sahl mat buujh yih :tilism-e jahaa;N
har jagah yaa;N ;xayaal hai kuchh aur

1) don't consider it simple/easy, this 'tilism' of the world
2) in every place, here, the thought/idea is-- something else



sahl : 'Easy, simple; facile, soft'. (Platts p.707)


;xayaal : 'Thought, opinion, surmise, suspicion, conception, idea, notion, fancy, imagination, conceit. whim, chimera; consideration; regard, deference; apprehension; care, concern; —an imaginary form, apparition, vision, spectre, phantom, shadow, delusion'. (Platts p.497)

S. R. Faruqi:

buujhnaa = to understand

The meanings of ;xayaal are as follows: a thought/supposition; a person or form who would be seen in a dream, or in wakefulness would be seen through the power of imagination; a reflection visible in water or a mirror. In the light of these meanings the meaningfulness of the word :tilism greatly increases. Then, it should be kept in mind that [in Persian] for both ;xayaal and :tilism , 'to bind' [bastan] is used. In Urdu too, ;xayaal baa;Ndhnaa , ta.savvur baa;Ndhnaa , :tilism baa;Ndhnaa , are all common.

Thus both 'thought' and 'tilism' have entree into people's desires, and in both is a kind of power and mood. The world is a tilism-- that is, an amazing place, or only an imaginary [;xayaalii] and visionary thing. (See


A shape or form is also called a 'tilism' if it would be produced by means of incantations [((amal-e niiranjaat]. For this purpose, someone would be prevented from going in some direction, or some place would be made remote from people's reach. That is, by means of a tilism access is reduced.

In this regard, by 'tilism of the world' is meant an aspect of things such that to reach to its depths would be impossible, or would be difficult. The proof of this is that in the world in every place, at every time, various new aspects come into view. Or else that the world everywhere comes into view in various forms-- in one place in one way, in another place in another way. Or else that what we consider about the world, what ideas we have about it-- these are not universal. In one place one idea or interpretation seems to be proper, at another place that idea or interpretation becomes erroneous.

Then, there's also the fact that since in the world at each place various new ideas can be seen, it follows that the actual world never comes into view; only those aspects come into view that the power of imagination brings before our eyes. Or if the world is only a mirror (see


then in every place various new reflections come into view. He has used the word ;xayaal so excellently that the whole verse has become, in the true meaning, a 'treasury of meanings' [ganjiinah-e ma((nii].



On the idiomatic possibilities of kuchh aur , see the discussion in {217,1}.

Then there's also the nice wordplay of ;xayaal and buujhnaa , and the clever juxtaposition of 'in every place' and 'here' [har jagah yaa;N].

Is the verse a sinister warning about a malevolent cosmos, or a pious way of marveling at the power of God? Or between those two extremes, all sorts of other possibilities come into our ;xayaal . The only thing we can rule out is the idea that the 'tilism of the world' is 'simple'.

And of course we have to ask, whose is the ;xayaal ? Is it ours, or is it that of the Designer (if any) of the world? In the dastan world, many tilisms are made by evil magicians, but others are made by (relatively) good magicians, in a spirit of creative rivalry or even playfulness. It's not exactly a comforting verse, but it needn't be utterly bleak-- in fact, it can't be, because utter bleakness would be 'simple', and the one thing the verse affirms is that this 'tilism' of the world is not 'simple'.