Wednesday, April 2, 2014



                                                            ( Sant Kabir A Painting )


“LAAGA CHUNRI MEIN DAAG ..” is a philosophical concept of KABIR .

“Prakash Yaar , I had told Roshan ji ( Roshan lal Nagrath the music composer ) that my Song shall be based on kabir’s “Chunri Mein Parrigayo Daag Piyaa ” that shall appear in tune with the story of the movie but for a solemn listener , it shall be another way of presenting kabir’s thought ”
This is what Sahir Ludhianavi told his friend Prakash Pandit about the song “Laaga chunri Mein Daag or My veil got stained ”
When Sahir Ludhianavi was asked to write a classical song for “Dil Hi to Hai ”, he decided to take help from the Kabir’s Nirguna Song “Meri Chunri Mein Parigayo Daag Piya ” . For Sahir the Babul ( parental world ) and Sasural ( world of Inlaws ) meant the lord’s world and this world wherein we live . Isn’t this world of ours full of Maaya jaal or TRAPS ?
Sahir wrote ..
Laaga, chunari mein daag,
chhupaaun kaise,
laaga, chunari mein daag
Ghar jaaun kaise

Ho gayi maili mori chunariya,
Kore badan si kori chunariya
jaake baabul se, Nazarein milaaun kaise,
Laaga, chunari mein daag...

Bhool gayi sab vachan bida ke
kho gayi main sasuraal mein aake
jaake baabul se, Nazarein milaaun kaise,
Laaga, chunari mein daag...

Kori chunariya aatma mori mail hai maaya jaal .
Woh duniya more baabul ka ghar, Ye duniya sasuraal .
jaake baabul se, Nazrein milaaun kaise.
Laaga, chunari mein daag...

In Agha Shahid Ali’s poem “*I Dream I am the Only Passenger on Flight 423 to Srinagar ( From the Book A country Without a Post office ) the immortal lines of Kabir “ LAAGA CHUNRI MEIN DAAG ” surface but are linked to the legendry Gazal, Thumri singer Begum Akhtar . I quote specific lines ..

I dream
I am the only
on flight 423
to Srinagar,
and when we—as if from ashes—ascend
into the cold where the heart must defend
its wings of terror and even pity
and below us the haze of New Delhi
grays, In your eyes I look for my wounds’ deep sea.
But five hundred years waved with history?

It is to song that one must turn for flight.
But with what measure will I shed sunlight
on pain? In your eyes—Was her sari turquoise?—
I look for the deep sea . . . That is her voice—
Begum Akhtar’s. "You were the last, we know,
to see her in Delhi, Desperado
in search of catastrophe." Heartbreak of perfume
is mine again. The pilot turns up the volume:
Attar—of jasmine?

What was it she wore
that late morning in October ’74
when we were driven (it was the sunniest
day) from Connaught Place to Palam Airport?
She pressed
a note—Rs. 100—into my palm:
“Take it or, on my life, I will perish.”

They announced DEPARTURE.
I touched her arm.
Her sari was turquoise! She turned to vanish,
but then turned to wave. (My silk is stained,
How will I face my Lord?
she’d set in Pain—
her chosen raga that July in Srinagar.)
IS DEAD. She had claimed her right-to-die:
She had sung “Everyone Will Be Here But I”
( Agha Shahid Ali )

And Kabir’s verse with my simple  English rendering  goes as under …

Meri Chunri Mein Parrigayo Daag Piyaa
*Paanch Tatv Ki Bani Chunariya
*Sorah So Baid Laag Kiya
Yeh Chunri Mere Maike Te Aayee
Sasure Mein Manva Khoye Diya
Mal Mal Dhoye Daag Na Chhute
Gyaan Ka Sabun Laaye Piya
Kahat Kabir Daag Tab Chhuti Hai
Jab Saahib Apnaaye Liyaa
( Kabir )

My Love, Stained lies my Veil ,
Made from *Five elements , this veil was
wrapped up in *sixteen hundred knots
The veil had come from my parental home
And in my In laws House , it lost its shine .
Now I keep washing it again and again ,
yet the blemish does not go away .
Love ! Bring the soap of knowledge now .
Kabir says ,
These blemishes shall disappear
Should the supreme master own me.

I have always felt that most of the verses of Kabir are organically connected owing to basic NIRGUNA BHAKTI ( FORMLESS DEVOTION ) thought . He also stresses the meditation by recitation of the name of the lone supreme master or what is known as Naam Japa .His love for the supreme master is intense and somewhat romantic . And then Kabir lays stress on following a spiritual guide whom he calls as GURU. In the above composition titled “ Meri Chunri Mein Parrigayo Daag Piyaa “ Love ! My veil got stained ” kabir again comes close to or gives another expression to his thought of “Jheeni Jheeni Bheeni Chaader (SUBTLE AND FINE WAS THE CLOTH THAT THE MASTER PUT OVER ME ) ” . Here Chunri ( veil ) is the Chadder ( Blanket or shawl ). Chunri again is the BODY or the BEING or this EXISTENCE . This veil of existence that is made of five elements comes under the spell of three boons of THOUGHT , WORD AND DEED granted to us . Any misuse of these boons is bound to ensure slippage of this chunri to Maaya Jaal where it shall get eventually spoiled . This Chunri is a transparent object finely woven that has no dualism. No superficial covering that hides from the sight the true nature of the object. So beautiful and so pure handed over to us by the lord himself .
The Chunri ( veil ) is to be returned to the master . It has to be protected from getting soiled from the Maaya Jaal of the world . Where shall we carry it should it get spoiled ? Who shall own it ?What shall we return to the master at the end ?!
Kabir has a timeless appeal that is direct and far above any caste or creed . Some call him a Universal Guru . And While compiling The Holy Guru Granth Sahib , Guru Arjun Dev ji incorporated about 500 verses of kabir .

( Autar 02.04.2014 )

*As per Hindu scriptures , Human body is composed of Panch-Tatva or Five elements . These are: Prithivi ( Earth), Jal ( Water), Agni ( Fire), Vayu (Air) and Aakaash (Space). These five elements are linked to our five senses which are the senses of smell, taste, hearing, touch and sight.
* There are sixteen sanskaras referred to in various Hindu scriptures that Every person must under take to purify the body and the being . These sanskaras also include Namakarana (naming the new born baby), Annaprashana (when the child is given solid food ) .Chudakarana ( Mundan or Zurr kaasai in kashmiri ),Vivaah (Marriage) , Sanyas ( shedding all sense of responsibility & relationships to prepare for the Journey towards the timeless truth)and Antyeshti (Last or funeral rites).

I find no reason to agree with some persons who interpret “ Sorah So “as sixteen hundred. In Kabir’s verse referred to above I believe that the hindi word “ so” is not " Hundred "  .Here  "so " means “like ” and sorah so means “like  the sixteen ”

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