I Sing of Equality



Original: Kazi Nazrul Islam
Translation: Sajed Kamal


I sing of equality

in which dissolves

all the barriers and estrangements,

in which are united

Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Christians.

I sing of equality.


Who are you?—A Parsee?  A Jain?  A Jew?

A Santal, a Bheel or a Garo?

A Confucian?  A disciple of Charbak? 

Go on—tell me what else!

Whoever you are, my friend,

whatever holy books or scriptures

you stomach or carry on your shoulder

or stuff your brains with—the Quran, the Puranas,

the Vedas, the Bible, the Tripitaka, the Zend-Avesta,

the Grantha Saheb—why do you waste your labor?

Why inject all this into your brain?

Why all this—like petty bargaining in a shop

when the roads are adorned with blossoming flowers?

Open your heart—within you lie

all the scriptures,

all the wisdom of all ages.

Within you lie all the religions,

all the prophets—your heart

is the universal temple

of all the gods and goddesses.

Why do you search for God in vain

within the skeletons of dead scriptures

when he smilingly resides in the privacy

of your immortal heart?

I'm not lying to you, my friend.

Before this heart

all the crowns and royalties surrender.

This heart is Neelachal, Kashi, Mathura,

Brindaban, Budh-Gaya, Jerusalem, Medina, Ka'aba.

This heart is the mosque, the temple, the church.

This is where Jesus and Moses found the truth.

In this battlefield

the young flute player sang the divine Geeta.

In this pasture

the shepherds became prophets.

In this meditation chamber

Shakya Muni heard the call of the suffering humanity

and decried his throne.

In this voice

the Darling of Arabia heard his call,

from here he sang the Quran's message of equality.

What I've heard, my friend, is not a lie:

there's no temple or Ka'aba

greater than this heart!