naa-muraadii ho jis pah parvaanah
vuh jalaataa phire chiraa;G-e muraad

1b) the one with/over whom 'Non-attainment' would be {infatuated / 'a Moth'}--
2) he would wander around lighting the 'lamp of attainment'



parvaanah : 'A moth; a butterfly; (poet.) a lover: — parvaanah honaa , To be desperately in love (with), be an ardent lover (of)'. (Platts p.256)

S. R. Faruqi:

In this verse the bitterness of the sarcasm is worthy of praise. Through the desire to accomplish one's purpose, on tombs and at holy places a lamp is lit. Oftentimes a supplication is made, that if such-and-such a purpose is accomplished, then at such-and-such a place we will light a lamp. Here, the situation is such that 'Non-attainment' like a Moth, is sacrificing itself for some person-- that is, it itself plays the role of a lamp. And the lamp on which 'Non-attainment', Moth-like, will sacrifice itself-- that lamp will be 'Non-attainment' itself. And such an individual goes around from place to place, lighting the 'lamp of attainment'. It's clear-- what non-success in action could be greater than this?

The theme of the ill-fortune of the lamp, Dard has expressed with extreme excellence:

apnii qismat ke haatho;N daa;G huu;N mai;N
nafas-e ((iisvii chiraa;G huu;N mai;N

[at the hands of my fate, I am a wound/scar
with the breath of Jesus, I am a lamp]

Although this theme has been borrowed from [the Persian of] Khusrau, Dard has presented it in an individual way; thus the intensity has increased. Khusrau has expressed a moral theme:

'From speaking praise, the heart dies,
Even if the verse is eloquent and fresh.
From being blown on, the lamp dies,
Even if the breath be that of Jesus.'

Mir did take the theme of the ill-fortune of the lamp, but he expressed the idea within the veil of implication, and in this way he turned aside from Khusrau and Dard and established his own place. It's a very 'tumult-arousing' verse.



This is the last verse of the ghazal, but the official 'closing-verse', containing the pen-name, is the penultimate verse. Such an arrangement isn't common, but it's not nonexistent either. In this case a verse-set is marked as beginning with {203,14}. For discussion purposes, I'll show these two verses from the verse-set:

;xuub hai ;xaak se buzurgo;N kii
chaahnaa to mire ta))ii;N imdaad

[it's well, from the dust of the elders
for me to desire my own help]

par muruvvat kahaa;N kii hai ay miir
tuu hii mujh dil-jale ko kar irshaad

[but from where is there kindness, Mir?
you yourself give advice to heart-burned me]

Since the ends of verse-sets are never marked, it's quite possible that the present verse is meant to be read as part of the verse-set. Since the two verses that are definitely in the verse-set both describe (vain) efforts to get help and kindness, the present verse fits in with them sufficiently well. Yet it's notably more subtle and complex than they are.

There's something about this verse that still sort of eludes me. I asked SRF for further clarification, and he replied (Sept. 2013) that 'to light the lamp of attainment' can mean 'To light a lamp at some holy place, preferably a shrine (and sometimes even a river) and pray for a muraad to be fulfilled'. This is helpful, because in his earlier discussion (translated above) he had said that people make the vow before fulfillment, and light the lamp after the desired thing has happened. (It's easy to believe that both practices would be common.)

The person who is adored by 'Non-attainment', such that 'Non-attainment' burns itself to death like the Moth in the flame for love of him-- that person will wander around lighting the 'lamp of attainment' because of the death of 'Non-attainment'. Does that sound right? Not really, but how to fix it? The grammar of the second line makes it clear that it's not 'Non-attainment' that's wandering around, but the person for whom 'Non-attainment' sacrifices itself.