I have been working on the Sanskrit Translation of Jāmī’s Yūsuf and Zulaykhā for many years, but I realized that I needed to delve more into the Persian original text to fully understand the Sanskrit. As I did more and more research, I found many translations, but none that really literally translated the Persian text—many were so free they were basically unusable for any sort of scholarly work. I decided to translate it myself. I must stress I am no Persianist, and I am quite at the beginning of my studies of the language and its literature, but as an excercise, I am posting my translations here. Please feel free to offer any suggestions and critiques.
Transliterated Persian Text:
1 ilāhī ǧunče-yi ummīd bugšāy
gulī az rauże-yi jāvīd binmāy
2 bekhandān az lab-i ān ǧunče bāǧ-am
v-az-īn gul ‘iṭṭr-parvar kun dimāǧ-am
3 dar-īn miḥnat-sarā-yi bī muvāsā
be ni‘mat-hā-yi khvīš-am kun šināsā
4 żamīr-am rā sipās andīše gardān
zabān-am rā sitāyiš pīše gardān
5 zi taqvīm-i khirad bihrūzī-yam bakš
bar iqlīm-i sakhun fīrūzī-yam bakš
6 dilī dādī zi gauhar ganj bar ganj
zi ganj-i dil zabān rā kun guhar-sanj
1 O God, awaken the bud of hope,
Show a flower from the eternal garden (rauze-yi jāvīd).
2 Make my garden smile through that lip which is the bud
And from this flower perfume my mind
3 In this house of affliction devoid of ease,
Make me aware of your favors (ne’mat-hā)
4 Transform (gardān) the hidden part of my heart into a knower of [Your] favor (sepās)
Transform my tongue into something that has the calling (piše) of [Your] praise
5 From the calendar of wisdom grant me an auspicious day
Grant me victory in the realm of poetry
6 Give me a heart from the pearl, a treasure upon treasure (ganj bar ganj)
From the treasure [that is my] heart make my tongue an appraiser of pearls.
- This verse could perhaps be translated as follows:
Grant me welfare (bihrūzī) from the wisdom (khirad) that makes me steadfast (taqvīm),
Grant me victory in the realm of poetry.
Such a translation perhaps fits well in the Ṣūfī context of Jāmī’s work. Khirad (wisdom or intellect) is the first creation of God, so parallel to divine creation is man’s intellect is the highest part of a human. Understanding the word taqvīm in the sense of the Arabic infinitive, “to make firm, to make upright,” recalls Qur’ān 95.4:
“We created man in a most noble image (taqvīm) […]”
Such an understanding seems to be clearly in line with scripture and Ṣūfi cosmologies, however, the Persian commentary I consulted as well as the Sanskrit translation understands this taqvīm as calendar and gives the whole verse a more astrological flavor.
6. ganj bar ganj: the heart in Ṣūfī thought is multi-layered. In this case the use of the term pearl (gauhar/guhar) is particularly apposite. In this case Jāmī’s understanding of the pearl as a “treasure upon treasure” makes sense, given that a pearl is made of layers just as a heart is layered. Chapter 3.7 of early thirteenth century text Mirṣād al-‘ibād min al-mabda’ ilā al-ma‘ād of Najm al-Dīn Rāzī (known as Dāyeh, d. 1256) states: “Know that heart (dil) is the counterpart of the firmament in human beings, and body (tan) is similar to the earth; because the sun of soul (or: sun-like soul) shines upon the earth of the body (i.e. earth-like body) from the firmament of the heart (i.e. firmament-like heart), and illuminates it through the light of life. In the same manner that there are seven climes on the earth, and there are seven levels in the firmament, the body has seven organs and heart has seven layers, like the seven layers of the firmament, because [God said:] “And we created you in phases” (Quran 71:14).” The text goes on to enumerate these seven layers of the heart, namely ṣadr (chest), qalb (heart, literally turning upside down, transformation), šaqāf (sheath), fu‘ād (heart/mind), ḥabbat al-qalb (seed of the heart), suvaydā (black dot), and muhjat al-qalb (innermost heart). (Persian translated by PZ)