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مُڈھلا ورقہ >> شاہ مُکھی وچار >> کلاسک >> کافیاں شاہ حسین >> سنگت شاہ حسین >> Kafi Shah Hussain 6 : Raag Aasa

Kafi Shah Hussain 6 : Raag Aasa

Muzaffar A Ghaffar
March 30th, 2008

راگ آسا

١ جاگ نہ لدّھی آ' جِند ہبھو وِہانی رات
٢ اِس دم دا وو کیہ بھروَاسا' رہن سرائیِں رات
٣ جاگ نہ لدّھی آ' جِند ہبھو وِہانی رات
٤ وِچھڑے تَن مَن بوہڑ نہ میلہ' ترور ٹُٹے پات
٥ جاگ نہ لدّھی آ' جِند ہبھو وِہانی رات
٦ کہے حسُین فقِیر سائیِں دا' ہوءِ گئی پربھات
٧ جاگ نہ لدّھی آ' جِند ہبھو وِہانی رات

 

ਰਾਗ ਆਸਾ 

1 ਜਾਗ ਨਾ ਲਧੀ ਆ, ਜਿੰਦ ਹਭੋ ਵਿਹਾਣੀ ਰਾਤ
2 ਇਸ ਦੰਮ ਦਾ ਵੋ ਕੀ ਭਰਵਾਸਾ, ਰਹਿਣ ਸਰਾਈਂ ਰਾਤ
3 ਜਾਗ ਨਾ ਲਧੀ ਆ, ਜਿੰਦ ਹਭੋ ਵਿਹਾਣੀ ਰਾਤ
4 ਵਿੱਛੜੇ ਤੰਨ ਮੰਨ ਬਹੁੜ ਨਾ ਮੇਲਾ, ਤਰਵਰ ਟੁਟੇ ਪਾਤ
5 ਜਾਗ ਨਾ ਲਧੀ ਆ, ਜਿੰਦ ਹਭੋ ਵਿਬਾਨੀ ਰਾਤ
6 ਕਹੇ ਹੁਸੈਨ ਫ਼ਕੀਰ ਸਾਈਂ ਦਾ, ਹੋਇ ਗਈ ਪਰਭਾਤ
7 ਜਾਗ ਨਾ ਲਧੀ ਆ, ਜਿੰਦ ਹਭੋ ਵਿਬਾਨੀ ਰਾਤ

Raag Aasa

1 Jaag nah laddhi aa, jind habho vihaani raat

2 Iss damm da vo kih bharvaasa, rehn saraain raat

3 Jaag nah laddhi aa, jind hobho vihaani raat

4 Vichrae tann mann bauhr nah maela, tarvar tuttae paat

5 Jaag nah laddhi aa, jind habho vihaani raat

6 kahae Husayn faqeer Saain da, hoae gaee parbhaat

7 Jaag nah laddhi aa, jind habho vihaani raat

GLOSSARY:

Rahaao/refrain (Line 1, etc.):

Jaag: s.m. Wakefulness, state of being awake; awareness, mindfulness; - s.f. An acid substance or sour milk put into milk to coagulate it (to make curds/yogurt), a starter for making yogurt; - (met.) a transforming substance; - acquired wealth.

Laddhi: Found, etc.; from ladhna/labhna: v.n. To be met with, be found, be obtained, be attained, to come to hand (to a person), come into possession.

Jind: s.f. Life, soul, spirit; strength.

Habho: adj. All, total, complete, full.

Vihaani: Has passed, elapsed, etc., from vihaana: v.n. To pass, to elapse, go, to come to pass, to happen, to befall; to pass away, to die.

Line 2:

Damm: s.m. Breath, vital air, life; - moment, an instant.

Vo: interj. A word for hailing such as O you! There! Listen!

Bharvaasa: (same as bharosa): s.m. Hope, dependence, trust, reliance, assurance, confidence, faith.

Rehn: Staying, etc.; from rehna: v.n. To remain, to be left; to escape; to abide, tarry, stay, stop, halt, to remain, lie; to be, exist, live; to inhabit, dwell, reside; to last, stand, continue, endure; - s.m. Pleading, pawning; a thing deposited as a pledge, a pledge, a pawn, a mortgage, a sum lent on mortgage, a sum lent on mortgage.

Saraain: In a saraa’ae: s.m. House, mansion, palace, temporary home for travelers, caravansary, inn; - (met.) the world.

Line 4:

Taan: s.m. The body; one’s own person, self.

Maan: s.m. The mind (considered as the seat of perception and passion); Power of the mind, intellect, intelligence, understanding, perception, sense; - heart; soul; spirit.

Taan mann: s.m. Body and soul, one’s whole self.

Bauhr: adj. & adv. Again; (one more time); to come for or in aid (of) someone; to return quickly; to reach just in time.

Meala: s.m. Meeting, assemblage, company; a large concourse of people (for religious or commercial purposes); a fair; a meeting, or mixed assemblage of faqeers; a delegation going for negotiation.

Tarvar: s.m. Tree; an excellent tree.

Paat: (same as patta): s.m. Leaf, leaves (of a tree).

Line 6:

Parbhaat: (same as prabhaat): s.f. Morning, day, daybreak, the ‘early’ time (vhadda vaela), dawn.

1 All night is spent O life, and waking not found

2 O what trust in this breath, in a tavern we’re aground

3 All night is spent O life, and waking not found

4 Separated body-soul never convene, fallen leaves don’t rebound

5 All night is spent O life, and waking not found

6 Says Husayn the Lord’s devotee, morning’s all around!

7 All night is spent O life, and waking not found

NOTES:

Rahaao/refrain (Line 1):

Jaag nah laddhi aa, jind habho vihaani raat

All night is spent O life, and waking not found

The first word has two meaning: waking, and the starter for yogurt (which is sometimes used as a symbol of transformed – of milk to yogurt. And metaphorically, of man.) The two meanings coalesce and create a feeling which perhaps the poet intends. This is not just waking up from sleep, but awakening, a ‘transforming’ experience. But the nature of the two substances is different. Then milk can become yogurt, but yogurt cannot become milk. The former represents a permanent (chemical) transformation.

A wakening (which transforms, and we really begin to ‘see’) has not been found, says the first one-third of the line. Even here, the poet has created a little word play. The word aa can be read both as ‘is’ and as ‘come’. The second reading then is an invitation to whoever can help us find ‘awakening’.

Who is the address? Why, life, or the spirit itself. This becomes a dialogue with the self. But then who is beings invited? Are the God within and God note the same essence? The concept of Waahdat al-Vujood (Unity of Being) says ‘yes’. That is what the poet may be implying.

The last part of the line makes a simple statement. All night has passed. But the question comes up: is night not meant for resting and sleeping? Should we be looking for waking at night?

Though there is plenty of word play (in theatrical terms) in the line, it is also the sort of thing we often say: we have not found waking and time has passed. But why use night as a metaphor for time? Is the poet telling us that if we sleep at night (or at any time), we lose time to find ‘awakening’. Or is he reversing the roles of night and day? We do know that in Panjaabi poetry night is not viewed as zulmat (obscuring darkness) or as jahaalat (groping ignorance), or as (a time for) brutality, or a time for losing our way. It is viewed as a time of tranquility, rest, sweet smells, peace, a time for creation (when plants grow and usually babies are ‘made’). After all, in the Bible, when the Lord said ‘let there be light, it had to be dark. It was ‘night’. Then are not light and Creation emanating from ‘night’? With this approach, our conception of day and night is reversed. Night becomes a very special time. The metaphor of night in Shaah Husayn’s verse is opposite to what night stands for in Persian or Urdu poetry. It is a time of creation, time which is one’s own, time to be awake, etc…. (We shall come across night as a symbol or metaphor in many places, and we will try to explore it more).

Then ‘waking’ is associated with light. That too is present in the kaafi.

Line 2:

Iss dammdavo kih bharvaasa, rehn saraain raat

O what trust in this breath, in a tavern we’re aground

Now the kaafi seems to affirm that this is a lament. It seems to repeat the old metaphor which equates this life with an ‘inn for a night. Then the well-known dictum: there can be no trust in this breath [or in time – the second meaning of the word damm (moment)]. The addition of the word vo (a word used for hailing someone) seems to give further credence to the aa (come) of the first line. Someone is being hailed.

There are other layers of meaning in the line. First is the use of the word damm as both ‘moment’ and ‘breath’. The two meanings are coalesced giving immediacy to the matter. ‘Find the awakening now, with this breath’, the poet seems to say.

Another interesting word is rehn, which means ‘staying’, or ‘they remain’. But it has another meaning, which tells us that night – the time of creation and thus of (spiritual) awakening – has been pawned. It has been mortgaged in the inn. This reading raises the status of night and gives it a personality. But who has put night in the pawnbroker’s clutches? Andwho is the pawnbroker? Perhaps the answer to the first question in that the unawakened self is the one who has mortgaged night – the time when awakening could be found. We are ourselves the pawnbrokers who have made ourselves into pawns in this inn’, Awakening can change all that. Perhaps even the metaphor of the ‘inn’, for life, may become inadequate. Awakening is clueing into eternity. It is aligning with the eternal. It is ‘getting the light’.

Rahaao/ refrain (Line 3):

Jaag nah laddhi aa, jind habho vihaani raat

All night is spent O life, and waking not found

The refrain tells us that awakening has not been found. All our speculations about the first antra come to a standstill. Night is passing and awakening has not been found.

Line 4:

Vichrae tann mann bauhrnah maela, tarvar tuttae paat

Separated body-soul never convene, fallen leaves don’t rebound

The poet places the words tann and mann together to present the meaning, body-soul, everything. He also employs them separately. Indeed he uses the structure of the line to tell us that body-soul have been separated. (Vichrae means ‘have been separated’, after union). Everything is in disarray. Now there is no union (maela).

The word maela also means a feast or festival. When there is no unity between body-soul, life stops from being a time of joy, of celebration. The poet perhaps wants to give a metaphor to a life when body-soul are not separated, but are moving in unison. Then there can be awakening. That is a time of great joy. This joy is not just mental. It is also physical. Like going to a maela (a fair).

But currently the situation is different. Body and mind (or everything) are separated and no more is there a festival. To make the separation vivid the poet uses the imagery of leaves which have fallen off a tree. There is no way they can be re-attached to the tree again. The separation then is permanent. But the line has no word which confirms that this has actually happened. The leaves have fallen only is analogy, not in reality. A tenuous hold remains on the prospect of re-union with the Creator. That is the only hope man has.

Rahaao/refrain (line 5):

Jaag nah laddhi aa, jind habho vihaani raat

All right is spent O life, and waking not found

The refrain tells us that night, is spent and awakening not found. We bread hope in this line now. Perhaps in another night……

Line 6:

Kahae Husayn faqeer Saain da, hoae gaee parbhaat

Says Husayn the Lord’s devotee, morning’s all around!

It is morning now. Shaah Husayn has overturned night and day. Day here sounds almost like death. It appears to be the end of the search, not representing the beginning, or a new beginning. Another reading is that whether we find awakening or we do not, morning will come around. That is what has happened. When the refrain is read after this line the poet reiterates that waking has not been found.

Rahaao/refrain (Line 7):

Jaag nah laddhi aa, jind habho vihaani raat

All night is spent O life, and waking not found

The thoughts presented in this kaafi have been around forever. These are in our experience, and trouble us. What when is new in this kaafi? The abstract experience is nothing new. Some images have been made topsy-turvy and we are told that night is meant for an awakening experience. And day is the ending of that prospect. Why does they poet want to remain awake at night and day we have light which is presented as petrified eternity – no life, no awakening. What are the meanings of the poet’s perceptions and the imagery he uses? What are the meanings of life and death? Is Shaah Husayn trying to slip in a thought that this life is all there is when he says that with does separation of body and mind three will be no meeting/reunion? What does he mean by body—mind? Why is there separation? Why separation a primary legacy of man? Why is there vaela (Time).

Perhaps the poet wants us to return to these questions by posing no new ones. He is slipping is a couple of new ways of presenting the fall of man – like a fallen leaf from a tree. If the tree is God (as can be assumed in this metaphor) and man a fallen leaf, his potential is limited. Man’s being is very transitory, like one night in an inn. Though morning is all around, yet waking has not been found. The refrain affirms this. When the sun brings day, the fallen leaf will surely wither away. Light (and attendant heat) becomes a killer rather than a nurturer and life-giver.

Existentialists accept that birth and death are not in man’s control. But between these two events there is space into which man has been thrown. Man has available to him already prepared meanings. But he constructs the real meanings himself. Night is the darkness in which man is hidden. Life too is hidden in this darkness, this veil. All awakening of one’s self and to life is light or enlightenment. Religion tells us that man is ashraf ul-khalq (most excellent of the created beings) and that we have been taught everything that we need to know. But has man learnt what is most important? Has he learnt the potential of his consciousness? Has he woken up? In this approach waking is again reaching the original meanings of words and things (which man has forgotten).

The imagery of night is used a great deal by Shaah Husayn. His use of night as a metaphor for life is quite extraordinary. The poet is perhaps encouraging us to look at the other side of night, indeed to look at all received information with a circumspect focus. Perhaps that is what he has done in this kaafi. Perhaps that is the meaning of being awake.

Note:

One musical composition for the rahaao of this kaafi is:

Jind habho vihaani raat

Jag nah laddhiaa

The integration of the rahaao with the antras would be as follows:

Iss damm da vo kih bharvaasa, rehn saraain raat

Jind habho vihaani raat

And then the rahaao as presented above. Then the next antra, and so on.


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