The Lord is an ocean of oneness
in which lovers swim as they please, free of care.
In their own turn, they appear in the world
to dive deep into that ocean, to gather pearls.
Among the pearls is a gem --
unique in value, unmatched in lustre --
that shines like the moon.
We are all in the employ of the Lord, O Bahu;
let us pay homage to him through our prayers.
'Death before Dying: The Sufi Poems of Sultan Bahu'
By Sultan Bahu (Author), Jamal J. Elias (Editor, Translator)
These 115 poems introduce readers in English to Sultan Bahu (d. 1691), a Sufi mystical poet who continues to be one of the most beloved writers in Punjabi. Bahu, whose name translates as "With God," remains highly popular in Pakistan and India today—even illiterate Punjabis can recite his poetry by heart.
""The heart's desire is unfulfilled and distant. My Lover won't give it medicine, and it won't mend its ways. Hotter fires burn in love's battlefield And, Bahu, I'm in awe of those who charge in." With their earthy charm and engaging simplicity, these Punjabi verses convey the immediacy of the spiritual quest as expressed in the popular idiom and imagery of the countryside. A fine choice for courses in Islamic religious studies and spirituality."
(John Renard, author of "Seven Doors to Islam)
"The great Punjabi Sufi poet Sultan Bahu comes alive for English readers in this lucid and accessible translation. Transmitted orally by generations of singers, these powerful verses show how Sufism has actually been communicated."
(Carl W. Ernst, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)