আমি বহু বাসনায় প্রাণপণে চাই,
বঞ্চিত করে বাঁচালে মোরে।
এ কৃপা কঠোর সঞ্চিত মোর জীবন ভ'রে ॥
Innumerable many are my imperfect desires,
by not fulfilling them, by not answering them, You save me.
This Majestic Mercy is a constant treasure of my life.
না চাহিতে মোরে যা করেছ দান — আকাশ আলোক তনু মন প্রাণ,
দিনে দিনে তুমি নিতেছ আমায় সে মহা দানেরই যোগ্য ক'রে
অতি-ইচ্ছার সঙ্কট হতে বাঁচায়ে মোরে ॥
Without asking, without me deserving You've gifted me this sky, light, body, heart and soul.
Day by day You're making me eligible for these great gifts of Yours,
Saving me from the delusions of many.
আমি কখনো বা ভুলি কখনো বা চলি তোমার পথের লক্ষ্য ধ'রে;
তুমি নিষ্ঠুর সম্মুখ হতে যাও যে সরে।
Sometimes I miss and sometimes I proceed on Your path,
But cruelly You hide Yourself from me.
এ যে তব দয়া, জানি জানি হায়,
নিতে চাও ব'লে ফিরাও আমায়—
পূর্ণ করিয়া লবে এ জীবন তব মিলনেরই যোগ্য ক'রে
আধা-ইচ্ছার সঙ্কট হতে বাঁচায়ে মোরে ॥
I know, that is Your mystery of mercy,
You turn me away only to call back to You
You are making me worthy of the ultimate rendezvous
while saving me from the illusions of imperfect desires.
~ English translation of Tagore Song "Aami Bohu Basonay"
A non-literal translation by Sadiq M. Alam based on the translation of Shailesh Parekh
Original lyrics was written on: 1907
Collection : Geetanjali
Translation by Rabindranath Tagore in Geetanjali (Songs of Divine Offering)
My desires are many and my cry is pitiful,
but ever didst thou save me by hard refusals;
and this strong mercy has been wrought into my life through and through.
Day by day thou art making me worthy of the simple, great gifts that thou gavest to me unasked---this sky and the light, this body and the life and the mind---saving me from perils of overmuch desire.
There are times when I languidly linger and times when I awaken and hurry in search of my goal; but cruelly thou hidest thyself from before me.
Day by day thou art making me worthy of thy full acceptance by refusing me ever and anon, saving me from perils of weak, uncertain desire.
Sometimes He gives while depriving you, and sometimes He deprives you in giving.
If in spite of intense supplication, there is a delay in the timing of the Gift (al-ata), let not be the cause of your despairing. For He has guaranteed you a response in what He chooses for you, not in what you choose for yourself, and at the time He desires, not the time you desire.
A gift from man is deprivation (al-hirman), and deprivation (al-man') from God is beneficence (al-ihsan).
Deprivation hurts you only because of the lack of your understanding of God in it.
Sometimes He opens the door of obedience for you but not the door of acceptance; or sometimes He condemns you to sin, and it turns out to be a cause of arriving at Him.
When He, The Beauteous Divine, gives, He shows you His kindness (birr); when He deprives, He shows you His power (qahr). And in all that, he is making Himself known to you and coming to you with His gentleness.
~ from the wise saying of Ibn Ata'allah
In the Science of the Knowledge of God, God is understood through two kind of attributes, one is Majestic which is called Jalal in Arabic and another is Beauty which is called Jamal.
Anab Whitehouse wrote, "All the Names and Attributes of God fall under either one, or the other, of two broad qualitative ways of referring to Divine manifestation. More specifically, Divine manifestations are either qualities of: on the one hand, beauty, ease, mercy, forgiveness, love, joy, etc.; or, on the other hand, majesty, transcendence, retribution, power, independence, incomparability, etc.
The term "jamal" gives collective reference to the Divine qualities of beauty, as well as to other qualities which are, in a sense, grouped with beauty. Generally speaking, however, all of these qualities are subsumed under the rubric of beauty. Consequently, whenever Divine qualities of jamal or beauty are being mentioned, tacit reference also is being made to all qualities which are grouped or associated with beauty.
The series of qualities cited above in relation to beauty (e.g., ease, intimacy, mercy, and so on) is meant to be suggestive rather than exhaustive.Similarly, the term "jalal" encompasses all the Divine qualities associated with majesty. Moreover, once again, as was the case with the designation of jamal, the list of qualities associated with majesty in the foregoing (e.g. transcendence, retribution, independence and so on) are intended more as sort of guiding hints rather than a definitive account.
The Divine qualities of jamal (beauty) and jalal (majesty) describe different aspects of the way God relates to human beings and creation. In fact, the fabric of our lives is woven from "fibers" drawn from both categories of quality in accordance with the design of Divine will.
Most of us tend to find the qualities of jamal or beauty more agreeable than the qualities of jalal. In other words, as far as our relationship with God is concerned, we, for example, would prefer: ease rather than trials; forgiveness rather than retribution; joy rather than sadness; intimacy rather than "distance", and so on."
The above song of Tagore speaks of the Jalal side of God. We human beings are limited in our understanding of our reality and also what is good for us. With our limited view of the reality, we often ask that which in fact in long terms bad for us. And God in His Apparent Cruelty denies it and the author of the song rightly points out this as mercy.
In our life in this world of duality we are entangled with many desires. All desires are imperfect except the desire to know God and finally to meet God. 'Be still and know God' reminds us the scripture. Any desire that fall short of God or to please God or to receive God or to lead a life guided by God are imperfect desire. They are illusion of desire of many.
The goal of a God realized life is to let go of the illusions of many and to transcend to unity and to see only One. Thus when in our illusion we ask for many desires, in fact those desires when denied by us by the Majestic Mercy of God, the song celebrate that denial of illusion and express the author's gratitude for that. The author realizes that God gives us many gifts without us asking and in refusing He only makes us more worthy of finally realizing Him and to arrive Him. The author understand that this is all climax towards a preparation for the ultimate meeting with God.
قَالَ يَا نُوحُ إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ مِنْ أَهْلِكَ ۖ إِنَّهُ عَمَلٌ غَيْرُ صَالِحٍ ۖ فَلَا تَسْأَلْنِ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ ۖ إِنِّي أَعِظُكَ أَنْ تَكُونَ مِنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ
قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ أَنْ أَسْأَلَكَ مَا لَيْسَ لِي بِهِ عِلْمٌ وَإِلاَّ تَغْفِرْ لِي وَتَرْحَمْنِي أَكُن مِّنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ
~ The Quran, 11:46-47
God said to Noah, "O Noah, ask Me not for that about which you have no knowledge. Indeed, I advise you, lest you be among the ignorant."
In reply Noah supplicated, "My Lord, I seek refuge in You from asking that of which I have no knowledge. And unless You forgive me and have mercy upon me, I will be among the losers."
In the above Quranic verse God's refusal to Noah's asking is the Manifestation of Majesty or Jalali quality and Noah's seeking refuge is in the Grace/ Mercy or Jamal of God is worth observing and learning from. May God bless us all and increase our knowledge and understanding of Him.