Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ko Fota Chokher Jol Felecho Je Tumi Bhalobashbe? a Spiritual Translation

Ko fota chokher jol felecho
je tumi bhalobashbe?

How many drops of tears have you shed really
that you can claim to be His Lover?

Pother katae paye rokto na jhoraley
ki korey ekhane tumi ashbey?

Without crossing over the thorny path
that makes your feet bleed,
how can you reach at the Divine Threshold?

Kota raat katiyocho jegey
shopner mitthey abegey?

How many sleepless solitary nights have you spent
dreaming the Paradisal state of His Presence?

Ki emon dukkho ke shoyecho
je tumi eto shohojei hashbey?

What unbearable pain have you endured
that you can claim your right to be joyful?

Hajar kajer virey shomoy to hoeni tomar
shononi to kan petey oshfuto kono kotha tar?

Amidst thousand earthly chores of yours
have you had the time to listen to the unuttered words of His?

Aaj keno hahakar koro
shey khotae itihash goro?

Why then you're lamenting today,
remorsefully building what history with the bygone days?

Ki shukh jolanjoli diyecho
je tumi shukher shagorey bhasbey?

What happiness have you truly sacrificed
that you're now worthy of attaining His ocean of bliss?

Composer: Nochiketa Ghosh (1971)
Originally Sung by: Manna Dey

Translation with Spiritual meaning emphasized: Sadiq M. Alam (2013)

The above song, in its original lyrics in Bangla is one of the finest romantic song and considered a classic. Here the lyrics are commonly understood as speaking of earthly lover. I have taken the liberty to translate it from the vantage point of a devotee's love for the Divine Beloved. A Sufic translation so to speak.

Since for the Sufi - Allah, God, Ishwar is seen as a Beloved, every love story eventually appear as sub-set of the Divine Love Story, an echo of the original love, in awake of which the Hidden Treasure wanted to be known and loved and hence brought forth the manifestation. In every love song thus that original Love Story emanates and in this translation I have re-interpreted the statements of the lyricist as a love between devotee and the Divine Beloved and the message still holds true and close to the original meaning.

The subject matter of this song is the shedding of tears, the crossing over of the difficult journey, the solitary moments, the broken heartedness, the forgetful moments when remembrance cease, the moment of repentance of lover and sacrifice - all of which are real stages of a lover and can also be seen as stages of the Sufi Journey. In summation they are the entire gamut of the spiritual struggle that takes one to the Threshold of the Divine.

The opening lines of the song speak of shedding of tears in realization of separation. In the religions tradition, such tears that flow from remembering Allah holds a special place because of the sincerity of the Heart from where it originates. It is this sincerity which are invaluable since Allah looks not at the outer appearance of people but at their hearts.

Among the blessed seven categories of people who shall be given shade on the Tremendous Day of Judgment when there will be no shade but His, is a person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes are then flooded with tears. (Sahih Bukhari)

And they fall down on their faces weeping and it increases their humility. ~ Surah Quran 17:109

I came to Messenger of Allah when he was performing prayers. He was sobbing and a sound like a boiling kettle came out deep within his blessed chest. (Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi)

If you knew what I know, you would laugh little and weep much. (Saying of the Master, sallallahu alayhis wa sallam)

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