Sufi Poetry: Hazrat Sultan Bahu On the Meaning of Life

Those who enshrine the Lord in their hearts, O Bahu,
have both the worlds at their command.

Lovers remain completely intoxicated
in the ecstasy of their love for the Beloved.
They offer their souls to the Beloved
while still living
and thus immortalize themselves
in this life and the hereafter.
I have, at last, grasped the beginning and the end:
I have seen the whole spectacle of past, present and future
pass before my eyes.
Within my heart are fourteen realms:
chambers of Light — ablaze
with the profusion of God’s Radiance.
Those who have not realized God will wander,
homeless in this world, destitute in the next.
 But watch the lovers dance with ecstasy,
as they merge into the oneness of God [Allah].

The river of oneness has surged,
quenching the thirst of the deserts and wastelands.
If you don’t nurture God’s love in your heart,
you will be dry and parched like those deserts.

The Lord is an ocean of oneness
in which lovers swim as they please, free of care.
In their own turn, they appear in the world
to dive deep into that ocean, to gather pearls.
Among the pearls is a gem —
unique in value, unmatched in lustre —
that shines like the moon.
We are all in the employ of the Lord, O Bahu;
let us pay homage to him through our prayers.

Repeat the Name of God,
and always contemplate on Him
while doing your repetition —
keener than a sword is such remembrance [Zikhr, Simran].

Repeat the Name of God, O Bahu,
and free yourself from the worries of life.

— Hazrat Sultan Bahu


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