Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
photo credit: shadowsofthedivine.wordpress.com

By Atul Mishra

Sufism is a mystical belief and spiritual practice in which ‘divine love and knowledge’ of God is solicited. Sufi saints, scholars, poets and musicians, all believe in what is called muridin (singular murid), meaning “desiring the knowledge of knowing and loving God”. This eternal endearment for God and the craving to attain Him, has been perpetually present in all Sufi art forms, be it music or poetry.



photo credit: shadowsofthedivine.wordpress.com

Amir Khusrou is believed to be above every Sufi poet when it comes to Sufi poetry. The magnificent couplets that he wrote in his lifetime are filled with the cries to ‘become’ God and to attain the beloved God. The word ‘beloved’ in his oeuvre does not refer to any human being, but rather to the divine love. Let us look at Amir Khusrou’s life, his contributions and a few of his couplets in brief.

Birth

Born to Amir Saif-ud-Din Mahmud and Bibi Daulatnaz in 1252-53 CE, Amir Khusrou was a Sufi musician, poet and scholar. Saifuddin had to migrate from Samarkand (Uzbekistan) to Balkh (Afghanistan) and then to Delhi due to the invasion of Genghis Khan. And then he was granted a fief in the district of Patiyali. Here he married Bibi Daulatnaz and they had four children. Amir Khusrou was one of them.


photo credit: nizamuddinauliya.com

Khusrou began learning and writing poetry at the age of eight. He was an influential prodigy in the cultural history of Indian Subcontinent. He became spiritual disciple of Nizamuddin Auliya of Delhi. After the death of his father, he came to Delhi. (Source:Wiki)

Contributions

Khusrou was a genius in true sense. Apart from such dense oeuvre of his poetry which stands out eternally, he has made many contributions to the Indian Subcontinent arts of music and poetry. Here are his contributions:

  • Invented musical instruments sitar and tabla.
  • Considered as father of Qawwali.
  • Introduced the ghazal style of song into India.
  • Introduced Persian, Arabic and Turkish elements into Indian classical music.
  • Originator of the khayal and tarana styles of music.

photo credit: www.ghumakkar.com

A couple of Couplets

सेज वो सूनी देख के रोवून में दिन रैन,

पिया पिया मैं करत हूँ पहरों, पल भर सुख चेन।
(Farsi couplet I: angelfire.com)

Translation: Day and night, I see an empty bed, and cry
Calling for my beloved, I remain restless forever.

As discussed earlier, Sufi love is the love for God. In this couplet ‘beloved’ is God to the poet. The poet is crying his heart out to attain the spiritual divine love of God. He waits and waits, cries and cries, looking desperately at his bed for his ‘beloved’. And in the desperation he is left restless.

Because Sufi concept of love also asserts that love in its true sense means “becoming” each other, then it can be propounded in this context that the poet is waiting for the Unison with the God so that he comes his ‘beloved’.

ख़ुसरौ बाज़ी प्रेम की में खेलूँ पी के संग,

जीत गई तो पिया मोरे,हारी, पी के संग।

(Farsi couplet II: angelfire.com)

Translation- I, Khusrou, play the game of love with my beloved,
If I win, the beloved’s mine, defeated, I’m beloved’s.

The desperation to attain that spiritual love is so intense that the poet, in a game of love with the God, says that if he wins it the ‘beloved’ i.e. God has to become his, and if he loses he becomes his beloved’s. Thus, in any case winning the game himself, no matter who becomes whose, because his ultimate desire is to unite with God.


Popular

Photo by Manisa Mitpaibul on Unsplash

The R&D team at ITC Savlon, shares some tips to maximize hygiene and ensure germ-free cleaning this Diwali.

With Diwali comes the yearly ritual of disinfectingand deep-cleaning our homes. However, your basic cleaning ritual might not be sufficient to the changing needs of the environment we live in. If the deadly viruses around us have taught anything, disinfection should be as much a goal in our regular cleaning, rather than just the basic visible cleanliness. Therefore, it becomes necessary to know the right way of cleaning and disinfectinghomes that lends itself to a responsible celebration. While we plan to welcome Goddess Lakshmi by cleaning and decorating our living spaces inside out, we should be aware of those corners that are prone to infections, diseases and require our special attention.

The R&D team at ITC Savlon, shares some tips to maximize hygiene and ensure germ-free cleaning this Diwali:

Clean your Kitchen
As the excitement builds for us to be able to open our houses to guests and have the kitchen work overtime to put out scrumptious meals, do spend a moment on considering thorough kitchen disinfection. Bear in mind that the multiple ways in which we use our home kitchen carry with it the burden of microbes that can cause infections.

Keep Reading Show less
Wikimedia Commons

A painting of Raja Birbal, as he was known

Birbal, an intelligent and witty man, was a beloved courtier to Emperor Akbar. He was one of the youngest men of the court, who had the greatest influence on the ruler. Despite his Hindu background, he supported the Mughal ruler and even adopted Din-i-ilahi towards the end of his life. He died in a battle that he led against a rebel army. He belonged to the precious nine courtiers of Akbar's court known as the Navratnas (nine gems).

Born as Mahesh Das, Birbal was renamed in Akbar's court. He solved many petty issues with his wit and is known as a man of practical wisdom. He lives on today in the literature that shapes children's formative years, in application comedy for adults, and in folktales for everyone else. His wisdom is so unique and so practical that it does not take too much to understand it. At the same time, it is not something that can be easily emulated.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Diane Picchiotino on Unsplash

Mass graves marked by individual crosses

Just as much as man has evolved from the time of the nomads, his practices and rituals have grown more and more sophisticated. With time, things that once were just formalities have acquired ritual significance and are observed in solemnity. Death was once something that marked the end, but now is an important life change event that is memorialized. Some people come alive only after death.

In nomadic times, men buried their dead companions or family along the route they traveled. They would place a stone or any heavy object over it, to prevent the soil from becoming loose around the body, or to keep it safe from scavengers. This practice is no longer followed as the animal kingdom and man's world have become distinct from each other.

Keep reading... Show less