Paigham-i-Goya: An Expression of Love

Ghazal Twenty-five, Paigham-i-Goya: An Expression of Love

Monday
,
28
June
2021
bhainandlal
persian
ghazal
sikhism
gurugobindsingh

Paigham-i-Goya: An Expression of Love

Ghazal Twenty-five, Paigham-i-Goya: An Expression of Love

Monday
,
28
June
2021
bhainandlal
persian
ghazal
sikhism
gurugobindsingh

Paigham-i-Goya: An Expression of Love

Ghazal Twenty-five, Paigham-i-Goya: An Expression of Love

Monday
,
28
June
2021
bhainandlal
persian
ghazal
sikhism
gurugobindsingh
A new translation of and a brief essay on the twenty-fifth ghazal from Bhai Nand Lal’s Divan-i-Goya.
No items found.

Translation

What would happen if You showed Your face like the full moon?
What would happen if You came tonight, my Moon?

The whole world is imprisoned by Your tresses.
What would happen if You untangled Your tresses for a moment?

There is darkness in the world without You.
What would happen if You rose like the Sun?

Come for a moment and reside in my eyes forever.
What would happen if You resided in my eyes and stole my heart?

This mole, which dotes on Your countenance,
What would, for God’s sake, happen if You sold it for cash?

You are in my eyes, and I search for You everywhere.
What would happen if You lifted the secret veil?

Goya searches for You everywhere.
What would happen if You showed the right path to the lost?

Transliteration

Chūn māh-i dō hafteh rū numāyī cheh shavad
Imshab mah-i man agar biāyī cheh shavad

Īn jumleh jahān asīr-i zulfat gashteh
Yek lahzeh agar gireh gushāyī cheh shavad

Ālam hameh gashteh ast bī to tārīk
Khurshīd sifat agar barāyī cheh shavad

Yek lahzeh biyā o dar chashmam binashīn
Dar dīdeh nishasteh dil rubāyī cheh shavad

Īn hindū-yi khālat keh beh rūyat shaidāst
Befarūshī agar beh naqd khudayī cheh shavad

Dar dīdeh toyī o man beh har kū jūyā  
Az pardeh-yi ghaib rū nūmāyī cheh shavad

Gūyā st beh har taraf surāghat jūyā
Gar gum shudeh rā rāh numāyī cheh shavad

Gurmukhi

ਚੂਨ ਮਾਹਿ ਦੋ ਹਫ਼ਤੇਹ ਰੂ ਨੁਮਾਈ ਚੇਹ ਸ਼ਵਦ ।
ਇਮਸ਼ਬ ਮਹਹਿ ਮਨ ਅਗਰ ਬਿਆਈ ਚੇਹ ਸ਼ਵਦ ॥

ਈਨ ਜੁਮਲੇਹ ਜਹਾਨ ਅਸੀਰਿ ਜ਼ੁਲਫ਼ਤ ਗਸ਼ਤੇਹ ।
ਯਕ ਲਹਜ਼ੇਹ ਅਗਰ ਗਿਰੇਹ ਕੁਸ਼ਾਈ ਚੇਹ ਸ਼ਵਦ ॥

ਆਲਮ ਹਮੇਹ ਗਸ਼ਤੇਹ ਅਸਤ ਬੀ ਤੋ ਤਾਰੀਕ ।
ਖ਼ੁਰਸ਼ੀਦ ਸਿਫ਼ਤ ਅਗਰ ਬਰਾਈ ਚੇਹ ਸ਼ਵਦ ॥

ਯਕ ਲਹਜ਼ੇਹ ਬਿਯਾ ਓ ਦਰ ਚਸ਼ਮਮ ਬਿਨਸ਼ੀਨ ।
ਦਰ ਦੀਦੇਹ ਨਿਸ਼ਸਤੇਹ ਦਿਲ ਰੁਬਾਈ ਚੇਹ ਸ਼ਵਦ ॥

ਈਨ ਹਿੰਦੂਇ ਖ਼ਾਲਤ ਕੇਹ ਬੇਹ ਰੂਅਤ ਸ਼ੈਦਾਸਤ ।
ਬੇਫ਼ਰੂਸ਼ੀ ਅਗਰ ਬੇਹ ਨਕਦ ਖ਼ੁਦਾਈ ਚੇਹ ਸ਼ਵਦ ॥

ਦਰ ਦੀਦੇਹ ਤੂਇ ਓ ਮਨ ਬੇਹ ਹਰ ਕੂ ਜੂਆ ।
ਅਜ਼ ਪਰਦੇਹਇਗ਼ੈਬ ਰੂ ਨੁਮਾਈ ਚੇਹ ਸ਼ਵਦ ॥

ਗੋਇਆ ਅਸਤ ਬੇਹ ਹਰ ਤਰਫ਼ ਸੁਰਾਗ਼ਤ ਜੂਆ ।
ਗਰ ਗ਼ੁਮ ਸ਼ੁਦੇਹ ਰਾ ਰਾਹ ਨੁਮਾਈ ਚੇਹ ਸ਼ਵਦ ॥

Persian

چون ماه دو هفته رو نمایی چه شود
امشب مه من اگر بیایی چه شود

این جمله جهان اسیر زلفت گشته
یک لحظه اگر گره گشایی چه شود

عالم همه گشته است بی تو تاریک
خورشید صفت اگر برآیی چه شود

یک لحظه بیا و در چشمم بنشین
در دیده نشسته دل ربایی چه شود

این هندوی خالت که به رویت شیداست
بفروشی اگر به نقد خدایی چه شود

در دیده تویی و من به هر کو جویا
از پرده غیب رو نمایی چه شود

گویا ست به هر طرف سراغت جویا
گر گم شده را راه نمایی چه شود

Commentary

Bhai Nand Lal’s twenty-fifth ghazal feels like a love letter, something to be read privately, in a whisper, and perhaps intended only for the ear of the Beloved. In the original Persian, each couplet ends with a question, “چه شود,” translated here as “what would happen.” In this translation, we chose to bring the repeated question to the beginning rather than the end of the second line of each couplet in an effort to evoke the rhythm of the original Persian text. This repeated question sets the tone for the ghazal, wherein each couplet contains a speculation, an invitation, and the possibility of a reunion with the Beloved.

Several of the couplets in this ghazal invoke the physical attributes of the Guru or the Beloved. The first couplet consists of two speculative questions, in which Goya wonders about what might happen if the Guru--the Beloved--showed their face to him. Both lines draw on the image of the luminous full moon, famously sought after by poets across time and geography. The second couplet is similarly intimate, turning from the moon, which suggests the Beloved’s face, to their hair. Elsewhere, in the fifth couplet, Goya describes the dark mole on the Beloved’s face. In this translation, we have eliminated the word that describes the dark color of the mole, هندو or hindū, for the sake of clarity. During the seventeenth century, the word hindū would have been used to describe a person from what we refer to today as the Indian subcontinent or South Asia. Further, hindū would be used to suggest darkness of color. In each of these couplets, the reader might be prompted to reflect on whether Goya is describing the physical attributes of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, in whose court he was writing, or whether these couplets should be interpreted as pure metaphor. Both interpretations yield different meanings and suggest the richness of Goya’s poetics.

In the powerful fourth couplet, Goya asks the Beloved to “reside” in his eyes. The original Persian verb suggests not only “to reside” but also to sit, or perhaps to settle into. The couplet moves from a playful invitation--“Come for a moment and reside in my eyes forever”--towards a longing speculation. Should the Beloved come and reside in his eyes, he would steal his heart; the eyes are a pathway.

In the sixth couplet, Goya once again returns to the eyes. He recognizes his seamlessness with the Beloved--“You are in my eyes”--but he still continues his search. As he writes, “I search for You everywhere.” What, he wonders, would happen if the Beloved lifted the veil, or, as he describes it in the final couplet, shows him the “right path”?

Commentary by Damanpreet Singh
No items found.
No items found.

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. 

View profile ⟶
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.

View profile ⟶
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. 

View profile ⟶
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.

View profile ⟶

Share on Social Media

Latest Articles

Wednesday
,
21
July
2021

Miri-Piri: The Spiritual-Political Sikh Doctrine

Miri comes from Perso-Arabic “Amir” or “Emir” and signals political power. Piri comes from the Perso-Arabic “Pir” and signals spiritual power. Miri-Piri encapsulates the Political-Spiritual doctrine in Sikhi, rooted in both the worldly and the timeless, and in sovereignty beyond the nation-states.

Miri comes from Perso-Arabic “Amir” or “Emir” and signals political power. Piri comes from the Perso-Arabic “Pir” and signals spiritual power. Miri-Piri encapsulates the Political-Spiritual doctrine in Sikhi, rooted in both the worldly and the timeless, and in sovereignty beyond the nation-states.

READ More ⟶
Monday
,
19
July
2021

Politics of the Sword Warrior Guru

While serving as the Guru, Guru Teghbahadar Sahib visited far-off places and interacted with many individuals and communities. The Guru faced opposition not only on the external front but also on the home front. But, the Guru navigated through schemings and aggressions, often even violent, with grace and wisdom. This article explores Guru’s interactions with people and communities and the underlying principles governing Guru’s politics.

While serving as the Guru, Guru Teghbahadar Sahib visited far-off places and interacted with many individuals and communities. The Guru faced opposition not only on the external front but also on the home front. But, the Guru navigated through schemings and aggressions, often even violent, with grace and wisdom. This article explores Guru’s interactions with people and communities and the underlying principles governing Guru’s politics.

READ More ⟶
Monday
,
21
June
2021

Shrist ki Chadar Guru Teghbahadar: The Contemporary Indian Perspectives

With Guru Tegbahadar Sahib’s ideology and martyrdom, an entirely new set of discourse appears at the forefront of the Sikh philosophical thought that needs to be read as a turning point in the history of the Indian subcontinent altogether. Open assertion of human rights and a call for justice as depicted through a practical example of Guru’s martyrdom became influential for the entire human race and not just for citizens of Hindustan alone. In this light, the presentation focuses on the circumstances that led to Guru Sahib’s martyrdom, significance, and impact. This will be substantiated with four distinct saloks (couplets) revered by Guru Sahib that stand out in the Indian poetic tradition of those times.

With Guru Tegbahadar Sahib’s ideology and martyrdom, an entirely new set of discourse appears at the forefront of the Sikh philosophical thought that needs to be read as a turning point in the history of the Indian subcontinent altogether. Open assertion of human rights and a call for justice as depicted through a practical example of Guru’s martyrdom became influential for the entire human race and not just for citizens of Hindustan alone. In this light, the presentation focuses on the circumstances that led to Guru Sahib’s martyrdom, significance, and impact. This will be substantiated with four distinct saloks (couplets) revered by Guru Sahib that stand out in the Indian poetic tradition of those times.

READ More ⟶

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay informed with our weekly updates, important events and more at SikhRI.

Thank you! Your submission has been received.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.