saare baazaar-e jahaa;N kaa hai yihii mol ay miir
jaan ko bech ke bhii dil ke ;xariidaar raho

1) of the whole bazaar of the world, only/emphatically this is the purchase/principal/root, oh Mir
2) even/also having sold the life, remain a buyer of the heart



mol : 'Purchase; —original value; value, price, worth, purchase-money'. (Platts p.1093)


muul : 'Root (of a plant or tree); a root (lit. and met.); basis, groundwork, beginning, principle, origin, source, cause'. (Platts p.1093)

S. R. Faruqi:

In this verse the device of 'commonality' [muraa((aat ul-na:ziir] is peerless: baazaar , mol , bech , ;xariidaar ; then jahaa;N , jaan , dil . The use made of the refrain is fine in this verse too: 'all the time, remain ready to buy'. It's clear that by 'heart' is here meant not merely a heart, but a heart that would be sympathetic, that would be courageous/spirited [baa-himmat] (this is a Sufi term for one without attachment to the world).

Or again, a heart that would be clear/pure and in which the radiance of the Beloved would be able to be reflected. Or again, a heart that would itself be in need of connection [to the divine], and about which has been said [in Persian]:

'Take the heart in the hand, for this is the Great Pilgrimage,
One heart is better than a thousand Ka'bas.'

To sell the life, in buying the heart, is also a very interesting paradox. If the life is gone, then what use is the heart? But the excellence of the idea is, 'Even if life would depart, let a heart come into one's hands that in the real sense would be a heart'.

If we would read mol as muul , to rhyme with phuul , even then it's appropriate. Now it will be muul , with the meaning of 'essence, root, foundation'; also 'principal' (as opposed to 'interest', as in Ghalib's letter to Ala'i in which he says muul judaa suud judaa ), since a bazaar (that is, a shop doing business) is often based on debt. That is, property is borrowed and used in business, so that muul meaning 'principal' is very fine-- that in the bazaar of the world, the 'principal' is the heart, and everything else is the 'interest' (and it should also be kept in mind that 'interest' is religiously forbidden).

If we use the meaning of muul as 'foundation, root', even then a find meaning emerges-- that the foundation of the bazaar of the world is the heart. If there would be no heart, then the bazaar too would not be established. In the light of this meaning, to sell the life and buy a heart is the same as to buy the whole bazaar of the world. He's composed a very fine verse.



It's truly a very fine verse. I have nothing special to add.