Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bedam: Na Karo Juda Khudara

Hazrat Bedam Shah Warsi was born Ghulam Hasnain in 1882 in Etawa. Taking early the life of a Sufi, he moved to Dewa in eastern Uttar Pradesh, India. His murshid was Hazrat Syed Waris Ali Shah.

Below, Mehmood ul Hassan Ashrafi performs naat, with hints of Atulprasad, or perhaps an old English madrigal (with techno echo effects).

न करो जुदा खुदारा मुझे अपने आस्ताँ से
नहीं है फिर ठिकाना जो उठा दिया यहाँ से

Send not me away Lord, from Thy haven, thus I pray
No home be mine 'ere again, if from here I stray

मुझे ख़ाक में मिला कर मेरी ख़ाक भी उड़ा दे
तेरे नाम पर मिटा हूँ मुझे क्या गरज़ निशां से

Grind Thou me into ash, then that ash blow away
Erased I me on Thy name, need tomb nor display

यही मेरी सजदा रेज़ी, यही मेरी बंदगी है 
मैं ज़रा लिपट के रो लूँ तेरे संग-ए-आस्ताँ से

Such be my supplication, and such be how I pray
May I cling crying yet, to Thine stone-haven, yea 

कोई क़ाश जा के कह दे, उस अरब मेहरबाँ से 
तेरे ग़म में या मुहम्मद कोई जा रहा है जाँ से 

If only someone could, to that kind-soul Arab say
In thy sorrow, Muhammad, here's one that pines away

ज़रा ठहर जा मुअज़्ज़ाँ मेरा दिल लरज़ रहा है 
कहीं काबा झुक न जाए  तेरे मस्त-ए-अज़ाँ से 

Pause yet, O Muezzin, aquiver my heart is set 
Lest Kaaba 'self be sway'd, by thy sweet call to pray

तू हज़ार बार ठुकरा मेरा सर यहीं झुकेगा 
मेरे सर को है मुहब्बत तेरे संग-ए-आस्ताँ से 

Turn me away a thousand, bow here still will I
'Tis love of Thy stone-haven, that my head doth sway

मेरी बेक़सी का आलम कोई उनके दिल से पूछे 
मेरी तरह लूट गया हो जो बिछड़ के कारवाँ से 

Helpless my universe, of it ask the heart of one
Who alike was robbed, from caravan stepping away

न इधर कि पर्दा न केवल पर्दा दारयाँ हूँ
मेरी दुख भरी कहानी जो सुने मेरी ज़बां से

No curtain spread here, behind no purdah I hide
My tale of sorrow, hearken this tongue doth say

इसी ख़ाक आस्ताँ में किसी दिन फ़ना भी होगा
कि बना हुआ है बेदम इसी ख़ाक-ए-आस्ताँ से |

In this haven of ashes, some day erasure'll come
Breath-bereft (Bedam) was made, from ash-haven purvey.

Another version, a livelier romp, by the inimitable Amir Rafiq Murkiyanwale Qawwal & Party.

Bedam - literally, Breathless -  forbade his followers to keep biographical detail on himself; what is remembered is that he was consulted by most of the great poets of the turn of the century - Pir Mehr Ali Shah, Khwaja Ghulam Fareed, Hazrat Hasan Nizami  - this last Sufi said about Bedam Shah's work - Hast Irfan dar Zabaan-e-Purbi, i.e. Here is Irfan in the Purbi tongue. In Islam, ‘Irfān (literally ‘knowing, awareness’) is gnosis. Bedam Shah passed away in 1936. Note the slyness of the maqta - the last couplet - above. The word Fna in Arabic means end, erasure, passing-away; the Sufi reads it as the end of the duality with his God, who is also immanent in the dust and ash, beyond breath.

Bedam Shah's Purbi qalam is a mix of Rekhta/Urdu idiom and the village tradition that provided sibstrate to Indian Sufi poetry. The syncretic nature of the qalam led Bedam Shah Warsi to be given the title of 'Khusrau-e-Saani' - the Second Khusrau. His Naatiya work, such as the one above, departs from the Persianate classical Naat of Jami, and brings to the genre a certain simple directness - as he himself says - a 'bheeni bheeni khushboo', a redolent fragrance - of the Ganga-Jumna-Gomti.

इसी ख़ाक आस्ताँ में किसी दिन फ़ना भी होगा
कि बना हुआ है बेदम इसी ख़ाक-ए-आस्ताँ से |

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