Raga Asa

by Baba Sheikh Farid

English version by Nirmal Dass
Original Language Punjabi

1.

True lovers are those
who love with all their hearts.
Those who think of another,
speak of another
are called false lovers.

Those steeped in the color
of God's love
abide in His care.
Those who forget His name
are a burden upon earth.

Those whom He gathers
become dervishes at His door.
Exalted are the mothers of such men
who gave them birth,
blessed is their coming into the world.

You are caring, infinite,
boundless, endless.
Those who have discerned
this truth,
their feet, their mouths I kiss.

You are my protection
O Lord, my salvation.
Grant to Sheikh Farid
the blessing
of Your adoration.

2.

Sheikh Farid speaks:
dear friend, turn to Allah.
This body shall become
dust in the miserable,
dark house of the grave.

Today is the day of union,
O Sheikh Farid,
so tame these wild cranes
of desire that inflame
and incite the heart.

We all know that we shall die
and never again return.
Then why do we love
this false world
and sell ourselves?

We must ever speak
of the true path;
let us not speak lies.
Let us walk the guru's course
like humble disciples.

Seeing strong, handsome youths
swim across to the other side,
a weak woman takes heart.
Those who pursue only gold
should be sawn in half.

O Sheikh, no one in this world
can stay alive forever.
The place upon which I now sit,
many have sat before
and gone on their way.

Cranes come to Katak,
forest fires in Chet,
lightning in Savan.
In winter, fair arms of women
adorn lovers' necks.

All ephemeral things pass on.
Think of this, O heart.
That which takes
six months to form
is destroyed in an instant.

The earth asks the sky, O Farid:
how many boatmen have come and gone?
The body merely rots in the grave,
but it is the soul
that must suffer the consequences.

-- from Songs of the Saints from the Adi Granth, Translated by Nirmal Dass

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Raga Asa