Mysticism of Great Sufi Poet of India, Baydel Dehlavi

Mirza Abdul-Qader Baydel Dehlavi (1644-1721)

Mysticism of Great Sufi Poet of India, Baydel 

The incomparable 17th century India-born Sufi poet of Mughal court, Abdul Qader Baydel, is one of the least known of Persian Sufi poets--even among the Persian speakers. If you've ever been to Delhi in India, particularly, if you've visited the Red Fort in Old Delhi, the Farsi writings on its walls are precisely Baydel's outstanding Sufi infused poems.

Sadly, while Rumi is a household name and the widely read Persian poem here in our beloved America, Baydel's deep mystical poetry is still very little known. Baydel's lack of recognition is not limited just to America or the West in general, but it's also a known fact even amongst the Persian speakers-- while Baydel is a household name, revered as a saint, a sage and a seer, and the third most important poet in Afghanistan [after Rumi and Hafiz]; in Iran and Tajikistan, Baydel is barely known or just recently is being paid attention to.

In my humble opinion, the main reason behind Baydel's lack of recognition, both in the East and the West, lies in the fact that his style of writing, and the deep mystical thoughts that each of his rhythmic verses hold are very difficult to grasp--even for the native Persian speakers! Each poem of Baydel must be read, reread, and read again, in order to understand its intended Sufi infused mystical meanings and messages.

So, it's against this challenging backdrop that I've attempted to translate some of his poems. I'm neither a scholar of Baydel, nor a professional translator, therefore, if you're reading my translations and feel that they're not doing any justice to Baydel's very deep mysticism, please feel free to share your comments and constructive criticisms.

Baydel is a proud and unapologetic poet, and he bluntly warns us first hand:

The superior level of my inner meanings
requires a strong intellect
it's not that easy to grasp my thoughts.
I'm a tall mountain
I've got steep hill!
My sea of temperament, Baydel
is the swell waves of inner meanings.
Whenever I feel like writing a verse,
I've already got the whole poem!
Quit learning and profiting
Quit any desires and wishes
Drink wine and live joyously
That's what I do for living!

معنی بلند من فهم تند می خواهد
سیر فکرم آسان نیست، کوهم و کتل دارم
بحر فطرتم بیدل، موج خیز معنی هاست
مصرعی اگر خواهم سر کنم، غزل دارم
ترک سود و سواد کن، قطع هر تمنا کن
می خور و طربها کن، من هم این عمل دارم

A poem is what rises from the heart
and burns the lips.
A poet is the one who makes a rare pearl
from the scratches!

شعر آن باشد که خیزد از دل و جوشد به لب
هست شاعرآنکسی کاین طرفه مروارید، سفت

O Lord,
Place your Light of Sight in my eyes.

O Lord,
compensate my waiting for you,
with the beauty of your Divine Decree.
I'm neither colored with the joy of life
Nor smelling the fresh date-fruit
I'm lost in your Garden.

Hand me my own mirror.
Except for the amazement,
what else can it be the intercessor
for the offenses of your separated ones?

O Lord,
fulfill the duty of Baydel's vision:
Show me Your Face.

خداوندا به آن نور نظر در ديده جا بنما
به قدر انتظار ما جمال مدعا بنما
نه رنگي از طرب داريم و نه از خرمي بويي
چمن گم كرده ايم آيينهء ما را بما بنما
شفيع جرم مهجوران بجز حيرت چه مي باشد
به حق ديدهء بيدل كه ما را آن لقا 

Who am I
dying like this from the regret
Yet still surviving like a fire
That's staying alive by burning itself?

I'm neither sad nor happy.
I'm neither the word nor the content.
I'm neither the wheel nor the planet.
Then what's my purpose of being here?

If I'm in the Sufi state of Fana or self-annihilation,
then what's this burning passion for life?

If I'm in the Sufi state of Baqa or eternal union with God

then why am I still annihilated?

Be proud o imagination, be proud
for I still believe in life
 though I'm already annihilated!

O Lord
In this house of despair we call life
no one has endured the kind of death I endure:
I live to die without You my Friend.
Have a good laugh
o appreciators of the moment

I've seen myself laughing at myself.

چنين کشته حسرت کيستم من
که چون اتش از سوختن زيستم من
نه شادم نه محزون نه لفظم نه مضمون
نه چرخم نه گردون چه معنيستم من
اگر فانيم چيست اين شور هستي
وگر باقيم ارچه فانيستم من
بناز اي تخيل ببال اي توهم
که هستي گمان دارم و نيستم من
در اين غمکده کس مميراد يارب
به مرگي که بي دوستان زيستم من
بخنديد اي قدر دانان فرصت
که يک خنده بر خويش نگريستم من

in your worshiping and bowing down
be as you are.
As long as you carry
the load of your ego on your shoulders,
you'll bend your back.
Learn from this inability
embedded in your nature:
You can't be God,
try acting like a human!

بيدل به سجود و بندگي تو ام باش
تا بار نفس به دوش داري خم باش
زين عجز که در طينت تو گل کرده است
الله نمي توان شدن آدم باش

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