Wednesday, June 3, 2009

عالم غبار وحشت مجنوں ہے سر بہ سر

عالم غبار وحشت مجنوں ہے سر بہ سرکب تک خیال طرہ لیلا کرے کوئی

The main characters are Laila and MajnooN in this couplet... which were created by great mystic poet Nizami Genjvi ( Going through a study of all the great Mystics of the bygone era (you must have seen references to Attar and Rumi in the past emails) we find that these characters Majnoon and Laila symbolize the individual and collective egos respectively. Majnoon strives to be one with Laila... juzw in want of being one with Kul... but we do not mean here the Ultimate Ego (or KHaliq-e Kul) but Collective ego that is the "self" defined by the "Qaum" as one. First, one has to realize the individual "Self" [Khudi] and then once reallized we have to destroy it or demolish it [bay-Khudi] in favor of the collective ego... become one with others and become the will of the "collective self" once we achieve that we find the Simorgh (all the birds collectively are IT) if you remember my earlier mention about Attar's Mantaqut Taer. (Also Iqbal's Asrar-e Khudi and Ramooz-e Bay Khudi (in that order) )

So now if you look at Ghalib's couplet (who was indeed aware of Nizami and Attar and their thought) you would find he is alluding to same symbolism... The whole universe is nothing but a manifestation of the strife of individual selves (individual Majnoon's.) The use of Sar-ba-Sar is ingenious. It has many meanings now... sar ba sar means COMPLETELY, also it means on every head, and in our allusion it may mean from head to head (doing a head count!) So the whole universe is nothing but the manifestation of the same Vehshat of Majnoon that is realization of self and then surrendering that self to collective ego. The symbol of collective ego is none other than Laila..... so the second misra alludes to the conquest of Laila... that eventually the Turrah of Laila would have to be effected by this collective Ghubaar... The individual self has to come to the manzil of collective self... and if we try to Shy away from this, it is but in vain as it IS the destiny.

It is the one we find in sync with the tradition of the employed symbolism.

Ahmad Safi.

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