How should I tell of the feeling that reigns

by Darshan Singh

English version by Barry Lerner and Harbans Singh Bedi
Original Language Urdu

How should I tell of the feeling that reigns in the court of the friend?
Dancing light is my beloved's face, cup and carafe are ecstatic!

Every nook and cranny is effulgent with his light;
Every mote and grain celebrates the beloved's face.

On earth from end to end I see his beauty,
In heaven after heaven I gaze upon my friend.

Seeker banished from the beatific vision, look through the eyes of your heart!
How can you see the beloved's light with eyes of flesh and blood?

Man's sorrows I bore, this world I loved --
My whole life I gave to the work of my friend.

Brushing past me, it stirred my heart and was gone:
God! The morning breeze has learned to tease from my friend.

Let them try to imprison him in temple, mosque and church!
The seeing eye finds the beloved's signs in every mote.

Very near your heart are seekers of your vision;
Those who look at the surface are exiled from the beloved's light.

What can I say of the grace he showers on me within?
Darshan, the moment I close my eyes, the beloved's light begins.

-- from Love's Last Madness: Poems on a Spiritual Path by Darshan Singh, Translated by Barry Lerner / Translated by Harbans Singh Bedi

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

Just a few observations with this poem...

I love the references to light, light and the beloved's face--

Every nook and cranny is effulgent with his light;
Every mote and grain celebrates the beloved's face.


A light that is everywhere, that not only inspires ecstasy, but is the medium of ecstasy. But to see this vision of beauty, we must learn to see with the heart into the heart of things:

Seeker banished from the beatific vision, look through the eyes of your heart!
How can you see the beloved's light with eyes of flesh and blood?


This vision of beatific light can be so fleeting, especially when we try to grasp it. It is a fluid, living thing, to be witnessed and not held. It teases, like the morning breeze...

Brushing past me, it stirred my heart and was gone:
God! The morning breeze has learned to tease from my friend.


This luminous, living presence, do we find it in church and temple and mosque? Yes, but not only there. It is everywhere, within everything to one who looks.

Let them try to imprison him in temple, mosque and church!
The seeing eye finds the beloved's signs in every mote.



Recommended Books: Darshan Singh

Love's Last Madness: Poems on a Spiritual Path by Darshan Singh





How should I tell