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Tomae Notun Korey Pabo Boley - Only to Find You Again and Again

And I, the Divine Creator, did not create the beings of other dimensions and mankind except to worship Me. ~ The Quran 51:56

To serve or to worship any being, one first need to know or recognize that being. Gnosis (marifa) is a prerequisite to serve God. Thus a positive interpretation of the above verse is that God created man to first recognize God and then to serve / worship God. Otherwise that service is incomplete or has not reached ihsan or station of excellence.

Every action of man has its highest fulfillment when that action is for the Lord (fi sabilillah), the Most Sublime, the Most Glorious. God declares that "I have created everything in the creation for you O Man, but I have created you for Myself." Thus every possible expression when expressed for the glorification of the Supreme Lord - that expression achieves its excellence (ihsan). The Revelations tell us that Man's purpose of creation is to worship the Creator because without that duality of a worshiper and the One Who is Worshiped, everything would collapse in the ultimate singularity (when God alone existed in preeternity and there was nothing else beside God) and it was Divine Will that God - 'the Hidden Treasure' was to be known through the creation. Then God manifested time which is an attribute of Himself and in that time He brought forth the creation.

Now human activity are of infinite variety. Like infinity is an attribute of God, He also stamped that upon the infinite actions of human being. Diversity in creation know no limits. Singing is one such action that came into manifestation among various other human activity when man was touched deeply by certain state of his heart, when man was exploding in joy, when man (or woman) was exceedingly happy and couldn't contain that happiness except through producing melodious sound and words. The birds sing spontaneously - so perhaps did man in prehistoric period.

The best of songs are those which is sung in remembrance of the Most High. The best songs are those that bring the remembrance of the One in our heart and elevate it towards the Intimacy of the Divine Presence.  There are certain lyrics which are so precise in its arrangement of words that they can express volumes of realizations and spiritual wisdom. These songs can work as key to unlock the heart towards greater realization. These songs have the potential to transport the listener to certain states of heart which otherwise would be impossible to reach in such short period of time.

In this post I would like to introduce the readers with one such song. Its a Tagore song, which mean the lyric, the composition and notation all were done by Rabindranath Tagore himself, a man of excellent talent and who rejected idols and believed in the oneness of God. The Tagore family was influential in reintroducing the Oneness teaching of Vedanta among the Hindu Indians through Brahmo Samaj.

The song is titled, "Tomae Notun Korey Pabo Boley" - which roughly translate as, "Because I am to Find You again." This song actually belongs to the Puja phase which means it was a song dedicated to the Divine and the subject matter is devotion to the Lord Most High.

You may listen to this song via various artists on youtube such as: Rezwana Chowdhury Banna, Kanika, Swagata Lakshmi Dasgupta, Vikram Singh, Indrani Sen, Sahana Debi, Supriti Sen etc.

This song beautifully illustrate playful mysteries of the God Who plays hide and seek from the devotee. Allah is at the same time Zahir (Manifest) and Batin (Hidden) which is a hint of that playful mystery. Huwa az-Zahir wa al-Batin says the Quran. Below is the translation of the lyrics and their corresponding translation and meaning from a Sufic perspective.

Original Lyric in Bangla:

তোমায় নতুন করেই পাব বলে হারাই ক্ষণে ক্ষণ
ও মোর ভালোবাসার ধন।

Transliteration in English:

Tomay notun korey pabo boley harai khoney khon
O mor bhalobashar dhon

Translation in English:

Only to find You ever renew
I keep losing You time and again
O my precious treasure of love.

Explanation: In the sacred Tradition of Islam we find that - Allah the Most High said, ‘I Am as My servant thinks or expects I Am.' This tradition encourage the faithful to always have a lofty, hopeful expectation of the Lord Who has power over all things and Who encompass everything with His boundless mercy. Also among the many attribute and facets of the Divine, the above tradition encourage the devotee to call God by the Most Beautiful of His Names and one of the most beautiful of this name is al-Wadud, the Beloved, the Source of Love. The lovers of God love to expect and think of God as the Beloved and as Allah promises that He is as the servant thinks or expects Him to be, so those who expect Him, call Him as the Beloved, as Wali, their Most Dear One, as al-Wadud, the Supreme Beloved - for them His Manifestation is also through Love.

In this opening lines, the poet is addressing God as the precious and treasured Beloved and also introduces his realization of an important paradox in reality. Lost to be Found is that paradox. A seeker of God loses the sight of God every now and then and the poet tells us that this so that the seeker can discover and re-discover God again and again. This is His Mercy that He become lost from the seeker only to be found again and again.

দেখা দেবে বলে তুমি হও যে অদর্শন,
ও মোর ভালোবাসার ধন॥

Dekha debe boley tumi hou je odorshon
O mor bhalobashar dhon

You become Unseen
 Only to show Your Glorious Self
O precious Love of mine

Explanation: On seeing God the sacred tradition of Islam transmits the following:

Some faces that Day shall be radiant,
Looking at their Lord.
~ The Quran 75:22-23

He – sallallahu alayhi wa sallam – also said: ”You will see your Lord with your eyes.“ [Sahih Bukhari]

”On the day of rising you will see your Lord as you see this (moon). " [Sahih Bukhari]

The Prophet –sallallahu alayhi wa sallam- said, ”Do you dispute with one another about seeing the moon on the night of the full moon?“ They said: “No, Messenger of Allah.”
He asked: ”Do you dispute with one another about seeing the sun when there are no clouds?“ They answered: “No, Messenger of Allah.” He said: ”You will see Him like that.“ [Sahih al Bukhari]

The people of Jannah will see their Lord, and it is from the greatest favors for the people of Paradise.

So there is this Divine Play where God Make Himself Unseen in this world only to Unveil His Glorious Self, the Divine Self Disclosure on the Day of Judgment and beyond. In these two lines of the song the poet speaks of this Divine action that Allah remains Unseen only to make Himself Seen.

ওগো তুমি আমার নও আড়ালের, তুমি আমার চিরকালের--
ক্ষণকালের লীলার স্রোতে হও যে নিমগন,
ও মোর ভালোবাসার ধন॥

Ogo Tumi amar nou araler, Tumi amar chirolkaler -
Khonokaler leelar shrotey hou je nimogon,
O mor bhalobashar dhon 

O Dear You are not veiled;  You are my eternal one
plunging into the currents of Your Divine manifestation
O loving treasure of mine

Quran remind us about the Divine Intimacy Who is Qareeb (Near). "And when My servants ask, concerning Me - indeed I Am Near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me." (The Quran 2:186)

Wa huwa ma'kum, aynama kuntum.  and He is with you wherever you are. (57:4) So in the light of these two  beautiful Quranic verse the above segment of the lyrics can be more intimately clear to the audience that this nearness, this eternal companionship is for the One who is more near to man than man to himself. "and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein." (50:16)

আমি তোমায় যখন খুঁজে ফিরি ভয়ে কাঁপে মন--
প্রেমে আমার ঢেউ লাগে তখন।

Ami tomae jokhon khuje firi bhoye kanpe mon -
Preme amar dheu lagey tokhon

When I seek You, my heart trembles in apprehension
Waves burst upon my adoration

Mevlana Rumi said “God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites so that you will have two wings to fly, not one.” The more the beloved is dear, the more careful must the lover become as not to displease the beloved. Every single matter that is important to the beloved becomes important to the lover out of fear lest he/she become hurt or displeased. So when divine love occupy the heart, a divine apprehension or fear will take root. This fear is a natural outcome of love, not ordinary fear in negative sense. This fear is from the delicate care for the beloved.

It is said that the believer must have two wings to fly, one is fear of God and another is to have high hope on God. Both are necessary. In the latest verses the poet acknowledge the fear which trembles his heart while seeking God. This is a sincere seeker who seeks and when He come to know the Majesty of the Supreme One, one can not remain calm but tremble in fear lest the we become unworthy of His Love. This fear unsettle the state of the heart which is so full to the brim with divine adoration and love.

তোমার শেষ নাহি, তাই শূন্য সেজে শেষ করে দাও আপনাকে যে,
ওই হাসিরে দেয় ধুয়ে মোর বিরহের রোদন,
ও মোর ভালোবাসার ধন॥

Tomar shesh nahi, tai shunno shejey shesh korey dao apnakeje,
Oi hashire dey dhuye mor biroher rodon,
O mor bhalobashar dhon

Having no end, You disguise as nothingness
My euphoria is washed away by the pain of separation
O precious beloved of mine!

These ending lines are most marvelous. The translation can not do enough justice to the beautiful precision in which Tagore expresses these lines. It is such a beautiful marvel of the Divine Reality which even though pervades and encompasses all having no beginning and no end, Huwa al-Awwal wa al-Akhir, and yet It disguises itself into the Grand Nothingness, the Ultimate Void, Sunnyata as it is said in Easter Traditions. And this veiling into the nothingness brings pain for those who long for God, those who love God.

May Allah help us recognize Him, know Him by Him and through Him with His Help for there is no power and transformation except through His. La hawla wa la quwwata illa biLlah. None can encompass any knowledge of God except what God grants. So we pray that Allah enable us to understand Him, to know Him as He aught to be known and adore Him as He aught to be adored. La ilaha illaAllah.

// Sadiq M. Alam
// BUET Quarters, Dhaka, Bangladesh



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Technology of the Heart: Tomae Notun Korey Pabo Boley - Only to Find You Again and Again
Tomae Notun Korey Pabo Boley - Only to Find You Again and Again
A translation of popular tagore song, Tomae Notu Korey Pabo Boley with Spiritual Meanings and Explanation
Technology of the Heart
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