Ghazal 33, Verse 2


be-mai kise hai :taaqat-e aashob-e aagahii
khe;Nchaa hai ((ajz-e ;hau.salah ne ;xa:t:t ayaa;G kaa

1) without wine, who has the strength for the tumult/terror of awareness?
2) weakness of spirit/'stomach' has drawn the line on the cup


aashob : 'Tumult, clamour; storm, tempest; terror; misfortune'. (Platts p.58)


((ajz : 'Powerlessness, impotence, weakness, helplessness'. (Platts p.759)


;hau.salah : 'Stomach, maw; crop, craw; (fig.) capacity; desire, ambition; resolution; spirit, courage'. (Platts p.482)


ayaa;G : 'Cup, drinking-vessel'. (Platts p.111)


That is, courage avoids enduring the tumult of awareness. That avoidance has drawn a line on the cup of awareness and intelligence; that is, it has cut them out from the page of regard. The result is that it has caused intelligence to become absorbed in drinking the cup. In the Cup of Jamshid there were lines; for this reason, poets to this day consider lines necessary in every cup, and they've composed quite a number of similes and themes about the Lines [;xa:t] of Jamshid. (33)

== Nazm page 32


Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {33}


He has declared awareness to be a tumult/terror, for the endurance of which wine-drinking is necessary. (32)

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, without the wine of the Divine love, nobody has the strength to endure the tumult/terror of awareness. ayaa;G means glass, and here it refers to the glass on which lines are drawn in order to measure the wine, which in English they call 'minim measure' [minim mejur] or 'ounce measure' [o;Ns mejur]. The meaning is that because of weakness of enthusiasm/spirit, we make lines on the glass of wine, and thus measure the wine before drinking it. And day by day we keep increasing the amount of wine. The strength to endure the tumult/terror of awareness, in proportion to the lines on the cup, gradually develops. That is, day by day our mastery and practice of repetition [of God's names] and absorption [in God] keep increasing. (63)

Bekhud Mohani:

Without the wine of mystic knowledge, it is impossible to escape the turmoil/terror and mischief of worldly knowledge. But the calamity is that we don't find within ourselves the strength to drink enough wine (mystic knowledge) to escape this. (78)


Compare {131,5}. (128)


WINE: {49,1}

The commentators agree, and Hasrat puts it most succinctly, that wine is necessary to help us face the aashob-e aagahii . But what is that exactly? Given the versatility of the i.zaafat , it could mean the tumult/terror that is experienced by awareness (as in 'the devastation of the city'), or that is created by awareness (as in 'the devastation of the bomb blast'), or that itself is awareness (as in 'the devastation of mental illness'). Yet each of these three readings would lead in a different interpretive direction.

Also, the first line could be read as implying either that without wine we would have awareness but it would be unbearable (since we wouldn't have the strength to endure it), or that without wine we would have no awareness (since we wouldn't have the strength to experience it). The tight-lipped, stoic verse cited by Mihr could accord with any or all of such interpretations.

The obvious question, then, is why 'weakness of spirit' draws a line on the glass. You'd think, based on what the commentators say, that the more wine the better, whether it's real wine or the wine of mystic intoxication. Bekhud Dihlavi's explanation sounds farfetched to me. My own theory is that since wine gives us strength for the 'turmoil/terrof of awareness', perhaps more wine gives us more strength, so we can experience and endure more awareness. It's only our lack of courage that makes us limit our ordeal by drinking less wine, so that experience and endure less awareness. Eliot pointed out, after all, that 'humankind cannot bear very much reality'.

For more about the strange concept of lines on wine-containers, see {81,6x}.

Compare the behavior of 'Weakness of Courage' in {29,3}. And sometimes wine doesn't work at all, as in {86,3}.