Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dama Dam Mast Qalandar | Translation of Sufi Qawwali


O laal meri pat rakhio bala jhoole laalan, Sindri da Sehvan da, sakhi Shabaaz kalandar, Dama dam mast Qalandar, Ali dam dam de andar.

O the red robed, may I always have your benign protection, Jhulelal (as he was affectionately called). O master, friend and Sire of Sindh and Sehwan (or Serwan), The red robed God-intoxicated Qalandar, The Lord in every breath of mine, glory be to you.

Chaar charaag tere baran hamesha, Panjwa mein baaran aayi bala jhoole laalan O panjwa mein baaran, O panjwa mein baaran aayi bala jhoole laalan, Sindri da Sehvan da, sakhi Shabaaz Qalandar, Dama dam mast Qalandar, Ali dam dam de andar.

Your shrine is always lighted with four lamps, And here I come to light a fifth lamp in your honor. Here I come with fifth O master, friend and Sire of Sindh and Sehwan (or Serwan), The red robed God-intoxicated Qalandar, The Lord in every breath of mine, glory be to you.

Hind Sind (some also sing Ghanan ghanan) peera teri naubat vaaje, Naal vaje ghadiyaal bala jhoole laalan, O naal vaje, O naal vaje ghadiyaal bala jhoole laalan.

Let your heroic name ring out in Hind & Sindh (or lets the gongs bell loud), Let the gong ring loud for your glory day and night by the people (ghadiyaal - watchman, symbolism of night).

Har dam peera teri khair hove, Naam-e-ali beda paar laga jhoole laalan, O naam-e-ali, O naam-e-ali beda paar laga jhoole laalan, Sindri da sehvan da sakhi Shabaaz Qalandar, Dama dam mast Qalandar, Ali dam dam de andar.

O Lord, may you prevail everytime, everywhere, I pray of your well being, In the name of Ali, I pray to you to help my boat cross in safety (in the river of life).


This song, one of the most famous qawwali, is written and sung in the honor of Sufi mystic saint 'Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar' (Usman Marvandhi) - may God sanctify his station. Every word of his name used in the qawwali has a meaning - he was known as Hazrat (holiness), Lal (he wore red robes, also mothers fondly call their kids as Lal in Punjab and nearby region), Shahbaz (Shah - King and Baz - Falcon, king of falcons and in Iranian mythology represent godly figure who led them to victory, divine spirit), and finally Qalandar (a qalandari - a sufi saint, poet, mystic, noble man). He settled in Serwan (Sindh, now in Pakistan) and tried bringing peace between Hindus and Muslims. Hindus regard him as divine reincarnate, avatar as well. Still today many Punjabi singers, singing in his praise. He is also fondly called as Jhulelal.

+ Some picture of his holy shrine located in Sindh, Pakistan can be viewed via flickr.

[>] Audio: Listen to the Music via Imeem.

+ lyrics and text credit via the inner voice blog
+ related post: Qalandar - the Wandering Sufis
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