Darshan’s Poems – Selections

1

When human beings are the aim of God, how tragic they ask: where lies our aim?

God is hidden in the human heart, yet all search: where is God?

*

This is a clique of vain poseurs—speak not a word about love;

Everyone claims to be sincere, no one lacks devotion here!

*

All light is your reflection, all beauty mirrors your splendor.

Whose countenance has your radiance? Where is another like you?

*

Achieving complete realization of self unveils visions of God;

Blind to your being, how can you know the Lord?

*

This valley—my heart—is desolate; alone, I’m engrossed in search—

Where are the pilgrims of love? Where is their caravan?

*

Tell those who trust in the captain to save our ship from the raging seas:

Deliverance lies with the Lord, not in expertise.

*

Let me stay bowed in worship here, never leave this sacred place;

Where else could broken Darshan find refuge but at your door?

2

How did I ever think silence the language of love?

What I thought would not come to light was in plain sight.

*

I hear my silence talked of in every lane—

“The suppression of a cry is itself a cry of pain.”

*

My beloved’s regard was but a flash of light—

How innocently I’d found eternal bliss.

*

In the end this too was claimed by the gardener, lightning and wind—

That handful of pitiful straws I called my nest.

*

O Darshan, these eyes, which I’d fancied the voice of my love,

Even they couldn’t convey the fathomless depths of my longing.

3

How to convey the wonder that reigns in the court of the friend!

Dancing is the beloved’s light, cup and carafe are ecstatic!

*

No corner of his court is void of his resplendent light;

Every atom celebrates with radiance from the beloved’s face.

*

Wherever I go on earth I see his beauty,

In heaven after heaven I gaze on my beloved.

*

O seeker bereft of radiant visions, look with the eyes of your heart!

How can you see the beloved’s light with eyes of flesh and blood?

*

I took on humanity’s sorrows, I gave my love to the world—

My entire life I’ve devoted to the work of my beloved.

*

Brushing past me, it stirred my heart and suddenly was gone—

Now even the morning breeze has learned to tease from my beloved!

*

Let them try to imprison Him in temple, mosque and church!

The seeing eye finds the Beloved’s presence in every mote.

*

Seekers of your radiant visions are very close to your heart—

Eyes focused outside are infinitely far from the beloved’s light.

*

What can I say of the grace he showers as I gaze within!

Darshan, the moment I close my eyes, the beloved’s light begins.


A Ghazal of Sant Kirpal Singh

(Darshan’s Spiritual Predecessor)


I kneel for the sacred dust of his feet and touch it to my brow,

For the Master’s wine has made me drunk, lost in the oneness of God.

میں پاک مرشد کی خاکِ پا کو، لگاؤں سر پر اُٹھا اُٹھا کر

ہے مست و بیخود بنایا مجھ کو، شرابِ وحدت پلا پلا کر

मैं पाक मुरशिद की ख़ाक-ए पा को, लगाऊँ सर पर उठा उठा कर

है मस्त-ओ-बेख़ुद बनाया मुझ को, शराब-ए वहदत पिला पिला कर

*

Unbearable was my longing to find more than a human being;

You dispelled the darkness of ages, you lit lamps everywhere!

اِتنی مجھ میں بھاری یہ حسرت، نا جزُ میں اِنسان کُچھ بھی سمجھوں

مٹایا صدیون کا کلُ اندھیرا، توُ نے دیپک جگا جگا کر

इतनी मुझ को भारी यह हसरत, ना जुज़ मैं इंसान कुछ भी समझूँ

मिटाया सदियों का कुल अंधेरा, तू ने दीपक जगा जगा कर

*

I thought myself a mere human, here for but a short stay;

He showed me I was in essence God, dispelling all thought of myself.

میں خود کو سمجھا تھا محض بندہ، ہے چند روز قیام اِس جا پر

بنایا مجھ کو ہے ذاتِ یزداں، خودی کو میری مٹا مٹا کر

मैं ख़ुद को समझा था महज़ बंदा, है चंद रोज़ क़ियाम इस जा पर

बनाया मुझ को है ज़ात-ए यज़्दां, ख़ुदी को मेरी मिटा मिटा कर

*

For long I wandered the forests, exhausted from calling, “Where are you, Lord?”

Now through the grace of my Master I see God present before me.

پھرا میں جنگل میں ایک مدّت، تلاشِ ربّ میں کہاں وہ ہوگا

بفضلِ مرشد ہے اب وہ حاضر، تھکا تھا جسِ کو بلا بلا کر

फिरा मैं जंगल में एक मुद्दत, तलाश-ए रब में कहां वह होगा

बफ्ज़्ल-ए मुरशिद है अब वह हाज़िर, थका था जिस को बुला बुला कर

*

My anguished eyes held nothing back in recounting our time apart.

“What!” he said. “Did you not know? I never left your side.”

نگاہِ رنج و الم نے ہجر کی، سنائی غم کی کہانی ساری

تھا تب بھی میں تو بغل میں تیری، کہا یہ مجھ کو سنا سنا کر

निगाह-ए रंज-ओ-अलम ने हिज्र की, सुनाई ग़म की कहानी सारी

था तब भी तो बग़ल में तेरी, कहा यह मुझ को सुना सुना कर

*

I complained, “My torments were endless!” He listened and simply smiled,

Then put his arms around me, hugged me close, and all my grief was gone.

ہزار کلفت اُٹھائی میں نے، یہ سُن کے خالی وہ مسکرائے

مٹایا رنج و الم کو میرے، گلے سے اپنے لگا لگا کر

हज़ार कुल्फ़त उठाई मैं ने, यह सुन के खाली वह मुस्कराए

मिटाया रंज-ओ-अलम को मेरे, गले से अपने लगा लगा कर

*

Beyond words is my love’s beauty, beyond the power of eyes to fathom,

But wherever I look I see him—he permeates everything!

ہے حسنِ جاناں بیاں سے باہر، نا آنکھ کو ہے تابِ دیدن

بسے ہیں پُورن، جہاں میں دیکھو ں، نظر کو اپنی اُٹھا اُٹھا کر

है हुस्न-ए जानां बयान से बाहर, ना आंख को है ताब-ए दीदन

बसे हैं पूरण, जहां मैं देखूँ, नज़र को अपनी उठा उठा कर

English translation © 2002–2019, Barry Lerner. All rights reserved.