious knowledge--or the wine-house, where one might become intoxicated by the mysterious beloved. In this powerful couplet, Goya resolves the contrast between the seminary and wine-house by giving himself permission to turn to the wine-house instead. In previous ghazals, Goya has referred to the hypocrisy of righteous, performative piety. In this couplet, Goya makes a similar move to suggest that knowledge of the Divine may be--or perhaps must be--attained through the intoxication of love and longing.

The final couplets are firmly concerned with a turn inward, toward the realm of the heart, which appears to be the ultimate site of one’s journey to the beloved as the keeper of divine secrets. Love for the beloved makes oneself--one’s own self--the “envy of a blooming garden.” In the last couplet of the ghazal, Goya questions why one might attempt to journey elsewhere--to the seminary, to the external sites of seeking--when “a hundred paradisiacal gardens” ultimately bloom in the heart, that keeper of divine secrets.

Commentary by Damanpreet Singh
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Written By

Persian Literature Scholar

Fatima Fayyaz is a scholar of Persian literature who studies Central Asian hagiographical Persian literature, contemporary Afghan Persian poetry and prose, Persian epics, and South Asian mystic literature. 

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Associate Professor of Art History, Lahore University of Management Sciences

Nadhra Shahbaz Khan is Associate Professor of art history at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan. A specialist in the history of art and architecture of the Punjab from the sixteenth to the early twentieth century, her research covers the visual and material culture of this region during the Mughal, Sikh, and colonial periods.

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Creative Director

Inni Kaur is Creative Director at the Sikh Research Institute (SikhRI). She has served SikhRI in several capacities since 2010, including Chair of the Board, and most recently as CEO. 

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Writer & Graduate Student

Damanpreet Singh is a writer and graduate student who studies race, religion, empire, and the history of capitalism in the nineteenth century.

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