Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I need just enough ears
to hear your call
I need just enough tongue
to answer you back
I need just enough feet
to walk towards you
I need just enough arms
to embrace you tight
I need just enough head
to lay down at your feet
I need just enough heart
for you to live there
And shiv, I need just enough sight,
to see you everywhere
An older Translation
With just enough space in my heart,
You, my love, can live forever where,
and just the right sight in my eyes
to see Your reflection everywhere,
my hand intently funnels my ear
to hear Your warm and passionate call
and my tongue promptly answers back:
"Yes, Yes, I want Your affair!"
So in my hands holding the yarn
that already binds the two of us,
with quick, yet very confident feet
closer towards You, I tear.
On Your sight my head slowly swells
bowing naturally down at Your feet;
I shed all loans of my life*,
leaving in union, me, just bare.
Inspiration: God, Bhai Nand Lal Goya
*loans of life = every breath we take has been borrowed; its not ours, because we don't get to keep it -- it is the Creator's. Without breath, after life, the body goes while the soul remains. It is only the soul that unifies with the Creator, not the body, therefore in union one has to be "bare". From the readings I have done, this is a poetic way to explain our connection with unity, not necessarily a definition of the truth (so I don't expect a soul to magically fly towards heaven after death or hover about in my backyard to trouble me).
It is impossible to translate poetry, especially beautiful Farsi (Persian) poetry. I have just taken the essence of a Farsi poem written by Bhai Nand Lal and from that inspiration written this poem. Like the poems of my dear Gurus, his poems ooze love for the supreme mystery. I am the 10th descendent of Bhai Nand Lal, so his poetry remains special to me personally.
Bhai Nand Lal, despite being a Hindu, was considered to be an authority on the holy Quran during Mughal ruler Aurangzeb's time (17th century) and was hired to teach Farsi to Aurangzeb's kids (specifically Bahadur Shah) to prepare them for the throne. However, Bhai Nand Lal opposed Aurangzeb's fanaticism and intention to forcibly convert the population to Islam, and left to become a disciple and poet laureate of my dear Guru Gobind Singh. His poems are sung in the Golden Temple and across the world even now. He is a great example, in my mind, of someone who favored Truth over falsehood, and for that, is remembered till date.