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Gopaldas Neeraj is an Indian poet. He wrote many poems, some I studied in my course work may be. I remember his Bollywood songs such as O meri sharmilee (from the movie Sharmilee) and Phoolon ke rang se, dil ki kalam se (from the movie Prem Pujari) etc. Read more poems here, and one of his poetry book.

The most I like (rather love) is below – Neeraj ka Kabirana andaz. This poem I copied in a diary in 1998, found that diary when I was relocating recently. The poem title in English can be Neeraj in the style of Kabir. Kabir is (was) a sufi saint in India in 1500’s. Kabir wrote many things (called Doha) and tried uniting Hindu’s and Muslims (against their religious “blind belief system” to an awakened self). Here goes Neeraj (trying to translate in English – bold part below – for readers of other than Hindi readers). This translation is line by line translation. In some places a line should be read after the next line e.g. Line Number N+1 should be read before line number N.

नीरज का कबीराना अंदाज़

दिल के काबे मे नमाज़ पड़ (Dil ke kabe me namaz pad – pray in your heart)
यहाँ वहाँ भरमाना छोड़ (Yahan vahan bharmana chhod – do not shout everywhere)
सांस सांस तेरी अज़ान है (Sans sans teri azan hai – every breath is a call for prayer)
सुबह शाम चिल्लाना छोड़ (Subhah sham chillana chod – do not shout day and night)

उसका नूर ना मंदिर में है (Uska noor na mandir me hai – HIS glory is neither in temple)
उसकी ज्योति ना मस्जिद मे (uski jyoti na masjid me – nor HIS glory is in any mosque)
जिस मोती को ढूंड रहा तू (jis moti ko dhund raha tu – the pearl you’re searching for)
वो है दिल के समंदर मे (vo hai dil ke samandar me – is within the sea of yourself)
भीतर गोता मार बाहरी (bhitar gota mar bahari – jump Within O! worldly person)
ये सब खोज खजाना छोड़ (ye sab khoj khajana chhod – do not search outside)

जो कुछ बोले है पैगंबर (Jo kuch bole hai paigambar – whatever Paigambar said)
वही कहा सब संतों ने (vahi kaha sab santon ne – same is said by other saints too)
लेकिन उसकी मानी बदले (lekin uski mani badle – but the meanings have been changed)
सारे भ्रष्ट महंतों ने (sare bhrast mahanton ne – by all the corrupt religious representatives)
पंडित मुल्ला सब झूठे है (pandit mulla sab jhute hai – Pandit, Mulla all are liers)
इनसे हाथ मिलना छोड़ (inse hath milana chhod – leave them, dont follow them)

खुदा खलक से अलग नही है (Khuda khalak se alag nahi hai – God is not separate from creation)
इसमे ही वो समाया है (isme hi vo samaya hai – God is within the creation)
जैसे तुझमे ही पौषिदा (jaise tujhme hi poshida – as your own body)
तेरा अपना साया है (tera apna saya hai – has its shadow)
दुनिया से मत दूर भाग (dunia se mat dur bhag – do not run away from the world)
बस मन की दौड़ लगाना छोड़ (bas man ki daud lagana chhod – stop running within your mind)

पूजा पाठ नमाज़ जप (puja paath namaz jap – worship, Namaaz, chant everything)
सब छलना और दिखावा है (sab chhalana aur dikhava hai – are show-off & cheating)
दिल है तेरा साफ तो (dil hai tera saf to – if you heart is pure)
तेरा घर ही काशी काबा है (tera ghar hi kashi kaba hai – your home itself is Kashi & Kaba)
मकड़ जाल है ये सब जग के (makad jaal hai ye sab jag ke – this all is a cob-web)
इनका ताना बना छोड़ (inka tana bana chhod – leave these framework)

तू ही तो संसारी है रे (tu hi to sansari hai re – you are the worldly)
और तू ही संसार भी है (aur tu hi sansar bhi hai – you are the world)
कैदी तू ही, जैल भी तू ही, (kaidi tu hi, jail bhi tu hi – you are the jailer, you are the jailed)
तू ही पहरेदार भी है(tu hi paharedar bhi hai – and you are the sentinel/guard)
तीन गुनो वाली रस्सी मे (teen guno vali rassi me – a knot with these three attributes)
अब तो गाँठ लगाना छोड़ (ab to gaandh lagana chhod – do not knot this rope)

Specially in this I like the last bit (I would not want to write that in English, as the translation seem to lose the meaning –

…दुनिया से मत दूर भाग
बस मन की दौड़ लगाना छोड़…

…कैदी तू ही, जैल भी तू ही,
तू ही पहरेदार भी है…

Whole world is created by our mind – we are the jailer, sentinel and jailed…

Kabir Good read