August 27, 2006

Shammyobadi (The egalitarian)

I sing the song
Of equality,
Where all status and class
Become triviality.

The Rendezvous of Hindu, Buddhist,
Muslim or those of Christianity,
I sing the song
Of equality!

Who are you? Persian? Jain?
Shaotal, Til, Garo? Jew?
Confucian? Charvaka-disciple?
Anything else; something new?

My friend!
Be whatever you are,
Or, whatever book or scroll you carry
in your head or on your shoulder.

Vedas, Tripitak,
Or Quran - Puran,
Avesta or another,
read as much as you like or can.

But why this foolhardiness
Whacking your head with all your power,
Why so much haggling in the market,
When at your roadside blooms fresh beautiful flower?

Right in you resides
The essence of all books, of all time,
In every scripture you will find this,
My friend, if you just open your heart sublime.

Your heart hosts faith's essence
And of all that you deem holy,
Your heart is the world-altar
representing all the divine, wholly.

Why do you seek the holy or divine
in the skeletons of scrolls dead?
He smiles behind the curtain
right in your soul-bed.

My friend, believe me
I am not lying,
To bow in your adoration,
All the crowns are dying.

This heart is Kaashi, Mathura,
Brindaban or holy Nile flowing,
It is Buddha's Goya, Jerusalem
Madina, or where Kaba is glowing.

Real mosque, temple, church -
are not distant from this heart,
Sitting here Jesus and Moses
found their awakening to the truth start.

In world's arena Bhagavad-Gita,
Played eternal youth's tune,
In this same field the sheep-grazing prophets'
chord with God was hewn.

Meditating in this cave of the heart
Great Buddha the saint,
Gave up the kingdom
Hearing humanity's pangs go faint.

At this altar the desert's prince
Used to hear the divine call,
From this throne, he also sang
Quran's message of equality of all.

My brother, yes, O my brother,
Wrong I haven't heard,
There isn't any temple or mosque
greater than this heart.

- Kazi Nazrul Islam (Source of transliteration)

Kazi Nazrul is commemorated as the "national poet" of Bangladesh. Today is his 30th death anniversary.


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