Beyond The Beaten Track: Offbeat Poems From Gujarat (Heritage Collection)

Those Eager to Meet the Beloved (Dhiro Bhagat)

Those eager to meet the Beloved
to our land come over
a boat is crossing the ocean
O will moor on our shore.

If told you are that the Lord is far
I will show Him manifested near
with the blessings of the true mentor
O I'll take you to the divine abode.

An enigma is in my land
cow loves romping with leo
unfortunates turn so fortunate
O plantains on karamadi1 grow.

Ever the full moon in my country
never the moonless night;
neither chill nor heat is a scourge
O bullock is suckled by goat.

Grows a fruit of immortality here
an offering to Tripurari2 the Lord
the panihari3 is rapture blessed
O raises water without pail and rope.

Rain falls on barren trees
yet the earth's crust remains dry
sleep souls on grounds and platforms
O soak not their bodies rain drops.

A heroine sings without voice
without any feet at all she walks
sakhi4 Dhir sports with the Beloved
O with elation how she romps!

1 A fruit tree with berries
2 Lord Shiva
3 Maiden who draws water from a well
4 Female companion

જેને પિયુ મળવાનો પ્રેમ હોય (ધીરો ભગત )

જેને પિયુ મળવાનો પ્રેમ હોય તે,
આવો દેશ અમારે જો;
આડે અર્ણવે ઊતરી નાવડું,
આવે છે આરે જો.

દૂર બતાવે નાથને,
તેને પ્રગટ પાસે દેખાડું જો;
એક સદ્ગુરુની કૃપા વડે,
તેને બ્રહ્મલોક પહોંચાડું જો.

એક અચરજ મારા દેશમાં,
ગૌવાં ને સિંહ રમે ભેળાં જો;
અવળાંનાં સવળાં થયાં,
કરમદીએ લાગ્યાં કેળાં જો.

એક સદા પૂનમ મારા દેશમાં,
અમાસ ભુવન નવ આવે જો;
શીત ને તાપ વ્યાપે નહીં,
એક બકરો બળદને ધાવે જો.

એક અમૃતફળ મારા મુલકમાં,
તેના ભોગદારી ત્રિપુરારિ જો;
ભરે વારિ દોરી-ગાગર વિના,
સુરતા સોહાગણ પણિયારી જો.

એક અઝડ ઝડે પરજન્ય પડે,
પૃથ્વીનાં પડ રહ્યાં કોરાં જો;
પોઢ્યા હંસરામ ચોગાનચોતરે,
તેને અંગે ન અડકે ફોરાં જો.

એક કંઠ વિના ગાય નાયકા,
ને ચર્ણ વિના તે ચાલે જો;
એક ધીર સખી પિયુ પાસ રમે,
મહાનંદ સુખ મહાલે જો.

Category in Beyond The Beaten Track

Human and Divine


This poem is in ‘avalvani’, with paradoxes and bizarre statements such as the water dispensing maid raising water from the well without pail and rope, and the heroine walking without feet and singing without voice. Such poems are like Zen kuans to tease away the rational and enable the devotee to plunge into the mystical.

About The Author

Dhiro (second half of the 18th century; died in 1825) was born in Gothda near the town of Savli in the Vadodara distict of Central Gujarat. He belonged to the community of barots, traditional songsters of legends. His family followed the Vaishnav sect of Hinduism, and he opted for the Ramanand sect of Vaishnavism. As a poet he is said to have been the beneficiary of a miracle man’s benediction. The cantankerousness of his wife is said to have nudged him towards asceticism and the path of devotion to God. Dhiro was a poet who utilized paradoxes and yogic imagery to invoke the greatness and mystery of Godhead. Many of his compositions were in Raga Kafi, and so are called Kafis. There is a strong contemplative, experiential, and prescriptive vein in his poetry. In a number of his Kafis, he has used a dialectical, question – answer format. He has also composed a number of verses that are critical of narrow, dogmatic sects.