This morning I woke up to a beautiful Qawwali (Sufi devotional musical form) rendition of the very famous Hindu prayer song popularized by Mahatma Gandhi “Vaishnav Jan to.” This rendition is different because it is expressing a Hindu prayer song in a Sufi devotional form. This has always been the strength of India and South Asia. To take many varied cultures and religions and merge them into a beautiful fabric. I dedicate this rendition to one and all but especially to my Muslim friends, brothers and sisters who are now beginning their last week of fasting in the holy month of Ramzaan. In a way, the life during this holy month is a reminder of many values expressed in this rendition. I am giving the translation below, and the link to the rendition which I request to not be taken literally, but in spirit. Watch the video here.
Vaishnava people are those who feel the pain of others, help those who are in misery, but never let ego or conceit enter their mind. Vaishnavas, respect the entire world, do not censure anyone, keep their words, actions and thoughts pure. The mother of such a soul is blessed.
Vaishnavas see all equally, renounce greed and avarice. Respect women as he respects his own mother.Their tongue never utters false words.Their hands would never touch the wealth of another.
Vaishnavas do not succumb to worldly attachments.They are detached from worldly pleasures.They are enticed by the name of God (Shri Ram). All holy sites of pilgrimage are embodied within them.
Vaishnavas encompasses the absence of greed and deceit.They have renounced all types of lust and anger. The author of this poem (Narsi) would be grateful to meet such a soul. By who’s virtue, liberates their entire lineage.