keh tumhaara kaheN jise-panDit amarnath sahir

For word meanings and explanatory discussion in English click on the tabs marked “Roman” or “Notes”.

کہ تمہارا کہیں جسے ۔ پنڈت امرناتھ ساحرؔ دہلوی

۱

رسوائے عشق ہے ترا شیدا کہیں جسے

عشاق میں مثال ہے رسوا کہیں جسے

۲

مدّ نظر ہے نقشِ سویدا کہیں جسے

اک بیخودی ہے ذوقِ تماشا کہیں جسے

۳

اہلِ نظر ہیں محوِ تماشائے روئے یار

ہے پردہ دار حسنِ خود آرا کہیں جسے

۴

ہے منزلِ فنا میں میرا ہمسفر وہ داغ

روشن چراغِ گنبدِ مینا کہیں جسے

۵

سینہ چمن ہے غنچۂ دل ہے شگفتہ گل

تیری نگاہ ہے چمن آرا کہیں جسے

۶

ہجراں نصیب دل کو ہے کیا غم کہ عشق میں

فرقت کی ایک رات ہے دنیا کہیں جسے

۷

غم پروریدہ ہے دل شوریدگان عشق

فرقت کی ایک رات ہے دنیا کہیں جسے

۸

دم کرتی ہے جو قالبِ خاکی میں روحِ علم

فیضِ نسیم ہے دمِ عیسیٰ کہیں جسے

۹

پندار تیرہ شب، جسد ایمن، نفس کلیم

دل طور، جان برقِ تجلّیٰ کہیں جسے

۱۰

پردہ ہے حسن و عشق میں وصل و حجاب کا

یوسف ہے بے نقاب زلیخا کہیں جسے

۱۱

کوئی حرم سے دَیر سے منسوب ہے کوئی

اک رہ گیا ہوں میں کہ تمہارا کہیں جسے

۱۲

منسوب کفر دَیر سے ایماں حرم سے ہے

اک رہ گیا ہوں میں کہ تمہارا کہیں جسے

۱۳

ہم غیر معتبر سہی اور غیر معتبر

کہنا بجا ہے آپ کا جیسا کہیں جسے

۱۴

ساحرؔ نفس وہ دام ہے جس میں کہ ہے اسیر

موج دم خیال کہ عنقا کہیں جسے

के तुम्हारा कहें जिसे – पंडित अमरनाथ सहर देहलवी

रुस्वा-ए इश्क़ है तेरा शैदा कहें जिसे

उश्शाक़ में मिसाल है रुस्वा कहें जिसे

मद्द-ए नज़र है नक़्श-ए सवैदा कहें जिसे

एक बे-ख़ुदी है ज़ौक़-ए तमाशा कहें जिसे

अहल-ए नज़र हैं महव-ए तमाशा-ए रू-ए यार

है पर्दा-दार हुस्न-ए ख़ुद-आरा कहें जिसे

है मंज़िल-ए फ़ना में मेरा हमसफ़र वो दाग़

रौशन चराग़-ए गुंबद-ए मीना कहें जिसे

सीना चमन है ग़ुंचा-ए दिल है शगुफ़्ता गुल

तेरी निगाह है चमन-आरा कहें जिसे

हिज्रां-नसीब दिल को है क्या ग़म के इश्क़ में

फ़ुर्क़त की एक रात है, दुनिया कहें जिसे

ग़म परवरीदा है दिल-ए शोरीदगान-ए-इश्क़

फ़ुर्क़त की एक रात है दुनिया कहें जिसे

दम करती है जो क़ालिब-ए ख़ाकी में रूह-ए इल्म

फ़ैज़-ए नसीम है दम-ए ईसा कहें जिसे

पिंदार तीरा-शब, जसद ऐमन, नफ़स कलीम

दिल तूर, जान बर्क़-ए तजल्ला कहें जिसे

१०

पर्दा है हुस्न ओ इश्क़ में वस्ल ओ हिजाब का

यूसुफ़ है बे-नक़ाब ज़ुलैख़ा कहें जिसे

११

कोई हरम से दैर से मंसूब है कोई

एक रह गया हूँ मैं के तुम्हारा कहें जिसे

१२

मंसूब कुफ़्र दैर से ईमाँ हरम से है

एक रह गया हूँ मैं के तुम्हारा कहें जिसे

१३

हम ग़ैर-मो’तबर सही और ग़ैर मो’तबर

कहना बजा है आप का जैसा कहें जिसे

१४

साहर नफ़स वो दाम है जिस में के है असीर

मौज-ए दम-ए ख़याल के अन्क़ा कहें जिसे

 

Click here for background and on any passage for word meanings and explanatory discussion. panDit amarnath sahir dehlavi (1863-1962) was deeply affected by the cultural degeneration following the 1857 war. He turned to themes of mysticism in his poetry. He was a scholar of sanskrit, arabi and faarsi. This is combined Ghazal from two different sources, with some duplication in a couple of ash’aar styled after Ghalib’s ‘aisa kahaaN se laauN keh tujh sa kaheN jise’.
1
rusvaa1-e ishq hai tera shaidaa2 kaheN jise
ushshaaq3 meN misaal4 hai rusvaa1 kaheN jise  
1.disgraced, dishonored 2.admirer 3.suitors, lovers 4.example
The shaa’er is talking about himself and the she’r can be interpreted at the conventional and mystical levels. Conventionally, the poet/suitor who is known as an admirer of the beloved has been rejected by her. Among fellow suitors he is used as an example of a disgraced suitor. At the mystical level, the shaa’er is a devotee of god. He has not been able to meet the high standards of divine devotion and considers himself a failure and is disgraced. He is pointed to as an example of incomplete/insincere devotion.

2
madd-e-nazar1 hai naqsh2-e savaida3 kaheN jise
ek be-Khudi4 hai zauq5-e tamaasha6 kaheN jise
1.before the eyes, focus of attention 2.picture, image 3.black spot in the heart (see notes) 4.trance 5.taste, desire 6.sighting, looking at
The shaa’er/devotee has such a strong desire to see the beloved/god that he is in a trance – forgotten everything else. The focus of his attention is the black spot of the heart i.e. intensity of devotion – in urdu poetic tradition it is considered that there is a dark spot in the heart that is symbolic of pain/love/devotion.

3
ahl-e-nazar1 haiN mahv2-e tamaasha3-e ruu4-e yaar5
hai parda-daar husn6-e Khud-aaraa7 kaheN jise   
1.people of discriminating sight, those who can see 2.engrossed in 3.display, manifestation 4.face, reflection 5.friend, beloved, god 6.beauty 7.self-beautifying
god is its own creator, creator of its own beauty, he it is ‘husn-e Khud-aaraa’. But the beauty/glory/face of god is reflected in all creation. Those who can see are engrossed in looking at this reflection, while god itself is hidden/veiled.

4
hai manzil1-e fana2 meN mera hamsafar3 vo daaGh4
raushan5 charaaGh-e guNbad-e-miina6 kaheN jise   
1.destination 2.annihilation, non-existence, merger with god 3.fellow seeker 4.wound, scar (of love) 5.bright 6.azure dome, sky
The goal/destination of the shaa’er/sufi is annihilation of the self and its merger with the great spirit. He has a wound in his heart because of the intensity of his desire and that scar is his friend in the journey of life, constantly with him. It is as bright as the lamp of the azure sky i.e. the sun.

5
seena chaman hai Ghuncha1-e dil hai shagufta-gul2
teri nigaah3 hai chaman-aara4 kaheN jise    
1.unopened bud 2.rose in full bloom 3.glance 4.arranging/beautifying the garden
It is god’s glance that creates and beautifies the ‘chaman’ which can be the whole cosmos or the shaa’er’s bosom – seena. In his bosom, his heart is like an unopened bud but blooms fully when god glances at him.

6
hijraaN-nasiib1 dil ko hai kya Gham ke ishq meN
furqat2 ki ek raat hai, duniya kaheN jise   
1.fate of being exiled from home 2.separation
Another variation of this she’r from a different source follows. Human beings belong with god, they are one with god. So, when they are in this world it is as if they are exiled from home. But it is not great sorrow, because after all, for true lovers (of god) this world is but a night of separation. They will be reunited soon enough.

7
Gham-parvariida1 hai dil-e shoriidagaan2-e ishq
furqat3 ki ek raat hai duniya kaheN jise   
1.nurtured by sorrow 2.mad, passionate 3.separation
This is a slightly different version from a different source. Those who are mad with the passion of love (of god) are nurtured with pain/sorrow. But this world is like one night of separation and they will re-united with the great spirit soon.

8
dam1 karti hai jo qaalib-e-Khaaki2 meN rooh-e-ilm3
faiz-e-nasiim4 hai dam1-e eesa5 kaheN jise   
1.breath 2.body of clay 3.spirit of knowledge, divine spirit 4.benevolence of the morning/spring breeze 5.Jesus
It is legendary that one of the miracles of Jesus was to cure the sick by blowing on them. The morning breeze in spring is similarly benevolent bringing things to life, making flowers bloom. All this is similar to the other legend – god made aadam out of clay and blew his spirit into the body of clay, which brought it to life and gave it a soul.

9
pindaar1 tiira-shab2, jasad3 aiman4, nafas5 kaleem6
dil tuur7, jaan8 barq9-e tajalla10 kaheN jise   
1.hubris, arrogance 2.dark night 3.body 4.wilderness surrounding mount tuur 5.breath 6.moosa, Moses, sound, word 7.mount tuur where moses went asking to see god 8.life, soul 9.lightning 10.brilliance, enlightenment
I am a little shaky in this interpretation and would gratefully consider any help. The she’r revolves around the story that moosa went up mount tuur and asked to see god. A manifestation of god appeared as a lightning strike and moosa fainted. The poet seems to draw parallelisms. Arrogance is like a dark night (that is removed by barq-e tajalla. Also, is there an implication that moosa was arrogant when he asked to see god). The body like the wilderness around mount tuur and the heart is like tuur itself and is enlightened by the glory of god and the soul is like lightning/brilliance/enlightenment/knowledge/barq-e tajalla. ‘kaleem’ means spoken word and is another name of moosa. Thus, ‘nafas’ is life/breath blown into the human body like the word of god.

10
parda hai husn1 o ishq meN vasl2 o hijaab3 ka
yusuf4 hai be-naqaab5 zulaiKha6 kaheN jise   
1.beauty 2.union 3.veil 4.Joseph 5.unveiled, revealed 6.wife of slave owner who bought Joseph
I am shaky on this interpretation also and would appreciate any help. This she’r has reference to another Biblical/qur’aanic legend. Joseph/yusuf was a very good looking man who ended up being slave to a rich merchant whose wife zulaiKha fell deeply in love with him. He stayed away from her and from temptation. Thus husn-ishq in the first misra could mean zulaiKha-yusuf and/or human being-god. In all cases there is a veil/lack of knowledge between us and the pair (husn-ishq or yusuf-zulaiKha). Here again I am on thin ice interpreting this. If you are able to unveil/reveal yusuf you see that there is no difference between him and zulaiKha i.e. between god and human. But then Ghalib also said …
asl-e shahud o shaahed o mash’hood ek hai
hairaaN huN phir mushaaheda hai kis hisaab meN
Please see ‘Khissat sharaab meN’ for interpretation.

11
koii haram1 se dair2 se mansoob3 hai koii
ek rah gaya huN maiN keh tumhaara kaheN jise
1.mosque 2.temple 3.associated, connected
Another variation of this she’r from a different source follows. Some are associated with the mosque, others with the temple. I am the only one left who can be called yours, O god.

12
mansoob1 kufr2 dair3 se eemaaN4 haram5 se hai
ek rah gaya huN maiN keh tumhaara kaheN jise
1.associated, related 2.non-belief 3.temple 4.belief 5.mosque
This is a slightly different version from a different source. They associate non-belief with the temple and belief with the mosque. I don’t want to be a part of this madness. I am the only one left who can be called yours, O god.

13
hum Ghair-mo’tabar1 sahi aur Ghair2 mo’tabar3
kahna baja4 hai aap ka jaisa kaheN jise   
1.not believable, not credible 2.other, rival 3.trustworthy 4.appropriate, acceptable
I may not be trustworthy, the rival may be. You have every right to say whatever you want to say to anyone. I accept it, and go my own way. This may be said in the same spirit as ‘koii haram se dair se mansoob hai koii’. Also there is a nice play with words like Ghair-mo’tabar and Ghair mo’tabar.

14
sahir1 nafas2 vo daam3 hai jis meN keh hai asiir4
mauj5-e dam6-e Khayaal7 keh anqa8 kaheN jise   
1.pen-name of poet 2.breath, life 3.net, web, trap 4.imprisoned, trapped 5.wave 6.strength, breath, life 7.imagination, illusion, thought 8.legendary bird (please see notes below)
‘anqa’ is a legendary bird which no one can see or has ever seen. Ghalib uses this to say …
aagahi daam-e shuniidan jis qadar chaahe bichhaaye
mudd’ua anqa hai apne aalam-e taqriir ka
Please see ‘shooKhi-e tahriir ka’ for interpretation.
Thus, O sahir, life in this world is a trap in which is caught the strong wave of illusion/maaya which can be called an ‘anqa’.

panDit amarnath sahir dehlavi (1863-1962) was deeply affected by the cultural degeneration following the 1857 war.  He turned to themes of mysticism in his poetry.  He was a scholar of sanskrit, arabi and faarsi.  This is combined Ghazal from two different sources, with some duplication in a couple of ash’aar styled after Ghalib’s ‘aisa kahaaN se laauN keh tujh sa kaheN jise’.
1
rusvaa1-e ishq hai tera shaidaa2 kaheN jise
ushshaaq3 meN misaal4 hai rusvaa1 kaheN jise

1.disgraced, dishonored 2.admirer 3.suitors, lovers 4.example

The shaa’er is talking about himself and the she’r can be interpreted at the conventional and mystical levels.  Conventionally, the poet/suitor who is known as an admirer of the beloved has been rejected by her.  Among fellow suitors he is used as an example of a disgraced suitor.  At the mystical level, the shaa’er is a devotee of god.  He has not been able to meet the high standards of divine devotion and considers himself a failure and is disgraced.  He is pointed to as an example of incomplete/insincere devotion.
2
madd-e-nazar1 hai naqsh2-e savaida3 kaheN jise
ek be-Khudi4 hai zauq5-e tamaasha6 kaheN jise

1.before the eyes, focus of attention 2.picture, image 3.black spot in the heart (see notes) 4.trance 5.taste, desire 6.sighting, looking at

The shaa’er/devotee has such a strong desire to see the beloved/god that he is in a trance – forgotten everything else.  The focus of his attention is the black spot of the heart i.e. intensity of devotion – in urdu poetic tradition it is considered that there is a dark spot in the heart that is symbolic of pain/love/devotion.
3
ahl-e-nazar1 haiN mahv2-e tamaasha3-e ruu4-e yaar5
hai parda-daar husn6-e Khud-aaraa7 kaheN jise

1.people of discriminating sight, those who can see 2.engrossed in 3.display, manifestation 4.face, reflection 5.friend, beloved, god 6.beauty 7.self-beautifying

god is its own creator, creator of its own beauty, he it is ‘husn-e Khud-aaraa’.  But the beauty/glory/face of god is reflected in all creation.  Those who can see are engrossed in looking at this reflection, while god itself is hidden/veiled.
4
hai manzil1-e fana2 meN mera hamsafar3 vo daaGh4
raushan5 charaaGh-e guNbad-e-miina6 kaheN jise

1.destination 2.annihilation, non-existence, merger with god 3.fellow seeker 4.wound, scar (of love) 5.bright 6.azure dome, sky

The goal/destination of the shaa’er/sufi is annihilation of the self and its merger with the great spirit.  He has a wound in his heart because of the intensity of his desire and that scar is his friend in the journey of life, constantly with him.  It is as bright as the lamp of the azure sky i.e. the sun.
5
seena chaman hai Ghuncha1-e dil hai shagufta-gul2
teri nigaah3 hai chaman-aara4 kaheN jise

1.unopened bud 2.rose in full bloom 3.glance 4.arranging/beautifying the garden

It is god’s glance that creates and beautifies the ‘chaman’ which can be the whole cosmos or the shaa’er’s bosom – seena.  In his bosom, his heart is like an unopened bud but blooms fully when god glances at him.
6
hijraaN-nasiib1 dil ko hai kya Gham ke ishq meN
furqat2 ki ek raat hai, duniya kaheN jise

1.fate of being exiled from home 2.separation

Another variation of this she’r from a different source follows.  Human beings belong with god, they are one with god.  So, when they are in this world it is as if they are exiled from home.  But it is not great sorrow, because after all, for true lovers (of god) this world is but a night of separation.  They will be reunited soon enough.
7
Gham-parvariida1 hai dil-e shoriidagaan2-e ishq
furqat3 ki ek raat hai duniya kaheN jise

1.nurtured by sorrow 2.mad, passionate 3.separation

This is a slightly different version from a different source.  Those who are mad with the passion of love (of god) are nurtured with pain/sorrow.  But this world is like one night of separation and they will re-united with the great spirit soon.
8
dam1 karti hai jo qaalib-e-Khaaki2 meN rooh-e-ilm3
faiz-e-nasiim4 hai dam1-e eesa5 kaheN jise

1.breath 2.body of clay 3.spirit of knowledge, divine spirit 4.benevolence of the morning/spring breeze 5.Jesus

It is legendary that one of the miracles of Jesus was to cure the sick by blowing on them.  The morning breeze in spring is similarly benevolent bringing things to life, making flowers bloom.  All this is similar to the other legend – god made aadam out of clay and blew his spirit into the body of clay, which brought it to life and gave it a soul.
9
pindaar1 tiira-shab2, jasad3 aiman4, nafas5 kaleem6
dil tuur7, jaan8 barq9-e tajalla10 kaheN jise

1.hubris, arrogance 2.dark night 3.body 4.wilderness surrounding mount tuur 5.breath 6.moosa, Moses, sound, word 7.mount tuur where moses went asking to see god 8.life, soul 9.lightning 10.brilliance, enlightenment

I am a little shaky in this interpretation and would gratefully consider any help.  The she’r revolves around the story that moosa went up mount tuur and asked to see god.  A manifestation of god appeared as a lightning strike and moosa fainted.  The poet seems to draw parallelisms.  Arrogance is like a dark night (that is removed by barq-e tajalla.  Also, is there an implication that moosa was arrogant when he asked to see god).  The body like the wilderness around mount tuur and the heart is like tuur itself and is enlightened by the glory of god and the soul is like lightning/brilliance/enlightenment/knowledge/barq-e tajalla.  ‘kaleem’ means spoken word and is another name of moosa.  Thus, ‘nafas’ is life/breath blown into the human body like the word of god.
10
parda hai husn1 o ishq meN vasl2 o hijaab3 ka
yusuf4 hai be-naqaab5 zulaiKha6 kaheN jise

1.beauty 2.union 3.veil 4.Joseph 5.unveiled, revealed 6.wife of slave owner who bought Joseph

I am shaky on this interpretation also and would appreciate any help.  This she’r has reference to another Biblical/qur’aanic legend.  Joseph/yusuf was a very good looking man who ended up being slave to a rich merchant whose wife zulaiKha fell deeply in love with him.  He stayed away from her and from temptation.  Thus husn-ishq in the first misra could mean zulaiKha-yusuf and/or human being-god.  In all cases there is a veil/lack of knowledge between us and the pair (husn-ishq or yusuf-zulaiKha).  Here again I am on thin ice interpreting this.  If you are able to unveil/reveal yusuf you see that there is no difference between him and zulaiKha i.e. between god and human.  But then Ghalib also said …
asl-e shahud o shaahed o mash’hood ek hai
hairaaN huN phir mushaaheda hai kis hisaab meN
Please see ‘Khissat sharaab meN’ for interpretation.
11
koii haram1 se dair2 se mansoob3 hai koii
ek rah gaya huN maiN keh tumhaara kaheN jise

1.mosque 2.temple 3.associated, connected

Another variation of this she’r from a different source follows.  Some are associated with the mosque, others with the temple.  I am the only one left who can be called yours, O god.
12
mansoob1 kufr2 dair3 se eemaaN4 haram5 se hai
ek rah gaya huN maiN keh tumhaara kaheN jise

1.associated, related 2.non-belief 3.temple 4.belief 5.mosque

This is a slightly different version from a different source.  They associate non-belief with the temple and belief with the mosque.  I don’t want to be a part of this madness.  I am the only one left who can be called yours, O god.
13
hum Ghair-mo’tabar1 sahi aur Ghair2 mo’tabar3
kahna baja4 hai aap ka jaisa kaheN jise

1.not believable, not credible 2.other, rival 3.trustworthy 4.appropriate, acceptable

I may not be trustworthy, the rival may be.  You have every right to say whatever you want to say to anyone.  I accept it, and go my own way.  This may be said in the same spirit as ‘koii haram se dair se mansoob hai koii’.  Also there is a nice play with words like Ghair-mo’tabar and Ghair mo’tabar.
14
sahir1 nafas2 vo daam3 hai jis meN keh hai asiir4
mauj5-e dam6-e Khayaal7 keh anqa8 kaheN jise

1.pen-name of poet 2.breath, life 3.net, web, trap 4.imprisoned, trapped 5.wave 6.strength, breath, life 7.imagination, illusion, thought 8.legendary bird (please see notes below)

‘anqa’ is a legendary bird which no one can see or has ever seen.  Ghalib uses this to say …
aagahi daam-e shuniidan jis qadar chaahe bichhaaye
mudd’ua anqa hai apne aalam-e taqriir ka
Please see ‘shooKhi-e tahriir ka’ for interpretation.
Thus, O sahir, life in this world is a trap in which is caught the strong wave of illusion/maaya which can be called an ‘anqa’.

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