Monday, January 16, 2006

2 tricky Lalla Vakhs: "& how!"     [transcreations]

Ah me   well there's the five   & there's the ten
but the eleventh   their lord   (O very mind of mine)
just scraped the pot   & wandered elsewhere then
had all pulled the rope   why should he have lost the kine?

Ever we come   & forever we've got to go
ever we go   toward there whence came this now
in a round-&-round endeavor   we've got to go
from nothing to nothing to nothingness   & how!


[vakh #6]:
Kyaah kara paantsan dahan ta kaahan,
Vakhshun yath leyji yim karith gay;
Saoriy samahan yeythi razi lamahan,
Ada kyaazi raavhe kaahan gaav
[vakh #7]:
atshyan aay* ta gatushun gatshe
pakun gatshe then kyho raath
yor aya turiy gatshun gatshe
khenata khenata kheneta kyha
* alt: atshan ay


This is a third installment (all from the past day or so) of verses from Lalla. I had initially skipped over these two verses, as they seemed a bit more problematical than the others. If I had on hand other translations from Lalla, that could help (and I think I'll need to track some down, to try to verify to what degree my hunches about these two verses may be on target). But I feel I may have managed basically to suss this out (inshallah).

Regarding vakh #6, the Five are the great elements of nature. The Ten are the five senses along with the five objects of sense. The Eleventh is the mind. The Pot seems enigmatic in interpretation to me, and merits pondering. "To scrape the pot" is clearly a mystic utterance of Lalla's -- suggesting something about the ordinary (unilluminated) approach to living. The Cow (the original translator reasonably notes) can suggest the Soul. As used in this poem, this Cow recalls the Ox of Zen lore (thinking, here, of the Ten Oxherding Pictures), although Lalla -- to whom Buddhist, Hindu, and Sufi lore was perhaps variously familiar -- may well have had in mind Pauranic association of God (Vishnu) as Cow; I don't mean to suggest a direct historical link to the oxherding pictures per se. And for all I know, the Zen guys could have been following from Lalla. ;-)


I will likely post these renderings (sans the above interpretive doodle) to the Aap ka Nazrana network at some point, seeking feedback (though I'm not sure to what degree the Kashmiri dialect might make Lalla's vakhs opaque to literate Hindustani readers). Anyway: feedback here (including by any Kashmiri readers) is most welcome!



ps: googling, I just now turned up this site, which gives a useful netography & bibliography for some English-language resources on Lalla.

2 Comments:

Blogger Fahad Abagnale said...

I need your help about other Vakhs of Lalla , can you help me out, please!

Wed Nov 14, 09:00:00 AM PST  
Blogger Fahad Abagnale said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Wed Nov 14, 09:01:00 AM PST  

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