Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Great Neighbor | Barir Kache Aarshi Nagar | Song of Mystics


Barir Kache Aarshi Nagar
shethae Porshee boshot kore
Ekghor Porshee boshot kore,
Aami ekdino na dekhilam Tare.

Geram bere ogadh pani,
Nai kinara nai tarani pare.
Bancha kori dekhbo tare
Kemne shethae jaire?


Ki bolbo porshiro kotha,
Hostho pada skontho matha naire,
Khonek thake shunner upor
Khoner vashe neere.


Porshee jodi amae chuto
Jom jatona shokol jeto dure.


Shey aar Lalon ek khane roy
Tobu lokkho jojon fak re
Ami ekdino na dekhlam Tare.

Barir Kache Aarshi Nagar
shethae Porshee boshot kore
Ekghor Porshee boshot kore,
Aami ekdino na dekhilam Tare.
Near my abode, there is a wondrous City of Mirror,
where my Great Neighbor lives.
Alas so near, yet I have failed my chance
to see Him even for once!

At the edge of my town there is a sea
of unfathomable depth with no sight of shore,
nor is there any boat. To meet this longing
of seeing my Mysterious Neighbor's Face,
how can I go to that placeless place?

How can I describe My indescribable Neighbor,
He Who is without form, without a norm.
For one moment His epiphany breaks here,
and the next moment He is beyond any trace of 'where',
encompassing every 'where.'

Had my Great Neighbor touched me only once,
In an instant all my sufferings would finish,
even the pangs of death would vanish.

He and Lalon dwells in the same abode,
Yet there are countless light years between them.
Alas never have I seen Him once!

Near my abode, there is a wondrous City of Mirror,
where my Great Neighbor lives.
Alas so near, yet I have failed my chance
to see Him even for once!


Original lyrics in Bangla by Baul, Mystic and Saint Lalon Shah. A non-literal translation by Sadiq Alam.

+ You may download the song as mp3 via Technology of the Heart page on Facebook


1.
One of the signs of true teachers of truth, of the realized masters is that when they teach about any aspect of truth, any facet of reality, they will teach through parables, examples and symbols. This is why we find illuminated teachers of humanity such as Jesus Christ whenever he was teaching to people, he would employ parables that could communicate the realities of truth in the most simplest way. Similarly when people asked Muhammad Mustafa to describe about the post-resurrection reality, about unseen reality such as the after-life, he would use common imagery and symbols of this world to describe a reality which neither any ear has heard nor any mind can comprehended about. The beauty of symbols and parables is that it can convey truth very simply without going into complex philosophical discourses, arguments or step by step explanations but are able to bring satori or sudden enlightenment to many hearts at the same time or over vast space and time. Through the lyrics and tunes of such songs the mystics have been passing on the great gnostic teachings to the humanity and this shall continue.

The mystics are the successor of the Messengers, Prophets and Avatars who also use symbols and parables to convey the message of truth. Bauls are the natural mystics of Bengal and one of the most beautiful mystic who ever walked on this earth was Baul Lalon Shah. The song shared and translated here titled, "Ami Ekdino na Dekhilam Tare," is one of the most popular song of Lalon in which the mystic and lyricist has employed beautiful analogies to describe the heartache of every devoted lover of God, the thirst to behold the Countenance of God to Whom they dedicate their heart and soul.


Symbology of the Song:

In this song God is called as Neighbor (Porshee) because of His living nearby, because God is ever near. Bauls are such mystics who dive deep into the mysteries of this existence and this body and their songs speak of the indescribable mysteries of this body as Deho tottho (mystic science of body). In this song we also find traces of such mystical ideas.

In the opening lines it is said that near our human existence there is a strange "City of Mirror" where resides a Great Neighbor. Here the "City of Mirror" is this world, where every phenomena is a reflection of who we are. Thus it is really a wondrous mirror. Such wondrous is it's quality that it attracts same kind of people (or people who would magnify aspects of our reality), people of the same of nature of who we are. Our life attracts similar kind of situations until we evolve and graduate from certain level of consciousness. "City of Mirror" is also the symbol of the world of multiplicity.

Then the mystic says that even though this Great Neighbor is near (Allahu al Qareeb, Allah is Most Near), yet he is never able to see this Great Neighbor. And by careful use of language the mystic has captured the unbearable heart-ache of separation from God, Whom a spiritually evolved soul (ready for Nirvana or release from the Dunya, from the World of distractions) may realize to be very intimate and near, yet unable to see.

In the next lines the mystic give analogy of a boundless sea. The sea is this world and its life, it's depth is the uncertainty of life, just like the seas has innumerable currents, so are the ups and downs of life which comes by many avenues. Using the analogy of the sea the mystic express his quest to reach the placeless place, but he express his bewilderment of not knowing the way of reaching the Kingdom of God.

Then in an attempt to describe the Great Neighbor he accepts the limitations of words and language when it comes to speak about the unspeakable mysteries of God. Then the mystic science of body is introduced where it is said that the Great Neighbor and the author himself dwells in the same place, yet the distance between them are like many many light years. This is the paradox of God's Infinite Nearness and at the same time being veiled by Ten Thousand Veils. Paradox of Divine Immanence and Transcendence.

Allahu al-Latif
The Divine is the Most Subtle
- One of the Beautiful Names of God


The Yearning to See God:

Wheresoever you turn, behold the Countenance of Allah (Wajh Allah). ~ The Qu'ran

The yearning to see God, to see the Countenance of the Holy Beloved is as ancient as human beings are. In Biblical history we find this yearning to be expressed in the case of Moses Who after being in deep communion with God Who spoke behind the Veil to Moses all along, Moses, who himself was a deep mystic and a lover of God couldn't hold himself but expressed to God that he wish to see Him! It was told, Moses would not be able to look at, let alone see at the Tremendous Glory of God Had it expressed Itself. The mountain over which Moses was standing couldn't bear even the slightest of Divine Manifestation and Moses became unconscious, or in another word Moses lost his identity in the Tremendous Manifestation of the Divine Presence (You may read a related post: Enlightenment of the Prophet Moses: Meditation on Holy Koran).

No vision can grasp God, but His grasp is over all vision.
- The Qur'an

And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form. - Jesus Christ in Gospel of John 5:37

Even though in this world God only chooses to Manifest His Presence only through the Signs and send revelations from the realm of Unseen, His manifestation is only behind the veils, yet for every Mystic, there exists a deep longing to behold the Friend, to see His or Her Holy Countenance. This Baul song of Lalon is about that deep yearning for the Beloved Who is spoken as the Great Neighbor nearby.

During the time of Prophet Muhammad one day few people asked, "O Messenger of God, will we be able to see our Lord and Sustainer on the Day of Judgment?" The Messenger of God, peace and blessings on his noble soul said, "Do you have difficulty in seeing the full moon in a clear sky?" They replied, "No."

The Messenger again asked, "Do you have difficulty in seeing the sun in a clear sky?"

They all relied, "No, O Messenger of God."

Then Divine Informer replied, "On the Day of Resurrection, like that, you will be able to behold God."

Some mystics go even to say that the Day of Accounting, the Day of Resurrection and the Day of Judgment - (which all are name of the single moment), for the Lovers of God, is the appointed moment (and a conspiracy on part of God) to unveil His Holy Countenance to those who are worthy of It, and to deny to those who have covered up God's innumerable Signs and the truths of God in the world. 


2.
If you do not recognize God, at least recognize His Sign.
~ Mansur al-Hallaj

In the Sacred Tradition of Islam, the Divine Informer, Muhammad Mustafa, may peace and blessings be upon him, has transmitted the post-resurrection reality about the Day of Final Resurrection. He said, on the Day of Final Resurrection Allah will resurrect all of humanity for their accounting. On that day everyone will be asked to follow what they used to worship or hold as God, the Highest Divine Reality while they were in the life of the world. Those who used to worship sun, will follow the sun; those who worshiped the moon will follow the moon. Those who worshiped various idols which are not true representative of One Divine Reality, but only imagination and less than imperfect imagination about God (Who is the Embodiment of Perfection and Glory), will follow the idols which will appear like mirage on the Day of Judgment. All of them will vanish into the Absolute Negation, so shall they lead its follower into Absolute Negation of God, that is Absolute Negation of Divine Mercy, Peace and Bliss, therefore into Absolute Suffering (called the Archetypical Fire). They shall be denied at gazing at the Holiest of Holy Countenance of God, for they denied and covered up the reality of Oneness while they had free-will on earthly life.

After people who worshiped false deities will perish into the Fire, there will only remain those who worshiped One God, the True reflection of Divine Reality which is One without many. To them the Indescribable, Beyond Words and Holiest of Holy Countenance of God shall be unveiled and they shall be ushered into the Abode of Absolute Peace, Mercy and Bliss, in the Garden of Divine Presence.


I witnessed my Maker with my heart's eye.
I asked, 'Who are You?' He answered, 'You!'

For You one cannot ask, Where?
Because where is Where for You?

You do not pass through the imagination
Or else we'll know where You are.

You are He who is everywhere
Yet You are nowhere. Where are You?

In my annihilation is my annihilation's annihilation
And You are found in my annihilation.

~ Mansur al-Hallaj, 9th century Sufi Mystic, Saint and Martyr, Original is Arabic, English version by Mahmood Jamal (credit)


# The Song in Multimedia:
* Queen of Lalon Song, Farida Parveen Sings "Ami Ekdino Na Dekhilam Tare."
* Aarshi Nagar by Shahjahan Munshi
* Amar Barir Kache Arshi Nagar. Baul Songs By Kona Vadra
* Farida Parveen via SoundCloud
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