Songs of Lalon Fakir – the Bengali mystic

Found these two poems by Lalon Fakir – the singing mystic of Bengal who echoes Bulleh Shah, Kabir and the tradition of Bhakti.

A Strange Bird

Look, how a strange bird flits in and out of the cage!
O brother, I wish I could bind it with my mindís fetters.
Have you seen a house of eight rooms with nine doors
Closed and open, with windows in between, mirrored?
O mind, you are a bird encaged! And of green sticks
Is your cage made, but it will be broken one day.
Lalon says: Open the cage, look how the bird wings away!

Casteism

People ask, what is Lalon’s caste?
Lalon says, my eyes fail to detect
The signs of caste. Don’t you see that
Some wear garlands, some rosaries
Around the neck? But does it make any
Difference brother? O, tell me,
What mark does one carry when
One is born, or when one dies?
A muslim is marked by the sign
Of circumcision; but how should
You mark a woman? If a Brahmin male
Is known by the thread he wears,
How is a woman known? People of the world,
O brother, talk of marks and signs,
But Lalon says: I have only dissolved
The raft of signs, the marks of caste
In the deluge of the One!

Translated by Azfar Hussain

More details on Lalon are below:

Lalon Fakir was born in 1774 in an obscure village in the district of Kushtia, now in Bangladesh). One of the greatest mystic-singers the Indian subcontinent has ever produced, Lalon was perhaps the most radical voice in India during British colonial rule. Like Kabir, he had no formal education and lived in extreme poverty. Writing in nineteenth-century lyrical Bengali. Lalon composed numerous songs which still provide spiritual and political inspiration to the Bengali rural peasant–a class from which Lalon himself came, and also to freedom-fighters all over the world. He celebrates the freedom of body, soul, and even language from all repressive and divisive forces. Always opposed to casteism, sectarianism, and colonialism, Lalon represents and exemplifies the true revolutionary and secular nature of his community known as “Baul”, a community of low-class, illiterate, wandering singers whose wisdom and wit do not come from academic training, but from an active contact with a life intensely lived.

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15 Comments to “Songs of Lalon Fakir – the Bengali mystic”

  1. [...] siwarangda wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptFound these two poems by Lalon Fakir – the singing mystic of Bengal who echoes Bulleh Shah, Kabir and the tradition of Bhakti. A Strange Bird Look, how a strange bird flits in and out of the cage! O brother, I wish I could bind it with … [...]

  2. [...] siwarangda wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptFound these two poems by Lalon Fakir – the singing mystic of Bengal who echoes Bulleh Shah, Kabir and the tradition of Bhakti. A Strange Bird Look, how a strange bird flits in and out of the cage! O brother, I wish I could bind it with … [...]

  3. ah Lalon!

    no doubt he was one of the greatest mystic poet and composer even in world standard. sad that we failed to present him according to his real value! from the depth of his mysticism, spiritual realization and able to communicate with gorgeous imagery of words, he reminds none but Rumi and Hafiz of persia.

    and then i think he was even greater than Rumi and Hafiz in some sense because he wasn’t a theologian or professor as was Rumi or a well educated one like Hafiz. he came from a very modest background, yet his lyrics, poems and ability to unite both hindu and muslims were extremely gifted.

    may God bless this great lover and mystic saint of bengal.

    here are few of his original songs in Bangla sung by contemporary singers:
    http://www.esnips.com/doc/f8535a5a-b761-4a0e-b40b-fabbd9ca2e54/Lalon-Gity—Shohoj-manush
    http://www.esnips.com/doc/529c55ad-1c38-4cb3-8f3b-ea2955f65853/LaLon-Tomar-Arshi—Salma
    http://www.esnips.com/doc/48e8214e-ec3f-48ac-b100-e296f4219a7f/Lalon—Ami-Opar-Hoye
    http://www.esnips.com/doc/ff8ae9f0-9976-41d5-ad50-b0bed2717441/Jaat-Gelo
    http://www.esnips.com/doc/6f7f1981-3a83-4567-a5b2-fc7c9b7577f8/Lalon-Tomar-Arshi-Nogor

  4. The first one on Spanish:

    Mira, ¡El extraño pájaro centellea dentro y fuera de la jaula!
    Oh hermano, ojala pudiera atraparlo con cadenas en sus patas.
    ¿Has visto una casa de ocho habitaciones con nueve puertas
    cerradas y abiertas, con ventanas enmedio, reflejadas?
    Oh mente, ¡eres un pájaro enjaulado! y de verdes barrotes
    está tu jaula fabricada, pero se romperá algún día
    Lalon dice: ¡Abre la jaula, observa como el pajaro vuela lejos!

    really beautiful…

  5. [...] Lalon, the singing mystic of Bengal and Rabindranath Tagore, the Bengali Nobel Laureate. Raza Rumi has more on Lalon [...]

  6. [...] Lalon, the singing mystic of Bengal and Rabindranath Tagore, the Bengali Nobel Laureate. Raza Rumi has more on Lalon Fakir.Ahmed Sharif writes a photo essay in his PhotoBlog “Desher Chobi” after his visit to [...]

  7. [...] Lalon’s grave To take full advantage of Flickr, you should use a JavaScript-enabled browser and install the latest version of the Macromedia Flash Player.  F.decorate(_ge(‘button_bar’), F._photo_button_bar).bar_go_go_go(2325341685, 0); F.decorate(_ge(‘photo_notes’), F._photo_notes).notes_go_go_go(2325341685, ‘http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2168/2325341685_f39308bc28_t.jpg’, ’3.1444′); http://www.razarumi.com/2008/03/05/songs-of-lalon-fakir-the-beng…  [...]

  8. This site has really some nice posting. I hope people will continue posting. Here is another good site.

    http://www.fakirlalon.net

  9. Lalon shai ji’r gan shudhu gan noi,eti giyan shonggit. protiti gan er protiti koli quran er aiat er moto omullo..jar ortho ber kora kono shadharon manusher shaddho noi.ei gan bujhte onek shadhona proyojon..Shai ji tinar gan er maddhome amader k shotter poth dekhiye gesen.shomoggro bishsho k tini tinar ganer majhe chiniye diyesen..shudhu amrai chine nite parsi na..nirbodh shishur moto ghure berachsi pothe pothe………….

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  13. Lalon Fakir was born in the sphere of 1774 in the sphere of an unclear village in the sphere of the quarter of Kushtia, at present in the sphere of Bangladesh). Single of the furthermost mystic-singers the Indian subcontinent has perpetually produced, Lalon was perhaps the nearly everyone radical voice in the sphere of India in British grand government. Like Kabir, he had rebuff prim and proper education and lived in the sphere of extreme poverty. Symbols in the sphere of nineteenth-century emotional Bengali. Lalon serene numerous songs which still provide spiritual and opinionated inspiration to the Bengali rural peasant–a group from which Lalon himself came, and additionally to freedom-fighters all in excess of the humankind. He celebrates the candor of body, soul, and even language from all repressive and troublesome forces. Until the end of time conflicting to casteism, sectarianism, and colonialism, Lalon represents and exemplifies the spot on revolutionary and secular nature of his identity accepted having the status of “Baul”, a identity of low-class, illiterate, wandering singers whose wisdom and wit organize not go from academic training, but from an enthusiastic get in touch with with a life intensely lived.

  14. “Songs of Lalon Fakir – the Bengali mystic – All My Posts Bangladesh Poetry Sufi poetry
    Sufism World Artists – Baul Bengal Bengali Bhakti caste casteism fakir Kushtia Lalon
    Lalon-Fakir Music mystic singer singers songs – Jahane Rumi” was a great article and also I was
    in fact very pleased to read the article.

    Thanks for your time,Freeman

  15. Hai Buddys…

    If u want any
    Bengali audio Transcribing…. We are provide that service

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