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Slokas (Couplets) of the Great Mystic Baba Farid (Farīd al-Dīn Masʿūd Ganj-i-Shakar)

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Farid, your body’s on stake, head’s a cage, crows peck feet:

if God comes even at this late stage… happiness I’ll meet!

Last night I was sad, afterwards of my beautiful Lover I thought… I said I’d do all to get to Him: tears ran… sleeve, my Lover caught.

Not all hearts are able to find the secret of God’s love: not every sea has pearls, not every mine gold does have.

I wish to live in Your love forever, even as dust under Your feet: Your slave wants only You: for only You to live, and death meet.

I walk about in my black cloak, with sins… heavy, and people look at me and the ‘dervish’ call me.

My pact with my love has far to go, a muddy lane ahead: if I move my cloak is soiled, if I stay my word’s smashed.

Let cloak be drenched and dirty, let His cloud pour: I must go, I will go to keep love’s word as said before.

Don’t say a hurtful word for in all the true Lord is living: do not break a heart for each heart is a rare pearl… waiting.

Farid says: I thought I was the only one who suffered. I went on the roof and every house on fire… I observed.

Why get caught up in ‘I’ and ‘me’ and think only of one’s body? He only gives up the world who receives grace from the Almighty!

Farid, rip off silk veil, your rough woollen cloak be wearing: to meet the Beloved… wear what is natural to be wearing.

Farid says: why roam the jungle with thorns pricking your feet?

Your Lord is in your heart, you wander hoping Him you’ll meet!

For evil give good, hold no revenge in the heart, Farid;

your body will be free of sickness… your life be blessed.

Farid says: you’ve to fathom the ocean, it has what you’re wanting!

Why with your hands sail the small ponds for what you’re searching?

Candy, sugar, honey, buffalo milk… all are sweet! Yes they are, but by far more sweet, God is sweet!

Farid, strum this world, it will return you… the tune you strum: with God seek refuge, if you want to forget the tune you strum!

O Farid, those who strike you, give them back a kiss;

do not go back into you house, if things are still amiss.

Farid says: Creator is in creation and creation in the Creator! Why should we be blaming others when the One is everywhere?

Those proud of their riches and of their beauty vain were not filled by God, like a mound after the rain.

True lovers are those who with their hearts the One are loving.

False lovers all those who of some other are thinking and talking.

Those dyed in the colour of God’s love, in His care stay:
those forgetting His name are a burden on earth, I say.

All those that He is gathering, dervishes at His door are becoming. Blessed their coming into the world, mothers that are them birthing.

You are caring and infinite and boundless and endless:

those knowing this truth, their feet, mouths I kiss.

His grace may fall on us at anytime, it has no rules… you see? Some don’t get it after rituals, vigils: others asleep, it hits suddenly!

You are my protection O Lord, my salvation:
grant to Farid the blessing of Your adoration.

Heart is caught in the illusory world, but real is soul is poverty if it causes love of God, if one’s given this blessing he’s lucky.

Farid says: Friend turn to God, this body will be dust in the miserable, dark house of the grave, finally.

Saints are different: same to them are comfort and real pain: they know what He gives is only for them to benefit… gain.

Farid, today is the day of union, it’s the time to be taming the wild cranes of desire the heart are inciting, are inflaming.

I thought I was a victim in this world of suffering, but on evolving higher… I discovered this world, under tyranny, kept on suffering.

We all know… that we will die and never be returning,
so why love the false world and ourselves be selling?

Seek a Perfect Master who is like a deep sea where pearl you will find… no point seeking that One in the shallow water too!

We must speak of the true path; not speak lies.
Let us walk the Master’s way, like humble disciples.

Don’t care if beauty goes, let it go: don’t let love of God go by, cannot you see how many beautiful faces under the ground lie?

O Farid, no one in this world can alive forever stay…
where I sit many have sat before and gone their way.

From separation from God body dried up, not a drop remaining: this is lovers of God’s condition: thin in body, that’s remaining.

All ephemeral things will pass on: think on this, O heart: that taking six months to form, in an instant is torn apart.

Farid says: God never forgets you and always feeds you… so remember Him each night, if not, a dead man are you.

Eyes so delicate they couldn’t collyrium’s weight bear, today their skull is a nest for birds their young to bear.

Farid says: Path of God’s love is difficult, for fruit of past deeds one carries on head, no matter how heavy load is, or one’s needs.

Turn cheek of yours before that one who hits on your right: do not strike back, remember it is the soul’s play, its delight.

Farid says: If you sow thorns don’t expect to be grapes reaping… woollen shirt’s needed, expect no silk, what sow you’re reaping.

Farid says: This world is like a pill of poison, sugar-coated: beware, you can lose in this game… go away empty-handed!

Those living in yesterday’s mansions, whose coming and going drums announced, now lie in grave-yards unattended, as nothing!

Go and live and love the Lord. In the graveyard stay, for that will be that place where you’ll stay, one day.

Contented, do not envy others, a wooden loaf on your belly carry… eat what’s given, don’t envy fine dishes of others, satisfied be! Farid says: Get up and offer prayers to the Lord: and if it does not bow to Him, cut off your head!

Don’t you see, before your eyes, your father and mother died… beware, on the passing things of this world, no hope be tied!

O crow, do not peck my body… fly off I beg you, because inside my body is the Beloved living too!

Crow, eat any flesh left on my body you find, but my eyes, never… the hope of seeing the radiant face of my Beloved I’ll have forever!

O Farid, eat your own dry bread, drink plain cold water: seeing another’s buttered bread, do n0t let mind wander!

O Farid, give up actions that badly on you are reflecting, or in the Lord’s court you’ll find shame on you falling.

O Farid, don’t slander the dust, there is nought to equal it! While living it’s under our feet, when dead on us it will sit!

Serve the Lord, Farid, doubts in your mind… cast away: God’s men are required to be like trees, patient all day! Priceless jewels are all hearts, to break any is wrong…don’t break anyone’s heart, if for Beloved you long.

Do not doubt, life without pity, will leave your creaking bones, when breaths you’ve been given out are running!

Kiss the feet of those who hit you and blow for blow don’t strike, and back to where you came from, go!

Become like grass that is beaten into straw… woven mat to be sat before Master’s door!

Swan or crane? If it pleases my Master’s grace even the crow will have swan’s form and grace!

O Farid… stand up and about the world go roaming, perhaps from a free soul you’ll blessings be receiving!

Beneficent Lord with food provides me even without me asking for it, such generosity!

To pursue the path of God’s love is not an easy thing… fruits of past acts heavy upon head one must be carrying.

If one cuts one’s body in two no blood is flowing… body that in His name is dyed, is never bleeding.

When single I wanted to be wed; now I wish I wasn’t… day and night I worry, the purity I had is now spent!

On a hard brick pillow is this earth with worms, plentiful… in the same rigid way for centuries the body lies, still!

Legs are gone, teeth gone, eyes… too, ears can’t hear; as the body stopped moving, all close ones did disappear.

Here, many say nice things; but, rare is one worthwhile… like a pile of shit I steam, I can’t find a love worthwhile.

Parents, who gave life, birth to you, now… are where? They’ve now forsaken you: you still don’t get it dear!

Farid, make mind quiet, still; get rid of doubt, fear… blazing fires of hell will not then hold you, in fear! In Paradise God’s grapes are ripe, rivers of honey flow, but… unless life you leave, this food you’ll never know!

No matter how we try, time cannot be washed away… when time comes, each bride’s married on that day.

It is a difficult job, to at the door of God be a beggar… how to get rid of an albatross, the load that I wear?

That lovely one you want to see and hold O so tightly, when death the groom comes… is disappearing quickly.

Fire that in heart secretly burns, reason can’t see; God and luck… from perishing they did save me!

Over the wide, raging river a hair-thin bridge is lying… one hearing but not regarding, the tide away is taking.

Be acting like a saint, evil actions do not do… search in your heart, look down, try to be true!

You were fast asleep, when that reaping time arrived… too late you woke when death its net had you covered.

Love and greed cannot live together, it is a lie… a broken hut won’t last if a storm’s raging nearby! Your beard is white like cotton… time to wake up: your birth was long ago, death’s soon coming up!

Don’t look in wilderness or to a bed of thorns take… that One isn’t outside, in your heart is One, awake!

Street is full of shit and trash; yet, heart is deeply longing… walking soils one’s blanket and promise is broken staying.

With just simple bread and cool water be satisfied… by the tasty food of others do not ever be tempted.

The night is long and tiresome, passing with difficulty… the lonely ones must watch and wait, cursed nightly.

I used to wander hills and wilderness, never tiring… now, to pick up a nearby cup is not an easy thing.

All kings, once announced by poets, drums and pipes… eventually became helpless, dust filled up their mouths.

Farid, age has caught up, your body shakes nightly… even if you live to a hundred dust gets you, finally!

All complain about separation, king and lord is separation… that one not feeling such longing is a cemetery’s location.

You staggered half of your life, the rest you were sleeping…why did you get born here? One day God will be asking.

Your beard, moustache, hair, are now white like cotton… isn’t it time now, lazy bones, to the path of lust abandon?

This world’s a beautiful grove and we’re birds, visiting… we hear the morning drum, so… pack up we’re leaving!

When navel-cord was cut you should’ve cut off my head… I may then not have to have lived tormented, until dead.

Needs of the body multiply and life’s ills are increasing; stop up ears with cotton… no inside voice be recognising!

Night scatters camphor, those sleeping will miss it… all of those who are drowsy, will also be missing It!

“O homeless man, come home.” the grave is calling… “I’m the one you’re destined for, me do not be fearing!”

Some take no notice of the sings, all… others know: only your actions wull be regarded, all else is show!

Seasons change, the ground hardens, autumn reigns… all must change with it I see, nothing the same remains.

By side of the river, with straws a stork is playing… an eagle on that playful stork, suddenly us swooping.

Those who never think of God, the frighten me… they will regret they did not, in this not and eventually.

O Lord, You guard me, please my mistakes forgive; all I ask of You is… to me Your Divine Love give!

In every heart God’s living, so don’t hurt any heart… each is a precious gemL don’t be breaking any heart!

Like one dead life you lived, until you never woke again: you forgot your Lord… that One remembered you, again!

If you’ve patience’s bow with its string pulled tight, and arrow of patience waiting, God helps you fight!

All dyed in the Love of God the sacred vision see… those forgetting God, on this earth are living heavily.

That one who gives generously, though being poor, listen… such a one is a true servant and even more.

Farid says: Make your mind in tune with the Almighty… in the grave this body will become dust again, finally!

On earth, not being lived or will ever live forever: where you are sitting now, many before sat… remember!

The night to unite is here and passions are so tempting… better to keep mind under control when one’s indulging.

Although that one is wise, that one is really chilfish… he believed he scored, although he really did miss!

Farid says: Friends, when the Lord calls out to you… although the body like dust is falling, it prays, too!

I became one of a gathering of saints, by God’s grace; to anchor, my Lord, it helped me come… face to face!

I’m standing alone and the well looks dark and deep… I have no friend or companion, to hold hand to keep.

The road is so narrow and dark, it is not easy… it’s narrower than sword’s edge, believe me!

Patience, humility, when talking, calling loudly… you can win your Lord if you have these three!

What words and magic poetry and virtues to bring to win over that One, and what clothes to be wearing?

About dust don’t say anything bad, for it is unique… alive it is under us, when dead it covers our cheek.

Even if body burns, bones for fuel… glowing, red: if feet are tired to see His face I’ll walk on head.

Shape of an angel, sweet of tongue, in heart… lies, on the outside pure and white, inside the dark lies!

Coloured pot is broken, breath’s thread is cut away… Azrael, death’s angel, to one more makes his way.

A hundred hunters a a lake, a single bird are chasing… the one stuck upon its waves only the Lord is saving!

If you want to slake thirst seek a pond that’s clear… any water full of mud and crap is useless my dear!

Before it was too late your worth I did not know, now… its too late to any regret or sorrow show.

O Lord, with this one You are irritated… I’m the one to blame, You are justified.

From grief I roll about… my hands I wring; I have lost peace of mind, from You seeking.

About your turban you worry, will it be spoiled? Soul is so slow it doesn’t know mind is soiled!

The weak are inspired when the strong are successful… minds full of greed are always exhausted, unsuccessful!

Even if blanket is soaked by heaven’s rain so heavy… still I’ll go and see my Lord, I’ll not ashamed be!

If one’s lips and heart are one, one’s love is true… if the two are separated, love of that one is untrue!

Farid, the tomb calls, “Come home, homeless one… don’t fear death, in the end you’ll come to this one!”


Farid, Baba. The Book of Baba Farid (p. 39-166). New Humanity Books. Kindle Edition.

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