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Poetry: Sufi & Bhakti

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Sufi & Bhakti
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A collection of Sufi & Bhakti compositions.

A wonderful hymn that encourages us to let go by having faith in a personified higher power. Repeatedly, it says that there is no I, it is all You.

Step by step, the poet wonders if any of these is worthwhile: to become the chalice? Or the wine? Or the tavern? Or the tale of intoxication? Or one who forgets himself (in devotion)? Or a madman (madly in love with the divine)? Or one who submits to the beloved? Or a moth that cools a candle flame? Finally, the poet says that none of these is worthwhile. Be yourself! Peace and joy lies inside.

A shabad (hymn) by Guru Nanak. The first few lines showcase misery in a woman's mind due to separation. The last few lines show how a union is obtained: through prayers to the Guru, with the results (the union) being in the hands of the Almighty.

A Meera bhajan (hymn) by Lata Mangeshkar in her mellifluous voice. This composition is a caricature of separation and longing.

Sentimental, Sufi song by Bulle Shah. Sung very well by Satinder in a music competition for kids: Chhote Ustad, 2010.

In the eyes of a flower, the world is a flower.
In the eyes of a thorn, the world is a thorn.

A beautiful Bhajan by Purandaradasa (1484-1564) in Kannada language. A prayer to the Almighty to have 'karuna' (compassion) for the devotee, despite the devotee lacking in merits when compared with the meritorious deeds of mythological figures like Rukmaangada, Shuka, Devaki, Garuda, Hanumaan, Mahaabali and so on. What I like about this Bhajan is its simplicity! :)

A composition by K L Saigal who also sang it. Reminds me of 'Moko Kaha Dhoondhe Re Bande' by Kabir.

Sung by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in qawwali style. Reminds me of Naam Simran in Sikhism, breath meditation in Buddhism, and Sufi poetry.

An awesome Sufi composition by Amir Khusro! Sung by Lata and Asha in the movie Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki (1978).

A composition by Kabir which encourages us to look inside ourselves.

An awesome hymn by Guru Arjan Dev that explains that the key to experiencing peace does not lie in thespecific name by which we address the Almighty or the specific traditions that we follow or the specific books that we read. The key to experiencing peace lies in acceptance of the Will of God.

A beautiful composition that captures the gist of Sufi & Bhakti teachings.

Two beautiful reminding us of Oneness.

A composition by Sultan Bahu (1630 - 1691), a Sufi saint belonging to the Qadiri order, one of several Sufi orders in the world.

An adulation of one's Murshid (Guru / spiritual guide) by Sultan Bahu.

An awesome composition by Bulle Shah (1680 - 1757), a Punjabi Sufi poet. In this composition, Bulle Shah reminds us to focus on taking steps towards dissolving our ego ('I') instead of continuing to amass spiritual knowledge by reading books.

25 Feb 2013
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