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Paigham-i-Goya: An Expression of Love

Ghazal Forty-Four

Tuesday
,
8
February
2022

Paigham-i-Goya: An Expression of Love

Ghazal Forty-Four

Tuesday
,
8
February
2022
Bhai Nand Lal
Persian
Ghazal
Sikhism
Guru Gobind Singh
⟵ Back to articles

Paigham-i-Goya: An Expression of Love

Ghazal Forty-Four

Tuesday
,
8
February
2022

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

Translation

Such is our deep connection with You,
That only with Your arrival, there is exuberance in the world.

In Your pathway, I have spread out,
My eyes and my heart—the only worthy possessions I could offer.

Have some compassion for the Divine’s faqīrs! 
So that you may find bliss in this world.

Direct your heart towards the Divine at all times,
So you can cross the bridge of Sirāṭ with ease.

No one is at ease under the ever-turning sky,
So Goya, just move through this worn perpetual caravanserai.

Transcription

Bas keh mā rā hast bā tō irtabāṭ
Az qadūm-i tost dar ālam nishāṭ

Farsh kardam dar qadūm-i rāh-i tō
Dīdeh ō dil rā keh būdeh dar bisāṭ

Bar faqīrān-i khudā rahmī bikun
Tā darīn dunyā biyābī inbisāṭ

Dāiman dil rā beh sūyi haq biyār
Tā beh āsān bugzarī zīn pul sirāṭ

Nīst āsūdeh kasī dar zīr-i charkh
Bugzarī gūyā azīn kuhneh ribāt

Gurmukhi

ਬਸ ਕਿ ਮਾ ਰਾ ਹਸਤ ਬਾ ਤੋ ਇਰਤਬਾਤ ।
ਅਜ਼ ਕਦੂਮਿ ਤੁਸਤ ਦਰ ਆਲਮ ਨਿਸ਼ਾਤ ॥

ਫ਼ਰਸ਼ ਕਰਦਮ ਦਰ ਕਦੂਮਿ ਰਾਹਿ ਤੋ ।
ਦੀਦਾ ਵ ਦਿਲ ਰਾ ਬੂਦਹ ਦਰ ਬਸਾਤ ॥

ਬਰ ਫ਼ਕੀਰਾਨਿ ਖ਼ੁਦਾ ਰਹਮੀ ਬਿਕੁਨ ।
ਤਾ ਦਰੀਨ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਬਯਾਬੀ ਇੰਬਿਸਾਤ ॥

ਦਾਇਮਾਨ ਦਿਲ ਰਾ ਬੇਹ ਸੂਇ ਹੱਕ ਬਿਆਰ ।
ਤਾ ਬੇਹ ਆਸਾਨ ਬੁਗਜ਼ਰੀ ਈਨ ਪੁਲ ਸਿਰਾਤ ॥

ਨੀਸਤ ਆਸੂਦੇਹ ਕਸੀ ਦਰ ਜ਼ੀਰਿ ਚਰਖ਼ ।
ਬੁਗਜ਼ਰੀ ਗੋਇਆ ਅਜ਼ੀਨ ਕੁਹਨੇਹ ਰਿਬਾਤ ॥

Persian

بس که ما را هست با تو ارتباط
از قدومِ تست در عالم نشاط

فرش کردم در قدوم راه تو
دیده و دل را که بوده  در بساط

بر فقیرانِ خدا رحمی بکن!‌
تا درین دنیا بیابی انبساط

دایماً دل را به سوی حق بیار
تا به آسان بگذری زین پل صراط

نیست آسودہ کسی در زیر چرخ
بگذری گویا ازین کهنه رباط

Commentary

In this ghazal, the 44th in Bhai Nand Lal’s Divan-i-Goya, the repeated rhyme is not a full word or phrase but rather the āṭ” sound. In this ghazal, Bhai Nand Lal explores themes of connection with the Divine, within and beyond the confines of earthly life.

The ghazal opens with a couplet directly addressing the Divine, in which Bhai Nand Lal expresses the joy and exuberance that is experienced when the Divine reveals their presence in the world. In the second couplet, Bhai Nand Lal offers an evocative image of offering himself to the Divine’s pathway. He honors the Divine by offering his eyes and his heart, the “only worthy possessions” he has.

The remainder of the ghazal transitions from directly addressing the Divine. In the fourth couplet, Bhai Nand Lal directly addresses the reader, which we have indicated in the English translation by making use of the lower-case “y.” In this couplet, he evokes the image of the bridge of Sirāṭ one crosses to enter Paradise in the Islamic context. In order to cross the bridge “with ease,” Bhai Nand Lal tells his reader, one ought to offer one’s heart to the Divine “at all times.”

In the final couplet, he offers two striking images. First, the image of the world as the “ever-turning sky” under which one is always in a state of unease. Addressing himself in the second line, Bhai Nand Lal reminds himself to simply “move through” this “worn, perpetual caravanserai,” or way-station, the temporary state in which we find ourselves, during which we long for connection (by offering our eyes and our hearts), and through which we pass through with hopes of reuniting with the Divine.

Revised:

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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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