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Paigham-i-Goya: An Expression of Love

Ghazal Thirty-Six

Thursday
,
16
September
2021

Paigham-i-Goya: An Expression of Love

Ghazal Thirty-Six

Thursday
,
16
September
2021
Bhai Nand Lal
Persian
Ghazal
Sikhism
Guru Gobind Singh
⟵ Back to articles

Paigham-i-Goya: An Expression of Love

Ghazal Thirty-Six

Thursday
,
16
September
2021

A new translation and brief essay on the thirty-sixth ghazal from Bhai Nand Lal’s Divan-i-Goya.

Translation

O pride of spring, with the grace of Your arrival,
The world, just like the garden of paradise, abounds with flowers.

Your smile graces the world with life,
It is the ointment that soothes the eyes of men whose hearts can discern divine secrets.  

No love can last unless graced by Divine love,
All shall be annihilated other than the one in love with the Divine.

Everywhere You look, You grace life,
It is Your gaze that bestows life in every direction.

The Divine is always present and watchful,
Where is the eye that can witness these manifestations in every direction?

It is only the Divine’s mystic who attains liberation,
As time and space are held in the beak of fate.

Goyā: The Divine’s slave becomes immortal,
As other than this bondage, nothing in the world has permanence.

Transcription

Zi faiz-i mukadamat ai ābrūyi fasl-i bahār
Jahān chū bāgh-i iram pur shud ast az gulzār

Tabassum-i to jahān rā hayāt mī bakhshad
Qarār-i dīdeh-yi sāhib dilān-i pur asrār  

Baghair-i ishq-i khudā hīch ishq qāim nīst
Baghair-i āshiq-i maulā hameh fanā pindār

Beh har taraf keh nigāh mī kunī ravān bakhshī
Nigāh-i tost keh dar har taraf buvad jāndār

Khudā keh dar hameh hāl ast hāzir ō nāzir
Kujāst dīdeh keh bīnad beh har taraf dīdār

Baghair-i ārif-i maulā kasī nijāt nayāft
Ajal zamīn o zamān rā girifteh dar minqār

Hamesheh zindā buvad bandeh-yi khudā Guyā
Keh ghair-i bandagīsh nīst dar jahān āsār

Gurmukhi

ਜ਼ਿ ਫ਼ੈਜ਼ਿ ਮੁਕੱਦਮਤ ਐ ਆਬਰੂਇ ਫ਼ਸਲਿ ਬਹਾਰ ।
ਜਹਾਨ ਚੂ ਬਾਗ਼ਿ ਇਰਮ ਪੁਰ ਸ਼ੁਦ ਅਸਤ ਅਜ਼ ਗੁਲਜ਼ਾਰ ॥

ਤਬੱਸੁਮਿ ਤੋ ਜਹਾਨ ਰਾ ਹਯਾਤ ਮੀ ਬਖ਼ਸ਼ਾਦ ।
ਕਰਾਰਿ ਦੀਦੇਇ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਦਿਲਾਨਿ ਪੁਰ ਅਸਰਾਰ ॥

ਬਗ਼ੈਰਿ ਇਸ਼ਕਿ ਖ਼ੁਦਾ ਹੀਚ ਇਸ਼ਕ ਕਾਇਮ ਨੀਸਤ ।
ਬਗ਼ੈਰਿ ਆਸ਼ਕਿ ਮੌਲਾ ਹਮੇਹ ਫ਼ਨਾ ਪਿੰਦਾਰ ॥

ਬੇਹ ਹਰ ਤਰਫ਼ ਕੇਹ ਨਿਗਾਹ ਮੀ ਕੁਨੀ ਰਵਾਨ ਬਖ਼ਸ਼ੀ ।
ਨਗਾਹਿ ਤੋਸਤ ਕੇਹ ਦਰ ਹਰ ਤਰਫ਼ ਬੁਵਦ ਜਾਂਦਾਰ ॥

ਖ਼ੁਦਾ ਕੇਹ ਦਰ ਹਮੇਹ ਹਾਲ ਅਸਤ ਹਾਸ਼ਿਰੋ ਨਾਜ਼ਿਰ ।
ਕੁਜਾਸਤ ਦੀਦੇਰ ਕੇਹ ਬੀਨਦ ਬੇਹ ਹਰ ਤਰਫ਼ ਦੀਦਾਰ ॥

ਬਗ਼ੈਰਿ ਆਰਿਫ਼ਿ ਮੌਲਾ ਕਸੀ ਨਿਜਾਤ ਨਯਾਫ਼ਤ ।
ਅਜ਼ਲ ਜ਼ਮੀਨੋ  ਜ਼ਮਾਨ ਰਾ ਗਿ੍ਫ਼ਤੇਹ ਦਰ ਮਿਨਕਾਰ ॥

ਹਮੇਸ਼ੇਹ ਜ਼ਿੰਦਾ ਬੁਵਦ ਬੰਦੇਜਇ ਖ਼ੁਦਾ ਗੋਇਆ ।
ਕੇਹ ਗ਼ੈਰਿ ਬੰਦਗੀਸ਼ ਨੀਸਤ ਦਰ ਜਹਾਨ ਆਸਾਰ

Persian

ز فیض مقدمت ای آبروی فصل بهار
جهان چو باغِ ارم پُر شد است از گلزار

تبسّمِ تو جهان را حیات می بخشد
قرارِ دیدهٔ صاحب دلانِ پر اسرار

بغیرِ عشق خدا هیچ عشق قایم نیست
بغیرِ عاشقِ مولا همه فنا پندار

به هر طرف که نگاه می کنی روان بخشی
نگاه توست که در هر طرف بود جاندار

خدا که در همه حال است حاضر‌ و ناظر
کجا ست دیده که بیند به هر طرف دیدار

بغیرِ عارفِ مولا کسی نجات نیافت
اجل زمین و زمان را گرفته در منقار

همیشه زنده بود بندهٔ خدا گویا
که غیر بندگیش نیست در جهان آثار

Commentary

This ghazal contemplates the nature of Divine love. The repeated rhyme in this ghazal is not a complete word but the “ār” sound, which does not have a particular meaning on its own.

In the first couplet, Bhai Nand Lal describes encountering the Beloved as akin to the arrival of springtime, a time of bounty, whose grace is awaited year after year. When one encounters the beloved, or when the Beloved arrives, Bhai Nand Lal writes, the world is in full bloom.

Bhai Nand Lal similarly explores the relationship between life and the Beloved in several other couplets of the ghazal. In the second couplet, he turns to the Beloved’s physical attributes. Their smile, this time, is that which brings life to the world. A glimpse of the Beloved soothes the knowledgeable ones--the ones who long for an encounter with the Beloved, those who are described here as having the ability to “discern divine secrets.” In the fourth couplet, the Beloved’s gaze has the ability to grace life everywhere--” in every direction.”

If encountering the Divine results in the full blooms of spring, love that is not graced by Divine love remains temporary. The absence of Divine love is the absence of life: “All shall be annihilated other than the one in love with the Divine,” he writes in the third couplet. In the sixth couplet, he muses on the possibility of liberation from time and space, which are “held in the beak of fate,” an image that one may be tempted to contrast with the opening image of the abundant garden of paradise.

Bhai Nand Lal offers a glimpse of what the opposite of the temporary, fleeting love absent of the Divine might look like in the final couplet. Immortality, he tells us, is accessible only to the Divine’s slave (bandeh). To be the Divine’s slave may mean to recognize that the Divine is always “present and watchful,” to recognize an encounter with the Divine as providing sustenance and a balm for those whose hearts can discern divine secrets.

Revised:

This Content has been made available for educational purposes only. SikhRI does not make any representation concerning the completeness of the Content. This Content is not intended to substitute research or a deeper understanding of the topic. SikhRI encourages readers to read multiple authors to gain a complete understanding of the topic.

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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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